Our Kids Fueled on Fat
A Day at an Athletics Open Day With Our Kids Fueled on Fat
Sunday the 30th of November saw us optimistically attend an athletics open day at Waverley in the leafy Eastern suburbs of Melbourne with our kids fueled on fat.
I say optimistically because we held high hopes for our children’s performance in some events, but also because we hoped that everyone would get along in the car for the 80 minute trip and that our food planning would prevent them from badgering us all day to purchase all of the poor food options that are usually on sale at any sports event. Kids will be kids!
It was going to be a long day as we headed off at 8.15am to feed our pony on the way.The first event marshaling being at 9.45am and the last scheduled event being the 80m hurdles finals at 3.30pm if our boys performed well enough to make it – followed by the trip home. The kids were all to compete in 5 events.
This was our first full length day, family outing, athletics event of this type since commencing Low Carb High Fat eating as a family back in March. So there was a question to be answered; Would fueling our kids on fat be enough to sustain them for the day and provide them enough energy to be able to compete well? (and no, kids don’t get fat from fat!)
We had an early win when our eldest daughter Eve decided that she didn’t want to go and was able to go to a friends house. This was sure to improve the dynamics of the road trip and seating positioning in the car. The equivalent of a gold medal already! Don’t get me wrong, it would have been nice for her to come along, but sometimes less is more!
The planning of the food included making and packing our now famous and published (see my eBook offer) muscle burgers full of full fat cheese, butter, eggs, coconut oil and meat with a few herbs and spices for flavour, the night before. And it was going to be a very warm day, with a forecast for sunny conditions and a temperature of 34C (93F).
Breakfast for the kids of course was bacon and eggs – scrambled this time with cream, parmesan cheese and kale. The perfect fuel for a long day out together. Caitlyn and I just opted for a bullet proof coffee (see eBook) as we weren’t yet hungry after a nice T-bone steak (fat on of course) from the night before. One of the keys to weightloss when eating Low Carb High Fat is to only eat when hungry.
So how would it go? There’s so much pressure to purchase sweets, ice creams, soft drinks and high carb fast foods when we attend any of these events. Of course these items are an important fundraiser for the clubs running these events, and it’s not my place to tell them how to do it, but it does make it difficult if you are trying to go in another direction with your family’s eating – especially when the event announcer is promoting them regularly over the loud speaker system.
After their big breakfast Caitlyn, the 2 boys and our little 5 year old Ivy and I hit the road – Caitlyn and I like to enjoy our bullet proof coffees in the car whilst travelling. Our idea of a treat.
The road trip turned out to be very enjoyable as we looked for some Melbourne icons to photograph for this blog post. We found that that’s a good way to look at things a little differently – be a tourist in your own town.
So we arrived in time for the first event and the day of athletics was underway. I must say the grass track was in great condition and the event seemed very well organised and punctual with around 300 competitors from across the state.
The real test for the day was to be whether our meal planning and feeding approach would satisfy the children enough to ensure that they could focus on their athletics rather than on the food for sale.
The children progressed through their events and we managed the program well enough to ensure that they arrived at each event on time despite some event clashes.
It was indeed a very warm day and all of the ice water we packed was gratefully guzzled all day as we sat around the track in the shade watching the events unfold and steering our kids to their events.
Ivy had one eye on the food stalls all day but it wasn’t until around 1.00pm that the first genuine request for food came in and the muscle burgers were presented. This was over 5 hours since they had their breakfast and despite all of the energy they had used in their events, and warm ups, and dashing to events, they weren’t hungry until now.
Now I’ve got to admit that the warmer conditions lately have led me to enjoy a couple of beers every now and again including the night before – not ideal for continued weight loss I’ve found. But what I’ve noticed even more than my weight loss stalling is that I get extremely tired the day after. Despite my love for beer, the effect on me is like a next day tranquilizer and resulted in me falling asleep in a chair during the day. Confirming my belief that I’m now probably really carbohydrate intolerant and that I’m better off without them. I have had so much more energy during the day since commencing LCHF.
So the kids had some burgers and salad and were satisfied with that, and there were still plenty leftover for the trip home or dinner if they were hungry.
Back in our high carb junk days, after a cereal breakfast, whatever we took along with us would be devoured as early as possible as the children, of course, would be hungry not long after breakfast. And they would still be asking us for more often leading to tears, struggles and sometimes (too often) a purchase of some more junk food by us or others despite our best intentions.
Our packed lunch would include low fat yoghurts, crackers and plenty of fruit. Foods I now know that were fueling a problem rather than providing the best fuel for our bodies. Back then I would be leading from the front constantly picking and consuming whatever I could get my hands on.
The children all did a great job on the track and in the field despite the heat and the long day. Three gold medals and a bronze medal were the spoils for the day – a great effort.
Caitlyn , who is highly competitive, was curious about whether their times have been affected by not having the carbs and not being able to draw on the glucose in the muscles for sprint events. It’s an interesting question and one that I’m not qualified to answer, but the events where the boys performed well were explosive sports – high jump, discus, shot put and both made the final of the 80m hurdles, the area where carbs have often been used for that extra bit of energy. Samuel, the youngest boy, had a number of personal bests and William sailed over 1.25m to win comfortably in the high jump aiming to beat his best of 1.30m a few weeks ago before time ran out. The 1.30m clearance is up o.2m from his best in March this year and only 8cm from the local age group record. It’s very difficult to do a comparison without completely switching their diet again to be a high carb diet and doing the events all over again I guess, but it seems to be working alright to me. And in the end it is their long term health that will benefit.
Ivy just had great fun competing as the organisers sensibly got all of the under 6 events out of the way early. She’s an artist rather than an athlete!
Towards the end of a long hot day we were quite comfortable to buy the children a flavoured water ice treat. It was a decision we were at peace with because we knew what they had eaten during the course of the day and we had total control over their intake – a rare event.
The trip home was relatively pleasant with everyone relaxing after the long hot day. There was none of the calls for McDonalds that would previously be an Auto response to a long car trip which was a great achievement in itself!
Upon arriving home at around 5.00pm, the children headed straight out with my wife to visit friends and continued to play for another couple of hours not even mentioning food until after 7.00pm and then they just grazed on the leftovers from the day.
My wife and I weren’t very hungry either so I just whipped up a nice high fat little egg mix to stuff into an avocado for a nice Summer easy meal to finish off the weekend and prepare for the week ahead. (Great recipe available in the eBook).
So, I would have to say our first full day of high activity together on Low Carb High Fat was an outstanding success. The kids were full of energy, accepting of the food and not pestering us for junk food all day. their were none of the tantrums and repetitive eating we would see before our change of food choices. Their athletic performances were very good and they still had plenty of energy at the end of the day.
Fueling our kids on fat seems to have made a significant difference to our family experience – and my wallet!