Alex, the wife to former World Champ Nico Lebrun, is a pharmacist by trade who studies sports nutrition and natural medicine to create optimized nutrition plans for Organicoach athletes of all levels. Inspired by concepts introduced to her by French nutritionist and athlete, Anthony Berthou, here are Alex’s top nutrition tips for the XTERRA Tribe:
- Take time to chew your food properly. Small bits of food are easily identified by your gut and will be used correctly.
- Favor prebiotic food like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains because of their fermentable fibers which helps to maintain the intestinal flora. Foods such as bananas, artichokes, garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, chicory leaves, rye, as well as resistant starch foods like whole grain, buckwheat, and rice.
- Increase the proportion of foods rich in polyphenols because their antioxidant power strengthens the intestinal barrier. Foods in this category include small berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries), citrus fruit (orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerines), organic green tea, cocoa (around 70% cocoa chocolate), oil seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts), coffee (2 to 3 per day maximum), ginger, and turmeric.
- Try lacto-fermented foods for their probiotic contribution, such as lacto-fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, carrot, beet), kefir, kombucha, and sourdough bread.
- Do not forget quality fats which support the intestinal barrier, but which also reduce the inflammatory factors of the infection. Examples include vegetable oil of rapeseed and walnut, olive oil (2 cups of rapeseed for one cup of olive oil); Fish like mackerels, sardines, herring, anchovies (2 or 3 per week); nuts, almonds and hazelnuts (every day). Eggs for breakfast every morning.
- Favor foods low in toxicity because pesticides and other chemicals promote intestine inflammation and your intestinal barrier becomes inefficient. Organic food is the best, and consider reducing gluten and dairy food.
- Limit meat and animal products from intensive farming; but don’t stop consuming proteins as you need this to generate antibodies. Choose good quality poultry, fish, and eggs and for vegans; legumes at every meal such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
- Increase Quercetin-rich foods, an antioxidant particularly beneficial in fighting viral infections.
Examples of Quercetin-rich foods include onions (red and raw), garlic (raw), capers, citrus fruits, cabbage (including broccoli), leeks, spinach, apples unpeeled, small berries, tea (black, and even more, green)
- Food rich in vitamin C such as fruit, citrus, kiwi, small berries, and raw baby spinach.
- Eat the freshest fruits and vegetables possible, sprinkled with lemon juice; frozen fruit, and vegetables are preferred rather than canned.
- Use herbs of Provence, such as thyme, oregano, savory, as they are antiseptics.
- Eat as much raw foods as possible: no ultra-processed and refined products.
- Consume foods with a low glycemic load such as legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), fruits or whole grain products; and avoid refined grains like bread, flour, white pasta, and fast sugars.
- Finally, decrease the consumption of alcohol. I know, this is unpopular opinion, but in addition to being high in calories, excessive drinking causes the immune system to deteriorate.
Alex’s Ideal Immune System Booster Meal Plan for the Day
- Fruit salad with 1 banana + 1 kiwi + ½ organic apple with skin + blueberries
- 1 or 2 eggs, boiled or fried with olive oil and oregano (it’s better if egg yolk stays raw)
- Whole-wheat sourdough bread, preferably rye
- A good handful of nuts
- Tea/coffee/Herbal tea (Thyme)
- Mixed salad: lamb's lettuce, chicory, kale, broccoli, and cooked buckwheat + red onion / raw garlic + all the raw seasonal veggies
- Sauce with lemon juice + vegetable oil: 2 cups of rapeseed / 1 of olive
- Fatty marinated fish (see recipe below)
- 1 or 2 slices of bread if you maintain physical activity
- Dairy-free and gluten-free cookies or candied ginger
- Tea/coffee/Herbal tea (Thyme)
- Hummus + carrot sticks
- Spinach pie (see recipe below)
- 70% cocoa chocolate + a handful of almond / hazelnut
- Herbal tea (Thyme
Raw Fatty Marinated Fish Salad Recipe
Spinach Pie Recipe
- 250 grams of this mix: 75gr buckwheat flour/ 75gr chickpea flour/ 100gr rice flour
- 70 to 80 grams of organic olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 big bags of raw spinach
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
- 25cl of soy cream
- Salt, pepper
- A handful of hazelnuts