Nutrition is something that affects everyone. Everyone needs fuel and nutrients. As an athlete on the field or competing in the game of life, putting thought behind what you eat can do wonders for your health and longevity. The thought process behind choosing the right foods seems to be the most paralyzing for most people. There are so many different opinions, ways of doing things, answers to weight loss, believe it or not weight gain, that it can become very confusing. By no means do I want to downplay the complexity of nutrition, so for all those thinking it's all about calories in, calories out, think again! More importantly, all the science does not matter if your behavior does not change.
As an obese adolescent myself, and coaching so many adults and kids over the years, I have tried to simplify the answer to the question, "What should I eat?". When most people think of good nutrition they often think in terms of "watching what I eat". This is synonymous with eliminating foods from your diet. For all of us, this is a mistake.
Over time we have moved away from consuming whole, natural foods. Instead we have moved towards the quick and easy conveniences of modern food preparation. I recommend choosing the least processed forms of food, especially when choosing your carbohydrate or energy sources. I know this is a very contentious issue, and will write more on sugar as a toxin in the future, which I believe to be true, but for now my point is not about the QUANTITY of carbohydrates consumed, but the QUALITY. The less processed the foods and the closer the food is to its natural state, the better it will be for you.
Simply put, eat as clean as you possibly can, remember everything in moderation, avoid extremes. Secondly, eat when you're hungry, when you're not DON'T. Third, make sure you are hydrated properly, water, water, water! If your urine is clear, you are. Finally, it's all about your mindset. At the end of the day if you want to feel energized, recover efficiently from your training, are at a healthy performance weight, and performing, doing what you like to do with power and grace, you are your best ally. The more you can prepare your own food, the more control you will have in the nourishment of your body.
When it comes down to nutrition, there is not one answer, one magic pill, or one tip that will give you the results you are looking for.