Nutrition

Nutrition

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You’d think it would be basic common knowledge by now that good nutrition is important (likely the most important factor) in living healthy, long lives.  But, alas, some people still don’t get it.  You see people non-stop forging garbage into their bodies and then wondering while they are unhappy, unhealthy, overweight, tired, lethargic, have acne, etc.  <– This list goes on and on.

Here it is:

In order for our bodies to function properly and stay healthy, it is important that we follow a good nutritious diet.  Good nutrition provides energy and the building blocks of muscle.

The more you know about the importance of nutrition, the better the good food will taste. Increasing your knowledge on the importance of good nutrition will make healthy foods more appealing to you, not only because of the taste but also because of their nutritional content.  It’s fun to eat when you truly understand what you’re putting into your body.

Vitamins and minerals are important nutrients our bodies need in order to not only function properly, but also allow chemical reactions to occur at a faster rate.

If we think about food as fuel, and even medicine, for our bodies it can give us a better understanding of the role nutrition plays in our overall health, and guide us in making better food choices.

We want to achieve longevity and increased energy and promote growth and happiness, and proper nutrition can assist in all of that.  This does not mean you can’t indulge in “treats” (i.e. the craptastic foods like baked goods and chocolate) on occasion, it means you have to limit putting them in your body and be wiser to the effect the crap foods have on your health.  BALANCE is vital to good health and well-being.

Balance

We know from research that a healthy diet can lower risk of stroke, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, some cancers, and diabetes (to name just a few ailments).  Choosing healthier foods and following a proper nutrition plan can also provide mental clarity and clean up hormonal imbalances.  (<–This is part of the reason I love the Whole 30 Program so much.)  And aside from all of this, eating better really just makes one feel better.  You don’t usually get the same satisfaction from French fries and frozen dinners that you get from fresh produce and lean proteins.

The growing epidemic of poor health and obesity and preventable diseases can all be reversed by living healthier – following a healthy and nutritious diet and exercising.

What is comes down to – eating the right foods is as important as the air we breathe.  Choose wisely.

~FB

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Whole 30 Experience – Days 5, 6, 7, & 8

Day 5 

I managed to stay up this morning and get my walk in.  In fact, I was up before my alarm was due to go off.  Even better.

For breakfast I had my regular coffee, 2 eggs, and the last slice of the prosciutto.  You likely won’t hear my talk about the prosciutto anymore.  I only bought it on a whim because it was on sale.  😝

Once I got to work I sipped on a black iced coffee from McDonald’s. and at 10:30 I had some coconut chips to munch on and a little after 11am I had half a blueberry smoothie.

For lunch I had mixed grilled veggies and chopped up hamburger patty.  There were Timbits floating around my office but I steered clear.

After a Friday afternoon gym sesh I headed out of town for the weekend.  My beau and I picked up a small rotisserie chicken for dinner and I had some watermelon and plantain to go with it.

Day 6

Today was rest day so aside from my coffee I didn’t bother to eat until later – for brunch I had 1 egg, 1 sausage round (compliant), and a small salad with garlic olive oil.

For dinner my beau took me out for anniversary dinner and I had pan-fried haddock, mixed veggies, and some home fries.  Thank goodness white potatoes are compliant (now).

In the evening we had a movie date and while popcorn was going around, I snacked on some plantain chips and salsa.

Day 7

This morning I had breakfast of two eggs and some prosciutto (look at that, more prosciutto) and, of course, coffee.

I hit the gym early afternoon and then spent the next few hours at my BFF’s working on new videos for my online boot camp (starting September 4!).  I was super exhausted and struggled to get through the video exercises and then realized I hadn’t had any carbs.  Whoops.  So bestie grabbed us each a pear to chow on.  Thank goodness because by that point my sugars had also dropped and I was dizzy.

For dinner I made a pork burger (aka I chopped a pork chop in half) on a sweet potato bun (complete with avocado, dill pickle, and tomato {I forgot the lettuce}) with a side of cauliflower mash.  It was so delicious.

Day 8

Whoot!  Made it thru week one with no cravings.  Although, I did have some really bad belly bloat that lasted most of the week that I’ve never really experienced before.  I’ve heard about people having issues with bloating and other things while getting thru the first week or so of Whole 30.  But this was my first time.

After a 40 minute walk this morning, for breakfast I had two eggs and some prosciutto (I swear I only got it again because it was still on sale!) and coffee.

A little after 11am I had 6 cherries to snack on.  I still feel hungry but I’m trying to hold out for lunch.

Lunch today is leftover cauliflower mash and a 1/4 chopped up pork chop (leftover).  I snacked a bit throughout the afternoon on a combo of plantains and cherries.  And about an hour before teaching my boot camp class I shoved a banana in my face. #fuel

For dinner I made – FROM SCRATCH – coconut chicken tenders (slice a b/s chicken breast into strips and dip them into melted ghee and then into coconut (I also added in a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic & herbs) and zucchini noodles.  I also made a dessert/snack of sweet potato brownie:  sweet potato (cooked and scooped from the skin shell), melted coconut butter and nut butter (I used almond-hazelnut), and cocoa powder.  Mix it all together and pop it in the oven.  I made enough for a single serving.  It was actually really good and tasted like a warm, gooey brownie.  I know I’m not technically supposed to be having dessert, but, I’m recovering and refueling.

~Cheers

 

 

The Truth About Carbs

Good-Carbs-vs-Bad-Carb

The last decade has promoted carbs (carbohydrates) as an evil in diets and healthy eating.  But most people are misinformed and tout the bad about carbs and staving off them.  The truth of the matter is we need carbs.  We simply need to distinguish between good and bad carbs.   Good Carbs are full of fiber. These carbs that get absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.  Fiber slows down the absorption of other nutrients eaten at the same meal, including carbohydrates.

  • This slowing down may help prevent peaks and valleys in your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Certain types of fiber found in oats, beans, and some fruits can also help lower blood cholesterol.
  • As an added plus, fiber helps people feel full, adding to satiety.

To get more fibre we need to (a) eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Five servings a day of fruits and vegetables will get you to about 10 or more grams of fiber, depending on your choices; (b) include some beans and bean products in your diet. A half-cup of cooked beans will add from 4 to 8 grams of fiber to your day; (c) switch to whole grains every single possible way (buns, rolls, bread, tortillas, pasta, crackers, etc.).   To minimize the health risk of bad carbs we need to eat fewer refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber. Examples: white bread and white rice.  The problem is that the typical North American diet is anything but high in fiber.  “White” grain has become our way of life (because it’s easy and less expensive): we eat a muffin or bagel made with white flour in the morning, have our hamburger on a white bun, and then have white rice with our dinner.  In general, the more refined, or “whiter,” the grain-based food, the lower the fiber.

  • To nix the bad carbs we need to avoid: Sugars; “added” sugars {sugars, syrups and sweeteners that are added to foods at the table or during processing or preparation – such as high fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and baked products – that supply calories but few or no nutrients}; refined “white” grains.  We are eating more sugar than ever before. In fact, the average adult takes in about 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day.  That’s about 320 calories, which can quickly add up to extra pounds. Many adults simply don’t realize how much added sugar is in their diets.  Sugars and refined grains and starches supply quick energy to the body in the form of glucose. That’s a good thing if your body needs quick energy, for example if you’re running a race or competing in sports.

The better carbs for most people are unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods that contain natural sugars, like fructose in fruit or lactose in milk.  (Be cautious of snacks that tote low cal or low fat, like rice cakes – they also have very little fiber and very little protein.  Without protein, fat or fiber, these carbs are easily digested and  converted to blood glucose very quickly.)

CARBS

So, the truth of the matter, as most experts agree, is that for good health you need a healthy, balanced diet that includes carbs—at least a third of daily calories should come from carbohydrates.  To distinguish between good and bad carbs keep these tips in mind:

  • Skip refined and processed foods altogether
  • Read the label to see if there is added sugar. Be wary of the “-oses” like high fructose corn syrup
  • Choose whole grains (oats, some cereals, rye, millet, quinoa, whole grain and brown rice), beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables
  • Try to have 40% of your total caloric intake come from complex carbohydrates
  • Avoid the lure of low-fat foods, which contain a sizable amount of calories from sugar
  • Avoid the lure of low-carb foods, which sometimes have more calories from fat

The best carbs come from plants:

  • Fresh fruit, ideally those with a low glycemic Index like apricots, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains and foods made from whole grains, such as certain types of bread and cereal
  • Nuts
  • Legumes

As well as dairy products that are not sweetened with sugar, such as yogurt, sour cream, cheese and milk.

The worst offenders:

  • Refined grains like white bread, white rice and enriched pasta (or anything enriched)
  • Processed foods such as cake, candy cookies and chips
  • White potatoes
  • Sweetened soft drinks
  • Sugar

Carbs Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make good choices. 🙂

~Fit Bitch