share. learn. thrive!
What all people share in common is that we eat food and we eat it for different reasons. We eat for joy and pleasure, for ceremonious celebrations, for athletic performance, weight loss or weight gain. There are many reasons why people choose to eat or refrain from eating certain foods. But regardless of whether you are an omnivore or vegan, food places a necessary and vital role in our ability to stay alert, healthy and most of all alive!
We do this by not only consuming foods but consuming certain types of foods such as carbohydrates (CHO), proteins (PRO) and fats. Each of these macronutrients plays an important role in how our bodies function on a daily level. CHO’s are responsible for energy in the form of glucose à ATP and PRO à amino acids; FATS are used as insulation and help to cushion vital organs.
Our bodies also require a certain amount of energy (calories) just to stay alive. This essential energy is known as the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). RMR is the amount of calories your body requires for daily processes such as digestion, metabolism, daily activity, etc. The body performs most of its work (building and repairing) during rest and without proper rest a conglomerate of effects can occur: slow down of the
metabolism (body’s ability to use its fuel or store it), fatigue, loss of a mental edge or the weakening of our immune system.
Within our RMR, our bodies require not only the carbohydrates, proteins and fats but also micronutrients, such as electrolytes, enzymes, minerals and vitamins to operate. Without these the process for cellular
life declines as does our health. And let’s not forget water, good ‘ol H20. Our bodies are made up of nearly 60% water and along with these macronutrients and micronutrients need a medium from which to perform its function.
From rest and digestion to fight or flight, our bodies require a balance of macronutrients and micronutrients. Because our lifestyles are now more demanding on us than ever it’s even more important for us to stay alert, healthy and sharp!
Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain weight or simply get back into shape, try one of all of these tips to recharge your diet:
1. Sleep ~ 7.5– 9 hours/night (National Institute on Health)
2. Think long term by setting goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible (time).
3. Eat three times a day with two small snacks in between – don’t skip meals: Eat approx 10g protein three times a day, breakfast, lunch & dinner to keep your blood sugar up; Pack on-the-go snacks to keep you going through the day; Eat a variety of Fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors.
4. Be your own experiment and try a new way of eating for a week – commit one day at a time (but do get your protein intake); Try going vegetarian, make smoothies or juicing.
5. If exercising more than 75 minutes at a high intensity, eat within 45 minutes following your workout;
Low intensity aerobic exercise burns fat while higher (at functional threshold [LT]) intensity burns CHO’s.
6. Make a shift to organic and shop locally: Reducing the carbon emissions; support our local farmers;
create your own [herb] garden.
7. Journal your habits. Learn something about yourself - be kind to yourself in the process: Understand and know your RMR; weighing oneself ~ same day of the week, same time of day. Pleases to journal nutrition (an athletics) are: www.trainingpeaks.com; www.livestrong.com
8. Choose healthy fats Omega 3 & 6 in a ratio of 3:1. They play a crucial role in brain function, maintain bone health and metabolism. Omega 3’s anti inflammatory – fish oil, seeds (hemp, flax & chia); Omega 6’s evening primrose oil, borage oil and black current oil. “...Tend to promote inflammation…the typical
American diet tends to contain 14-25 times more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 (University of Maryland), hense choosing a ratio of 3:1.
9. Read food ingrediant labels: Is the ingredient label long? Do you recognize the ingredients listed?
Understand a serving size.
10. Be realistic – I know, I know, “who has time for this, really? Journaling, planning preparing...” If you don’t commit, you’ll never know: Change does not happen overnight –it’s process and the journey is oftentimes the process, not the goal.
Bonus #11. Still contemplating? Then see tip #2