I just came back from a business lunch & it was obvious that the majority of people I observed were going to have a difficult time at work this afternoon. The combination of poor food choices, coupled with gigantic portion sizes & those darn sodas & sweetened tea, will certainly lead to the symptoms of low-blood sugar, including poor concentration & fatigue. I can't help but ask, "What are we thinking ?" Or perhaps the question should be, "Are we thinking?".... Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
While most of us love to eat, teaching the basics of nutrition is not considered exciting & yet it should be because it is "first base" in the game of health & performance. While we don't need a degree in nutrition to get well, stay well & function at optimum levels, basic knowledge is definitely needed about food families & what their jobs are in helping the body & mind to function.
Remember the convention of body parts! While this sounds rather elementary, the number of people who do not understand this concept tend to make up the scary statistics that run through this book, so this basic knowledge was lost somewhere along the line. Boring as it may be, every cell in the body needs high level nutrition to do a job, needing it in a disciplined fashion, day after day. It's quite simple; if the cells don't get what they need then the piper will be paid.
The first food group to understand is protein. Once again, these are the building blocks of the body. Some protein foods are higher in fat than others. It’s a good idea to make most choices from lower fat proteins, as well as to cook them in a healthy way such as broiling, steaming, sautéing, baking or grilling. I always suggest to my students that they have an assortment of different foods during the week. While this takes planning, the benefits abound.
If one isaddicted or involved in disorderly eating, most likely their body has been suffering in this department. So if you are in this boat, start looking at protein foods, finding choices you enjoy. Perhaps in your attempt to cut back on fat you have taken many protein foods out of your menu planning.
Many people who are sugar addicted don’t have desire for protein, some not liking it all. If you fall into this category it’s important to know that your high sugar intake or reactive hypoglycemia is one of the reasons for this.
It's not uncommon to find disorderly eating patterns when we begin to focus on protein. People with addictions & reactive hypoglycemia often don't care for protein foods. They tend to favor carbohydrates, especially those that are refined or high-glycemic high such as pasta & bread.
You might remember some my patients who didn't like any protein, preferring to only eat vegetables or grains. It certainly is important for all of them to find a way to meet their body needs, ones they will enjoy. Remember, no one stays on a plan that isn’t enjoyable, at least not for long.
Usually there is at least one protein food that is acceptable to the taste buds & so that is the one you will be eating until your body makes some adjustments. Once you begin to provide what your body needs, the desire for the sugars & refined glycemics will correct itself. It's not uncommon for the body to begin asking for protein foods as it begins to heal the damage from the years of addiction & poor nutrition.
WHAT ABOUT KIDS?
Most kids actually like protein. The problem often lies in how it is prepared & portion sizes. Rather like the lunch I went to today. It's important for parents to understand kid's portions & how they relate to adult portions. And, it's important for adults to understand what healthy adult portions looks like. The lean body mass & the exercise level determine how much food the body needs. Therefore, some members of the family may need larger portions or more frequent meals to meet those needs.
Another common problem is not eating sufficiently, especially when one is over-weight. I'll be addressing that in another blog entry. It's very important to address this in both the book & workshop.