March is NUTRITION month.
If you believe that the best you will be achieved through exercise alone, then I’m sorry to inform you that this is NOT TRUE. You may be able to keep slim by exercising regularly, but health is much more complex. NRG 4 Life is about finding balance to make YOU the best YOU possible, not necessarily the best looking YOU (although if you are truly taking care of you, the two do go hand in hand). There are too many people that have unhealthy relationships with food and although they may “look good” from the outside, their bodies inside are “starving” or “suffering”. NRG 4 Life is not here to promote that lifestyle choice.
Food is to your body as fuel is to an engine. You would never put low grade gasoline into an airplane and then hope that it would perform. Rather, you put in the best of fuel to ensure that there are no “hiccups” on route. As simple as that is to understand when we look at mechanics, for some reason, we have a hard time making that connection when we look at our own bodies. Just because our bodies are capable of processing a multitude of foods, does not mean that they are performing optimally as a result.
What you consume plays a HUGE part in how you feel (both physically and mentally) and how you perform. Making poor food choices can negatively impact your health, appearance, attitude and generally your entire well being.
There are thousands of “diets” out on the market, and I am not here to tell you what to eat. What I’d like for you to do is consider the following…
- Are you drinking enough water? To figure this out, take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That is the number of OUNCES your body needs to get through a day and perform all natural bodily functions. (There are 8 ounces to 1 cup – so figure out how many cups that adds up to. 1 cup is approximately equivalent to 250 ml for you metric fiends). Now, for every half our of physical activity, add another 1/2 cup. This also applies to added exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold).
- Are you chewing enough? Mastication prepares the body for absorption. If your body can absorb the nutrients it needs easily, then it will trigger the “satisfied” response. Ultimately, this will keep you from over-indulging.
- Are your “present” while you are eating? Make time to eat your meals undistracted. If your body sends a signal that it is satisfied, and you are busy watching your favorite TV show, working on your computer or checking your phone, chances are, you will miss that cue. Choosing to eat mindfully also allows you to enjoy your food. Find pleasure in the texture, taste and smell rather than just taking that for granted.
- Have you planned and prepared the food yourself? Taking the time to come up with a meal plan is no different than planning your exercise regiment or your household budget… you are more likely to stay on track if you have a “game plan”. When left to chance, the trips to fast food establishments or to grab “ready to go” meals from your grocery store increase and unfortunately, your nutritional values decrease. Planning and preparing your meals ahead gives you a way better chance of “staying on track”, and let’s face it, nobody wants to feel tired and crappy.
- Are your food sources “clean”? I choose to eat vegetarian most meals, but that does not mean that I believe that choice is for everyone. We are all individual and although I am a certified nutrition coach, I believe that everyone needs to make decisions for themselves. However, eating “clean” means choosing sources that are as natural as possible and with as little processing as possible. Choose to pick an apple from your apple tree as opposed to buying one that was shipped from 300+ miles away; choose to drink water over pop/juice. Eat fresh instead of frozen or from a can. Choose frozen over canned when possible. Start to pay attention to how much “convenience” eating is in your day/week, and you may find that a little change will go a long way. Also, the more unprocessed a food source, the greater the amounts of macro and micro nutrients… again this translates into easier digestion (so you’re not so sluggish after a meal) and also a quicker “satiety” response.
If your can answer “YES” to all of the above, I commend you. Nutrition is not about cutting things out. It is about fueling with only the best. If you look at it from the perspective of eating to enhance your quality of life, then the choices become simple. I hope you all choose that you are worth the investment required – a little planning and a bit of time.
Let’s make March our kick-off month, for a lifelong commitment to healthy eating – not the beginning of yet another DIET.
If you need a little assistance, I am here to help.