Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nutrition: More Fruit and Veggies, Less Meat and Starches


Does my nutrition really have anything to do with staying calm?

Yes.

Can't I eat whatever I want and still relieve stress?

To a degree. But...

Here it is: your body needs nutrition. Yes, even if you are a teacher. Think about what your body and mind goes through on a normal day in a classroom. Think about what your brain is trying to manage. It needs all the building blocks it can get.

I'll ask: does your body operate better on nutrient dense food or junk food?

You know the answer.

Another: Does your brain work better on good nutrition or poor nutrition?

See, you know the answer. The answer is of course it works better on good nutrition! 

Healthy anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, inflammation fighting diets are all just about the same. There are probably some super-foods that are especially good for one or the other, but the building blocks for fighting chronic disease are the same basic foods: lots of fruit and veggies, low, low on the meat and starchy eats. 

If you are like me, you will start eating the good stuff then you won't feel quite right and you'll have to tweak it. Okay. I find I need more protein some days after I've had my green smoothie. So I eat some nuts or maybe an egg. 

But I don't quit. The foundation of my diet is plants. 

And I didn't get there over night. I got there kicking and screaming. And I wish I had given up the fight a long time ago. 

We can all make better decisions with our very next meal, our next bite even.

I know I have 15 or 20 more pounds to lose, and I know I'm going to lose it. It will come. One day I'll see 175 on the scale. 

Just a few short months ago, for me to see 200 pounds on the scale would have floored me. 

I actually ran up the stairs yesterday. 

So which body is better at teaching a full load? The one that has trouble getting up the stairs, or the one that runs up the stairs with glee?

More fruit and veggies. Go easy, easy now, on the meats and starches. 

And by fruit and veggies, I mean fresh. Salads. Apples. Carrots. The stuff you buy in the produce section. Not the stuff in cans.

Frozen is okay, but not syrupy frozen.  Just frozen. 

Canned is not. 

If it comes in a box, skip it.

If you cook the vegetable, fine. You need some cooked veggies too. 

And cook your beans too. Read up on the best way to soak and cook them.

BTW, be careful with smoothie places. Some have very healthy smoothies. I recently went in to one and tried to buy a smoothie which was made with fresh or frozen fruit only. No syrup. They didn't have that option. And they were a national chain smoothie place that advertises as being a healthy place to eat. 

More and more fruit and veggies.  Slow way down on the meats and starches. 

You can do this.

I'm 51 years old and I did it.

You got this too.