Super Foods and how they can benefit your health!

superfoods-timber

Have you ever been curious about super-foods? If not, you should be! Super-foods are defined as any nutrient rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well being. Do I have your attention now? I have compiled a list of a few of the top super-foods and how each one can benefit your health! Remember, whenever you are making a change to your diet and you’re unsure of how it will impact you, be sure to check with your health care provider.

  1. Chlorella
  • Single celled green algae.
  • Chlorella is an ancient super-food. Fossil records indicate it existed up to at least 540 million years ago!
  • It was the first cell form to contain a nucleus.
  • It’s cells established the blueprint for land based plants.
  • Chlorella has survived any and all climate changes over the years (earth, wind, and fire!).
  • There are two important and highly unusual characteristics:
    • It has a tough cell wall that is almost unbreakable. The materials that make this durable cell wall have been shown to bind with heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins and carry them safely out of the body!
    • Chlorella has a high reproduction rate. Regenerates into four new cells every 17-20 hours. It’s unusually high regeneration rate is attributed to what’s called “chlorella growth factor” or (CGF). CGF is found in the nucleus of every cell. Not only does CGF help with regenerating Chorella but it can safely fuel your body’s regeneration as well!
  • Contains carotenoids like vitamin A (beta-carotene) and alpha-carotene and lutein, powerful antioxidants: vitamins C, D, E, and vitamin K.
  • Chlorella has a higher concentration of chlorophyll than any other plant on planet earth along with the super antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid.
  • It also has a whole slew of the brain-healthy, energizing B-vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin B12, biotin, and choline.
  • Contains important minerals like phosphorus, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
  • Here’s a fun fact: Chlorella contains more protein per ounce than steak.
  • Chlorella contains favorite fibrous food of probiotic bacteria, inositol.
  • Includes healthy fats like oleic acid, a balanced supply of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • It also has nucleic acids for building DNA and RNA.

Chlorella has the perfect combination of nutrients your body craves for healing to help achieve optimal health and bodily function.

  1. Spirulina
  • A type of blue green algae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes.
  • The Aztecs harvested spirulina from Lake Texcoco in central Mexico and is still harvested today from Lake Chad in West-Central Africa and is turned into dry cakes.
  • Spirulina grows in microscopic spiruls that tend to stick together which makes it easy to harvest.
  • Has an intense blue green color and used as a color additive.
  • Spirulina is rich in protein, vitamins, mineral, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Contains nutrients like B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).

Be sure to buy spirulina or any blue-green algae from a trusted source. Blue-green algae can absorb toxins and chemicals where it is grown that can be harmful to the body.

  1. Alfalfa
  • High in many essential vitamins and minerals: A, D, E, K, and full family of B vitamins: biotin, calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • High in protein, especially when dried.
  • Known as the “king of all foods” because of it’s nutrient rich qualities.
  • Is used for feeding animals because it has the highest nutritional value of all the forage/hay crops.
  • Very rich in essential nutrients.
  • Its roots can reach lengths up to 60 feet allowing it to absorb nutrients and minerals other plants may not be able to reach.
  • It can help flush the bowels of built up toxins and has been used for diuretic purposes
  • Has been shown to lower cholesterol.
  • Detoxifies and cleanses the blood.
  • Lowers blood pressure and balances hormones.
  • Contains beneficial healing properties against bad breath, sore or achy joints, imbalanced skin conditions, and increases immune system functionality.
  • Alfalfa, when consumed regularly, acts as an alternative to pain medicines for headaches and migraines.
  • Alfalfa does have a bland taste and it is recommended to brew with another tea with flavor.
  • Available in capsule form.
  1. Wheat Grass
  • 2 oz of wheat grass has the nutritional quality of about 5lbs of the best raw organic vegetables.
  • Wheatgrass has twice the amount of Vitamin A as carrots and is higher in Vitamin C than oranges! It contains the full spectrum of B vitamins, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium in a balanced ratio. Wheatgrass is a complete source of protein, supplying all of the essential amino acids, and more. It has about 20% of total calories coming from protein. This protein is in the form of poly peptides, simpler and shorter chains of amino acids that the body uses more efficiently in the blood stream and tissues.
  • Wheatgrass helps neutralize toxins and environmental pollutants in the body.
  • Wheatgrass juice must be consumed fresh, within 15 minutes of juicing.
  • The juice must be consumed undiluted and on an empty stomach to allow the nutrients to be better absorbed into by the body.
  1. Spinach
  • Spinach is one of the most iron rich vegetables and is a store house for many phytonutrients.
  • Is a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, zea—xanthin, and beta-carotene.
  • Helps protect against free radicals.
  • Zea-xanthin is an important antioxidant that helps protect from “age related macular disease” (ARMD).
  • Contains minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
  • Good source of omega 3 fatty acids.
  1. Acai Berry
  • Found in the Amazon.
  • Is a healing, immune system building, energy boosting berry.
  • Has the ability to lower cholesterol.
  • Rich in plant sterols that provide cardio-protective benefits to our cells by preventing blood clots.
  • Aids in weight loss.
  • Can ward off harmful organisms.
  • Promotes healthy skin.
  • Aids in digestion and is high in dietary fiber.
  • Protects against free radicals.
  • Has anti aging effects.
  1. Bee Pollen
  • Bee pollen is the food of the young bee and its about 40% protein.
  • Is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods.
  • Contains nearly all nutrients required by humans.
  • About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be absorbed by the body.
  • Bee pollen cannot be synthesized in a lab (awesome!)
  • Bee pollen contains all of the essential components of life.
  • Improves endurance and vitality in our bodies.
  • Rich in protein, free amino acids, and vitamins.
  • Richer in protein than any animal protein!
  • Contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight.
  • Inhibits the development of harmful bacteria.
  • Contains an antibiotic factor that is effective against salmonella and some strains of bacteria.
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A Review of MyProtein

A Review of MyProtein

A month or two ago I was asked to sample some products from MyProtein. MyProtein is a supplement company that offers a wide variety of health and fitness products. Over the past month I was able to work in two of their products into my supplement regimen and here is what I thought!

The first supplement I sampled was their pre-workout called MyPre, lemon-lime flavored. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Size and amount of servings (30 servings)
  • Some natural flavor
  • No jittery sensations, itch, or tingling
  • Provides long lasting energy for exercise

Dislikes

  • Some artificial flavor
  • I was not a huge fan of the lemon-lime flavor OR color. It tasted and looked very artificial which for me made it difficult to consume.

The other supplement I sampled from MyProtein was their impact whey isolate, rocky road flavored. I am a huge fan of whey isolate proteins. Not only are they low in calories, sugars, and carbs but they are easy on the stomach! For me, this is something I suffer with when consuming regular whey protein. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Whey isolate protein makes it easier to digest with no bloating or gassiness.
  • The flavor tasted artificial, but was good overall.
  • Great solubility
  • Tasted the best when blended with ice cold water.
  • Low in calories, sugars, and carbohydrates.
  • Affordable price

Dislikes

  • I am not a huge fan of 100% artificially flavoring supplements. I like to see some natural ingredients and flavors.

Overall I enjoyed the protein more than the pre-workout. I am extremely picky when it comes to pre-workout supplements especially with the taste or flavor, solubility, color, and the effect it has on the body. I don’t like consuming a supplement filled with artificial ingredients. I like to see that a product I am consuming has some natural ingredients.

http://www.myprotein.com

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

healthyunhealthybody

I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below:

Which protein powder is best for you and your goals? Find out now!

protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrient sources for building and recovering lean muscle. In order to build lean muscle you have to supply your body with enough protein throughout the day. Protein is made up of amino acids which happen to be the building blocks of your muscles and body! There are many different brands and types of protein supplements on the market today making it difficult and confusing for beginners. Below is a list of some of the most popular proteins and what they can offer you.

Find out which protein is right for you and your fitness goals!

  1. Hydrolysate Protein
  • Most expensive protein you will find on the shelves
  • Highest quality protein
  • It is easily absorbed by the body and is easy- going on the stomach.
  • This protein would be great for people with stomach sensitivity.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Isolate
  • Not the most expensive, but still quite pricey.
  • One of the quickest absorbing proteins on the market
  • Great for low carb diets; very low/if any carbs or sugars.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout
  1. Whey Concentrate
  • Least expensive protein
  • One of the most basic forms of protein
  • Great for those of you who are just being introduced to protein supplementation/beginners
  • Some people will find that this protein source is not easily digested and may leave you feeling gassy and bloated.
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout; as a snack during the day; not a preferred source at night.
  1. Casein Protein
  • Slow digesting protein; takes about 5 – 7 hours to fully digest
  • Can be used as a meal replacement to stay full throughout the day
  • A preferred source at night before bed
  • Your body enters a state of starvation while you sleep. Casein protein allows your body to absorb and utilize the nutrients throughout the night avoiding this period of starvation.
  1. Milk Protein Isolate
  • Contain both casein and whey
  • Used mostly in blended protein sources
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Soy Protein
  • Great vegetarian source
  • Contains many beneficial nutrients like glutamine (aids in recovery), arginine (helps dilate blood vessels to help with absorption of nutrients into the muscles), and BCAA’s (aids in recovery).
  • Helps support healthy cholesterol levels
  • Can be consumed pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day
  • Not a preferred source to be used at night
  1. Tri-Blend Protein
  • A tri-blend consists of three different sources of protein.
  • Clinical Sports Labs offers an ultra premium time released protein that blends together whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and milk protein concentrate (60:40 ratio whey protein to milk protein).
  • Studies have shown that proteins blended with this ratio allow for greater results than just whey protein alone.
  • Most other proteins allow for digestion and absorption for only about an hour or so after consumption.
  • Clinical Protein by CSL offers slow absorbing and fast absorbing proteins that allow the body to take in nutrients over the course of about 3.5 hours!

3-protein-powders

Seeing as how protein plays such a huge role in building lean muscle, getting the right amount of it is important. If your diet and lifestyle don’t allow you to consume the amount of protein you need, you might want to look into supplementing with protein shakes. They are a quick and easy way you get the nutrients you need while living your active lifestyle.

I am a huge fan of supplementing with protein because I work long hours and may go periods of time without eating. This makes it difficult to get the nutrients my body needs for recovery through my diet alone. It’s easier and time efficient to put water and protein in a shaker bottle, shake it and drink. Boom! Instant protein.

Not sure what brand to start with? Check out Clinical Sports Labs’ ultra premium tri-blend clinical protein!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-chocolate-milk-delight/

-mk

Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important? – Part. 2

Dieting-vs.-Exercising-Which-Works-More-For-Weight-Loss

Not only is nutrition vital in living a healthy lifestyle but so is exercise. Exercise should be as much of a necessity as good nutrition for many reasons. One of the most important is that it helps to treat and prevent bone diseases like Osteoporosis.

Exercise also helps build and improve:

  • Muscle strength
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Overall health

Exercise is my absolute favorite part of my day! It’s all I think about when I am at work all the way up until I walk through my gym’s doors. But not everyone enjoys exercise like I do. Below are a few statistics I found on www.fitness.gov about Americans and exercise:

  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).

http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/

I don’t know about you, but I am appalled! I am pretty sure I scared my mother with the sound my jaw made when it hit the ground (okay, not really, but it was a pretty good visual!) I can and can’t believe the percentage of adults that participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day: 5%! That’s it?!

Did you know that by participating in 30 minutes of cardio vascular training and weightlifting you can:

  • Help prevent heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #5 killer of Americans.
  • Achieve greater peak bone mass
    • Bone is living tissue, like muscle, that gets stronger as a result of being put under pressure. Bone mass typically peaks in the third decade of life. After this time, bone deteriorates
    • The best exercise for building strong bones is the weight-bearing kind (i.e. weight lifting, hiking, jogging, tennis, and dancing). Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing forms of exercise although they are great for cardiovascular training.
    • Improve balance, coordination, and muscle strength.

Remember: always consult your doctor before starting any form of training, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes or obesity.

A great example as to why diet and exercise go hand in hand is bone diseases like Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the deterioration of the bones where they become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent and/or manage osteoporosis. Also, regular physical activity strengthens the bone as a result of being put under pressure (weight bearing exercise).

Nutrition alone cannot help prevent and manage bone disease and vice versa. Both exercise and nutrition are needed. Physically active people hold calcium in their bones, while sedentary people tend to lose calcium. Weight bearing exercises are recommended for people at any age.

As you can see both exercise and nutrition are needed to successfully help prevent and manage not only Osteoporosis but your over-all health.

Now that you know why you should exercise, maybe you don’t know where to start. Below are some recommendations I came up with to help you get started:

  • Join a gym: A sense of community can be very motivating.
  • Get an accountability partner: It’s easier to stay motivated when you are held accountable.
  • Do your own research: There are various kinds of exercise tutorials all over the internet. Check out bodybuilding.com, you-tube, and instagram for help with learning new exercises or diet tips.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/training.html

https://www.youtube.com/

https://instagram.com/fitlife.mk/

  • Begin with a personal trainer. Personal trainers can be a huge help or can be a huge disaster. Be picky in choosing who you work with, and trust your gut. If you are not comfortable with the way he/she trains, ask for someone else. Do not ever put your well being on the line. You can learn a lot from personal trainers. If you start out training with a personal trainer for a few months, chances are you will learn some knowledge that will give a foundation to build upon and get you started on your own. For example, I started training with my brother. He was certified at the time and knew much more than I did. That was three years ago. Now, I workout on my own. I do my own research and put together my own workouts.
  • Utilize Technology: we live in a very technologically advanced world. Apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track nutrition and exercise. You can also use fitness bracelets like FitBit. The only warning I give with utilizing apps and bracelets is that they should not be the sole form of tracking your physical activity/nutrition. They should be supplemental, or used along with tracking your fitness manually. They are not 100% accurate and are likely to malfunction at any time (psh, technology, right?).
  • Keep a fitness journal: This was another thing I used to get started in fitness. All you need is a blank notebook and a pen. Jot down the date and what muscle group you are training. Underneath this you simply write down the exercises you want to do along with how many sets and repetitions. Also, write down the weight you did for each exercise. The reason for this is so that you have something you can refer back to in the future. In order to get stronger you have to move up in weight. Having a visual record helps you judge how much to bump up your weight.

Below is an example of how you would write out your routine:

6/9/15 – Back and Bis

  1. Lat Pull Down – 10 x 4 (10 repetitions for 4 sets) – 50lbs (the weight you used)
  2. Barbell Row – 10 x 4 – 45lbs
  3. Close Grip Row – 10 x 4 – 40lbs
  4. Pull-ups – 10 x 4 – body weight

Nutrition and exercise are vital to living a healthy lifestyle. I truly believe you cannot have one without the other unless you are a person with disabilities that hinder you from participating in physical exercise like people who are paralyzed. In this situation, nutrition would be most important.

If living a healthy lifestyle is a goal of yours or if you are looking to turn your life around only YOU can make that decision. Only YOU can take that first step. No one is going to do it for you. It will be hard, it will be frustrating. You will have days where you want to give up, but guess what? You will have many more days of feeling successful; Days where the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment truly trumps the feeling of failure.

It’s time to make your move towards living a healthy life!

Follow my blog to help inspire and motivate you towards living a FitLife.

-mk

Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important? Part. 1

Part 1: Diet or Exercise – Which one is more important?

For the past couple of days I have been posing this question to my friends on Facebook, my followers on Instagram and on Twitter and the responses have been amazing!

So, which one is more important?

I found that choosing one or the other can be very situational.

One blogger commented that,

“They are both important. But it depends on what either of them can and will do for someone. Are either for weight loss, disease prevention, diagnosis corrections, build of stamina, preparation of a marathon, walk increase. One may be more important than the other depending on the situation.”

Determining what your goals are is essential to figuring out where you should start and what you should focus on first. If you are working on weight loss many might say to focus on your diet first and later down the road exercise will come into play. Some would also say to focus on diet MAINLY along with a light fitness regimen.

Another blogger posted that,

Wellness is achieved through a balance of many elements. Nutrition and exercise are two of the most important factors in determining your health status. As a registered nurse, I educate patients on both topics. In terms of preventative health, lifestyle modifications like diet and exercise are a great defense against chronic illness. There is a direct correlation between diet/exercise and risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and many other debilitating illnesses. Diet is more crucial for my patient population because they are paralyzed and do not have the luxury of physical activity.”

Did you catch that?

Her patient population consists of people who are paralyzed. Do you think they have the luxury of exercise? Certainly not, diet is most important to keep their bodies as healthy as possible.

Almost all of the responses I received were in agreement with both of them (diet and exercise) being equally important as a whole, but when it came down to choosing one or the other nutrition took center stage.

What is considered good nutrition?

According to the National Food Service Management Institute, “good nutrition means getting the calories we need for energy and the nutrients we need for proper growth.” They also state that, “Variety, balance, and moderation are keys to good nutrition”. If we look at those three keys to good nutrition how many of us can honestly say that we pick the foods we eat because we need the nutrients it gives us? My guess would be not too many. We pick the foods we eat

because it’s what we like, it’s what we crave, out of habit, or addiction. Good nutrition can be achieved after we have educated ourselves on what foods give our body what it needs.

The link below lists types of foods and lists specific nutrients they offer!

http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

Here are some pointers in achieving variety, balance, and moderation:rainbownutrition

  • Variety
  • An easy way to obtain variety in your diet is to make sure you’re meals include an array of different colors, much like a rainbow!
  • Balance
  •     Fruit and vegetables should make up half of your plate shown in picture B. The remaining half should be split between protein choice and starchy/whole grains choice.divided_plate_630
  •     Learn how to calculate the calories you need daily. The link below can help you figure out the total calories you need daily for your size and also show you how to calculate the calories you need to lose weight.

http://www.eatingwell.com/diet_nutrition_health/weight_loss_diet_plans/diet_reports_information/3_easy_ways_to_balance_your_di?page=2

  • Moderation

I know you have heard time and time again, “Moderation is key” Well, it is!

  • Moderation is the control or the regulation of food intake WITHOUT depriving yourself of the foods you love.

This is key when it comes to good nutrition or dieting.

Utilizing moderation in your diet does NOT mean depriving your body of the foods you crave or enjoy.

For instance, I LOVE chocolate chip cookies but does that mean I am going to sit down and eat the whole container? No. One or two cookies will suffice! This can also be applied to alcohol consumption. Ladies, I know we love our wine but does that mean we have to drink the whole bottle? No. Moderation is key. One or two glasses are all we truly need unless your ultimate goal is to get plastered … (yikes!)

Moderation also means “changing it up”.

Consuming the same foods in excess can cause major health issues. Some nutrients may accumulate to toxic amounts, which can lead to serious disease. For example, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

By “changing it up” we can lower toxic levels in our body. Instead of eating a banana every single morning try eating an apple one day, a banana the next, and maybe berries another day. This gives us a variety of different vitamins and minerals and not too much of the same vitamin or mineral.

What can good nutrition do for you?

No one can deny that good nutrition has unlimited health benefits. Good nutrition is essential for our bodies to operate optimally for a lifetime. Medical online states it perfectly,

“…the benefits of good nutrition can be found in physical and mental health because a healthy diet provides energy, promotes good sleep, and gives the body what it needs to stay healthy.”

Here is a list of health benefits good nutrition offers (just a few):

  • Healthy heart
  • Strong bones
  • Higher energy levels
  • Better weight control
  • Positive brain health
  • May reduce the risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Help decrease bone loss

Above are some of the most important aspects of good nutrition. We can all agree that these are just a few examples among the thousands of ways to achieve good nutrition. Eating whole foods and drinking lots of water is the best way to maintain a healthy body. Try staying away from any beverages and snacks high in artificial ingredients and artificial sweeteners (splenda, equal, sweet ‘n’ low, etc.). Be sure to utilize the three keys to good nutrition: variety, balance, and moderation. Also, try to “eat a rainbow a day”; this simply means to choose colorful foods. These are just a few easy ways that will help you switch from an unhealthy diet to a nutrient dense, healthy diet.

If your ultimate goal is to live a healthy lifestyle nutrition alone won’t give that to you.

You have to be willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears in the gym!

I know, I know … it’s hard and it hurts. Well, look at it this way, if it was easy every person in the world would be doing it! Nutrition and exercise truly go hand in hand. They’re “two peas in a pod”, “two halves to a whole”, or even your “yin and yang”; you truly cannot have one without the other unless you have a physical impairment hindering you from moving your body. Physical exercise should be as much of a necessity as breathing!

Let me paint a picture for you.

You don’t exercise nor do you like to. You believe that you are a healthy individual because you “never” get sick during flu season. You consider yourself a pretty healthy person even though that long walk from your car to your office or climbing a couple of flights of stairs makes you feel like you just ran a marathon! You’re pretty convinced that you just don’t NEED to exercise because you “never” get sick.

What happens as you age and maintain this sedentary lifestyle?

Your heart grows weak and heavy; it isn’t strong enough to pump the blood your body needs to move effortlessly. Heavy breathing ensues not just when you walk up a flight of stairs but the slightest physical exertion standing up out of a chair can throw you into a breathing frenzy! Your muscles slowly waste away not only as a result of aging but as a result of inactivity making you prone to injury. You also develop osteoporosis in your bones making them very brittle, frail, and very susceptible to fractures or injury.

Before you know it, you’re either bed ridden or ordered to be in a wheel chair for the remainder of your life all because you decided not to designate only 30 minutes a day to exercise.

Here is an amazing fact:

Just 30 minutes of cardio and weight lifting each day can have an amazing effect on your bones when they…

6.9.2015 – Part.2 of Diet or Exercise – Which is more important?

meagan kunisch

Diet or Exercise – Is one more important than the other?

What are your thoughts? 

Do you think diet is more important?

OR

Do you think exercise is more important?

Please share your thoughts.

Your comments will help me write my next blog post on this debate.

mk