Saturday, March 9, 2013

Diet and Lifestyle Choices

by Anna Boom

HBO recently produced a four part series called, Weight of the Nation. I found it on iTunes and downloaded and watched while on a flight.

It is a fascinating series and highly recommend it if you have any interest in health. They cover every aspect of obesity and health from the point of food choices, the food industry, to our children and our bodies.

You can find all the information here:

During the first segment, Consequences, addresses genetic disposition versus environment, or nature vs. nurture. What is the deciding factor? The good news is that it is a combination of both. Dr. Jack Shonkoff, MD who is the director of the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University says, “Is there a genetic predisposition to obesity? Absolutely. Is obesity caused by environment and behaviors? Absolutely.”

I say this is good news because we can change behavior and our environment for ourselves and our children. We can't change our genetics, but what we do every day, what we choose to eat and drink, the small choices we make, that is up to us.

Make the healthy choice: move your body, prepare nourishing foods, encourage your family and friends to join and support you.
All feedback welcomed and encouraged. Let me know your thoughts, please.
And come out and run with us soon!!

Nutrition and Performance
by Jannine Myers

A few weeks ago I posted about carbohydrate-loading in preparation for a marathon. Along with carbohydrate-loading, runners also tend to carefully plan fueling strategies for the race itself (what to eat and drink immediately before, during, and after the race). All of this planning is done in anticipation of hopefully running a great race.

An analogy similar to the scenario above, is that which involves college students who stay up late the nights before an exam, trying desperately to cram-study because they left it too late to adequately prepare. The end result may be a good grade, but the reality is that an excellent grade may have been obtained if consistent study patterns had been established throughout the duration of the course.

Race day performances are a little like final exam grades - the end result is largely dependent on how well you prepare for the event. If your preparation started just days before the race, with some quick fueling calculations and a few nutrient adjustments, it's possible you might run a good race. But if your preparation started months earlier, and is essentially in an ever-evolving state of progression where you are daily observing good nutritional habits, then it's possible that you'll run a great race.

Follow with me for a minute - does it make sense to follow a carefully-structured nutrition plan for just a few days before a race, in the hopes of running well, but then quickly revert to bad eating habits once the race is over. If you enjoy running races, and if you're a competitive runner (in the sense that you want to keep improving on your previous race times), then one way to achieve that is to establish a structured and healthy eating plan that becomes a permanent habit and way of life.

I don't endorse any specific diets, as I believe everyone needs to find their own path when it comes to nutrition, but what I do encourage, is choosing to eat as much as possible foods in their natural state, and to avoid as much as possible foods that are processed and high in added fats, sugars, and salt. If you can do this 80 to 90% of the time, then that leaves a little room to indulge and live a little, without greatly compromising your ability to perform well.   

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