Eating to Win
I am always so excited about the Summer Olympics! I love watching the amazing things that the dedicated athletes accomplish. As a former athlete, I’m completely in awe of their ability to coordinate their thoughts and body movements; their dedication to becoming the best; and their network of support people. It takes all of these elements to become the best in the world. One fundamental aspect of becoming a world-renowned athlete is nutrition and diet. In order to create the ideal environment for their body, mind, and spirit to perform at its maximum ability, it is crucial they not only consume enough food, but the right food. Athletes view eating food as providing fuel for their bodies; this is quite a different mindset for the majority of us non-competitive athletes. Emotional and social reasons tend to lead us to our refrigerators and restaurants.
As a way of quenching my thirst for more knowledge about following a whole foods diet and its importance on the human body, I attended the Food as Medicine conference (FAM). This was a four-day intensive seminar by some of the country’s leading experts regarding the biology of nutrition and the everyday practice of obtaining, cooking, and consuming whole foods. This experience not only provided a ton of new information to share with my clients but also the verification that our typical food choices are drastically different from our mothers and most often to our detriment.
As an example of the amazing shift in our diets from our ancestors, let’s look at the diet of the people of Ancient Greece where the Olympics originated. Their diet mainly consisted of whole grain or sprouted breads, vegetables, fruits, and small fish. Today we would classify this type of eating plan as a Mediterranean Diet; an eating pattern that has been linked to low rate of diseases in the region. Modern nutritionists might classify these food choices as eating simply, lower on the food chain, and eating foods that are unprocessed and in their original form as much as possible. These fresh foods provide all the organic nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium that our ancestors needed.
Today the average American’s diet is referred to in nutrition circles as SAD or the Standard American Diet. A SAD diet 먹튀검증 contains foods that are highly-processed and laden with high levels of sugar and sodium. To make this point as clear as possible, one of the FAM conference speakers presented research that showed the average daily consumption of sodium 12,000 years ago was 90 to100 mg compared to the daily average of 9000 mg today. Because processed foods sit on shelves and are created with the idea of convenience versus nutrition, many of the nutrients and minerals mentioned above are non-existent. For most of us, we often leave very little time for the decision of where, what, or how to eat; it is instead an afterthought. Some experts say the average American spends just one hour per day choosing foods and eating them.
I know that the overwhelming majority of us are not interested in running the 100-meter dash in less than 10 seconds, or nailing a triple axial on the ice; so we feel we don’t need to watch our diets as closely as Olympic athletes headed to China. Yet I can’t help but think that with all we try to accomplish in our modern lives, that it would be of benefit to think of ourselves as strength and endurance athletes: deadlifting children, car seats, groceries, bags of fertilizer, and heavy brief cases. Sprinting to meetings, soccer games, and stores before they close. Sustaining your concentration through long meetings and twelve-hour days. It’s not hard to see the comparisons.
In 2007, the National Diabetes Clearing House reported twelve million men and eleven million women had diabetes in the U.S and the American Heart Association reported that 850,000 Americans have heart attacks each year. These are really scary statistics and the worst part is that the numbers are growing. Are you going to be included in these numbers in the future?
Both of these organizations point to a healthy diet, exercise, and stress reduction as preventative methods for these health concerns. My clients and I are always engaged in conversations about lifestyle choices including nutrition; whether it’s one on one in the office, in group workshop sessions, or experimenting with changes at home on their own. Through our partnership, many of them have enjoyed changes in their blood pressure, insulin levels, migraines, joint pain, and concentration. Sometimes all we need is a little support and encouragement.