The only thing worse than being told that the O.J. you are currently drinking is expired, is the realization that it has been a really long time since your last post.
There are so many things that I could write about today, but rather than throw them all into one giant post I’ll take my time with them so they get the attention that they deserve.
The first thing that I have to mention is something that I am so beyond excited about. I always love a challenge and what could be more exciting and full of unknowns than starting my own business!!
That’s right I am the proud owner and sole employee of Z.A.G. Health Consulting. Throughout my travels I have found that people are always curious about nutrition. Not so surprisingly there are many misconceptions about a healthy diet. For one, the instant a person hears the word “diet” they instantly close down. Diets are for stick thin models who consume nothing but diet coke, celery, and cigarettes. FALSE! A diet is simply the foods and beverages that you have in a regular day. When a nutritionist asks a client for a diet history we don’t need to know if you are on Paleo, Atkins, Ketogenic, or some other pattern of eating. We can tell that by looking at a recall of the foods you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a 24 hr recall of what you ate the day before.
It is true that weight maintenance, loss or gain is determined simply by calories in and calories out. Meaning if you consistently take in more calories in a day than you burn you will gain weight. However, there is a small caveat and that is while you can certainly control your weight by limiting calories the kinds of food that you eat greatly impact your body composition and the look of your body and the tone of your muscles. I like to use the popular phrase “eat clean, train dirty”. It means eating clean, whole, unprocessed foods, and getting daily at least moderate exercise. For example, an apple is better than applesauce which is better than apple juice. The closer you can get to the natural form of a food the more nutrients and health benefits you will receive in consuming it.
Another misconception I find is that people are continually trying to cut more and more food groups out. Balance is critical in every aspect of life and so too in nutrition, our brains need the glucose found in those pesky carbohydrates that everyone blames for weight gain. Our bodies need fats, also blamed for weight gain, to transport fat soluble vitamins and keep our skin and hair healthy. Our muscles need protein to rebuild and grow. This of course is a very simplified version of what essential macronutrients do for your body. Now you may be wondering, well doesn’t my Big Mac have all of those things? And yes it does, however there are better sources for your calories, whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread rather than a refined nutrient deficient yellow bun. There are unsaturated healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocado as opposed to mayo and yellow squares supposedly resembling cheese, and lastly; chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, or even beans vs. a McDonalds patty that is most likely only 70% real beef.
Along the same lines of restriction, when people hear that I am a nutritionist and also a professional athlete instantly they make the assumption that I never touch “bad” foods. I’m here to tell you that I love chocolate and frozen yogurt as much as the next girl but I keep such cravings in check with a healthy concept of moderation. It is perfectly fine to indulge in an ice cream cone on a hot sunny day as you walk through the park. As long as you don’t decide that every sunny day, whether at a park of sitting on your couch, is an appropriate time to indulge in ice cream.
For nutrition purposes this is really just the tip of the iceberg, there are far more in depth and scientific considerations when you begin to construct a diet. Just to nerd out for a minute, my favorite class in college was Nutritional genetics which taught the basic mechanism of DNA methylation and the regulation of gene transcription. English please? It means that there are certain nutrients in your foods that can help determine your genes. For instance it may turn on or turn off the genes that control cancer.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
That being said it is my opinion that the real key to health and longevity starts with the food we eat. So if you are looking to start a healthier lifestyle or just have personal nutrition questions I would love to help you! Check out my website and send me a message!
On another note…Race day in T-12 days at the Lifetime Triathlon Chicago