10/28/11

You are what you eat



Although my recent education involved nutrition/dietetics, I come from a background of exercise. I will never loose sight of my primary passion which is exercise physiology and understanding the what's, why's and how's of the body during exercise.

I think we'd all agree that exercise and nutrition fit so nicely together. For both are important in living a quality life, while reducing your risk for disease. In regard to nutrition, there's so much chatter in our current society that it is almost overwhelming to hear another research study, "expert" opinion, philosophy, thought or ground-breaking fact in terms of good/bad food, diets and health. Having said that, I do appreciate you continuing to read my blog (and LIKING my FACEBOOK page) in an effort to learn how to develop a healthy relationship with food and make the most out of your fitness/athletic journey.

Understanding that we are all on our own personal mission of health, wellness, nutrition and fitness, I find it extremely important that we don't get too far away from the basics of nutrition and exercise. That is - eat fresh food and move the body daily. Simple advice.

Last night at the Halloween-inspired Beach Trek store Beer Run, I couldn't help but think about my body....while unning around 3 miles in a banana suit, with my dog Campy.

While watching Campy smile, while quickly moving his 4 tiny (yet fast!) legs, I made sure I didn't dismiss the fact that my diet and outlook on life allow me to do things like this in life. While I love relaxing while watching a good movie with Karel, I absolutely love "doing things" with my body. Whether I'm using my brain or moving my body, I take pride in the face that I fuel my body with the best nutrients possible (the key is "emphasize" as I don't believe in being strict when it comes to eating for health and for fuel). For often we associate exercise and nutrition with calories and I think this thought needs to take a back seat in the mind when wanting to make a lifestyle change.

With the holidays approaching, this is often a time when people become very hard on themselves as to eat a certain way (ex being "good" or being "bad" with food) or begin to construct unrealistic weight goals. Regardless if you are an athlete in your off-season or a fitness enthusiast..or just someone who is trying to find a way to fit movement into your daily routine, I ask that you respect your body during the next few months...starting today.

Remove the pressure of having to eat a certain way or to exercise for x-amount of time.

Have a plan....a realistic one and don't forget to have fun.

So whether you are aim to walk 1 mile a day, strength train for 10 minutes, three times per week, try/include 1 new fruit or vegetable to add to your diet per week or plan to run in a banana suit for 3 miles with your dog, be sure you are having fun and you remove the pressure that comes from improving or changing your lifestyle. Remove the outside voices who try to tell you what to eat, what not to eat, how to eat, when to eat, etc. You know your body better than anyone. Need help? Consult an expert such as a Registered Dietitian or Exercise Physiology/coach or speak to your primary physician. When it comes to diet, exercise and/or your health - don't let life slip on by when you can make a difference in how you act/feel tomorrow, by focusing on what you can do today.

One thing that I took away from my community nutrition internship, while interning at Preferred Nutrition, is that we (health professionals) don't change lives by telling people what to do. Rather, it's important to assess each person differently and find out...."what CAN you do?" I find this so very important in developing a healthy relationship with food and developing a balanced approach to exercise (and training). Who wants to abide by a set of rules for the rest of their life? I say "not me!" unless they are my rules...that benefit me and my ability to live a long and productive life. Additionally, although my rules are for me, they are balanced..taking into consideration that MY life requires support, passion and enthusiasm from the people around me. Therefore, my "rules" are not so rigid and extreme that I will become distant from the close friends and family in my life, who are very important in my quest to making memories in my one and only life.

A few pics from the Halloween Beach Trek Beer Run - the Beer run is held every Thursday evening at 6:30pm at the Beach Trek Store. On the first Thursday of every month, your first beer is free at Nippers. For the rest of the month (on Thursday) beer is $2.