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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nutrition Blog from Stacy!

I don't know why there is a line through the word 'Good.'  Sorry about that! 

There is A LOT OF GOOD INFO. IN THIS BLOG!  Please take the time to read it!

To lose or maintain weight we need to have a balance between healthy eating, cardio., and resistance training!!!

Happy reading!

Why Veggies Are Good, Essential For You To Eat!
Please consider this a 2nd call, asking you to eat your veggies. Essential literally means being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a qty. sufficient for normal health & growth, & that must be obtained from the diet. Think of vegetables as FUEL for your body. We have all seen the Food Pyramid, the big Triangle! It promotes variety and gives us helpful guidelines! Still I’m unsure if we grasp the message of why we must eat certain things, and ultimately what difference it makes. It makes a BIG difference! You can feel it . . . if you listen to your body. Let’s understand the why. . .
*      Contain nutrients, antioxidants, phytonutrients, that help fight some cancers, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like: heart disease, & stroke, lower the risk of eye trouble (cataracts and macular degeneration), lower risk of digestive problems, & can have a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep our appetite’s in line.
*      Are a natural source of vitamins that our body needs. Like:  A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E and K. Many vitamins our body does not manufacture on its own. Therefore we must consume them in our diet. Vitamins are essential for the regulation of many of our bodies functions.
*      Contain Minerals (ex. iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc) which are compounds found in your diet, which also help regulate body functions. Minerals combine in several ways to form the structures of your body. Ex. calcium is a mineral that is crucial in the formation and maintenance of your bones. (Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, & broccoli are both good sources of calcium!)
Have you ever gone days without eating ‘right’? Most likely, we all have. Are you still alive to tell about it, yep most likely! I believe that is part of the problem, people do not understand the impact to their body because when we are young, under low stress our body keeps performing for us. Who’s to say if we could have lived longer, higher quality lives with less illness? Who has times for ‘what if’s’?
FACT: If you are not eating fruits and vegetables your diet is deficient! You are not getting the nutrients your body desires & that it thrives on. Food is not just for enjoyment, it serves a purpose that does affect the performance of our body.
An athlete in training modifies their diet to richly support their body with the proper nutrients needed for optimum performance. Likewise a mom can eat to keep up with kids, the schedule, daily task, relationships. What you eat affects your body, how well it performs, your immune system, mood & appetite/cravings. Much research is conducted daily to prove how the vitamins & minerals in vegetables & fruits positively impact our ability to ward off chronic illness. If your body is under enough stress of any type, for any prolonged period - & you eat the right things - I guarantee, you will feel the difference. You can go from eating vegetables out of obligation to eating them with desire; your body will crave them because it provides support.
Y“It’s hard for me to get my kids: ages 1-16 yrs. old to eat their vegetables. My trick is to food process it, (aka: chop it so small it looks like parsley) then put the spinach, onion, garlic, peppers into most meals I serve. They are happy and I know they are getting the nutrients they need to keep their body healthy.” –Mom

Y“My friend has breast cancer. While sitting w/ her during her weekly treatments she shares her “#’s” with me: iron levels, white & red blood cell counts & oxygen levels in her blood. Although w/ each chemo treatment you can see the numbers challenged, her diet of Spinach leaves and red meats (for her iron levels) literally every day was evident in watching her “#’s” soar back up to where they need to be. She is a breast cancer survivor.” -Friend
+ If you are counting Nutrients, you may not have to count Calories!
+ Vegetables should be the largest serving/portion of food on your dinner plate.
+ Substitute with fruits & vegetables. You may be able to eat more & consume fewer calories. (See below: A small box of raisins (1/4 cup) is about 100 calories. For the same number of calories, you can eat 1 cup of grapes. 1 oz of corn chips has the same calories as strawberries, apple, carrots w/dip combined.)
+ When it comes to fresh produce, the darker the better! Eat a variety as each contains different nutrients our body needs. Eat dark green, red, yellow & orange. As my nutrition instructor Frances Seidl would say, Variety! Variety! Variety!
+ If you do not crave veggies perhaps you just haven’t found the right recipe. Look for fun new ways to food process vegetables into your dishes, or fruit smoothies, add to your other popular foods, try new recipes and a new vegetables as a family.
 + Ex. I food process spinach leaves, garlic, onion, & carrots & often place them into meatloaves, casseroles, spaghetti sauces. When Pizza is ordered throw some spinach leaves on top! Spinach is a super food & I use it a lot as it is my favorite for many reasons (you will probably hear more on that in a future blog). Stop using iceberg, it’s mainly water replace it with spinach or romaine. I put carrots, cauliflower & spinach leaves in my fruit smoothies too!
+ Think outside the can! Canned green beans & corn are fine but there is so much else available. Fresh tomatoes, red & green peppers, avocado, kale, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, zucchini, eggplant…
Eating right is like exercise, make it a priority & fit it into your life. You have 1 body, do not take it for granted, give it what it really desires, nutrients. Eat right & enjoy!
 Thanks Stacy for all the great info.!
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