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Nutrition from the Beginning

23 Jan

This semester has started so I thought it appropriate to start at the beginning of nutrition.  Hippocrates was the first to realize the important role diet plays in our bodies and how diet affects health.  Since this knowledge discovered in 400BC, the study of nutrition has become one of the “most talked about scientific disciplines.”*  A person’s body works best when the proper amounts of nutrients are consumed.  Nutrients are in food and are carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water.  The body can create some of the nutrients it needs, for example Vitamin D, but there are 40 essential nutrients that the body can not make and therefore they must be eaten in order for the body to have them.  Are you beginning to realize the importance of a well-balanced and healthy diet?

I recently challenged you to increase your daily steps.  How are you doing with that?  I know that several areas of the country are freezing right now with the coldest temps in 2-3 years, but we all need to get moving–it’ll help you warm up! 🙂

*Boyle, Marie A., Personal Nutrition 8th edition. 2010.

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Paradigm Shift

16 Jan

Today I have for you 2 quick reads that will hopefully shift your paradigm.  The first states that sitting is the new smoking.  Smoking used to be the cool thing, the thing that nearly everyone did, the thing that leads to cancer, heart disease, strokes, and more.  Guess what…sitting, especially the way we Americans are so sedentary, leads us down the same exact path as smoking.  Check out the article.  It is pretty interesting and is a fairly quick read.  It also gives an idea for walking meetings.  Thank you to my husband for passing the article along to me.

The second read–shorter than the first one, but still quite important and paradigm shifting–is about 13 ingredients found in American foods that have been banned in other countries.  The article is short, but has links throughout it leading you to more information.  Some of the ingredients are food colorings, potassium bromate (this one is a tricky one because when we read the labels we think potassium is healthy for us!), and arsenic.  Though arsenic is not printed on food labels, it is in there.

Let’s Get Moving

9 Jan

Did you know that 17% of children are obese?  That percentage is equal to about 12.5 million children aged 2-19 who are not just overweight, but who are obese.  The health issues related to being overweight and obese are many.  Some examples are joint pain, breathing problems, and cardiovascular disease. What child wants to deal with these issues?  What adult wants to live with these problems?  There are several factors that play in to how a person becomes overweight and obese, but two main causes are diet and exercise.  While diet is extremely important, so is physical activity.  One initiative to help get people moving is the 10,000 steps a day movement.  Ten thousand steps sounds daunting, but is equal to about 5 miles.  For adults, there are about 2,000 steps taken in each mile.  By parking a little further away, taking the stairs, walking to check the mail, and other small changes in our daily routine, we can increase the number of steps we take each day.  Cutting back on our sedentary lifestyle can increase our health and well-being.  So, today I challenge you to take 100 extra steps.  I think you’ll find that challenge one that will be easy to accomplish even if you have a desk job or stay at home.  For the next week, focus on increasing your step count (even without a pedometer) that extra 100 steps each day.  By the end of the week, think about how you feel.  Can you up your steps another 100 next week?