Gluten Free Fitness

nutrition

Impacts of Nutrition in Health

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Impacts of Nutrition in Health

What is nutrition?

Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. Fuel (Food) provides energy to the body for you to carry out your daily task.  Nutrition isn’t only about eating healthy it’s about maintaining a healthy eating pattern. Healthy eating offers benefits to your health in the long run, as in, the types of foods we consume today have a lasting effect on our bodies. Many doctors believe that poor nutrition can cause stress, tiredness, frustration, and much much more. Nutrition is often overlooked until it’s too late. It’s not just about how many calories you intake from certain foods.  The important thing you have to know about healthy eating is what you are actually eating. The ingredients in foods are important because they play a factor in how your body functions.  The foods that we intake can have some good or bad effects in our live.  Having good nutrition or eating habits are good for physical and mental health. A study done by the Harvard Health Publications says that foods have the ability to affect your mood. For example, “Bad Sugars” that are in candy, sodas and juice that we often eat and drink affects can affect your glucose level making you a high risk candidate for diabetes or obesity.  The physical effects of nutrition is that it “Keeps You Young” this simply means that when your older you’ll be able to do the same things you did when you were younger with ease. You will be able to keep up with your family and have fun without it being a struggle. Weight Management is key because exercising three to four times a week can eliminate unnecessary stress. Keeping your emotions in check can be a major priority of you are an emotional eater. How do you know if you’re an emotional eater?

Dr. Oz has said these are the four questions you asked and answer yourself to know if you are an emotional eater. The first question is how often do I eat an am I actually hungry when I eat? This can be measured by the time since your last meal most people began to get hungry four hours after their last meal. The next question is do I like the foods I’m eating and do they have a positive affect on my body? The final question is what do I do when I’m bored? This is a good question because many people eat when they don’t have anything else to do this leads to overeating. These questions will help you better understand why you may or may not be an emotional eater.

What are the basics of nutrition?

Nutrition is often understood as  eating the right foods and exercising, which is true, but there’s more to nutrition than just eating healthy and exercising. We all know that food is a necessity to survive. Nutrition is understanding what foods benefit your body and which foods bring harm to your body. Having good nutrition can benefit you in the long run by providing stamina and energy for everyday life. A good habit reduces the chance of the following illnesses:

  • Reduces heart diseases (strokes and heart attack) – this is done by understanding the serving size of the foods that your eating and the drinks you drink. Eating fruits and vegetables helps reduce the chances as well. Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables or canned goods with little to no sodium.
  • Lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure – Eating foods with high protein can lower you cholesterol. Some foods that you should eat are steak , chicken and and eggs.
  • Makes your immune system stronger – A strong and healthy immune system protects your body against sickness and disease.
  • Give you more energy – You will have more stamina and energy to work throughout the day without getting tired so easily.

Effects And Diseases Of Poor Nutrition

  • Diabetes – a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is the hormone that your body using to prevent your sugar levels from getting to high or too low. People diagnosed with diabetes have double the health risk for heart attacks , strokes and kidney problems. All foods can not cause diabetes but overtime some foods do.
  • Obesity – a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Obesity does not happen quickly. It takes time and usually is based on the types of food and the amount of food you’ve been eating.  Fatty, fried foods or eating the entire bag is having a negative effect on your body. Remember, if you can’t see your feet, you could be considered obese.

What is poor Nutrition?

Poor Nutrition can be eating too much of the bad foods or not enough of the good foods or eating too many foods that have no nutrition. This is why it’s important to give your body a selection of foods to eat and not consume the same things over and over again. Too much of a good​ thing becomes bad.

Nutrition is not saying that you can’t have cheat days it’s just teaching you how to manage what you eat. Many people eat things so often that they can’t notice the negative effects that it’s having on their bodies. Due to poor nutrition many people have prematurely passed away. A study done in 2012 shows that 599,711 people died due to heart failure.  Many people (582,623) have lost their lives to cancer. Around 128,00 people die yearly from strokes and other related illnesses. Some of those death can be prevented by the things that we eat every day. Many people don’t understand the risk of the foods they eat because the impact is often delayed.  Nutrition is also poor because overtime food production has changed. In today’s world animal cruelty and genetically modified organisms is a method used to increase the amount of food produced. Considering the health effects of these methods people have a higher chance of becoming ill. Speeding up the production process can take away the nutritional value in foods. When food is handled without proper care many become sick from the things injected into animals. When cooking your food make sure that are clean and following the instructions given to prevent illnesses such as Salmonella.

What are the hardships of maintaining a healthy eating habit?  

Eating healthy consistently can be one of the most challenging things to do. Eating healthy is not always convenient, for example… on certain occasions when were tired, let’s face it, it’s easier to go to fast food rather than cook. In today’s world anything is accessible and it’s easy to find yourself eating unhealthy foods. It’s never to late to start eating healthy so start with your next meal and stick to it. The fist step to healthy eating is starting with a plan and executing it.

  • Food Planning – is essential you have to know what you are going to eat if you’re going to be successful. Planning your meals should be done when you go grocery shopping.  Purposely think about your meals and how healthy you will feel.  Another option is to consider a meal delivery service

Freshly Horizontal

  • Enjoy What You Eat – eating healthy will not last long if you don’t enjoy the meals that you’re eating you can also come up with your own healthy recipes.

Healthy Food Substitutes  

Healthy food substitutes are not to take the place of our favorite food and drinks it’s to help us keep balance. Healthy substitutes need to be practiced all the time so as to lead to health improvements. If you have celiac disease, there is no choice… you MUST practice healthy, gluten-free eating.  Those of us with gluten sensitivities also know how healthy foods provide a better feeling of health. Regardless of whether you are gluten sensitive or not, or have any other disease or not, eating healthy foods will provide the good energy your body is missing.

There are plenty of foods that have great health benefits on our bodies.

  • Yogurt Instead of ice cream
  • Olive Oil instead of Butter
  • Almond Milk instead​ of Cow Milk
  • Tea instead of Soda
  • Popcorn instead of Chips

The number one thing that everyone should do daily health wise is drink water. Water is the most important thing that you can drink because it gets the toxins out of your body and strengthens your body to fight diseases. Water hydrates your body and gives you the energy you need to perform in every life.Bulletproof Store

What’s Good? What’s Bad?

Not all foods are bad but it depends on the serving size most often we don’t look at the serving size listed on the label so we began to accumulate unnecessary calories which can lead to weight gain and health issues.

What does a healthy diet consist of?  A healthy diet consists of eating a variety of foods that brings different nutritional value with a portion size that matches your needed fuel.  The main key to sustaining a healthy diet is by eating fruit and vegetables. Having a balanced diet is important because it gives you the chance to reward yourself for doing well. Nutrition is not to make you stop eating the things you love it’s to help you so one day you won’t have to face certain health issues. Nutrition keeps you strong and healthy to do the things you love!

Gluten Free Tips for Healing after Injury

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Gluten Free Tips for Healing after Injury

If you are on the G-FF Facebook or GF-F Twitter, you may have heard me discuss injuries.  A few months back, I twisted my ankle and fell, giving myself a grade two ankle sprain.  I heard and felt the dreaded “pop” as I fell.  Luckily, I landed softly in the hedge.  Mind you, I wasn’t exercising or running, I just had too much going on in that minute and fell on my own sidewalk. I headed back inside, rinsed off my travel coffee mug, grabbed an ice pack, and off to work I went.

About a week or so later, I felt much better.  Swelling was minimal, range of motion is almost equal to the other side, and the feeling of instability is subsiding.  Not to mention my awkwardness still taking up space in my head.

I have learned through the years that it is preferable to let an injury heal properly and then return to activity.  Rushing it is not worth it.  Future injuries are much more likely if the original was not allowed to heal.  However, I am also an athlete, and so when injured get a bit cranky.

I have a friend that has been dealing with a stress fracture in her foot for several months now, and she is dealing phenomenally well with the change in her routine.  After the first round of anger, disappointment, and frustration, she is channeling her efforts in a new physical manner.  (I am very happy to report that she is able to do resistance training, on track to getting back to her endurance routine)

Talking about our recent injury experiences, I decided it was high time I wrote a few tips to help keep yourself sane, and speed along your healing when injured.

The 5 Physical Tips:

  • In an acute injury, RICE.

  • Rest-self explanatory
  • Ice-10-20 minutes at a time, make sure to have 1 layer of cloth between your skin and the ice/ice pack.
  • Compression-if needed and swelling is apparent, you can wrap the affected part with an elastic wrap. Don’t pull too tight, you don’t want to cut off your circulation.
  • Elevation-this is where you get your affected body part up above the level of your torso.  Think-prop your leg up on a bunch of pillow with the remote control or a book.  “Honey-can you get me some tea?  I have my leg elevated with ice on it.”
  • Gently move the affected part within a pain free range of motion as much and as often as possible.  Rule of thumb in general: is it hurts, don’t do it.
  • Be sure to maximize your nutrition.  Eat high quality, bang for caloric buck food. This is not the time to try to lose fat.  Do not restrict calories.  You need calories to help rebuild and repair.  Shoot to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis.  Stay well hydrated
  • Sleep.  Lots.
  • Consider supplementation. Ideally you are getting a ton of great nutrition from your food, but these are a few that I have found helpful.  They are not necessary by any stretch, but they may help.  Many athletes will take advantage of any edge to potentially get back to sport quicker.  Of course, please always check with your medical professional.  So, in no particular order:
  • L-glutamine-a conditionally essential amino acid.

L-Glutamine is especially interesting to celiacs, as it appears to be heavily absorbed in the gut and aid in gut health.  It’s been anecdotally used in the strength community for recovery for a long time, but the research does not back that up.  Research does show it is absorbed primarily in the gut-which for us is a good thing, as healthy gut=more nutrients absorbed=optimal healing.  I wrote about L-glutamine as a supplement for gut health here.

  • Probiotic, especially if your injury required antibiotics.  Antibiotics negatively impact the “good” gut flora, so you want to restore that.
  • Multivitamin, perhaps some extra Vitamin D, and a Calcium/ Magnesium combo to cover nutritional bases.
  • Proteolytic enzymes .  Similar to digestive enzymes, but specifically for systemic use for protein.  These act in a similar manner as a non steroidal anti-inflammatory like Advil, with less worry of side effects.
  • Good food. I know I said it already, but it really is that important.

         

The 5 Mental Tips

  • It’s OK to be mad and upset for a while. It’s completely normal to have an emotional response to injury.
  • Don’t stay mad.  Allow yourself to move through the stages of mourning.  Yes, it’s been determined that reaction to injury in an athlete is very similar to stages of grief as outlined in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book On Death and Dying.  Obviously there are differences as well.  However, the 5 stages are:
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

It’s OK to recognize, accept, and then move through each one of these phases.

  • Take charge of your return to wellness. Plan it out.  Give yourself control.  What CAN you do?  Focus on the activities you can do, and set goals for yourself based on those activities.  No negative connotations.  This is not bad, it’s just different.  Your injury may have been out of your control, but you can certainly control your path back to sport.  Make concrete plans and a blueprint for your recovery.
  • Be positive. This sounds silly, but visualize your return to doing what you love.  I also imagine a tiny little construction crew inside my body, repairing, spackling, repainting all the busted up bits.  Visualize sending healing light and the nutrients from your food to the injured area.  I know, it sounds trippy, but I’ve found it helpful.  Laugh if you wish, I completely understand.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to also take the appropriate action to make yourself well.  All the visualization in the world won’t make a bit of difference if you are passed out on the couch with an empty package of sugar laden gluten free donuts and a 5th of vodka.
  • Set yourself up for success. Be realistic when setting your time frames for progress and return to sport.  Guidelines given by your doctor, therapist or other health professional are given for a reason.  It truly does take time for healing to occur, and regardless of how much we maximize our healing, we can only speed it up so much.  To some extent, time must pass.

In a perfect world, we would never get injured.

Chances are good that at one point in your life, you will be forced to take a step back.  When that happens, arm yourself with these tips to keep your sanity, and the sanity of those around you.

If you’re new to G-FF, please make sure to check out Gluten Free and Fit 101.  Feedback has been awesome, and for that I thank you.

In the words of Helen Keller: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Share your injury tips in the comments!

My Dairy Free Experiment

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My Dairy Free Experiment with Surprising Results – Cows Gone Wild

A while back I had mentioned I was going to try going dairy free. I’ve never had any outward symptoms of dairy intolerance nor had I encountered any problems with dairy… or so I thought.

When I was researching and reading for my “Celiacs and the Paleo Diet” post, I began reading more about dairy and the manifestations that dairy intolerance can take.

So, just for grins, I decided to do a dairy free challenge.

For this experiment, I also cut out all grains and legumes.

Now, it’s not like I was a huge consumer of either of these.  In a day, I may have gluten free oatmeal, a serving of brown rice, and a serving or two of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.  Now, don’t get the idea I went “low carb”;  I simply replaced my grain carbohydrate with non grain carbohydrate (sweet potato, butternut squash, fruit) in addition to my usual copious amounts of  veggies and some fruit.  My carbohydrate consumption can be classified as moderate, and I keep it after my training sessions.

I did this for a about 3 weeks, and didn’t notice a huge difference in how I look, feel and perform. And I need to qualify this.  I am referring to “regular” dairy.  As in stuff you can buy in the supermarket.  You’ll see later why I make this qualification.

So, here’s me thinking, “ok, there’s no difference, I’ll add it back in”. I kept out grains, but added back in a couple of servings of cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.

Wham!

Joint. Pain. OWW!

If you’ve been around here before, you may know that I have a history of achiness, which is quite normal for me, so I don’t really notice it.  After taking in the dairy, it was so bad I was back to having to lower myself down to the toilet with the help of my arms.  And I can do squats in the gym with way more weight than I am.  This is not huge weight by any means, but for me and my cranky joints, it’s pretty good.  Therefore, the toilet should be a non-issue.

Hip pain hit me too. This was within a day.  Actually, within a few hours when I started noticing it.  Within a day the pain was apparent. Needless to say, that was the end of that experiment and all the proof I needed.

So much for having “no problems” with dairy, eh?!?!?

Now for my qualifications.
  • I seem to have no joint pain when I use whey protein powder, which is  derived from dairy.
  • I seem to tolerate raw, unpasteurized, grass fed, fresh from the farm, cream in my coffee without any joint pain
  • Ghee or Kerrygold butter (which is grass fed but easily available in stores) also does not give me joint pain.
Theory of why this may be the case:
  • All of these items have very low to no lactose and casein, the two common allergen components of dairy products.  Mark’s Daily Apple has a nice blog post on dairy that discusses these a bit.
  • Casein has a very similar structure to gluten, which is why so many celiacs are intolerant of dairy.

I am off dairy. With the exception of the aforementioned items.

Doing this experiment was cool though, it was very concrete and gave me the feedback I needed.  Next I can add back in the oatmeal and see what happens.

If you are unsure if a food is affecting you, this is a great, inexpensive (as in no doctor appointments or lab tests were harmed in this experiment) way to do it.  You can even do something like a body detox to clear your system of any potential irritants and then systematically add stuff back in, assessing how you feel.

Give it a shot!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so chime up in the comments below!

For more reading about my philosophy on living gluten free: The Easiest Gluten Free Diet

Dairy free, or dairy-full?  What say you?