Happy Wednesday and of course, a very happy Veteran’s Day!
And because it is not only Veteran’s Day, but also Wednesday, I’m sticking to the new routine and sharing a health/wellness resource I recently discovered and absolutely LOVE.
I’m a big fan of podcasts. I like to put them on while I go to sleep to keep my brain from going haywire thinking about work/running/chores, etc… I also listen to them on the subway during my commute in the mornings. It makes the start of each day a little more enjoyable, and I love the random tidbits of knowledge I pick up listening to them.
Since deciding that I wanted to focus more on nutrition this Fall, I wanted to find a podcast to actually learn about what it means to have a balanced diet. Obviously, I understand the concepts of healthy eating broadly (I think pretty much everyone does. In a nutshell- eat more vegetables and fewer cupcakes.) I knew there were a lot of nuances I was probably missing though.After browsing the internet for podcasts related to health and wellness, I came across Dishing Up Nutrition and I’m so glad I did! The podcast features several licensed nutritionists from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a Minnesota-based company (which means cute accents that make me smile to myself). They cover a HUGE range of topics – from the mineral connection to cravings (an episode I found extremely interesting!), to gluten and Celiac’s disease to the psychology of weight loss. And that barely scratches the surface of what they cover! I love that it’s not a podcast focused around dieting and losing weight, it’s much more focused on overall health and eating in a way to make your body feel its best. And the advice they offer is practical. No insane crash diets being recommended here.
What I’ve taken away about my own diet as a result of this podcast:
- I eat too many refined carbs. I’m a big fan of toast. As a pre-run breakfast, it’s great. It’s easy and quick and I love to eat it with a good smear of jam (more simple carbs) But as far as a balanced diet goes, I should be taking in most of my carbs in the form of complex carbs from vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, and broccoli.
- I need to snack more frequently (and pick better snacks). With getting up for work so early each day, I’m generally hungry for lunch by about 11:30 AM. And if I don’t pack a snack for myself, this means I have to go from approximately noon time until 6:30-ish without eating. And that’s when I make bad choices, because I have low blood sugar and I’m RAVENOUS. Now, I actually do know this about myself, so I did typically pack myself a snack, usually a Greek yogurt or maybe some tortilla chips. Now, I know the Greek yogurt doesn’t sound like such a bad choice, but the thing is, it’s still not exactly balanced. I’ve learned from listening to Dishing Up Nutrition that a healthy snack that will keep you feeling full the longest should consist of protein, carbs, and fat. And no, fat is not the devil. It actually is what gives you that feeling of fullness (small quantities do the trick though – like 1 tablespoon of olive oil or a handful of nuts.)
So what changes am I implementing?
- I’m switching up my breakfast routine to scrambled eggs with assorted veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, squash, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts -> I’ve found I really enjoy ALL of these in different combinations with eggs!) I’m not completely eliminating my toast, but I am going to try to reserve it for morning runs and early gym trips.
- I started taking a zinc supplement. After listening to a podcast on the mineral connection to cravings, I realized there were several risk factors for zinc deficiency that fit me. And, low levels of zinc can lead to intense cravings for sweets after a meal (DEFINITELY me). So, I’m trying the supplement and waiting to see if it helps me get those sugar cravings under control.
- I’m trying to be more regimented about snacking, and aiming to have a little protein, fat, and carbs in each snack. With traveling so much, I haven’t actually had time to really experiment with snacks yet, so I will have to report back on what kind of snacks I make for myself!
That’s about it for now. I want to start small and really focus on these aspects of my diet, and see how it goes from there. I’ll plan on doing a follow-up post in about a month to report back on how things are going! Hopefully, the Christmas cookie season won’t derail me. 😉