Eat, Move, and Live Better!
The holiday season can be a tough time to stay healthy or even improve on your current health. One of the tactics Jonathan Senger from Sweat Equity Fitness and I discussed at this nutritional seminar were ways to identiy potential roadblocks, come up with a strategy, and consider possible options to deal with those roadblocks
Some of those nutritional roadblocks we identified included: holiday parties, travel, bad weather, family visits, holiday stress, and dining out. Stategies to deal with those stressors included bringing healthy options to outings, eating before going, drinking plenty of water, continuing exercise, travel packs of healthy food, and planning events around activity instead of food. The options included fruit and veggie plates, air popped popcorn, noncaloric fluids such as mineral water or tea, and homemade miso soup or oatmeal packets for travel. Remember the 3 ounce rule when traveling since many store bought options don't follow this rule but you can buy 3 ounce containers and fill them with peanut butter or yogurt and bring them in your carry on bag.
In an attempt to keep it simple, I attempted to reduced nutrition guidelines to a couple of simple rules. These rules include: hydrate; consume high quality nutrient dense foods; pay attention to serving sizes; moderate appetitie with frequent small meals; and plan ahead. There are plenty of charts out there on serving sizes but refer to your palm and hand if needed. Your thumb is two tablespoons, tip of the thumb is a teaspoon, palm is three ounces, and fist is one cup.
Another topic we discussed is mental wellness over the holiday season. Continue to try to get as much sleep as you need during the season to combat stress and getting run down. Plan time to destress and be proactive about it before you become a ticking time bomb that can explode at any moment. Sometimes even small amounts of time spread out throughout the week may help. Also try to be as efficient as possible on your busy days. When I am super busy, sometimes I turn the oven on bake and cut up whatever veggies I have available in my fridgerator. I spray them lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and dried herbs like sage and thyme. I place the veggies in the oven when I start to get ready to head out the door then turn the oven off before I leave (remember to turn the over off!!!). Sometimes I am leaving for a bike ride or a run and I plan my route around my errands. When I get back, I have roasted veggies still warm in the oven and ready for dinner.
The last topic that Jonathan discussed was high intensity training. He has an amazing studio that focuses on training for busy people. His goal is to get all the exercise you need for a day into less then thirty minutes using minimal equipment and a heart rate moniter. Check out his website more of his story Sweat Equity Fitness.
Nutritional Seminar recap - A Fall Map to the FODMAP diet
So we had a great turn out for our Fall Map to the FODMAP diet at Natural Grocers in Green mountain. Key points to take away from the lecture included the following: what are FODMAPs, does the FODMAP diet work and for who, and some basic layout on how we start the implement the diet. I will try to answer these questions as briefly as possible in the following post.
What are FODMAPS?
FODMAPS is an ancronym for fermentable oligo, di, and mono saccharides..and polyols. These are basically short chain carbohydrates such as gluctans, fructans, lactose, fructose, and sugar alcohols. These carbohydrates usually draw water into the intestine during digestion and can cause bloating, abdomen pain, and gastrointestinal distress. This does not mean you have an allergy to them. However, some people suffer more from there effects than others.
Does the FODMAP Diet work and for who?
The FODMAP diet has been studied in several well known nutritional and gastrointestinal journals and has shown some promising results for patients suffering from irritable bowel disorder or functional bowel disorder, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac's and even fibromyalgia to name a few. If you do a quick web search you can see the diet mentioned in multiple respected sources including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and US News and World Reports.
How to implement the FODMAP diet....
I proceed with caution at this point. The FODMAP diet is not a diet that is intended to cause someone to lose weight but is actually an elimination diet intended to identy possible triggers for GI distress. It is a difficult diet to implement and very complicated. In addition, sometimes it might not get to the root of the problem since it likely reduces sources of probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber that are helpful in allowing the bowel to heal. If you and your nutritional advisor determine this may be a path for you; the diet is often individualized based upon your tolerances to fructose or lactose based upon hydrogen breath testing. After that, an elimination process begins from anywhere from all FODMAP sources to only gluctans and polyols. Additional sources to help implement the diet include the MONASH food app for you android or iphone. However, the diet can become even more complicated since it not only involves FODMAPS you eat but also the amounts and what other foods you are eating as well. Below is a simple FODMAP chart from ibs.org.