I’m finally getting around to my weekly blog, just in time to go trick-or-treating with my kids. I’m writing this to remind myself how far I’ve come and to give myself some motivation to stay away from the less than nutritious candy and goodies that my kids are going to get tonight. My next blog on Friday will be about kids and nutrition.
One of the things that I have learned along the way that really helps me eat healthy and avoid too much junk food is the fact that we literally are what we eat. The proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that we eat on a daily basis are used to fuel the millions of chemical reactions within our bodies on a regular basis. The protein that you eat will be used by your body for the next 6 months. Our brains and eyes are composed mainly of proteins. Our structure and movement is controlled by proteins. However, proteins are not just simple foods. One gram of protein from a cheeseburger or pizza is not that same as one gram of protein from an egg. Low quality proteins like cheeseburgers and pizzas lead to inferior performance of our muscles, organs, and brain.
One of my favorite sources of information for nutrition and athletic performance is Dr. Michael Colgan. In one of the blogs that he wrote he talks about how truly complex proteins are and the importance of eating quality proteins. He says, “Titin, for example is our longest protein. It enables muscles to contract optimally. Titin is 34,500 amino acids long, all in precise sequence. If even one amino acid is missing, or in the wrong place in the sequence, titin does not work properly, and muscle contraction does not work optimally. If you can’t gain muscle and strength the way you should, check the quality of your dietary proteins. Even the hemoglobin that carries your oxygen is a protein. If you are panting like a grampus trying to train for that marathon, check the quality of your dietary proteins.”
Keep in mind that muscle contraction does not just occur in body builders. Muscle contract in every movement that we make from walking to bringing in the groceries to picking up our kids. You may be able to exercise away the calories from bad food, but you cannot use exercise to fill in the amino acid gaps and turn low-quality protein into high-quality protein.
Here’s the full article from Dr. Michael Colgan: http://www.isagenixhealth.net/blog/2012/05/29/depressing-bodyfat-look-to-your-proteins/
It’s not just protein that matters though. In a recent study by the American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, a constant diet that is high in saturated fats and refined sugars has been shown to damage the blood-brain barrier which allows more harmful chemicals into the brain. Here’s the full article. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001171115.htm?fb_action_ids=3936408609965&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.UIl_uXMWyU0.like&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582
All of the food that we put into our body effects it in one way or another. It’s not just a matter of calories in vs. calories out. We must be very careful to give our bodies the best fuel available. According to Dr. Colgan, the best protein available is undenatured whey protein from range-fed cows. This whey consists of eight different proteins, each with 21 amino acids, each of those amino acids have different effects on the human body. I truly believe that good nutrition is the reason why I feel so much better than I did a little over a year ago. It didn’t happen at first, but because I was trying to follow my coach’s protocol I just took the protein shakes, ate lots of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and complex starches. Now a little over a year later, I can’t believe how much better I feel. My exercise is easier, even though it’s more intense, and I have more energy. The quality of the food we eat does matter.
Questions? Comments? Please let me know.