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Food is not your enemy

I am not a licensed nutritionist, nor do I claim to be a nutrition expert. What I do know is well-balanced eating through years of experience. And I try to educate myself as much as possible about nutrition.

Myplate.gov is an excellent resource of free nutritional information that I like to use for my own nutrition. I also read “Runners World” magazine which has great recipes and ideas for runners/athletes.

To be a “lean, mean fighting machine,” you have to get the correct nutrition. You have to feed your muscles and organs the nutrition they need.

Coming from the Netherlands where we do not super size anything (at least not when I grew up there — unfortunately things are changing there too with obesity on the rise), I understand why it is so hard to eat correctly and/or nutritiously.

It’s cheaper to pick from the dollar menu than to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. However, it will hurt your wallet when you go to the doctor more often because of an unhealthy eating habit.

I don’t want to get into this at the moment. What I would like to go over are the following tips:

You have to eat to survive. As I have mentioned before, many people take better care of their car than their body.

Common sense tells us that if we eat a bacon cheese biscuit for breakfast, a triple (bypass?) hamburger for lunch and pizza for dinner, it was a bad day for nutrition. Fortunately, even if we are on the go, there are better options to pick from. Look at your body and treat it as your car. Would you put oil in the gas tank? Educate yourself and plan, and I believe anyone can eat nutritiously on any budget with the correct planning.

See what works for you. There are truly the meat and potato men and women and the no carbs people or vegetarian only, just to name a few. Just make sure you get the nutrition you need. Find what works for you. If you feel horrible, and are not very pleasant to be around (due to your diet!) and can’t wait to stop this nonsense, that diet does not work for you. Your diet needs to be a lifestyle and to many a lifestyle change. Start again with baby steps and make small changes.

Food is not your enemy. So many times I see people cringe when food is served, especially if its not on their “diet.” We all have to eat real food in real settings. Weight Watchers is a weight loss program that teaches people to chose better real foods and to exercise portion control. When you learn that, you know what choices to make or what you need to do to burn the extra calories or to prepare yourself for a high-calorie event. The holidays are right around the corner and I love getting together with my dear friends and family. Food will bring anyone together! None of us want to hear you complain about being on a “diet.”

Most of us understand when you are on a certain lifestyle but there are people among us that love seeing you fail. So when you are loud about being on a specific “diet,” they love to boycott you!

This past weekend my husband Kevin and I helped Salisbury Rowan Runners time at the Andrew Lovedale 5K at Davidson College. The event benefitted the “Access 2 Success” Foundation.

Getting up at 5 a.m. and not getting done until 10 a.m., hunger set in. SRR volunteers met at IHOP afterward to spend time together and silence the growl in our stomachs. I had to watch my calories for the rest of the day and the next day because my breakfast included the following:

Berry cream waffle — 620 calories

4 pieces of crisp bacon — 180 calories

Bowl of grits (with butter of course) — 310 calories

Too many darn calories (and fat) for one setting! However, spending special time with great friends after an amazing event is priceless!

Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt.

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