Tag Archives: diet

Olympic Diet

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh

I’m not really into sports, but I love watching the Olympics. The stamina, dedication and nearly flawless performances of these elite athletes is astonishing.  I’m inspired to work harder and take better care of myself watching their amazingly strong bodies compete in what looks like effortless competitions.

How do Olympians keep their energy up? Most of them follow regular healthy diets and get to sleep as early as they can to recharge. You can’t get into amazing shape and be able to compete at your best if you’re not taking good care of yourself. Here’s a great slideshow about the training and diet regimens of many of the top U.S. Olympians: How to get an Olympic body.

Michael Phelps’ regimen, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily the healthiest – he’s more focused on bulking up his caloric load to make sure that he has the energy to keep winning the gold metals.

Most healthy men consume about 2,000 calories a day; upping consumption to 12,000 calories a day would make any ordinary man obese. But for Phelps, he needs this staggering amount of calories just so that he can perform.

And another article about Phelps’ diet is here: Pasta and Pizza? That’s Phelps’ Gold Metal Secret?

Love and Diet

Diet is such a personal thing. Many people define themselves by what they eat. A steak and potatoes kind of guy. A crunchy granola girl.  Try to change them, taking away the foods they know and love, and they become massively defensive. Because you’re not just taking away their food, you’re also taking away part of the essence of their being.

Add love into the mix, and things can get tricky. Can a vegan ever love a carnivore or vice versa?

“Sharing meals has always been an important courtship ritual and a metaphor for love. But in an age when many people define themselves by what they will eat and what they won’t, dietary differences can put a strain on a romantic relationship. The culinary camps have become so balkanized that some factions consider interdietary dating taboo.”

I remember when I started living my delicious life. I was in transition – just started dating this guy who was really into health food, and I was starting a strict regime of Ayurvedic cleansing and rebuilding. I said to him, “I don’t want to become a vegetarian!” As if that was such a bad thing.

I did go vegetarian for a while – and it felt great for that time. Then I learned so much about eating and diet – and that, for me, vegetarianism might not be the best thing, but not for the reasons that had detracted me from it when I was starting my adventure.

Changing your diet when you’re in a relationship can be difficult. You and your partner start out eating a certain way together as a couple, and life is good. And then you decide that maybe you want to eat better, get healthier, lose weight, or whatever. You’re making a change.

If your partner is supportive, great. It will still take some lifestyle adjusting, but it’s not such a big deal. You learn and figure it out. If your partner doesn’t like this new change, however, watch out. They might try to subconsciously (or worse, deliberately) sabotage you. You’ll keep trying to change but feel torn. What’s more important? The relationship or the diet?

Food has a strong subconscious link to love, said Kathryn Zerbe, a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. That is why refusing a partner’s food “can feel like rejection,” she said.

As with other differences couples face, tolerance and compromise are essential at the dinner table, marital therapists said. “If you can’t allow your partner to have latitude in what he or she eats, then maybe your problem isn’t about food,” said Susan Jaffe, a psychiatrist in Manhattan.

Quotes from I Love You, But You Love Meat found in the New York Times.

Mind Over Matter

I’ve been talking recently about the importance of how you eat – what happens when you change your focus from eating to other things, and how your emotions affect your digestion. I found this article interesting and related to this discussion, so I thought I would reprint it:

How Mindset Affects Your Waistline
By Jon Benson

When it comes to being fit, you should focus on being happy first.

This may seem like putting the cart before the horse. However, new research on the brain shows us that simple meditation – for as little as five minutes – can alter brain chemistry in a way that improves both athletic and work performance and increases our own experience of happiness and well-being.

Numerous studies on why diets fail demonstrate that a happy person is more prone to follow through on a diet or exercise program than one who is merely going through the motions of life. Depression is often cited as the number one reason people give up on a diet. It makes sense to make yourself truly happy… and science shows us you can.

Give meditation a try. Just take five minutes in solitude, and focus on two simple things: Kindness and compassion. This is a great start. See if you can work your way up to 30 minutes a day. Changes in brain chemistry occur in as little as two weeks, according to Harvard University researcher Olivia Carter, Ph.D.

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

Meditation practice is really good for calming the mind, as long as you don’t get caught up in the fact that your mind is constantly wandering while you’re sitting there. That’s why they call it “practice.” If you can get over the fact that you will not be able to do it “perfectly,” even for five minutes, and just allow yourself to practice it, you will benefit over time. Five minutes per day in the morning and five in the evening is enough to get long-term benefits – as long as you practice every day.

Eating: what or how?

Low fat, high carb. Low carb, high protein. No dairy. No grain. No meat. So much of what people focus on is what to eat.

Are we putting too much emphasis on the “what” of eating? What about the how?

I’ve been reading Marc David‘s book, “The Slow Down Diet.” He argues that, while food quality is certainly important, how we eat is equally as important.

The evidence is in studies on awareness and eating. In an experiment, test subjects consumed a mineral drink in a relaxed state. Absorption of the minerals was measured at 100%. Then they tested mineral absorption when the test subjects were distracted – listening to media – and they found that absorption was reduced to 60%.

Marc David goes on to discuss how he’s had much success with clients who want to lose weight by teaching them how to eat without distraction. In many cases, this is the only thing that his clients will change. Suddenly, excess weight starts to fall off them.

How do you eat most of your meals? In front of the television? While driving or reading the newspaper? If you need to lose weight, do you think that trying this experiment will help?

All You Can Eat Diet: Why Whole Foods Are Better

I just saw this post about the “all you can eat diet” in the blogosphere. While I was traveling in Mexico for two weeks in December, I did go on this diet. It was delicious, and actually yes, I did lose weight.

I noticed that while there is processed food in Mexico, the restaurants that we ate at were serving dishes that contained almost only whole foods. Tortillas are made fresh daily from ground up corn – no preservatives to keep them shelf stable. Chickens run freely – they eat bugs and worms and other things that Chickens should eat. Sauces were made with lots of spices, and beans were most likely cooked with unprocessed lard. While white rice was served sometimes, we were more likely to find hot tortillas than processed grains on our plates.

I ate whenever I was hungry, but sometimes we were too busy exploring to eat – so I might have skipped a meal  or two. It didn’t matter anyway, because I would make up for it at the next meal. But still, I lost weight and felt good most of the time. I really think it was because we had so few processed foods on our trip.

I do try to keep the processed foods out of my diet, but when I eat out, I don’t always know what I’m getting. A lot of times, restaurants substitute cheaper ingredients to add to the bottom line, which adds to your waistline quicker than you’d imagine.

If you really want to change your life, cut out as many processed foods as you can. See how you feel after a couple of weeks. What has changed for you?