Food For Thought

The Importance of a Healthy Eating Plan

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start on a new fitness program is thinking they can eat anything they want. However, choosing what to eat after a workout is just as important to your goals as what you do in the gym. It’s easy to undo the effort you put into your training by consuming a diet of fast food, sugar, and alcohol.

To see the results you want, it’s essential that you eat according to your goals. Whether you want to improve your endurance, lose weight, or put on muscle, it is important to stick to a healthy eating plan. No matter the case, at Billdozer Boot Camp, we are happy to help you come up with a healthy eating plan personalized for you.

Feel and look your best! Here are some facts and nutritional information about different foods. Feel free to message me if you want to know about a food you don’t see on this site or more information about what to eat after a workout.

Potatoes

Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable in the United States. One potato with the skin, provides twice as much potassium as a glass of orange juice at over 20 percent of our daily need which can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Potatoes are also high in Vitamin C, fiber, and an antioxidant known as glutathione which may be essential in preventing certain cancers. Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and can help maintain satiety levels after eating.

Available Online: www.eatright.org

 

Complex Carbs Vs. Simple Carbs

Complex and simple carbs are both broken down into glucose after consumption. What makes them different is the sources they come from and the benefits they provide. Complex carbs usually come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like potatoes and corn. They usually provide more vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and many provide a higher satiety level after eating compared to most simple carbs. Simple carbs come largely from processed foods with added sugar. These have very little to no nutrient value, and thus a lack of essential vitamins and minerals.

Available Online: www.nal.usda.gov

 

Butter Vs. Margarine

You may have heard the statement that margarine was healthier choice over butter for your morning toast. However, no research has proven this to be true. Butter is higher in saturated fat because it comes from an animal source. Although margarine is lower in saturated fat, stick margarines are high in trans fat due to hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats are more hazardous to your health and can put you at greater risk for heart attacks than will saturated fat. Choose trans fat free products like ‘soft” tub margarines or whipped butter and remember to use either of these products sparingly.

Available Online: www.health.harvard.edu

 

Zinc

Zinc is a very important trace element for the body which mainly aids the immune system. It also helps with cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and carbohydrate breakdown. It is usually found in high protein foods like meats, nuts, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are generally very low in zinc and are not as well absorbed in the body compared to meat sources. Deficiency symptoms include slow growth, low appetite, loss of hair, and problems with sense of taste and smell. Be sure to eat small portions of darker meats or legumes to ensure a healthy and adequate amount of zinc to protect yourself.

Available Online: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus

 

Onions

Onions, one of the oldest vegetables, are known for their strong odor and the ability to make us all cry when slicing into one. This is caused by the sulfur compounds within the onion. Consumption of onions has been linked to a decrease in: blood pressure, blood cholesterol, heart attack risk, and cancer occurance. Not only does it provide good phytochemicals to ward off negative health disparities, but a large, raw onion can provide over a cup of water and less than 70 calories. Try adding some chopped raw onions on top of a salad or with any other vegetable.

Available Online: www.webmd.com

 

Spinach

Eating spinach still provides many health benefits. It can help prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, many types of cancer, and heart disease. Spinach contains vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. Also rich in fiber and antioxidants, spinach is very low in calories. There is one negative about spinach. It can inhibit iron absorption because of a chemical it contains called oxalic acid. To prevent this from occurring, eat something high in Vitamin C like strawberries or drink a glass of orange juice when you consume spinach.

Available Online: www.webmd.com

 

Avocados

I didn’t start eating avocados until I moved to Las Vegas. They have a much bigger influence in the Southwest compared to the Northeast in the United States which makes sense since they are a product of Mexico. And the Southwest is much closer than the Northeast in relation to Mexico. They are offered in more food options at restaurants and you’ll find them in more abundance and at a cheaper price in the Southwest as well.

Avocados are an amazing food. Believe it or not, they are actually considered a fruit. They have been deemed a superfood and I couldn’t agree more. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  A great source of calories, most of which are fat. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of fiber which can aid in digestion. Although they have a lot of healthy fats, they also have carbs and proteins as well. With all of these noted accolades, avocados offer many health benefits which include improving heart health, lowering cholesterol – especially LDL cholesterol (aka the bad cholesterol) and improving HDL cholesterol (aka the good cholesterol). Since they also contain antioxidants, they can potentially help reduce the risk of certain cancers. One antioxidant they contain is lycopene which has been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Avocados have many great benefits to the diet and can be prepared with different foods and food combinations whether they are eaten whole or made as guacamole. They are very versatile. You can mix them in with sandwiches, salads, tacos, burritos and as a side dish with many other foods.

But like any other food, moderation is essential. Too many avocados a day can lead to excessive weight gain because they are very rich in calories, mainly from fat. Limiting to one medium or one large avocado daily is sufficient for most adults, depending on dietary needs of the individual.

 

Brown Rice Vs. White Rice

Rice is a common grain in multiple cultures. It is very cost effective and easy for meal preps. There are many types of rice but white rice and brown rice are the most popular. White rice seems to be used a bit more in cooking and most people I work with like it more for its sweeter flavor. Brown rice is more bitter in flavor. Both white rice and brown rice are mostly carbohydrate rich and have a small amount of protein, virtually no fat per serving. Brown rice has a lot of health benefits over white rice. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, its a complex carbohydrate and doesn’t have any added preservatives if it is purchased in its natural form. Brown rice is the more natural form of rice. It maintains its anatomy with no processing and keeps the bran and germ intact which is where we get the fiber along with most of the vitamins and minerals from rice. White rice is heavily processed. When it goes through processing, the bran and germ are cleaved off. White rice is considered empty calories since it losses so many of its nutrients to processing. A lot of the nutrients lost in processing are usually fortified (added) back into the rice. It doesn’t get back the fiber it losses and only maintains a fraction of the fiber that brown rice has. White rice, since it is a simple carb, it has a higher glycemic load which means it will make your blood sugar rise very rapidly then plummet back down. Brown rice is a complex carb and has a lower glycemic load. Your blood sugar will slowly rise but maintain at a constant level for much longer than with white rice. Brown rice also contains antioxidants and can help with maintaining body weight. With all this considered, brown rice is the better choice when it comes to all the health benefits. For my clients that have trouble transitioning to brown rice, I always encourage my clients to eventually make half their grains whole. Just like the MyPlate suggests. You can even try mixing them together to get used to the brown rice flavor.

 

Contact me, Bill Long, to follow the right online nutrition plan for your goals. My healthy eating plan is available for clients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and around the United States.