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Nutrition and Health
First Priority: Sleep!
8-9 hours of quality sleep a night is very important. There is countless research out there linking lack of sleep to Obesity, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and early death! Lack of sleep causes stress and disruption of every single body function. Sleeping poorly one night, leaves you metabolically equivalent to a diabetic the next day.
What can you do to ensure adequate sleep?
- Turn off TV or Computers at least one hour before you need to be asleep. Use this time to do something else, read, talk to a loved one, meditate, etc. If you must be on a computer for work, install f.lux, a program which limits the amount of blue light being emitted from the screen. Blue light from TV’s and computers disrupts the hormone melatonin which is essential for sleeping.
- Make sure your room is calm and collected. Yes, a tidy room helps you go to sleep easier
- Lower the temperature. The cooler the room, the easier you will fall asleep and stay asleep. 55 degrees is optimal, however, if not possible, as cool as you can.
- In the dark. No the pitch black. Blackout the room! Good blinds removing any light from entering, cover any lights in the room (cover any digital clocks, or TV cable boxes with black electric tape) You want a pitch black room.
Second Priority: Nutrition-Eat Real, Nutrient Dense Food!
What constitutes real food? Basically, anything that has an expiration date and is not processed or minimally processed is real food!
- We highly recommend you purchasing your food from a local farm or farmers market. Local food is healthier and more environmentally sustainable.
- If you are going to the market, check the labels! Look for foods with very few ingredients, five or less, and look for foods which don’t have a lot of names on the label you need a chemistry degree to pronounce. Unfortunately, most breads and pastas have a high degree of processing.
- Fill your plate half full with vegetables. Protein should be about a quarter of the plate. A serving of fruit, and some healthy fat (Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado) fill out the plate.
- If you eat real nutrient dense food there is no need to count calories. Your body will tell you when its full!
If you have extra body fat which you are trying to lose, continue eating real, nutrient dense food as described above, however, limit yourself to only two servings/pieces of fruit a day, limit yourself to only a handful of nuts each day, as well as stay away from starchy vegetables (potatoes) and rice.
If you are an athlete looking to make performance gains, you need to make sure you have adequate carbohydrate intake.Best sources for carbohydrate which are real, and nutrient dense are potatoes of all varieties, or white rice (pure starch).
Supplements: Eat Real Food and Sleep and you won’t need many supplements
Two important ones however are:
- Vitamin D in the winter. In the summer get some uncovered sun exposure. Vitamin D is actually more of a hormone than Vitamin, and is the most essential of the essential vitamins and minerals. A liquid Vitamin D is better for absorption.
- Zinc-Magnesium-Vitamin B6 (ZMA): Zinc and Magnesium are essential to proper body functioning. Much of the soil which much of our agriculture is grown is nutrient depleted, so many of the fruits and veggies we eat that should have higher levels of magnesium and zinc do not. The importance of these two minerals cannot be stressed! This supplement should be taken at night, as Magnesium has a calming effect on the body and will help you sleep. Magnesium will also help to keep you regular!
- Creatine: Creatine has been on the market for over 20 years now, and it is generally considered a safe supplement, which is very inexpensive. Given the cheap cost, the huge benefits, and its safety profile, it is one that should be considered.
It has many performance related benefits including, increased fat-free mass, improved maximal strength, improved muscular endurance, increased anaerobic power, and increased hydration in extreme outdoor conditions.
The benefits of creatine transcend the performace area to the general population.There is recent research which shows that creatine:
- fights inflammation after muscle damage
- improves brain performance
- improves both long and short term memory in vegetarians
- helps to prevent DNA mutations in aging cells
- helps to mitigate symptoms in people with neuromuscular disorders.