Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fitness quest: January 5, 2012

A new year has begun. Instead of reviewing the details of my latest workout or changes in my body, I’d like to review the most important factor in fitness: proper diet. Most fitness instructors will tell you that eating the right foods in the right amounts is 75% of the battle in becoming and staying healthy. Think of all the athletes who may be sidelined by injuries and unable to workout – the proper diet is the critical factor between staying in shape and dissolving into a puddle of jelly. There is also the fact that what we eat has as much impact on the environment as what we drive. With that in mind, I’ve put together:

Hank’s non-Mammalian, ecologically responsible, yet very tasty diet.

Foods to avoid:
Any food derived directly or indirectly from mammals. This includes:
Red Meat & Pork (replace with Poultry & Fish)
Dairy products, including Milk, Cheese, and Butter (replace with Soy milk, Vegan cheese and margarine)

Other foods to avoid:
Potatoes (including baked, fried , chips and sweet potatoes), white bread, white rice – replace with wheat bread and brown rice
Sugared or Diet soda – replace with Diet Snapple or Green Tea. These will give you the energy and provide superior hydration.
Salt – use a salt substitute instead

Tips for Healthy Food Preparation:
Poultry or fish can be baked or cooked in a pan.
When cooking food in oil, avoid products like Wesson oil or Crisco – use Olive or Sunflower Oil. Check the labels to avoid hydrogenated fats.
Vegetables can be stir fried or steamed – avoid overcooking as this removes nutritional value and taste.

Food Allocation
40% of your calories should come from Breakfast & a mid-morning snack
35% of your calories should come from Lunch & a mid-afternoon snack
25% of your calories should come from Dinner – no snacks after dinner, which should take place no less than four hours before bedtime.

Healthy Meal examples:
Breakfast: Egg beaters (can be made omelet style with onions, peppers, vegan cheese, etc); oatmeal; fruit juice (a tall glass mixed ½ & ½ with water)
Lunch: Chicken breast with two servings of vegetables.
Dinner: Salmon burger on wheat bun with a large side of vegetables

You should get at least 30 minutes of Cardio exercise at least 3 times per week
You should get at least 30 minutes of Strength training at least 2 times per week

Control your portions: stop eating when you’re no longer hungry, don’t wait until you’re full! Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. Remember, there is always room for exceptions such as special occasions – but the important thing is to practice restraint and moderation.

My weight varied over the holidays, and by January 1, my weight had ballooned to 216#. But reapplying myself at the gym and in the kitchen has worked out and my weight is back down.

1/5/2012 212 1/2#

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