Saturday, January 2, 2010
Dietary Basics: Do's and Don'ts
This is the one year anniversary of my blog. I began this blog at New Year's last year with a popular post about yoga practices and lifestyle suggestions for health and longevity (see January '09 archives). The response encouraged me to continue blogging, and i discovered that i enjoyed it: averaging 4-6 posts/month. Readership has increased throughout the year and I've attracted a few comments and followers. I'm pleased to learn that there is an audience interested in my point of view.
Like most of the world, I've been in slow gear this past week+, working a reduced clinic schedule. I've been using the leisure time to rest and watch old movies, a yin activity for winter solstice.
Today I've picked up a book that's been on my shelf for maybe 15y that i use for reference and read occasionally "Staying Healthy With Nutrition" by Elson Haas, MD. It's a comprehensive book about diet and nutrition that i highly recommend. I'm sure an updated edition must be out, but the info presented still feels current, though esp. dosage info on nutritional supplements has probably changed.
I ran across a list of eating suggestions for those dining out. I realize this is not particularly timely, as most of the holiday season travel is completed, and excepting the occasional sunny getaway, most travel and dining out won't start up again until spring. Esp. with winter bills, taxes and the recession cutting back on discretionary spending items, restaurant usage will be severely curtained in the next few months. Still, the ideas are sound, and worth mentioning, so tuck it away for future use. I've added a couple of my own suggestions to the list.
Fresh fruit juice
(add water to cut the high
fruit & yogurt
soft or hard boiled eggs
sugar products & baked goods
fried or scrambled eggs or omelette's (due to the fat)
Hamburgers, hot dogs
lunch meat sandwiches (too processed)
steak, ham & pork chops (too heavy)
candy bars, cookies, chips
In looking over the list, maybe it is a little more timely than I realized. After all the overindulgence of the past month, most are ready to improve their diets and adopt more healthy habits for the new year. These dietary recommendations are sound basic dietary principles not restricted to restaurant do's and don'ts.
In general, avoid processed foods (including anything coming out of a box or can) and include more whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies. Buying foods from the bulk department of the natural food store (not Costco) saves on excess packaging (for the environment) and ensures whole foods (not processed) are being selected.
Something else to remember, esp. in the winter months, is vit D synthesis. Vit D is synthesized in the skin from direct sunlight. However in the winter months, due to the shorter days and cold weather most do not get much direct sunlight. Make it a habit to take an afternoon walk between 12 & 3p, when the sun is the brightest, shining directly overhead. A brisk walk for 30min will benefit the cardiovascular system, work the muscles, burn much needed calories during this particularly sedentary time of year, and get you out for some much needed fresh air and sunshine. KB