I was talking with a few athletes at the gym recently about the nutrition challenge that just finished up a few weeks ago. We are starting to slide back into old habits. One of those old habits is sugar. But the best thing about this conversation was not the fact that we are all immersed in the same world with the same temptations and access to “easy foods”, finding camaraderie in “slipping”. Not at all! It was the fact that having been away from some of the worst nutritional offenders, like sugar, introducing it again has allowed us to make the connections about what happens to our bodies when we consume it! Light bulb moments! My favorite!
Feeding ourselves and fueling our bodies should be easy. It should not be stressful. Right? But nutrition has gotten very confusing. We have lots of avenues of input: your favorite Pinterest posters, bloggers, magazine articles, friends, grocery store aisles…….. The messages are often conflicting and overwhelming. And on top of it all, you might be responsible for shaping the eating habits of little ones! Talk about stressful!
There are several different schools of thought about nutrition, and lots of sets of rules you can follow. At the end of the day, if you were to make one change for yourself and your children, here is the one I would encourage: get added sugar and artificial sweeteners out of your diet. You’d be amazed at how often it’s added into our foods! Unless you get your food from the outside rim of the grocery store, there are scientists in white coats working day after day, to perfect chemical formulas that keep us coming back for their company’s products. Sugar is often titrated into the formula to light up our taste buds, and keep us returning for more.
Fat has been maligned for decades as a nutritional villain. But, new studies are showing that fat is not the culprit of our health woes we once thought it was. No, my friends, it’s sugar! Here’s an article giving you some information about what happens to our bodies when we consume sugar.
I’m not suggesting you go cold turkey. Great if you can, but small changes last the longest. Start with the obvious sources, and slowly take out a few more sneaky ones as time goes on. I love how she points out in the article that with kids, she allows them to make some choices on their own, that she’s not hardline about “absolutely no sugar”. Life happens, our diet should be something sustainable, and we should teach through example as well as trial and error. So make the best decision you can at each food choice, and don’t worry if you don’t pick the broccoli 100% of the time!
If you’ve already kicked sugar to the curb, but have other questions, here’s a great interview with Stephanie Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo, though I advise caution for sensitive ears as there is some questionable language. She has a lot of interesting things to say about her career path and how she views nutrition. My biggest take away is that nutrition is always something you are figuring out for you. That it’s individual to you. And that it will change over time as you change, as your needs change, and as your life changes.
If you have questions about nutrition and exercise and how the two work together, come in and see us at Ashburn CrossFit!