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Archive for the Kids’ Views on Nutrition & Weight Category

Fed Up… WATCH IT.

Fed Up... WATCH IT.

Fed Up the Movie

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Power Play Nutrition: Fuel Your Body

Power Play Nutrition:  Fuel Your Body

Kasie Strong Rochester Institute of Technology

FREE 20-minute nutrition consult. Learn the healthiest foods to eat to support growth and performance in hockey from Registered Nurse, Certified Wellcoach and USA Hockey Level 5 Coach Joyce Strong.

Contact Coach Joyce:  joyce@totalwellcoach.com or 617-666-1122.

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If You Want to be Skinny… Think Like a Thin Person

If you want to be a thin person you have to think like a thin person.

“Skinny” and “thin” are not dirty words.  It is okay to want to be at your ideal weight.  I often read about accepting “curves” and loving yourself at whatever weight you are at and I am all for that.  Still, excess fat, especially excess visceral fat (around your body’s vital organs) is a sign of illness… and I’m not all for illness and inflammation.  I want to be healthy, vital and strong and I suspect you do too.  So when you hear me say skinny or thin I really mean getting to your ideal weight based on body fat and lean mass.  Just take your lean mass and multiply it by a healthy body fat percentage– that’s how much you should weigh and that will change depending on how much muscle you carry (or lose from not understanding how weigh loss works).

So back to thinking like a thin person.  I watched my sons step on the scale in my office.  They wore their shoes. They didn’t take off their belts.  One of them kept his fully-loaded backpack on his shoulders.  You get it?  Thin people are not afraid of the scale.  They are not wiping off their lipstick to weigh the least amount possible.  Daily I watch my clients strip down, starve themselves before weigh-in to get to that lowest possible number.  Thin people don’t think that way.

My number one recommendation for weigh-in is to weigh yourself once a day, after breakfast, with your clothes on.  That’s your weight.  The other way to weigh, totally dry, naked, before you’ve taken your multivitamin… that’s an illusion that will continue to keep you thinking like a person who is overweight.

If you want to be a thin person you have to think like a thin person.

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Common Sense… Or Is It?

Common Sense… Or Is It?
Written by Nick Langen, Grade 8, Age 14, Fay School
Reprinted with permission from the author

To be completely honest, I had no idea about what to do as a speech this year.  Fortunately for me, inspiration struck when I innocently asked for the peanut butter to put on my toast, and while it looked different I paid no attention.  Upon biting into my toast, I started to choke.  The new peanut butter had the consistency of the inside of a jelly donut, minus the good taste.  This was almond butter.  It was perhaps the vilest thing I have ever tasted thus far, and when I inquired about the origins of such a foodstuff, little did I know that I had opened the door for years of pent up nutritional knowledge my mom had stored to come rushing out with an intensity that has yet to be matched.  Opening the door then wasn’t perhaps the right phrase, and instead a more appropriate wording would be more along the lines of breaking the Hoover Dam.  This 30 minute tirade was easily the most interesting, funny, and engaging thing I had heard all year, so naturally I distilled it and made it into this speech.

Frankly, there are a lot of health fanatics out there and even more diets to encourage this particular breed of personality, but the fact of the matter is that much about nutrition really comes down to common sense.  After thinking about it, somehow, as a society we have reached a point where we can rationalize the idea of walking to Dunkin Donuts in Sketchers Shape Ups to buy a Diet Coke and a low fat muffin, think we will lose weight and that because it is low fat and sugar free it’s nutritious.  However, the flour, starches, chemicals, and sugars ingested when one eats these things cannot be reversed or negated simply because of the shoe they are wearing.  Whatever way you believe human life came to be on this planet I’m sure we can agree that we were never meant to digest or process even half of what is in any soda, bag of Fritos, or Pop Tart.  We are flawed in that we have grown so accustomed to these thoughts that we are able to dismiss common sense all together.  If you could pack all of human history into one year, we’ve only been farming and eating grain since about yesterday, which is approximately the same time we started to get fatter.  We only started eating processed vegetable oil since about 10 minutes ago and that’s when heart disease became our number one killer.  Yet somehow the experts convinced us that human health depends on food we didn’t eat for more than 99 percent of our existence.

The greatest example of this is perhaps the single most iconic image conjured up when one is talking about health:  the food pyramid.  This guideline for the way we should eat is so flawed yet so deeply ingrained into our society and economic structure that we cannot change it.  The story of the modern food pyramid began when the government obtained copies of Sweden’s food pyramid, and used it as a basis for a new guideline in the United States.  This was not a particularly smart move, considering that at the time, Sweden’s heart disease rate was even greater than our own. While it may not have been the most intelligent move health wise, it supported the economic and agricultural demands of the U.S. and is now so overlooked and understudied that it has become synonymous with healthy, even though it is anything but.

The key flaw in this food pyramid was and still is the bottom.  The common misconception being that bread is the most important food to eat, even more so than fruits, vegetables, and protein products.  Nobody in their right mind would actually start a diet with the mentality:  I want to be thin, help me Wonderbread!  However, if we were to adopt a more correct food pyramid, imagine what it would do to companies like Kellogg’s and Nabisco.  The fact of the matter is that we cannot alter the food pyramid because we adopted it to further our economy not our health.  I am not saying that I would rather have us be thin than economically stable, but I am telling you that heath was not the prime goal for this symbol of nutrition.  Someone who adheres directly to the food pyramid and eats their six to eleven servings of breads and carbohydrates each day is likely to develop diabetes before they reach sixty.  Eating carbohydrates spikes your insulin level, which means that you store more fat and then your blood sugar rises.  Yet another problem with the way we eat is the assumption that fat of any kind will make us fat, and that anything with the words low fat on them implies an excuse for us to dine on low fat brownies, cupcakes, ice cream, etc.  The problem here being that eliminating the fat has not eliminated the carbs, and the same bad stuff happens.

Back to that fateful day, once my mom stopped to take a breath.  I managed to squeeze in my question, so why did we get rid of our peanut butter?  And then her jaws started to rev up like a mighty Lamborghini and I knew I was in for more.  Apparently, peanut butter is bad for you, peanuts are not even nuts, and almond butter tastes really good.  She lied about that last one but her other two points were perfectly valid.  Peanuts are actually legumes, and the paste in which they are ground up is contaminated with all manner of sugars and nastiness.  Almond butter has one ingredient, dry roasted almonds.  That said almond butter is something I would dare my twin to eat, or put in his food when he’s not looking, not something I would eat willingly as a healthy alternative.  However I must say thank you to this particular jar, as it has given me a unique topic for this speech as well as something to think about.

From the Author:  I was inspired to write this mainly as a result of my mother, whose borderline addiction to Crossfit and all the nutritional wisdom that goes with it, made an excellent impromptu history lesson/health class speech one morning. Of course, a speech based only upon health facts and history does not make for an entertaining 5 minutes, but the more i read on the subject, the more blatantly ridiculous some of these facts became. 


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