Gilroy Today 2008 01 Winter - Page 4

The HEALTH CONNECTION Let’s Boycott New Year’s Resolutions By Deb Smith, Personal Trainer Owner of F.A.T.E. Fitness for Adults in Transition - Energize! No more crash dieting… power foods are a much better choice! While waiting in the checkout line at our local grocery store, I noticed how many magazine covers had articles related to diets, health, wellness, or fitness that would appeal to any of us who may have been searching for the perfect New Year’s resolution. Here are just a few: “Lose 15lbs Fast!”, “Burn extra calories while you sleep”, “Cut Carbs, Lose Weight”, and “Erase belly fat for good”. By now those New Year’s diets are probably waning — not to worry — you can start eating your way to health and fitness today. I’d like you to focus on the power foods that are your best friends. I’ll call these foods: DEB’S POWER 9 This is not an exclusive list, but can serve as a starting point to help us make better choices. Salmon Salmon is an excellent source of quality protein and rich in omega -3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The best sources of these nutrients are certain types of fish like salmon, but also include albacore tuna, bluefish, and trout. If you’re a vegetarian, or if you just don’t like fish, there are other food sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as tofu, ground flaxseed, canola and olive oil or soy (Edamame, yummm). Spinach Popeye was Right! Spinach is high in vitamins A and C as well as folate. It’s a good source of fiber and it may also help reduce the risk of several diseases such as cancer and age-related macular degeneration of the eye. Almonds Each ounce of almonds contains a good amount of the antioxidant vitamin E, 6 grams of protein and no cholesterol. Almonds are also an excellent source of magnesium and offer calcium, fiber, the B vitamin folate and phosphorus. Almonds also supply you with monounsaturated fat - the “good” fat associated with decreased heart disease risk. Wheat Germ Wheat Germ is the “heart” of the wheat kernel - a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including: Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorous, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. Extra Lean Beef Lean beef is full of power-packed nutrients, especially iron, protein and creatine — all the musclebuilding components you need to MOOve you along! Eggs Egg protein (from the whites) contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs. An egg contains varying amounts of 13 vitamins plus many minerals. Tomatoes Tomatoes and tomato-based products (like salsa) can reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and several other chronic illnesses. Oatmeal Oatmeal is a good source of complex carbohydrates providing your body with sustained energy and a great source of fiber. Oatmeal is also high in soluble fiber which lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) by absorbing cholesterol from your food. Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Our muscles NEED natural carbohydrates. Our bodies can store approximately 400 grams of carbohydrate in our muscles. This storage form of carbohydrate is called glycogen. Glycogen literally “fills up” our muscles. When we are working out, the body burns up all the glycogen from our muscles and depletion of muscle glycogen actually causes our muscles to “deflate.” Think of our muscles as a balloon and glycogen as air. When we pump up a balloon full of air, the balloon stretches and expands to its capacity. That’s what happens to us when our glycogen is full. The muscle is harder, the muscle is bigger, and the skin is tighter. When you let some air out of a balloon, the balloon “deflates” and gets smaller, flatter and softer. So it is with our muscles. Low carbs equals low energy and a flat, “un-pumped” appearance. I’m certain Saturday Night Live characters Hans and Franz would agree that CARBS will “Pump You UP”! REMEMBER: It’s a new day, a new month, a new year every day. And each is filled with challenge, with possibility, and with the opportunity to live life to the fullest. What could be better than that? 4 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 GILROY TODAY