I have a friend who is a musician and because he’s touring or in the recording studio consistently, his diet consists of fast food, candy, or any other “junk food” that is accessible at the time. Sometimes he does not eat at all. One day he told me that his dinner consisted of a frozen burrito and a bag of potato chips. After a sideways glance from me, he stated that he would like to eat better, but because he did not know how to cook, it was difficult for him to figure out how to change his diet. I reminded him that what he put into his body affects how his body performs and because he makes money being a performer, he has to take care of his major asset.
This conversation made me think about the way people viewed their bodies and I wondered if they looked at their bodies differently, would they take better care of it?
Our bodies are our tools. They are the machines that we use to build our lives. We use them to make the money that we need to sustain ourselves, to provide shelter, food to eat, and to obtain whatever else we need to live our best lives. So why don’t we treat our bodies better?
Singers understand this concept when it comes to their voices as they take necessary precautions to protect their voices to perform at top shape. Athletes understand this concept as they work out and eat right to help them perform at top shape. They know that if they don’t, they will have a short career.
Sure, you may think, well I work in an office; or I’m not running across a football field, or running up and down a basketball court, or performing on stage. Of course you’re not, but professional athletes and musicians understand that is their JOB, and they take their jobs seriously, so they do what they must to perform their JOBS to the best of their abilities. Eating right and exercise is necessary to perform any job to the best of one’s ability. To do any job, you must have the right tools. Your brain is the primary tool to help the rest of your body work well. Proper nutrition affects not only physical functioning but also brain functioning. Proper brain functioning positively affects sensory-motor skills, which improves your overall physical health and daily productivity.
The question he posed to me and you may be thinking as you read this is, “how do I get started?” Although each person is different and each person has their dietary challenges, below are three simple things to help get started on a path to better nutrition and overall better health.
- Take multivitamins: Many of the most common foods in the average person’s diet lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function properly; therefore a multivitamin is essential to your daily eating regimen. Note: If you don’t like taking pills, they make gummies for adults. They are an easy way to take your vitamins and satisfy sweet cravings at the same time.
- Drink plenty of water: The average human body is approximately 75% water. This number decreases significantly in obese persons. We lose an average of 11-13 cups of water a day simply by breathing and normal sweating without exercise. Water is essential to help flush out toxins that can contribute to things like skin problems, inflammation and kidney problems. The Institute of Medicine recommends an intake of about 13 cups of water a day to replenish lost fluids.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: besides being good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruits and vegetables will add to your daily water intake because they contain lots of water. For example, oranges are 87 percent water, and cucumbers are 95 percent water. Milk, 100% juice(avoid labels that read “juice cocktail”, “juice drink”, “beverage”, or contain high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup)and other beverages also have large amounts of water.
Note: Try a green smoothie to assist in getting more green vegetables in your diet. Brands like Trader Joe’s Green Plant or Naked Juice’s Green Machine are easy and tasty ways to get your daily intake of fruits and green vegetables.
Salads are also a simple way to increase your vegetable intake, but beware; do not use iceberg lettuce which has no nutritional value, go for the darker greens or add spinach if you are not sure, and be careful not to drown your salad in salad dressing.
Being open to trying different things is essential because there is no magic formula that works for everyone. Starting a healthy eating regimen may be challenging but it can also be fun. The fun is in learning what works for you.