Recently, I had a 2 cycle trimmer that wouldn’t start. I took it to the repair shop to get it fixed. When the repairs were complete, I got a call from the mechanic to come pick it up. When I got to the shop, the mechanic handed me the report of what all he had to fix. The list of replacement parts included a new carburetor, fuel filter, and spark plug. After paying a handsome fee for his services, the mechanic looked at me and said the whole problem could have been avoided if I had used the right type of fuel. He explained what type of fuel I should use and I’m happy to say that my trimmer runs better than it ever has before.
So what exactly does this story have to do with healthy eating? Actually, a lot! We fuel our bodies by eating and drinking. What type of fuel we use will determine how our bodies perform and can contribute to the wear and tear on our parts. Bad fuel, bad results! Good fuel, good results! Obviously, the stakes are much higher for our bodies compared to lawn and garden equipment.
So, the million-dollar question is, “What am I supposed to eat to be healthy and perform well?” The answer is not some fad diet where you eat 3 carrot sticks and a hardboiled egg three times a day for 60 days or eliminating carbs from your diet and eating tons of bacon, hot wings, and bun-less cheese burgers to go into ketosis. To the contrary, to be healthy and perform well, we must eat a well-balanced diet. So what exactly does a “well-balanced diet” mean?
For starters, I want to talk about the purpose of consuming food and drink. Food and drink are a delivery system of nutrients for our bodies. There are 6 essential nutrients. Essential meaning that ALL are vital for the human body to function properly.
Next, I want to briefly discuss some simple strategies for making better food choices. This is where a lot of folks get confused. Grocery stores and restaurants are full of choices. Below is a simple chart to assist you in making better choices:
↓Processed Grains ↑Whole Grains
↓Trans Fats ↑Healthy Fats & Omega 3’s
↓Added Sugar ↑Fruits & Vegetables
↓Sodium ↑Lean Proteins
↓Alcohol & Sodas ↑Water
Here are some examples to help you better understand how to use the above chart:
-Opting for prepared steel cut oats instead of a cereal bar for breakfast
-Buying natural peanut butter instead of a peanut butter containing hydrogenated oils
-Eating an apple instead of drinking apple juice
-Reading the nutritional guide at the deli counter so you can find a lower sodium lunch meat
-Sipping on water throughout the day instead of sodas
Last but not least, I want to discuss sustainability. I’m not talking about farming practices; I’m talking about how you eat. You need to find foods that you like to eat, that you know how to prepare, and are feasible for your schedule. One complaint I often hear is, “Healthy food doesn’t taste good.” What that really means is that you might want to take a cooking class or learn how to use spices better. A dry piece of baked chicken with no spices is gross. But, that same piece of chicken cooked at the right temperature/time and seasoned properly is delicious. Don’t have time to cook? You can meal prep on the weekend then freeze portions or there are meal prep services that you can use like Betsy’s Pantry. Whatever you do, find something that is reasonable, something you can stick with, and something you enjoy.
I hope this blog helped enrich your understanding of proper nutrition. Please feel free to send me questions in the comment sections below or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, put high quality fuel in your trimmer and your body! You’ll spend a little more now, or a lot more later!
ONE Body! ONE Life! CARE For It!