Welcome to another fitness tips blog post. Today, I want to talk about nutrition and how the foods you consume play a role in your physical and mental fitness. Check out our corresponding video podcast below.
Let me clarify some terms before I get started. When I mention the word “diet,” I am talking about what you eat, or your eating plan. I am NOT talking about fad diets that may or may not work for YOU. No diet is one-size-fits-all. That is a myth, and I am here to tell you the TRUTH! For example, the KETO diet is not for everyone. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Being a vegetarian or vegan is not for everyone. Being on a whole foods plant-based diet is not for everyone. I know some people believe that we all need to go back to eating just fruits and veggies like they did in the old testament before the flood because people were living to be 900 years old. First of all, given the state of the world today, I personally would not want to live hundreds of years on this earth. Come on Jesus!
More importantly though. If you read your bible, you will see that the life span of people did not diminish solely because they started eating meat. In Genesis 9:3, God told Noah they could eat meat, right after they exited the ark when the flood was over. In Genesis 9:28, we see that Noah lived another 350 years after that, making him 950 when he died. The bible does not mention how long Noah’s sons lived, but we see in Genesis 11:11 that Shem lived at least 600 years and was making babies from 100 to 600 years old. This span of making babies started 2 years after adding meat into their diet. As a matter of fact, prior to the flood, when everyone was still eating just fruits and veggies, we see a child dying before their parent. Methuselah lived to be 969, and he was 964 when his son Lamech died at the ripe young age of 777. They were not eating meat, so how do you explain that?
I said all of that to say this: meat is not the enemy. In Luke, Jesus talks about our heavenly Father giving us good gifts, better than what evil people give to their children that they love. He also talks about how God feeds us better than a crow that wants for nothing. God told Noah that he could eat meat. He would not have done that if it was bad for us. It becomes bad for us when we eat too much, or when we do not cook it properly. It becomes bad for us when we have dietary restrictions because of issues within our bodies. 1 Corinthians 8:8 tells us that eating meat does not make us better or worse in God’s eyes. Those who eat meat should not think lowly of those who do not and those who do not eat meat should not think lowly of those who do. Now, if you know your brother or sister eats a different way than you do, and they are a weak saint, you should not flaunt your way of eating in front of them because it can cause a stumbling block in their faith, and you do NOT want that on your conscience, and you do not want God to hold you accountable for those actions when you face Him on Judgement Day! I digress!
When it comes to nutrition, every “body” is different. I learned recently that eating the right foods is not enough. I was eating a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium diet, 3 meals a day, with healthy snacking in between so I was eating every 2-3 hours. My glucose (blood sugar) levels have always been in the normal range, but my A1C was elevated, so I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. However, with my doctor’s help, and with the help of a nutritionist and pharmacist, I learned HOW to eat, and as a result, I lowered my A1C from 6.2 to 5.5 and I am no longer at risk of diabetes, and I can stay that way as long as I continue to apply what I have learned about how I should be eating.
For those of you who may be struggling in this area, here is what I learned. I should not consume more than 45 carbs per meal, and I should only have 15-30 carbs as snacks in between meals. I realize that people do not like having to count calories or carbs but let me tell you! I would rather read labels and track my food than to deal with taking medication for diabetes or any other disease. When you know better, you should do better, Besides, it is not difficult to read labels and track your food. I am reminded of a sermon my pastor gave recently where he taught us that it is hard to do the easy thing when we have anger, pride, and/or fear guiding our decisions. Don’t get mad when someone tells you that you need to watch what you eat or change your eating habits. Don’t allow pride to keep you from changing your ways and accepting help. Don’t allow fear to keep you from trying a different way of doing things. I will repeat what I said earlier… When you KNOW better, you should DO better!
Here is another way that nutrition impacts your physical fitness. In it’s simplest form, if you burn more calories that what you consume, you will lose weight. In order for that to work, you need to track what you are eating so you know how many calories you have consumed. You also need to exercise and know how many calories you have burned to see the weight loss on paper. Cardiovascular (cardio) exercise burns calories. Strength/Resistance training builds muscle and burns fat. When you add resistance, you tear down your muscles, and you need to consume more protein than usual to help build them back up. Do not be alarmed if you are strength training and not seeing weight loss every day because muscle weighs more than fat. You should be paying attention to how your clothes are fitting. They should be fitting more loosely if you are exercising properly. You need 30 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity cardio exercise at least 6 days per week, and 15-20 minutes of strength training 3-4 days per week. With proper nutrition and exercise, you should see a difference in your size (weight and/or inches) within the first week, and if you are consistent, the progress will continue. There are times when we hit a plateau but shifting our exercise moves can help us overcome and get back to making progress.
Now let’s talk about how nutrition can impact your mental fitness. Sometimes, we are stress eaters. I am guilty of this myself. We feel the pressures of life and we grab something to eat to calm us down, typically something unhealthy. Why is comfort food always unhealthy? Chips, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken and biscuits! It sounds and tastes so good, but it is so bad for you, especially since we never eat just a little bit when we are stressed! I am thinking that unhealthy food is not very comforting if you are trying to eat a healthy diet! It is a vicious cycle! What about when you are trying to be productive? You finally get into a zone and you either forget to stop and eat or you don’t want to quit working because it took you an hour to get in the zone? When you finally do stop, you are so hungry that you overeat! Now you’re gaining weight and starting to feel depressed. Your mental fitness takes a hit when you do not eat a healthy diet. What would you say if I told you I know of a way to help remove stress and increase productivity by making a small change to your morning routine? Have you ever heard of Magic Mind? It is the first ever productivity elixir that you can add to your morning routine to help you be more productive throughout the day! I was introduced to Magic Mind a few weeks ago and let me tell you! They are true to their promises. With the very first dose, I felt a calmness in my thought process, and I was able to focus on my work and get a lot done. It did not take long for me to feel my everyday stress start to melt away and be replaced by peace and laser focus. With day 2, I was wide awake and did not need a nap! Typically, I get tired in the middle of the day, but I was alert all day, and my energy levels were elevated. By day 3, I experienced a decrease in inflammation surrounding my arthritic knee, in addition to the mental focus and productivity. Their motto is do more, stress less, and that is exactly what happened to me! I don’t drink coffee or consume caffeine. My morning routine consists of decaffeinated green tea with my breakfast. Adding Magic Mind to that routine was a game changer! It has ingredients like matcha green tea, which is basically nature’s extended-release version of caffeine. It also has 2 different types of mushrooms, which contributed to my decreased inflammation.
After my trial run, I decided Magic Mind was something I wanted to continue using. If you are having trouble concentrating or getting things going in the morning, I recommend that you add Magic Mind to your morning routine as well! You can check it out at www.magicmind.co/reach (link in the description) Use Promo Code REACH20 during checkout for a 20% discount on your one-time purchase, or for a 40% discount on your first subscription order! The 40% discount only lasts for the next 10 days, so hurry! Place your order today so you too can do more and stress less!
Let’s check out some other nutrition facts. Much research has been done to determine the effects of nutrition on mental health. It does not seem like rocket science to me. Some of the best uplifting conversations have happened around the dinner table! There is something to be said about breaking bread with friends and family. What about people who are eating alone? The research is more geared towards individual nutrition as opposed to eating with friends. One of the articles I read mentioned nutritional psychiatry where patients suffering from mental health conditions are encouraged to evaluate and change their eating habits. This is because our gut health affects our brain health. Gut health has been linked to our mood and emotions. A Mediterranean style eating pattern is suggested for people battling depression. Consuming less alcohol, caffeine, and sugary foods is suggested for people with stress and anxiety. A well-balanced diet, rich in nutrients, is suggested for mood swings and mental well-being. None of these studies said stop eating meat. However, they did suggest that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. That’s a great idea for your body, as well as your mind! Just a little something to think about. I hope today’s message was helpful to you. Remember that you can always reach the unreachable in your fitness goals with GFI. Contact us on our website or social media pages any time with questions. Until next time, blessings to you on your fitness journey, and to God be the Glory!