Life is a Contact Sport

Who hasn’t felt that they have been tagged out, put in the penalty box, run a marathon, experienced the agony of defeat or the joy of victory? Life is a challenge that to live fully and well requires preparation, participation and recovery every single day.
I recently attended the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association (CPSDA) conference in St. Petersburg, FL. At the conference, Sports RD’s (Registered Dietitian’s) from all over the country who work with athletes at all levels of competition convene to discuss the best tactics to fuel these performance professionals, college athletes and most recently America’s military to achieve the best results and perform at their peak potential.
As topics such as hydration, nutrient timing, adequacy of vitamins and minerals and ensuring enough protein and carbohydrate to fuel, perform and recover from a workout were discussed, it occurred to me that we all need to be treating our bodies as complex machines (Ferrari’s, Toyotas or Kia’s) depending on how hard and fast we live life. If we are mindful eaters who “eat to live” instead of “living to eat” and respect our bodies with balance, variety and moderation, we will have more energy, be more productive and feel good.
As we think about our day, we should plan to fuel our bodies with at least 3 meals a day including some protein, carbohydrate and fat. For example, a carton of low-fat Greek yogurt with a banana and peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast. For lunch, tuna salad made with grapes and celery sandwich with light mayonnaise on rye, carrot sticks with ranch dressing to dip and a glass of low-fat milk. For dinner, 3-4 ounces of grilled chicken served with ½ cup mashed potatoes as well as 1 cup grilled mixed vegetables and a fruit and yogurt parfait for dessert.
These nutrient-rich examples not only keep people satisfied but provide nutrients and energy to help fuel a busy day at the office, on the playground or navigating traffic. The MyPlate method of meal planning can serve as a basic guide to ensure that we are eating a nutrient-rich diet.
In addition, not just elite athletes need regular physical activity. Physical activity helps your body use calories efficiently and effectively to promote good health and good humor. If you are exercising or perhaps considering training for a 5K or other competition, the emerging leader in health and wellness coaching, a Sports RD, can help you achieve those goals optimally and transform life from a spectator to a contact sport optimizing our potential every single day.

Mother’s Day

Sometimes being a mother is hard. I have been absent from blogging for a while as this past month my daughter was severly injured playing softball and ended up in the emergency room with what we thought was only a concussion. We were sent home with pain and anti-nausea medication and she was given a shot for nausea. She did not get up or eat for almost two entire days. Then, when I did wake her up she was still not hungry and complained that her neck was hurting.
For those of you who are moms (or dads for that matter), you know at this point, I was in a state of panic. Thus, we spent an entire day at doctor’s office and hospital finding out that this was not your ordinary garden style sports concussion. She has a grade 3 concussion with whiplash. Because of the direction and force with which she was struck by the ball, she has been temporarily bedridden, can now barely attend school and missed her entire junior year TAKS tests. Her trainer at school has sent us to a specialist who additionally diagnosed her with vestibular dysfunction. She may not be able to play sports and struggles with headaches and dizziness every day.
I am writing this to impart, I spent days either crying or trying not to cry in front of her. And the bigger lesson, how much the support of my friends and family meant during this trying time. Whether it was texts, phone calls or other support, it all helped. Thus, I am finally getting to the food part of this story. We all know how meal time during the holidays brings us together as a family, however, when the dust settled, it was my best friend taking me to lunch while my older daughter stayed with her sister that finally helped me return to a sense of normalcy. We went to a little restaurant called The Pie Place in Burleson, TX. A 15 minute drive from my house. It is quaint and homey with great food and a country atmosphere. I had the Cashew Chicken Sandwich on croissant and the Baked Potato Casserole while Diane had the Bacon Chicken Sandwich and Tortilla Soup. Whereas here I would normally impart some facts about the nutrients in these foods and how they contribute to good health or an overall balanced diet which is true, especially in times of stress being well-nourished helps maintain immunity and sticking to nutrient-rich foods from the basic food groups can help maintain good health in general to get us through.
However, food not only holds properties of nutrition but also of nurture and a quiet meal reflecting with a good friend can be just what the doctor ordered to bring a mom back to herself. The fact of the matter is that sometimes food shared with friends is just good for the soul.