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Nate’s Health Matters, Too

In response to a question posed to health specialists in the area asking how they relate to keeping themselves healthy, while supporting clients’ health…

I have had “Holiday Seasons” that I don’t touch sugar and others, like this one, where I am happy to be through it to get sugar back out of my system. I do love the family time; just not the excessive calories that I can overdue.

I have little ones at home and we have made cookies a few times during the holiday season, this year. Some of it homemade; some of it not. Sugar is sugar and it had destroyed me this season. I feel amazing already going on 4 days without the processed sugar and am excited to see my body and mind getting back to happy, healthy, and strong!

I put on about 15 lbs in the last month due to sugar, as well as the inflammation from it. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that there was 15 lbs of fat gained, but water retention and stress response in the body from all of the bad bacteria, which threw my gut micro-biome out of whack with the emergency response from my body. This lead to less intense workouts, lower mood, less sleep…it can be a vicious cycle. This week, the sugar is gone and it is one day at a time.

For myself, making the choice with mindfulness and focus on new written goals and reading them daily helps build that strength and willpower. Seeing my new self each day is empowering. Feeling how clothes fit better as I continue on better choices is amazing. Success, as they say, is earned daily. If you have a bad day, it’s not over. Reset for tomorrow.

Building a support system, to share our wins and failures is helpful. How we look at failures is the important perspective. Get rid of the guilt, get on with learning why, and create the proper changes. We all have failures and that helps us learn what works. There are so many choices out there.

Logging what we do can help us highlight our biggest challenges and strengths in our health. This can help us connect more with what we want and why.

“New research — albeit in mice, not people — suggests that the brain cells that stimulate the urge to eat may actually be activated by alcohol as well as hunger.”

Science is finally starting to explain why you eat so much when you drink , Lindsay Dodgson and Reuters,  Jan 11, 2017, 7:51 AM

Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will for another. Something that may not have worked for me in the past will work for me now. An example of this is alcohol. I don’t drink alcohol and haven’t for a while now. That was more of an accident with a health goal a couple of years ago, more than a specific goal or plan, but I have zero interest in it now. I had said for so long, if I didn’t have interest in drinking, I would be so grateful. Well, I am in that place, now. I only used to drink on Saturdays and Sundays, for the most part, 2-6 total drinks in a week. The drinks would lead to overeating and worse sleep. Sugar and overeating are still challenges that I have to focus on overcoming each day, but removing alcohol has made it much less of an issue.

I build the strength to avoid sugar within about 72 hours of having it out of my system. After that, my cravings are gone. There are some people that can have that one treat in a day. I have been that person who doesn’t want the brownie, but wants the entire pan of brownies, just so that I don’t have to think about the brownies anymore (not a healthy relationship with it). If it’s cake, I have no interest at all. Ice cream? See the brownie example! I have an ice cream maker at home that I use to turn protein shakes into healthier ice cream, to help with this challenge. This is an example of a challenge I know I have and have developed a solution for. This works 90 plus % of the time for me.

Overeating is something I have been challenged with for as long as I can remember. In the past, I have used consumption as a distraction, overeating due to stress or to bury a task or conversation. When I do well in not overeating, it’s because I am paying attention to what I am eating and enjoying it. I have set many positive health rules and habits over the years, many I know I will never veer away from. Some other habits, though, I know will come and go.

I love chicken wings. If I am making them at home, I put them in the smoker. I don’t have a fryer, nor do I have interest in it. I don’t have any interest in french fries. If there are plain french fries around, I have no interest. Poutine is a different story. I do prefer sweet potato fries and bake them at home, using real sweet potatoes. I rarely eat bread and have little interest in it. I will eat pizza now and then or have a wrap, but very rarely will I have a sandwich.

“I like to tell my patients there’s a truth to the saying, ‘You are what you eat,’” says psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, award-winning author of Depression in Later Life. “High levels of sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates leads to spikes and crashes in glucose levels, which can worsen mood, increase irritability, agitation, irregular sleeping, and increase inflammation.” Instead, munch on lean protein, complex carbs, and foods with omega-3s, folate, and B vitamins.

11 Things Sugar Does To Your Body, Tina Donvito, Updated: Nov. 25, 2019

Fermented foods and making my own kombucha help give me a healthy and happy gut. I don’t get sick. If I do get anything, it is an occasional sinus infection, which I treat with oregano oil. That takes care of it in a couple of days.

I love to listen to educational audio books, while I workout. I get education and great ideas flowing, while improving my health.

We are all better when we put a little focus into our health. The key is making the time for food prep, getting real food that works for us, and scheduling our workouts like we would for our work.

Embrace the challenge and know that you are worth the effort. Negative thoughts are going to come up. Let them flow through and don’t focus on them. Make the time to create the positive ones and get more focus on them. We are amazing human beings. Find the balance and embrace the process!

P.S. I know I am ridiculous. I embrace it 🙂

Your Health Matters.

Live it and Love it!!!

Nate Yandow is a certified trainer, nutritionist, and the owner of Duke's Fitness Center.
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