Hello! Happy day back from Valentine’s Day and happy President’s Day. If you’re like me, and you’re working anyway, sorry. We’ll mourn and eat left over chocolate together. And while we’re doing that… let’s talk about nutrition.
There are so many nutrition tips out there, often saying conflicting things, sometimes it’s hard to keep them all straight. But to be honest, I love them. I love reading about nutrition, hearing about it, talking about it… Which is why I recently attended a Fitness and Wellness Expo at Baylor University.
I’m so glad I went. I had the inside track on the event since I work in the wellness department teaching a cardio dance class, (my fun, evening job) but I like to think I would’ve gone anyway even if I didn’t first hear of the event through work. I love to learn. To be honest, attending interesting events is part of the reason Jon and I wanted to live near campus. Some of the students I was sitting with were there for some credit or another, and bemoaning having to attend something on a Saturday morning, but I, no longer a student who gets to gorge on wonderful learning opportunities, was thrilled. I even took notes, and snapped a few pictures so I could share with you what I learned.
Jana Heitmeyer, M.Ed, RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS, SCCC, the Director of Performance Nutrition at Baylor University, was one of the speakers; she did an excellent job.
I’ll share more of the tips from the expo over the next few weeks, but I’ll start with her first, (and really great) tip- the acronym B.E.A.S.T. If you remember this acronym and the information it stands for, you’re off to a great start, nutritionally.
B– Breakfast, which should consist of protein, starchy carbs, fruit (and veggies are great if you like them for breakfast.) She said eating breakfast is super important, but if you don’t like typical breakfast food, eat something else. You can eat toast with peanut butter and a banana or you can eat toast with avocado and turkey. It’s totally up to you, just eat. You eat to have energy for what you’re doing next and your whole day is ahead of you! You need energy.
E- Eat fruits and veggies often. This one speaks for itself. The best way to make sure you actually eat them, is to have them on hand. Throw an apple and a baggie of carrots in your bag and you’ll be way more likely to eat them than something out of the vending machine. Also- add veggies to things! You want to have pizza for dinner? Well, throw a steamer bag of broccoli in the microwave and either add it on top or eat it as a side. Is pizza the best choice? Probably not. But the key here is balance.
A- Always Hydrate. Did you know that 70% of your body is made up of water? And 77-80% of your muscles are made up of water? Ergo, it makes sense that if you’re not putting enough water in your body (because your body doesn’t make water) you’re muscles won’t work as well. How do you know if you’re putting enough water in your body? Well (sorry for the TMI) your pee should be closer to the color of lemon-aide than apple juice.
S- Sleep and Recover. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, (how awesome your workouts are etc.) if you’re not recovering. Sleep is a vital part of your health. Recovery also has to do with what you’re eating.
T- Think Lean Protein Often. If you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or gain weight your protein size and plate composition make the difference. Two general rules of thumb: First, your portion size should about the size of a deck of cards. Second, to figure out which protein is leaner, go by the rule of legs. The less legs, the more lean. (e.g. cow vs. fish) There are exceptions to those general rules, but they’re good standards to keep in mind.
There you have it. Now go be the best beasty self you can be!
ps. The top picture is from a Baylor blog and can be found here.