Investing in What Matters Most… Your Belly

Junk Food

by Ryan

Have you ever eaten a whole box of Christmas cookies in an evening?  That’s what I managed to polish off last night which kicked off two days of Ryan’s food meltdown.  Kind of like Pringles – once I pop, I can’t stop!

It all started with the care package from home which included:

  • Christmas Cookies
  • Venison Sticks
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels
  • A Block of Fudge
  • M & M’s
  • Pistachios
  • Peanuts

After demolishing the Christmas cookies in a matter of hours my horrible diet for the last two days began.  Skipping meals, eating a ton of sugars, no vegetables, and not being able to sleep because of my sugar rush has left me feeling horrible.

I have pretty good self control is most areas of my life, but sweet, bountiful and wonderful sweets are what really tempt me.  Staring at me saying “eat me, eat me.”  These sugar laden temptresses are the bane of my existence and the only reason I don’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger!

When I start to eat sugars and miss a meal or two I start to notice a change in my mentality, my ambition, and my general demeanor.  I’m sluggish, lazy, and basically a piece of crap.  I’m horribly unproductive and not nearly as happy.  Which makes me start to realize…

Investing in your body with good food, is probably the best investment you could make.  Here’s why:

Healthy eating contributes to overall healthy growth and development, including healthy bones, skin, and energy levels; and a lowered risk of dental caries, eating disorders, constipation, malnutrition, and iron deficiency anemia. (source: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services)

People who do the four things below live on average an additional 14 years compared with people who adopt none of these behaviors, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Medicine from the Public Library of Science:

1. Don’t smoke
2.
Exercise
3. Drink alcohol in moderation
4. Eat five servings of fruits and
vegetables per day

Those are some pretty telling statements!

How much is an extra year of your life worth?  How much is an extra 14 years of your life worth?  I’d say I’m willing to invest in those things if I can gain another 14 years!

Not only that, think of all the money you’ve wasted on smokes, alcohol, and lost time at work because you’re sick or hungover!

I’m glad I learned this at a young age:

In college I lived on a diet of PB sandwiches, ramen, canned tuna, and other assorted luxury food items.  It filled me up, but it was a lot of empty calories that didn’t really give me a boost.  Now I eat chicken, natural shakes, a ton of fruit, and lots of fresh vegetables.  My grocery bill is higher, but so is my productivity and general outlook.

Sure, I still binge once in a while – Especially when the parents send a box to my doorstep containing 10,000 calories of yummy goodness, but generally I try to treat my body right with proper eating.

If you’re not eating consistent healthy meals throughout the day, I  highly recommend this.  Missing breakfast or lunch will totally screw up how I feel the rest of the day so I’m guessing if you don’t already eat these meals, give it a shot and you’ll probably feel heaps better.

But as Lavare Burton would say on Reading Rainbow: “You don’t have to take my word for it!”

Next time you think about your investment portfolio, take a moment to realize it all begins in your belly.

Do you consider your food an investment in your health?

How much more productive are you when you eat better?

Are there any foods in particular that make you feel better?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Investing Newbie December 23, 2009 at 5:55 am

My Investment strategy for my health is really awful!

1. I don’t smoke. (So I guess +1)
2. I may have exercised a total of 3 weeks for the entire year of 2009. I just decided to get back into it this past Sunday so hopefully I can keep it up through 2010 and beyond (0 points)
3. Ah, the alcohol in moderation. I do have the once a month happy hour I go to which usually ends up with me drinking 3 or 4 drinks. So that’s like 1 drink a week. Is that moderation? Writing that out made me realize maybe not (0 points)
4. I didn’t even know that you had to eat that many fruits and vegetables per day. I am failing horribly at this. But I do have dairy daily! (-2 points)

Hopefully next year will be better.

Ryan December 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult, but if it’s part of a routine it makes it a lot easier. My mom lost a good 50 pounds just by making it a point to walk for 45 minutes every morning. Now I call her a little peanut cause she’s so tiny! Diet is 80% of why people look they way they do though – which is why it’s embarrassing to post my sugar meltdown in this article!

I definitely think #3 is moderation in your example. Especially since I’m originally from Wisconsin and people would drink what you do in a month, in about an hour. Fruits and veggies have changed since the original food pyramid.

Check out the new versus old pyramids at:
http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/food_pyramid.shtml

ElleX February 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

1. Don’t smoke – No problem, I don’t!!!
2. Exercise – Since I got my car fixed, I have been failing terribly here. :-(
3. Drink alcohol in moderation – No problem, I don’t!!!
4. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day – Some days are better than others. My minimum goal is 5 but I like to go for 10 servings. (10 servings is easy if you drink a few smoothies.) So far today, I have had a banana, apple, and two pears.

I do consider food an investment in my future. When I feel better, I am able to think clearer and do more.

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