Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Food Continuum

Had a great training session today - Shelley and I met up and did John's RPM class - I was able to thoroughly cane it for the first six tracks and then by Track 7, I thought I was going to be sick (in the best possible way). Had a few stops and starts during that track, but with Shelley's encouragement beside me, I was able to bring it home strong (and Shelley missed out on me giving her a complimentary dial turn!)

We had a great morning tea at the Vietnamese deli and got onto having a really interesting conversation about the point at which there is absolutely no benefit to cleaning up your eating more than you already have. I have to admit that when it comes to eating, my tastebuds absolutely rule - I am pretty adventurous in trying new things but if I don't like it, I simply won't eat it. My latest case in point - Vital Greens. A Greens supplement is a strong recommendation in the Precision Nutrition plan - I think the premise behind the supplementation is strong, but when it comes to application of the premise, I am just not there - WHY - because I can't stand the taste of Vital Greens. The dread factor in chugging down a drink with this puppy in it is high.

For me, I need to weigh up the risk/benefit with the Vital Greens - is my performance whilst taking it any better than when I am not taking it? How long do I need to take it for to determine the difference? I don't believe I have taken it long enough to notice a difference but then again I make a conscious effort to get in lots of veggies during the day and usually always have vegetable juice in the mornings. At this point I don't think trying to get past the taste is going to make me any healthier than I already am.

On the supplement side, I'm a bit of a zealot with what I will and won't take. When I was practising pharmacy, I got into evidence based complementary medicines, that is looking at naturopathic/herbal supplements and finding supported (and replicable ) studies that support their efficacy. If it has an effect on the body, positive or negative, it becomes a drug - interesting stuff (and many prescription drugs are derived from plants which is why I have a cackle when someone tells me they only take "natural" stuff) . I'm really interested in the idea of nutrition playing a supporting role in medicine. I take very few supplements and try to get most of my nutrition from food, though in order to get in good fats, I try to remember to take my fish oil.

We also talked about eating plans that take out major food groups on the grounds of "health". I think that as soon as whole food groups or macronutrients start disappearing from eating plans, said plan has morphed into a diet, and diets suck out the enjoyment of eating! Unless you are lactose intolerant, why completely eliminate dairy products? This doesn't mean licence to eat cottage cheese topped with yoghurt for every meal, but losing my yoghurt, cucumber and tomato salad that accompanies my tandoori chicken tonight in the interest of "health" takes away the inherent pleasures that the right accompaniments bring!

To me the notion of being in "good health" means having a healthy sense of balance between the ying and the yang so to speak - being overly obsessive about healthy is just as unbalanced as not giving a damn. It's all about finding the middle ground, not always sexy, but constant :)

What does "good health" mean to you?


Jacque said...


I agree with you 100% about finding that "balance" with all aspects of a healthy life. I was 6 weeks into comp prep ( until Sunday) and finding that balance became harder and harder as time went on. Every trainer has a different view on what eating on a comp prep diet should entail and i can tell you that depriving or cutting out certain foods ( esp 4 months out from comp!!) not only lead me to obsessing about everything that past my lips, but just made the whole process a miserable one. Needless to say 6 weeks in and i gave up. The diet that was given to me was not sustainable. It made me realise once again how much i value my mental and physical health more than anything :)

ss2306 said...

I like it! I like it a LOT!!

Kek said...

I think you nailed it exactly, Liz. I'm not finding comp prep any kind of a hardship - I even went out for lunch today. It never occurred to me to say no because "I'm on a diet".

I'm with you on the Greens drink. If I have to hold my nose and chug it down, it's just not gonna happen...

Irene said...

I really want to find that balance, you are my hero! :)

Lisa said...

Excellent post as usual Ms LiZ

Michelle said...

Amen to that!

Sam D-M said...

Hi Liz,

Great post!

Its all about perspective. Good health to me is exerciseing because it is good for you physically and mentally (not to loose weight). And limiting the consumption of processed foods.... oh, and lots of veg :)

Works for me, I fell great :)!