• Jennifer Hooke

Feed the Good Wolf

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed.”
Feed the Good Wolf and Feel Good as you move through life. As we focus on feeding our ‘Good Wolf’ let’s also shed some light on feeding our bodies to nourish them for our journey to living well and becoming the best version of ourselves we can be. Food is Fuel! It gives us the ability to function based on energy systems in our bodies. Energy systems, in a nutshell, are our bodies way of choosing which gears to turn and which energy source to pull from based on what type of activity we’re doing. I’ll try not to get to scientific here, but it’s easier to understand and appreciate the whole “Food is Fuel” when you can grasp the basic idea of where our functionality actually comes from. Macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fats The key here is maintaining a healthy balance of each throughout the day, preferably in whole food form versus processed and packaged. A basic guideline of balance is roughly 25-35% protein, 45-65% carbohydrate, 20-30% fat - this might change if you are an athlete or have specific goals. Protein’s Purpose: Protein is termed the building block of the body. It is called this because protein is vital in the maintenance of body tissue, including development and repair. Hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs are all made from protein. Carbohydrate’s Purpose: The role of carbohydrates is to provide energy, as they are the body’s main source of fuel, needed for physical activity, brain function and operation of the organs. All the cells and tissues in your body need carbs, and they are also important for intestinal health and waste elimination. Once in the body, carbohydrates are easily converted to fuel. The two types of carbohydrates are simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates, aka: simple sugars, include sugars found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk, as well as the bad sugar- the whites, the candy, the processed sweets. Complex carbohydrates, also called starches, include whole-grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. Most complex carbs contain fiber, which helps digestive health and increases satiety, reducing overeating and weight gain. Fat’s Purpose: Fat is a concentrated source of energy. It also provides an absorption source for these fat soluble vitamins- Vitamins A, D, E and K- they cannot function without adequate daily fat intake. Vitamin A keeps your eyes healthy and promotes good vision, vitamin D assists in keeping your bones strong by boosting calcium absorption, vitamin E protects cells by neutralizing free radicals and vitamin K is important for blood clotting. Opt for good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, or MUFAs and PUFAs, whenever possible. These heart-healthy fats stabilize cholesterol levels and lower your overall risk of cardiovascular disease when you consume them in place of bad fats. Eat on Purpose. Below is a list (don’t feel limited to these items, they are just examples) I’ve put together for you to help in the balanced and healthy choices you make: Protein Tuna Skinless, Boneless chicken Steak (also in the fat category) Cottage cheese Greek Yogurt Eggs and Egg Whites Protein Powders (quality whey or plant)- avoid artificial sugars like aspartame and sucralose. Any Fish (salmon, tilapia, etc) Lean cuts of pork Lean ground turkey or lean ground beef (80/20 or higher) Milk Shrimp Venison, Buffalo, etc Carbohydrates Brown/ White Rice Quinoa Oatmeal Rice cakes Whole wheat/brown rice/quinoa pasta Whole wheat bread (Ezekiel or Dave’s Killer Bread are great!) Whole wheat tortilla shells- LOVE FLAT OUTS Apples Bananas Grapefruit Blueberries Strawberries Raspberries *ANY FRUIT is a carbohydrate Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, or any green veggies Sweet Potatoes (yams) Potatoes Kidney beans, Black beans, Chili beans, Garbanzo beans, etc Multigrain Cereals or Granola Fats Natural Peanut butter Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, etc Fish Oil Coconut Oil Olive Oil Flax Chia Avocado (also under fruit/veggies) Wheat Germ Sunflower seeds Pumpkin seeds Enjoy the process of discovering nourishing foods! Figure out what you like and find joy in the journey of knowing you are feeding the good wolf while also feeding your body into becoming your BEST self. Stay tuned for Blog Post# 3 - Compare Less, Feel More. Begin your Health and Fitness Journey Here.. Cheers to good fuel for our mind, body and soul! Until next time, Jennifer Hooke NSCA- CPT, CSCS INNERSTRENGTH SPORT AND WELLNESS, LLC www.innerstrengthorlando.com
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