Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curious about Diet: Is Your Lifestyle Diet Working as a Healthy Habit or Is It Making Your Real Age Older?

Definition of Diet: Course of living or nourishment; what is eaten and drunk habitually; food; victuals; fare. A course of food selected with reference to a particular state of health; prescribed allowance of food; regimen prescribed. To cause to eat and drink sparingly, or by prescribed rules; to regulate medicinally the food of. To eat according to prescribed rules; to eat sparingly; as, the doctor says he must diet.

I certainly feel that the time is not far distant when a knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one's education. Then mankind will eat to live, be able to do better mental and physical work and disease will be less frequent.” - Fannie Farmer (1857-1915), American celebrity

Well, Fannie Farmer missed the mark, didn’t she? Obesity in our country is so prevalent that every year many new diets and diet books are introduced. However, we and our children are in serious lifestyle modes that are robbing us of healthy living.

In the fitness classes I teach and lead, I experience students who exercise hard, but must be eating many more calories than they need. They are getting heavier by the day. They see that I am slim and say to me, “You don’t have to worry. You are naturally skinny.” Not so. I not only exercise daily, I watch carefully what I eat and don’t eat.

I was lucky to have a mother whose mantra was, “We are what we eat.” She prepared lots of vegetables and fruit dishes – no fried foods or foods laden with gravy or rich sauces. Yes, on special occasions, she baked the best pies I have ever tasted. We never had chips or soda pop in the house and ice cream only once in awhile.

My first year in college, I started gaining weight from eating the starchy foods and hitting the snack bar regularly. And, fortunately, I woke up and started to watch what I ate. I learned it is not always easy to control one’s eating, so I know how hard it can be. I also know how wonderful and energetic I feel. It is worth it.

Of course, I found many, many excellent quotations that I hope will encourage you and your healthy eating habits:
  • And I believe that the best buy in public health today must be a combination of regular physical exercise and a healthy diet.”- Julie Bishop, Australian politician
  • Hope is a very thin diet.” - Thomas Shadwell, English dramatist
  • I always recommend a sensible diet, including lots of carbohydrates and avoiding too much fat. Dancers don't need different fuel from other people - they just need more of it because they use more energy.” - Deborah Bull, British dancer
  • I am now in that happy comfortable state that I do not hesitate to indulge in any fancy in regard to diet, but watch the consequences, and do not continue any course which adds to weight or bulk and consequent discomfort.” - William Banting, English celebrity
  • Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don't realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating .” - Jack LaLanne, American athlete
  • What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.” - Alexander Pope, English poet

And, I have to share a few with a twist of humor:

  • Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” - Jim Davis, American cartoonist
  • In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.” - Winston Churchill, British statesman
  • I told my doctor I get very tired when I go on a diet, so he gave me pep pills. Know what happened? I ate faster.” - Joe E. Lewis, American comedian and singer
  • The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you're off it.” - Jackie Gleason, American actor

And a couple to remember and use:

The circuit training program along with a healthy clean diet is the way to excellent results.” - Lee Haney, American athlete

My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit. I am a big fruit man, I am a vegetable man anyway. And I also get a lot of rest. That's the key I may be up early, but I'm in bed early too.” - Magic Johnson, American athlete

So, there you have it. Take your time and persevere. You will be glad you did!