Body Fuel: Fill ‘er up!
The athletes who come to me for health coaching know the value of training and investing in the practices that will increase their performance. It takes work. They put in the work, and they get better and better over time. I coach them with my cute sayings, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!” And my favorite, “You can’t move a parked car.” Athletes know that the more time they spend with their coach, in the gym, on the track, or at practices, the more wins will go in the win column. Winning athletes also know (or at least they do after they meet with me) that they must fuel their bodies well if they want their bodies to be strong, flexible, full of energy, and performing at their best. Fuel matters to athletes. Fuel matters to all of us. All machines require certain and specific care. Each is designed to need and utilize certain fuel or input in order to achieve the desired outcome. So, the type of input will determine the type of outcome. Garbage in = garbage out. Fuel matters to machines. Take computers, for example. These amazing machines are dependent on the input to work well and to provide the expected results from their operation. Our computers want to work well for us, but they can’t do anything without our input. They are limited by the input we give them. They can’t do spreadsheets by themselves, and they definitely can’t calculate correct expense reports without the correct data entry, and that is on us.
This blog did not write itself! Most poor performance is connected to human limitations. I can, and do, get mad when my MacBook Pro doesn’t do what I expect it to do, need it to do (right now), know it CAN do, or what I paid big bucks for it to do! It was expensive, and thankfully it came with AppleCare Support! I’m on a first-name basis with some of the technicians. The problems that I have are usually (okay, almost always) connected to user error or the input I am giving this amazing piece of machinery. My computer is quite capable of miraculous performance and so many vital tasks, but not if I don’t give it the right input. Fuel/input matters to computers.Automobile engines run on gasoline, diesel, or electricity. You can put a lot of different things into the tank and fill ‘er up. It’s certainly your choice. You have the freedom to choose what you put in the tank, but pay attention when I say, sugar water is great for filling my hummingbird feeder, and though it could fill up the tank of my VW Beetle, it would destroy the engine, and it would not be the fault of my “Lady Bug” at all. The correct fuel matters to automobiles. Likewise, if I don’t take care of my bug, monitor her performance, or the gauges that tell me her condition, I may find myself stranded on the side of the road! If I do not put gas in the tank and I just keep driving and driving thinking that she can continue at the same performance level, I will eventually find out otherwise! If I ignore her need for proper fueling, I will eventually run out of gas. I can get mad at the car, kick the bumper, and blame the empty tank on the car, but it isn’t the car’s fault. I can even complain to Volkswagen for designing a bad car, but it isn’t the designer’s fault either. It is the owner’s responsibility to see that the proper care and the correct fuel is in the tank for the automobile to perform at its best, do the job it was designed to do, and do so for a very long time.
Fuel matters to machines, computers, automobiles, athletes, and I hope it matters to you also. I am sure that you see where I am going here. If you take care of your car engine, fill the tank with the fuel that it was designed to use, and do not try running on empty, or ignore the gauges offering indications of trouble, then your car will likely serve you well for many years, fulfilling your dreams of travel near and far.If you take care of your computer and provide it with the right input, it will likely perform all of the functions that you ask of it, and it will get the job done. Likewise, if you take care of your body, provide it with the appropriate care for all of the systems — which knowingly or unknowingly — you depend on every moment of every day, it will likely perform all the functions well. If you watch the gauges that indicate potential problems, fuel it well, and treat it with the care the designer intended, it too, can fulfill your dreams, serve you well for many years, and get the job done with plenty of energy to spare.These amazingly complex machines are completely dependent on us choosing the fuel and input to perform well, live long, and not break down. Food is fuel for your body. Fuel it well. Fill the tank with foods that deliver health, strength, energy, and focus.
These foods are easily accessible, taste great, and fuel you for a lifetime of health and wellness.
Right carbs – vegetables, fruits, berries - for sustained energy, reduced inflammation, build strong immune system function and fight oxidation or free-radical damage.
Right fats – unsaturated fats from avocados, almonds, olive oil, and Omega3 from wild-caught fish for brain and heart health.
Right protein – plants, beans, peas, poultry, and fish are the best sources for muscle growth and repair.
Water – plenty of it! I believe, if you wouldn’t shower in it, it isn’t cleansing your body. Green tea is great, but if you wouldn’t shower in it...
Fuel your body well for optimal performance.
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– Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC
Health Advisor | Email Stephanie