Awe Fall. Routine settles in again after a long summer. Cozy sweaters. Cooler nights. Busy nights in my family with after school activities. Ski patrol training picks back up. And season passes purchased.
How to best accomplish it all and keep the family healthy at the same time?
I find what works best for my family is planning and prepping. Mapping out the week reduces the likelihood of eating on the go, making poor choices between activities and curbing the ever convenient fast food.
We talk a lot in our family about how to fuel our body correctly for the activity ahead. Eating food that will increase our endurance rather than plummet it. Looking at cause and effect to look back at food choices that were made and how we felt afterward. Good and bad.
We often reference a cookbook that I picked up years ago called Feeding the Young Athlete by Cynthia Lair. The author does a great job of explaining to kids (and adults!) what food groups are and how to make healthy choices. She drills in the importance of hydration and has recipes loaded in whole grains and veggies. For my goal orientated soccer player this book has been a winning strategy for getting healthy meals into him all season long.
I am training my young kids’ minds how to take care of themselves today so that they reap the benefits well into their adulthood. I see in my practice people of all ages. I have come to the conclusion that age doesn’t dictate health. I have seen young people with joint problems and inability to exercise. And I have seen men/women in their 70s hold endurance far better than the young lads on the hill.
Is it in their genes? This longevity thing. Or is it how they perceive their health — a fountain of youth viewpoint? Or is it their healthy daily routine that accounts for their fitness?
I believe it comes from a little of all of the above.
Naturopathic medicine is all about the individual. Finding the path that suits you toward your own individual wellness. As we age cause and effect is ever more apparent. We pay for our play a little (or a lot) more than when we were younger. Being consistent with healthy eating (most of the time) will pay off, keeping you living at your best.
A couple of diets that I steer my patients toward are Anti-inflammatory Diets & Individualized Diets based on Food Sensitivity Testing.
Anti-inflammatory diets are foundational in getting inflammation under control. Looking into this diet is for you if you have pain or inflammation in your joints after one too many Gun runs. This diet emphasizes in removing the nightshade group of foods (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant) plus removing wheat, dairy, soy and sugar. Conversely, this diet gets you eating more dark green veggies, whole grains, fish and nuts. I have had some patients who were able to claim that their pain diminished and movement improved whilst undertaking these changes to their diet.
Food Sensitivity testing is an option to tailor your diet to your own needs. This test is done through a simple blood draw. It looks to see if your immune system is being triggered by specific foods. These food sensitivities are delayed reactions. Continuing to consume foods that you are reactive to can contribute to fatigue, weight gain, skin issues, headaches and digestive complaints, to name a few. Further information about this test can be found at Rocky Mountain Analytical Lab.
Possibly restriction is not where you are trying to be. But rather including a few extra meals in your repertoire that are nutritious, yummy and overall makes you feel good. Some of my favourite cookbooks for expanding my repertoire include Oh She Glows; Nourishing Meals and Against All Grain.
A goal in my family is to bring the kids more into the kitchen this fall. Having them help prep or cook a dish during the week. Here is a simple pregame or mid-ski snack I plan to get the kids to help me make:
Article can be found in Apex Matters
Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats from Oh She Glows
• 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
• 1/2 cup Almond Butter
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt,
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 cups rice crisp cereal
For the chocolate topping:
• 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
• 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
• Unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)
1. Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch square pan, by lining it with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
2. In a large pot over low-medium heat, add the brown rice syrup, almond butter, butter, maple syrup, and salt. Stir well until super smooth and heated through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
3. Stir in the rice crisp cereal until thoroughly combined.
4. Scoop into pan and spread out evenly. Press down with lightly wet fingers or roll flat with pastry roller. Place in freezer to set for 5 minutes while you make the chocolate topping.
5. In a small pot or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat. Once 2/3 of the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.
6. Remove the pan from freezer and drizzle or spread with melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with coconut and place in the freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
7. Slice into squares. Bars will hold their shape quite well at room temperature, but you can store in the fridge to ensure the chocolate stays solid. Leftovers can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.