Fighting Fatigue and the American Diner Breakfast
(Part 1 of a Special 5 Part Series on Body Awareness)
I went out for lunch yesterday and ordered a portobello mushroom wrap with some fresh vegetables, no dressing at the local sandwich and coffee shop.
As always, it was a struggle to find something at a deli, restaurant or take out place that fits my somewhat stringent and holistic dietary requirements.
The server brought out the meal and after I took my first bite, I wasn't sure if I had gotten the right order.
What I was eating was something that tasted more like a mix between tofu and tempeh (a fermented soy product). It was fried and--of course--it tasted good. Everything fried tends to have a wonderful taste, doesn't it?!
This required a more extensive analysis. I examined the contents of the wrap closely--pulling out a piece of the fried food-stuff and taking it apart with a knife. Once I was convinced that there were no meat products in it, I decided that I'd give it a shot... and yes, as I had imagined every bite was just as good an the first!
Then I went home.
I sat down at the computer to check my email and do some writing--with every intention to be very productive--and within five minutes my eyes had shut and I was cat napping right at my desk.
When I woke up a minute or so later, I was instantly reminded of the times in college--and even before that, in high school--when right after a meal, I'd go to class and struggle to keep my head up from the desk. The battle was helpless to fight. I remember distinctly one 2:00PM, large lecture class during my Junior year at Marist where I'd, no fail, fall asleep around 2:15PM and wake up around 2:50PM--missing a whole 35 minutes! Every time! I'd love to find the girls that sat behind me who used to kid me after class about it. They would be a great testimonial to this story!
I now am aware of the reason why my energy stores and most likely yours are being depleted after eating.
My class was right after lunch, and whether I ate at the cafeteria or a frozen pizza at home before class, I was not getting enough fresh foods to keep me at a peak level. Not even enough good food to keep me at a CONSCIOUS level!
Eat a frozen pizza and a few mozzarella sticks from the toaster and guage how you feel in 15-20 minutes. If you're on the couch passed out with the TV on, I think I've proven my point.
On the other hand, eat a salad with just vegetables, nuts and beans or drink a fresh juice and just wait to get tired.
You'll be waiting for a long time. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and all other natural uncooked foods have more nutrients and their food life is digested quickly for immediate use. Your body does not have to labor over digestion when you eat these fresh foods. Your digestive system knows what to do with these foods and knows how to distribute them right away.
When your system gets a glob of eggs, meats, cheeses, sauteed vegetables, toast, butter, 2 coffees, cream, sugar and fried potatoes--what is known to us as the "American Diner Breakfast" it goes into a panic and rushes all your blood to your stomach to take care of the crisis. You suffer by falling asleep or feeling like a truck hit you--hard.
So here's the action your should consider taking...
In the next week, before your next installment of this 5 Part series on Body Awareness, I'd like you to take notice of how your body feels after you eat your food. Do you feel tired? Do you feel like exercising? Are you amazed that you've never noticed how poor you felt after a huge cooked meal?
Don't go any further than just noticing how you feel. We'll address what to do next in seven days.
This will begin to tune you into your own body. It's amazing how much time we spend with ourselves and we never really take the time to figure out what we--our bodies--want. Imagine if your friend was always telling you that they get sick and tired every time they eat a fried meal with no fresh vegetables. I imagine, if you were a concerned friend that you'd tell them they should consider trying a new diet, right?!
Chances are your bodies are telling you the same thing. You've learned to ignore the best friend you could possibly have. Listen to it and recognize the signals it is giving you and you've made the first step to optimal health and fitness.
In Part 2, you'll learn how to create radical change in your body image once you recognize what your body wants.
Until then, keep listening--you'll hear something.
Kevin Gianni is the holistic fitness expert. He is a certified personal trainer and co-founder of Lifestyle Fitness, a home workout program that gives you the tools to radically change your views on health and fitness for the rest of your life.
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