Posts tagged ‘nutrition’

July 1, 2011

Milk is for Babies. When You Grow Up You Have to Drink Beer.

Yeah, so, summertime. I am terrifically terrible at thinking of anything worthwhile to write on here, so I am not going to think about it and am just going to type away. I have a new job, working as a cook helper in the mess halls at the military base nearby. The pay is really good, but the hours are sporadic, inconsistent. I pretty much have to sit around every day waiting for them to call me to come in from 3:30am until about 1 in the afternoon. It is not as bad as it seems, but I haven’t been getting as many hours lately. Hopefully things will pick up again soon.

I have been in this nutrition class for about four weeks now. I am surprised at how much I like it and am interested in it. I unabashedly write in the margins of my textbook and highlight– something I normally do not do, since I have always tried to sell my school books after I am done with them– but this time I would like to keep this book. It, along with the class, has actually changed my eating habits and my outlook on food. Not the love of it, but the importance of what is actually going in my body. I considered myself to be a semi-healthy eater before, with minor slip-ups here and there, but after this class I will be one of those “crazy people” who reads the food labels and actually knows what everything means. Why that is crazy, I am not sure, as it is something that should be taught very early on for everyone’s benefit. That is just what I’ve been told. I’ll just share some things I have learned that I can remember off the top of my head while I am sitting here:

Try not to eat past six in the evening– unless you consume plenty of fiber on a daily basis. I know, I know, this one is kind of an old one, but I didn’t actually know why we aren’t supposed to eat after six until I started taking this class. In the evenings, your metabolism slows way down as is typical for most people since this time of day is the most sedentary. When you eat during this time frame, your body can’t fully digest things at the rate it would be able to when you are active during the day, so it tries to compensate and speed up the process by not..fully.. digesting things. Basically, while in the intestines, instead of being able to fully break down the food for the nutrients, the body will make these little pockets of crud within the lining of the intestinal tract. These have these undigested food particles and attract all kinds of bacteria, most prominently e-coli. When you get older, your body slowly loses its ability to break down these pockets of fun and they can actually become infected, fill with pus and other nasties, and rupture. This causes severe infection within the abdomen. The good news is that if you eat your RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of fiber daily, about 20-40 grams a day, depending on your gender, the fiber acts as a kind of comb in your intestines since it can’t be broken down by the body and gets rid of those pockets. Mmmm, thanks fiber barber!

Thennn I learned a really un-fun fact that I probably should have already known but didn’t because.. I just didn’t, I don’t know everything!– grilled and smoked foods, especially meats, are really bad for your health. The delicious char marks on your juicy burger are highly carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer. And the juicy burger, unless it’s a chicken or turkey burger, is full of saturated and trans fat and cholesterol and all sorts of crap that will greatly increase your chances of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The latter was not the bit I didn’t know about, just the charred bit. Also, smoking foods fuses the carcinogenic agents from smoke into the food. At least with the char marks, you can scrape them off the surface and probably be okay, but there is nothing you can do about the smoked stuff. /sheds single tear

In any case, if you’re one of those fortunate enough to have one of those stove-top grills that just use electric then you are safe. Pan-frying and oven frying or baking are alternative ways to cook your foods. Another interesting tidbit that I probably should have known but didn’t is that when you cook with a cast iron pan you are actually infusing whatever food you cooked in it with iron. And you need about 8-11 grams a day if you’re a dude, 8-18 grams a day if you’re a woman under 51, 8 grams a day if you’re a woman and over 51, and a whopping 27 grams of iron a day if you are pregnant. Woo!

Dovetailing off that last bit, if you are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant or anticipate being pregnant at any point in your future, do not become iron deficient. Iron deficiency during conception and pregnancy is the main cause of abnormal fetal development that leads to mental retardation. Just read the labels on the foods you buy and try to keep track of how much you’re getting a day, and if you think you aren’t getting enough iron through food alone, a multivitamin pill is a safe thing to take for insurance. Not one of those crazy vitamins-on-steroids that give you like 2000% of your DV, or daily value. Just a nice, normal one that gets you what you need a day. Don’t go crazy.

Speaking of being pregnant… Oh god no, not me. But everyone around me is so pregnant it is not even funny. And all of these pregnant ladies, hobbling about, are just looking at me really intensely. “When are you and Jonas getting married?” or, they give birth and then say, “YOU’RE NEXT–AAHAHA!” I think, when they look at me really intensely, they are trying to use their mind and their eyes to impregnate me. Now, come on, ladies. Leave my uterus alone. Sometimes, people don’t want to be pregnant at 23. Nothing wrong with wanting to be, er. Well, maybe, but that is for another time. Or never, who knows. But I just want to be not with child and finish school and slave away at paying off my student loan debt and figuring out how I’m going to survive in the Midwest as an independent artist and decide whether or not I should move so I don’t totally fail at life. Yeah. I can do without being pregnant right now. /pops birth control like candy.. sweet, delicious, baby-less candy

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