Did anyone know that the month of march is also known as National Nutrition month?
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.
I personally am not a very healthy eater when the mood strikes, so I make do with work outs and healthier options, which I hope this post sets out to do- to inspire and create awareness for my readers on the daily choices and frustrations we make on a daily basis when it comes to choices related to our health.
I recently learned about Oscar Health, a health insurance provider in New York and New Jersey. Their company sets out to incorporate technology into personal wellness by encouraging their policy members to be proactive in their lives towards health everyday. This is something which I thought personally stemmed well in the idea of taking charge of your own health, and your own life.
This is something in Singapore that I personally feel is lacking in the healthcare industry, and we have become too dependent and critical on healthcare professionals, creating a strain on the profession itself. Sadly, Oscar has yet to branch out to Singapore or Asia. This is not a paid advertisement. This post is solely on my own story and experiences.
The cool bit about their brand distinction between other insurance providers is that they provide free misfit bands as well as have their own Oscar App to track their activities, and be rewarded with cash rewards when they make their own fitness goals. Which is really amazing! A misfit band is actually retailing at $99.99!
So, on behalf of National Nutrition Month (NNM), Here goes my post of how I, personally use technology to find information about healthy eating and to track my own nutrition and health habits.
For those who know me personally, you’d know I’m not a fan of vegetables. It’s been a habit for as long as I can remember, and has been around since I was a kid. To answer all your questions, I think most of it stemmed from how I hated the taste as a kid, and though I was forced often to eat them, as I grew older, my mother left it to my own personal choice to eat vegetables on my own. She nags from time to time now, but she doesn’t force me to eat it. (I am an adult now, after all). There are some exceptions to the rule of no vegetables though, because the main issue for me is the cellulose in the stems of the vegetables, as well as the bitter, crunchy taste that I hated terribly. So, I found alternatives through trial and errors. As of date, the only vegetables I can potentially eat are long steamed brocolli (Soft) and probably spinach that has been cooked in soup.
Yes, I can hear my readers nagging already. “No vegetables????”, “How do you crap???” (yes my friends ask me that all the time). Some just shrug and shake your head. Others just let me be. So, how do I survive without vegetables? I make up for the fibre in……. brown rice, and the water soluble vitamins in……. fruits! I currently eat Naturel brown rice that can be found at supermarkets, and as for fruits (with no thanks to braces), I have cut apples, papayas and even oranges. Fruits are supposedly supposed to be taken before a meal to ensure good absorption of the minerals, so take note guys! With work recently, I’ve been taking my fruits after meals and fighting the Z monster after.
So how do I know what to choices to make when it comes to the healthier option?
I took food and nutrition in Secondary School, and since then, I roughly know which foods are better for me in terms of what my body needs. Example, Vitamin C (oranges) when I have colds. Calcium for teeth or bones (Milk). High Biological Proteins (HBV) in animal meat and Low Biological proteins(LBV) in plant foods and so on. But, if I’m ever confused or forget what equates to what,Very often or not, I use Health’s website. Which is amazing. Because….everything is there!
What I love the most about health, is that they provide everything, from current reads to health trends, to healthier choices and recipes, and to exercise and fitness.
For general health, It’s important to know how much calories on a daily basis you burn. For basic information, your BMR (basal Metabolic rate) is the about of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. As for the rest, it really depends how vigorous your day to day activity is, which affects your calorie burn. Every individual burns differently, so a good gauge would be to just test your BMR (which is your basic burn) (Click here for an online BMR Calculation) and seek professional help for the calories you burn on average. For me, I know on average, I burn 2,100 calories a day which I took at a fat calculator at a gym before I signed a package earlier in 2014. Which isn’t a lot.
You can check your BMR to know how much is the ceiling for eating, and to stretch out your meals through the day. No one should starve! I firmly believe in eating in moderation, and I eat pizzas and fast food from time to time to indulge because…life’s too short to starve. But knowing my calorie burn helps me to gauge and to not over eat.
I love to bake in my free time, and baking usually includes a lot of butter, fat and oil. So whereby possible, I try to use healthier alternatives. Check out Pick Lee’s Website here to read different types of healthier baking alternatives. As for other foods, steaming and boiling are always a healthier choice compared to frying, deep frying and so on. I try not to use oil but instead a non-stick pan when I’m cooking an egg, for example.
Because I don’t exactly keep a good routine for eating healthily, I try to make do with exercise to stay fit and keep my mind healthy and active with whatever time I have. I’m on the chubbier side, so I mostly do cardio exercises to help burn fat. I try to keep my exercises between 20 minutes or more, and do workouts like jogging.
My company has started a workout regime that has been pretty eventful. So if you’re someone like me who has about an hour to spare for lunch during the weekday for a workout, you can try these resources to help you on your health journey!
There are so many youtube links out there that have exercise workouts. Many of my peers love to do the VS workout (victoria secret), but personally I find that not suited to my liking. I’ve been trying HIIT in my free time with my colleagues, but it’s really tough. We like to try the videos from fitnessblender. Check out their profile here!
The biggest loser, Cardio Max DVD
Tougher than it looks, especially for beginners…. when my colleagues and I started this workout, we huffed and puffed and turned all sorts of funny colors because it was SO tough. We were very motivated by the people in the background who were much fitter than us, and we struggled through week 1 and 2 exercises. It’s a pretty good resource as one workout with warm up and downs last about 30 minutes. You can buy their DVD on Amazon!
A much lighter cardio, about 28 minutes in total and you need 1kg weights. I have all 6 discs of the Zumba programme but the Ripped discs focused more on toning with workouts in dance that were easy to follow, conscise and amped up. I bought my discs on http://www.qoo10.sg/ for barely $50 Sgd. And it was worth it. We do this every thursday at work!
APPS FOR FITNESS/Health
An app that focuses on your distance, pace and calories burned tracker. I love this app! It has been with me for almost 3 years now. It’s extremely effective, and even has fat burning programmes with a built in voice trainer to help you (though I just jog at my own pace). The only issue is that you have to carry your phone with you, and if you own a samsung note, that can be a heavy issue. so, I bought a Garmin Forerunner to help me when there are days on a run that I don’t feel like being contacted or disturbed. It helps so much!
For females, it’s really self explanatory. Don’t you just hate it when you get your period outside and you’ve completely forgotten that it’s that time of the month, only to find you have no pad on you, and none of your friends do? I hate it. Period Tracker was recommended to me by my friend Caroline when I was still a student in tertiary. It helps me by reminding me as much as 3 times before my expected period date so I remember to carry a pad with me, just in case!
My fitness Pal
I hated this app when I downloaded it because It consistently stopped me from eating the food that I loved with constant reminders,and it made me sad each time they told me I had exceeded my calorie budget. So if you love food like me and hate to be reminded, remember to off the notifications! It’s good to track your calorie count in my opinion but not be too fixated on it, which is what we girls tend to get too conscious about from time to time, no thanks to media’s perfect body image. Boo.
Summing up my fitness journey!
Fitness is something that comes hand in hand with health and technology has definitely helped us create more awareness as to what is good for our bodies, and have made the information vastly and readily available for us. Choosing the better option in our fitness and food habits is a conscious choice that each individual has to make!
So dear readers, I hope this post has helped or inspired you to try out some of the things I did, I am no fitness instructor but these are the things that technology has helped aided me over the years in my fitness journey towards better health. I wish you all the best in your own fitness journey!
Lots of love