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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Nutrition is an important topic for people with spinal cord injury, as it should be for everyone – with or without a disability. For myself, I try to eat healthy, only eat “bad” foods in moderation, and exercise regularly. Of course, sometimes I’m better at following my own advice than others! I have never had a serious weight problem, and have not experienced the ups and downs of gaining weight, dieting and losing weight. Perhaps if I had, then this post might be a little different.

However, my son Darren is now following The Paleo Diet. I am not a big fan of eliminating any food group entirely, so this doesn’t seem like it would be the diet I would choose, but I give him credit for trying to lose some weight, feel more healthy and get stronger to bike for 26.2 miles in the upcoming NJ Marathon. (Go Darren!)

According to one website I found, the basics of the Paleo Diet are to:

  • Eat full portions of lean meats and seafood
  • Enjoy fruits and vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and sweets like honey
  • Remove the modern grains and dairy that can be difficult to digest
  • Get rid of processed foods, alcohols, and sugars!
  • Get energy from natural, unprocessed foods – not dangerous diet pills or methods!

Except for the missing carbs, which I feel are of benefit to most people, and dairy products, which can be disruptive but still eaten in a healthy diet, this all sounds pretty good! I have come to believe that a “healthy lifestyle” represents the most important decision we can make if we want to feel and look our best. There was a report released by the American Dietetic Association in 2010 that outlined “Evidence-Based Nutrition Guidelines” for people with SCI. It is a lengthy report (72 pages) that I have not read entirely, but would be happy to send to you if you had interest. As I skimmed its contents, it seems like common sense to me, as is most of the concept of living a healthy lifestyle. I think we all know fruits and vegetables are better than chips and candy, unprocessed food better than processed. But it is up to us to make the better choices, even though we are bombarded with ads for fast food, snacks and generally unhealthy foods or habits.

By forming Team Push to Walk for the NJ Marathon on May 6, we are showing ourselves and our clients that part of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise. We are helping our clients arrange to have hand cycles, and helping them exercise in a way that will strengthen them and give them endurance to participate in hand cycling for 13.1 or 26.2 miles. We want them to feel good about themselves while reaching a goal that will also make them proud of themselves. Eating right and exercising go hand in hand.

If you have any suggestions that have worked for you in following a more healthy lifestyle, please let us know!

Cynthia

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