Are We What We Eat?

by Joan Jacobsen | July 25th, 2012 | Fitness Expert, Nutrition

One should never assume that being physically active alone is the solution when living a fit and healthy lifestyle. Oh contraire, we must add nutrition into the mix to continue following the path of good health. Just because we exercise 30 minutes a day, does not mean we can load up on fatty and sugary foods; this thinking will negate all of the time and effort it took us to work that half hour into our busy schedules.

With so much interest and present day studies that revolve around childhood and adult obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer causing foods, it is no small wonder that nutrition plays an important role in our every day lives. There is so much written on the subject of nutrition and health, that it is difficult to find the correct portions, of how much protein we actually need, or just how many carbohydrates we should include in our balanced menu planning. Eating fresh produce and whole grain breads would never sabotage our diets, as long as we don’t add high sugared salad dressing or slabs of butter to these otherwise healthy items.

As individuals each one of us should be aware how much of these foods are recommended to consume on a daily or weekly basis to provide the vitamins and amino acids that are needed to support our lifestyles. I’ve discovered a website that asks for our age, weight, height and how much physical activity we perform on a daily basis, and it will calculate their suggested healthy ideas to incorporate into our daily diet plan. The website is called choosemyplate.gov ; it is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is based on a calorie food pattern which will give you their ideas of a good guideline that could work for you. I entered my personal information, and this was the result of the daily plan that was provided for me:

Grains ~ 6 ounces with half being whole grain

Vegetables ~ 2.5 cups of various

Fruits ~ 2 cups

Dairy ~ 3 cups

Protein Foods ~ 5.5 ounces

Also included were to add 6 teaspoons of oils per day, and to limit my extra fat and sugars to 260 calories. Now that does not give me a free pass for eating a crème filled donut or cupcake as a daily habit, it just means that I should be willing to limit those empty calories (thank goodness I lost my “sweet tooth” and have a more sophisticated palate now).

I’ve never weighed my food or jotted in a food journal, but I think I will start to, because it makes sense, and it will keep me on track. Many people I’ve encountered through the years keep tabs on everything that they consume, and swear by this practice. I’ve gained a few unwanted pounds from my initial weight loss of sixty over two years ago. I’m not aiming for that unrealistic body type, I like my curves, but just want to kiss my muffin-top goodbye, so I’m hoping that my new plan will work. As always I will run, hoop, use weights, and add a little bit of yoga and strength workouts to my exercise routine, because this will benefit eating my nutritious meals. Maybe, just maybe, we really are what we eat!


  1. lois says:

    Great job!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.