Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In order to keep my professional credentials up to date I have to take regular continuing education - as many people have to do. The latest course was a nutrition refresher class, and of course it covered the basics but more interestingly the course taught the new knowledge relating to nutrition.

The basics of Food Labels, the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of nutrients, where energy comes from (carbs, protein, and fat), and all the other basic foundations of nutrition are always interesting to me, and I never tire of reviewing and learning. I mean, just discovering all the healthy whole grains available to us today is enough to give me goosebumps!

But the best part of the class is learning about things that can help us make a difference in our health, as well as new knowledge and research. One terrific source of information and personalized help is HERE .

One of the things I like about the pyramid is the addition of some type of physical activity. The pyramid also stresses the importance of getting some of everything in our food intake - yes, even fats. Perhaps a smaller amount of fat than many of us consume, and smaller portions of protein than we generally eat, and healthier carbohydrates than we're accustomed to choosing, but some of everything is very important.

Balance and moderation are what Nutritionists and scientists have discovered.

I was delighted to learn that all of the nutrients we need can be found in a variety of different foods, so if there's a food I really dislike, I don't have to eat it - I can obtain the healthy benefits of that food from some other food source. So don't let your Mom tell you that you must eat your brussels sprouts - there's some other way to get the nutritional benefits found in brussels sprouts. :)

Although, I must confess that most of the vitamins and minerals we need each day can actually be found in green leafy vegetables. Even nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamins A, & C, although almost all nutrients are found in the dark green leafy veggies!

The reason I mentioned calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C specifically is that these are considered by scientists to be the "Leader" vitamins. These are considered so important that they are listed on Food Labels while all other vitamins and minerals are optional. Scientists have learned that if we consume the RDA of these "Leaders" through foods then all other vitamins and minerals will be consumed at or near the RDA too. This is why the lesser vitamins and minerals do not have to be listed on food labels. Get your RDA of iron, calcium, A & C, and the rest will fall into place automatically!

And the list of what happens in our bodies as a result of having enough of these nutrients is inspiring, the health benefits are well worth eating your spinach! Likewise, the negative impact on our bodies when we don't get sufficient nutrients is also enough to inspire us to make sure we eat those veggies!

Perhaps I'll have a chance to share that info soon. Right now it's waaaaaay past time to put this princess to bed!

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