In my private practice, I get to solve food, diet and lifestyle problems all the time. It is very gratifying for me and the client.
Amplifying that in a group setting with a lunch and learn session helps me stay in touch with what people are hearing, interpreting and thinking. Some organizations are full of healthy people who challenge the edges of my knowledge and send me home with a list of things I want to look further into.
What I usually do is ask for a list of the top burning questions or myths clarification and try to weave a thread of answers that covers most of the group's needs. The themes are often similar but the depths of each answer take on a different form. Here's a peek at the top four health questions from the corporate world.
What is the best timing of food? Is grazing better for energy, digestion and stress management?
Making sure that you get a breakfast that is slow burning will set you up for better blood sugar management for the rest of the day. The best way to do so is to eat is every three hours so that you can allow the stomach to empty, rest and start again. Grazing doesn't allow the stomach to empty and rest but it may work to keep energy levels even for some. You are your own test tube.
Here is the best breakfast I can suggest to maintain even energy throughout the day.
How much caffeine is too much? Is decaf OK?
There is some good evidence that coffee is both liver and heart protective. There are antioxidants in coffee that can't be beat and it appears that they are somehow diminished when decaffeinated. That said, the caffeine content can affect your sleep, energy levels and patience level. There is a limit...it is 300 mg of caffeine each day which is about one large takeout cup of coffee.
What's up with sugar? Is it really that bad?
Oh yes, it is. Some would have you believe that a calorie is just a calorie but the impact of that calorie on your body's processing of it can vary greatly. Straight up sugar (high fructose corn syrup, granulated white or brown included) impact the pancreas and blood sugar level much more dramatically than other calories. In addition, there is some evidence that consuming it can create a leptin resistance in the brain. Leptin is the hormone that tells you when you are full. You want to know that ASAP! Take a look at this information on the impact of sugar and here are some alternatives.
Are carbs all that bad? Is wheat the devil?
We do tend to over-consume carbohydrates which make blood sugar spike but wheat is definitely not poison. There is a radical relatively new approach that says you will lose weight if you drop the wheat. It is simply not true. Some are more sensitive to wheat than others so it can affect digestion. Over-consumption of it can lead to overweight and cutting back can lead to weight loss but there isn't necessarily any more of a connection than that.
Removing all carbs may be a bad idea, we do need many of the nutrients contained therein so here is a chart of some smart carb options. Keep it to about four to six handfuls of carbs each day and we are good.