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Take time to eat right, wellness consultant urges

GLORIETA, N.M.(BP)–Frenzied people with hectic schedules might believe they deserve a quick trip to a fast food restaurant.

But nothing could be further from the truth, said Tommy Yessick, wellness consultant for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Busy people need to eat right.

“You can eat some of what you want if you eat all of what you should,” Yessick told a group of recreation ministers attending the Rec Lab seminar, “Six Hints to Eating Better when Busy,” held at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center, Glorieta, N.M, Feb. 25-March 2.

“You are made up of one hundred trillion cells, and those one hundred trillion cells like to be happy. If your cells are happy, you are more likely to fight off disease and make it through hard and stressful times,” Yessick said.

Cells are impacted in four ways, and one is a healthy balance between activity and rest, he said.

Another is good nutrition. “What you put in your mouth today impacts your cells for the next 48 to 72 hours,” Yessick said.

Third is stress management. “Put stress in its proper perspective by realizing it’s necessary, but remove yourself from it by dealing with it,” he noted.

The fourth way a cell is impacted is through vitamin and enzyme supplements. “You have to have these four things in the right mix to have happy cells,” he said.

Americans eat, on average, 150 pounds of sugar a year, plus 20 pounds of sugar substitute, Yessick said.

“They’ll have a candy bar and wash it down with a diet soda.”

They eat 67 pounds of fat; 27 pounds of high-fat cheese, most of it on cheeseburgers and pizzas; 51 gallons of soft drinks, but fewer than 24 gallons of milk (less than a glass a day).

“The Scripture says, ‘Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God,'” Yessick reminded.

People should have a good understanding of nutrition to keep it in proper balance, he said.

“Good nutrition is consuming 45 essential nutritional ingredients that must break down, digest, absorb and metabolize in your body, while maintaining a healthy weight,” Yessick said.

Essential nutrients include carbohydrates; fat, saturated or unsaturated; protein; nine amino acids; 13 vitamins; 19 major minerals; and water.

“You’ve got to have six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Every chemical process in the body takes place in water.”

Before providing his list of six tips for busy eaters, Yessick gave the group “Tommy’s Top 10 Tips to Improve Nutrition,” starting with the 10th and working down.

10) Eat breakfast every day. “A person who does not eat breakfast takes three to five years off his life expectancy. Your body has to have that glucose. It’s a tremendous stressor on your physical condition if you don’t eat breakfast.”

9) Reduce animal-based protein consumption. “We just eat too much meat. A serving size should be about the size of a deck of cards, but in America, our portion sizes continue to grow.”

8) Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day (that’s five total of both). “The American Institute for Cancer Research says if every man, woman and child would eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cancer would go down 20 percent. And if they exercised, it would go down 40 percent.”

7) Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods.

6) Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day.

5) Know your fats, saturated and unsaturated. “Know the difference in those fats and what they can do to your body.”

4) Eat food as close to its natural state as possible. “Eat things raw, raw fruits and vegetables, stone ground whole wheat bread.”

3) Get some exercise. “One of the best ways to help nutrition is to get some moderate exercise.”

2) Apply the 80/20 rule. “Eat right 80 percent of the time and 20 percent of the time you can ease off. If you have 21 meals a week, you can ease off for four of those. Identify desserts you like ahead of time and only eat those.”

1) Do it for life. “That has a double meaning. Do it for quality of life and do it for quantity of life.”

Yessick’s six tips for busy eaters include:

— Plan ahead. “People say, ‘I’m too busy to plan, but they have enough time to stand and wait in a fast food line.”

— Stock your pantry like the basic food pyramid. That means plenty of breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, grains, fruits, beans and vegetables. “If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it and neither can your kids. We have a one sugar a day rule in our house.”

— Double up cooking or stock up cooking. “Plan and prepare double what you need so you won’t be tempted to eat wrong foods.”

— Have and take fruit everywhere.

— Live by the three B rules, breakfast, bagels and bananas. “Eat breakfast even if it’s only a bagel and banana.

— Water, water everywhere. “Drink plenty of water.”

“Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God so you can serve him better and longer,” Yessick said.

Rec Labs are leadership conferences for ministers who work in the field of sports and recreation and are sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. More than 100 people attended the Glorieta conference. A separate Rec Lab was held in January at Lake Yale Conference Center in Florida. For more information about Rec Labs, call (615) 251-3848 or e-mail John Garner at [email protected].

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