Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Junior Golf: Choose These Foods For Better Attitudes

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at some food choices, snack choices, that can contribute to better health and attitudes for everyone in your house.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

When we think of snacks, it’s easy to immediately gravitate to candies, sweets, chips and sodas. And there are times during a competitive round of golf that the brain needs glucose. There is a regimen of snack items that may not be the first group that comes to mind, but that provide considerably more benefits to your junior golfer than just simple sugars and carbs. Eating too much sugar and carbs is harmful to everyone’s health and does not benefit your young athlete’s performance!

Here’s a sample list of healthier snack items for both the home and the golf course. Granted, the 1st time your son/daughter finds these in the place of some previous items, you may get a look or comment like, “Really, Dad?”

Delicious and healthy:
Hard-boiled eggs. These are packed with nutrition, are quick and easy to eat and will hold up in a baggie during a tournament.
Cut up fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple. Keep this in the refrigerator. Not the best choice for competition because it can be messy.
Whole fruit. An apple, banana, pear, strawberries, blueberries, orange, figs or dates hold up quite well during events. Keep some at home, sitting out, easy to see and grab.
Cut up veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
Beef jerky without msg-monosodium glutamate. Read the label, this can be tough to find. Costco usually has some in stock.
Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and even peanuts offer decent fat and protein. Raw is best but your kiddo may prefer roasted and salted, that’s OK. It’s still more beneficial than a lot of things he/she could be eating.

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Photocredit:Today’s Golf

While your child’s initial reaction may be that you are ruining his/her life by offering some new and different snacks, the fact is that your goal is to help them navigate towards a healthier diet. Everyone loves an occasional candy bar or bowl of ice cream, but athlete’s bodies have increased nutritional requirements. Athletes who compete at the highest levels pay strict attention to what and how much they eat. The competition requires it!

Parents, the goal here is to introduce your youngster to paying attention to what goes in their mouth and how does it affect their golf game. A healthier mind and body for your junior golfer means an enhanced ability to perform at a high level, a lower risk of injury and quicker healing from injuries. Set a good example. Pick up one of the new snack items, state that it actually tastes pretty good and offer one to your child. You know what? He/she will actually enjoy a couple of the new items.

Dad and Mom, you could always make a statement to your junior golfer like, “Come on, let’s get healthier together!”

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Best Performance-Enhancing Breakfast

In this Wednesday Waggle we will adventure into the world of nutrition. This is an ever-changing area with new data being released daily. There are some very solid guidelines for a nutritional breakfast that will support your junior golfer and give him a chance for a good round of golf, at least nutritionally speaking.img_0102

Every child is unique and has their own favorite breakfast items. Details are different depending on whether you have a son or daughter. Things and tastes, including quantity, change often depending on the sex and age of your kiddo. Without getting into too much science here, there are some definite do’s and don’ts for the first meal of the day, and this is even more important on a tournament day and of course, everyday.(Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Researchers found, I don’t know maybe 10 or 20 years ago that protein was absolutely essential as part of a healthy breakfast. It activates certain cognitive cells in the brain which means that your youngster will be sharper, and have more recall and clarity than without any protein to start the day. Kids who ate protein before school consistently had higher test scores than those who did not consume any protein. Ok, bacon and eggs, anyone? How about some yogurt or a glass of milk? Please consider avoiding the junk cereals and the temptation to just have a couple of slices of toast. If you don’t have time to cook, keep some full fat yogurt on hand and put some fruit in it. We prefer organic dairy products for our family.image

Here’s what was easy for S3. Being in South Texas, we will love good breakfast tacos and they are everywhere. So before tournament day, we would locate a good taco place that was near our route to the course. This accomplished several goals. It gave us a timetable for when to leave the house in order to make a stop for tacos and eat them in the car while driving to the course, it provided good nutrition and it checked breakfast off the list. Parents, remember that teenage boys can have big appetites, but I don’t think I ever saw S3 or 1 of his teammates eat more than 2 tacos before teeing off. They needed the food, but were wise enough to know they didn’t want to be miserable either. (image Alonti catering)

Proper nutrition at the right time puts your son in a position to succeed, sets him up for success. Mom and Dad, that is always a top priority. Remember, you’ve got to include protein in breakfast! Don’t worry about carbs, they’re everywhere, they’ll show up on their own.

See you on #1 tee looking alert… Sam

Junior Golf: No Artificial Sweeteners

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our look at the world of sweets. Congratulations on wanting to take control of your family’s health. This process is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires constant vigilance and a desire for more education. A critical step is controlling everyone’s sweet tooth and in our family part of that process is avoiding artificial sweeteners. No artificial sweeteners. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

The 3 most common are saccharin, aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These are found in 1,000’s of food items, even in some canned vegetables and can be very difficult to find on the label because a number of different names are used to confuse us, the consumers. To help with the confusion factor, consider buying only products that have ingredients that you can pronounce or at least have some idea what they are and are fewer in number. When you see sugar or cane sugar on the label, it’s pretty clear where the “sweet” comes from. In the USA beet sugar is mostly made from genetically modified beets, GMO’s, so we never knowingly consume sugar from USA sugar beets.

Saccharin has been around forever, perhaps even 100 years. There was a time it received little negative press, but as research has become more sophisticated and our understanding of our body’s functions has increased, it has led our family to avoid it and other artificial items, especially artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame is everywhere, or at least it can seem like it! The 1st time I heard something negative about it was in the late 1980’s when an article in a Pilot’s magazine talked about an increasing number of pilots having headaches and other head issues. What they all had in common was they each drank 4 or more diet sodas per day. There are now 100’s of studies pointing out the potential harmful effects of consuming aspartame, including the possibility of pregnant women giving birth to an autistic child because of drinking diet sodas loaded with aspartame. (photo rawforbeauty.com)

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Splenda-sucralose is in 4,500 products so read labels carefully. While the clever advertising makes it sound relatively healthy, we do not consume it!

Mom and Dad please remember that we do not necessarily believe FDA guidelines. In fact, this agency may have changed classifications on these 3 items from safe to cancer causing, back to safe or even to another category. The best way we have found to deal with all this is to just avoid the products completely and read some informative articles as we are led.

It is all controversial! As you grow in your steps of taking control of your family’s health, you will begin to feel more confident and more at peace with your decisions and your family’s health will improve!

See you on #1 tee looking genuine… Sam

Junior Golf: Healthy Sweet Options

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will continue down the path of taking control of your family’s health. Knowing some healthy options for sweeteners is a big step in a positive direction. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

There are times that something sweet really can be satisfying; cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, a shake or even a soda can just taste soooo good! Among our health challenges today are the negative issues associated with improper eating habits, including too much carb intake. These include heart disease, high blood pressure and blood sugar situations such as diabetes, among others.

So how do you help yourself, your spouse and kids satisfy that sweet tooth? The long-term answer is changing your complete food regimen to a healthy-fat diet, more on that in subsequent posts. The short-term answer is 2-fold: reduce the total number of carbohydrates-sugars, white flour, white potatoes, etc, that are eaten and find healthy sweeteners to calm down those sweet cravings. A corollary is to not eat any artificial sweeteners.

Please keep in mind that Linda and I are not medical professionals, sports psychologists or PGA Professionals. We are the parents of a college graduate who started playing golf at age 5 and went to college on a golf scholarship. The information we are passing on to you includes many things that have been helpful to us and that we believe to be true.

Where on earth does a parent find sweet things that are healthy? 2 or 3 pieces of fruit a day are plenty for your junior golfer and you too. Locally grown fruit is probably best, organic is next best and so on. Fruit juice is not healthy unless you juiced it yourself and it has the whole fruit, including the fiber, in it. Otherwise it is all sugar! Not good!

Next on the list is locally grown organic, unfiltered, raw-meaning unpasteurized honey. Now all honey must be heated a little bit to get the honey to flow and go through a strainer to take out certain unattractive chunks. Once it gets up to a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit most of the really good ingredients are degraded. That’s why you want raw, meaning unpasteurized. Raw organic unfiltered honey has antifungal, antibacterial, and more healing properties that put it in the miracle healer category. There is a ton of documentation online. In fact the military here in San Antonio is testing and in some cases using this type of honey for a number of different applications including burn treatment, wound healing and MRSA.

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More healthy sweet choices are stevia, a sweetener made from the plant of the same name. It is sometimes combined with other sugars or fillers to make it taste more like something you are familiar with. Stevia has a different taste, but not a bad taste. Only get 100% stevia. And xylitol is a wood sugar that actually has a number of health benefits. It can be tricky to bake with, tastes pretty good and it is actually in some chewing gum, healthy chewing gum, really! (image: Healthy with Honey)

Cane sugar is the last resort because while it is not really healthy, it is so much better than any artificial sweetener and in small quantities it is not the worst thing in the world.

Mom and Dad just a reminder that everything in the world of health, nutrition, supplementation and fitness seems to be controversial. There are a million opinions on everything. That’s why Linda and I encourage you to take control of your family’s health. Do your own research. When in doubt go with the unprocessed or the least processed food item. Eat lean and green. Less carbohydrates and more healthy fats. More to come!

See you on #1 tee looking fit… Sam

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