Fuel your body for optimum health.

Fuel your body for optimum health.

Forget the fads – learn to eat healthier

We asked Michelle Bourgeous, a Certified Sport Nutrition Advisor, for a few tips that may help you step up your game.

  • Feb. 25, 2015 1:00 p.m.

You’ve got your workouts down and you’re covering all your bases for strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training. Now you’re wondering what the next step is to ensure you can be your best when breaking a sweat? We asked Michelle Bourgeous, a Certified Sport Nutrition Advisor, for a few tips that may help you step up your game.

First, add a quality fish oil source into your daily plan. Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and most folks don’t get nearly enough. The average North American gets 1/16 to 1/20 of the recommended daily requirement.

Omega-3’s are vital for cardiovascular health, nervous system function and brain development, immune health and fat loss. I’ve worked with individuals who have struggled with depression, anxiety, stress and chronic inflammation and Omega 3’s are a definite must. Look for a supplement that provides a minimum of two to three grams of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) combined.

If you’ve tried fish oil in the past and found yourself smelling like a trout most of the day, there are some emulsified flavored fish oil products available that taste great and get the job done.

Take a daily probiotic supplement. Have you ever struggled with less than optimal gastrointestinal issues? You know: diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, nausea, stomach cramps etc. If the answer is “Yes” then chances are you have an imbalance in your gut flora.

Things like not eating enough fruit, vegetables and/or dietary fiber; food intolerance (such as a gluten or dairy); taking antibiotics; a stressful lifestyle, which can include stress from relationships, finances, travel – even intense regular exercise; eating a diet high in acid-forming foods such as processed foods, sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, etc. can make your intestines less than happy.

Check out your daily protein intake. Choose a few days and journal your food choices and really see how much of this vital macronutrient you are ingesting. For most, it’s not enough to provide the needed building blocks the body needs for muscle repair and growth, immune function, hormone production, as well as blood and neurotransmitter production.

When you don’t have enough protein in your diet your body breaks down its own muscle tissue to get the protein it needs to survive. Which means you lose muscle mass, joint support and ultimately, a decreased metabolism. That’s not great if being, or staying, lean is one of your goals.

To maintain the necessary body functions that protein is responsible for, we need about one gram per pound of lean body mass per day. For most women, this averages about *80 to 100 grams per day and for most men it’s about *120 to 160 grams per day. For very active individuals, I suggest *one gram of protein for each pound of body weight per day.

Consider a daily multivitamin. Multivitamin supplements have been endorsed by the most respected medical organizations in the world for their ability to help reduce the risk of nutrient deficiency. Vitamins and minerals are essential for normal body functions and disease prevention. It’s rare to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs from our food intake alone.

The elderly, athletes, individuals struggling with lower income (and unable to afford healthy food options), and those restricting calories to lose weight are often most in need of nutritional support from a multivitamin.

If you choose to add a vitamin/mineral supplement, look for one providing nutrients derived from whole foods. Make sure this includes natural forms of vitamin E rather than the synthetic versions. Vitamin A should come from precursors like carotenoids and not preformed retinoids.

Contact Michelle Bourgeois RT, Trainer, Sports Nutritionist at Take 2 Personal Training and Nutritional Consulting, take2personaltraining.com

*Individuals with sub-optimal kidney function should comply with their physician’s recommendations for protein intake.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It takes much more than having talent as a singer or musician to pull off a live performance people will remember, says Sooke resident Jason Parsons. (Pixabay.com)
Vancouver Islander writes the book on live performances

Jason Parsons’ new book unlocks the keys to establishing a presence on stage

VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine is turning 30 years old. (Image courtesy Chantelle Calitz)
Vancouver Island University’s literary magazine ‘Portal’ celebrates 30 years

Virtual launch featuring contributor readings took place April 30

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping to stage outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Members of A Cappella Plus rehearse for a ’60s-themed concert in 2019. This year the group is celebrating its 40th anniversary. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo’s A Cappella Plus chorus marks 40 years with short documentary

Film covers group’s history, features performance and behind-the-scenes video

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Most Read