Good Health – A Must For EMS Providers

Good morning readers. Today I am going to discuss the importance of good health when working in the EMS field. Good health is something that is often ignored amongst many EMT’s and Paramedics. The truth is, we need to stay healthy to truly perform our jobs effectively. Regular exercise and good nutrition will ultimately equate to more energy, better concentration, more strength and will lower your risk for injuries.

For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on nutrition. Having worked in EMS for many years, mostly on night shifts, I certainly understand the difficulties in finding healthy food while working the streets. I have been guilty of late night 7-11 chili dogs, “Big Gulp” sodas and large bags of chips. It almost seemed like healthy food disappeared when the sun went down. I have since learned to tone it down on the artery clogging snacks.

Meal planning is going to be the first step to your nutrition plan. I plan on 5-6 small meals a day. This helps to kick the urge to snack. Eating 6 small meals a day also helps to maintain a faster metabolism, which translates into less fat retention. Target and other major stores offer many decent sized coolers from 20-50 dollars that would easily fit all of your meals and drinks for a shift.

Eating 6 meals a day is great, but it wont do you much good if you aren’t eating the right stuff. We all know that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you. I could write a book on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. But the truth of the matter is, if you don’t like it, you probably aren’t going to eat it. I personally enjoy eating apples, carrots, oranges and salads. They can be filling and have a good source of natural sugars for energy. Try browsing around your local grocery store for healthy foods to eat. You might be surprised at how much is out there that you will actually enjoy eating. A good rule of thumb is to consume no more than 2,000 calories a day. You be the judge, find what you like and keep it below the 2,000 mark. Remember, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods.

Try to avoid foods and drinks with high sugar content. While sugar is important, excess amounts will lead to less energy and more fat retention. Try drinking more water and diet sodas instead of regular sodas. Diet sodas are good, but they contain a decent amount of sodium, which wont do you any good if you consume an excess amount. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that candy and sweets can be bad, however a treat every now and then isn’t going to hurt anything.

Every since I started to focus on healthy eating I have truly improved my job performance. I require less sleep, have more energy and I am able to concentrate better than before. Good health isn’t the only upside to a good nutrition plan. You will also save a substantial amount of money. Nutrition planning doesn’t have to be rocket science. Most people know whats healthy and whats not. Don’t try to over-complicate things. Experiment around a little and find a nutrition plan that works for you.

As always, have a great week and please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments.

How to Successfully Manage Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy on a budget can be achieved easily enough. There are so many ways, just needs a little bit more focus…

Budgeting is all about the amount of money you’re spending on the foods you’re buying to stock up your fridge and kitchen cupboards with.

Although you’re eating healthy on a budget, you should choose organic for certain foods. They’re not always more expensive, especially if you go to a famers’ market. In fact, they are likely cheaper from there.

In particular, eggs should be free-range or organic. Milk, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables should be organic too.

Eggs and milk do not necessarily cost a whole lot more than their non-organic counterparts.

For example, in my local supermarket there’s only £0.25p difference between non-organic eggs and their organic counterpart. With the milk, there’s £0.40p difference. That difference is worth a whole lot more for your health.

Compare prices and package sizes to get the best value for money. You’d be surprised, but sometimes, bigger packages are not always cheaper than smaller packages in the long run.

So, divide the number of grams or kilos or litres of the bigger package by that of the smaller package. How many of the smaller packages can you get out of the bigger package?

Multiply that number by the price of the smaller package. Now compare this value to the price of the bigger package. Which is cheaper? The cheaper one is better value for money.

Watch for any specials or “buy one, get one free” offers. Sometimes at the supermarket, you may find that smaller packages are on sale or that there is a special on them; while the bigger package is being sold at normal price. Sometimes it’s the other way round.

Either way, do the quick calculations and draw your conclusions from them. You don’t have to do the calculations mentally; most phones have a calculator nowadays.
Try to choose fruits and vegetables in their season, because they’ll be cheaper than when they are out of season.

Many food supermarkets and food stores keep loyalty accounts and customer cards, and give money-saving coupons from time to time. Take advantage of those too. Set up an account with them if you don’t have one yet.

It may be better to be regular at a particular supermarket so that you can get loyalty discounts.

If you are eating healthy on a budget, shop in bulk from wholesale stores. Some of them require memberships or accounts with them, and sometimes charge a nominal membership fee annually. Shopping from such stores are usually worth it and work out cheaper in the long run.

Try to buy fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets. They not only work out cheaper, they are usually fresh too; which is good for your health!

Don’t buy ready-made meals, it is cheaper to buy ingredients and cook them yourself at home. Plus they would usually have processed stuff in them anyway, which you want to avoid for your health.

Avoid buying on impulse. Otherwise you end up buying things you didn’t plan for. Stick to your list and plan your food shopping list upfront.

The most important things you want to buy are fruits and vegetables, as they are the most nutrition-packed foods you can buy. So pick these first before other foods.

As you would have seen, eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to know what you’re doing and stay focused, and you will win easily enough.

Love To Eat? Hate Your Belly? Here’s An Easy Way To Handle Both Issues!

For some reason, our bodies love to hang fat around our mid-section. Or, maybe the fact is that fat just loves to hang around our mid-section. Regardless of which is the cause, the truth of the matter is that fat around the mid-section can be ugly, uncomfortable, and can cause a host of health problems that we could all do without.

Excess belly fat has been associated with heart disease, Type II Diabetes, and even breast cancer. Sometimes it seems that, no matter how diligently we diet and exercise, we still have that “spare tire” around the waistline that just hangs on, even when we effectively lose fat and inches from other parts of the body. The frustration can almost make one want to give up. Don’t Give Up! There Is Good News!

Researchers have discovered that it is actually possible to shrink belly fat with food – the right food, that is. Eating the right foods can turn your body into a fat-burning powerhouse to which even stubborn belly fat will have to surrender! Fiber – There are basically two types of fiber, and it is important to include plenty of both types in your diet:

1. Soluble Fiber is that which absorbs excess fluid and carries it from the body. It reduces the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and is instrumental in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Soluble fiber has been shown to be a key preventative dietary element in preventing colon cancer. It also takes longer to digest soluble fiber, and this slowing of the process helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, and decrease the frequency of hunger between meals.

Good sources of soluble fiber include: Oatmeal or oat bran, Barley, Prunes, Pears, Citrus Fruits, Legumes, Seeds, Nuts, Chick Peas, Black-Eyed Peas

2. Insoluble Fiber is that which does not easily absorb fluid, but does bind itself to toxins and other substances such as excess estrogen which are known to be cancer-inducing.

Good sources of insoluble fiber include: Bran, Cocoa Powder, Beans (including pinto, great northern, red, kidney, etc.), Rye Bread, Green Leafy Vegetables.

Muscle, unlike fat, does not sit idly in your body. In fact, it takes energy, which burns calories, just to maintain muscle. This means that a person who has a healthy ratio of protein to fat, will burn fat and calories just by sitting at rest. Fat, which pretty much lies inert, will just be content to take up space and crowd your organs

This combination makes for a double-punch to help eliminate belly fat. One caveat though: when choosing beans, be careful as to how they are cooked. Some bean dishes, such as baked beans, are prepared with unhealthy levels of fat and sugar.

Just remember: Your beans must be lean and mean! Monounsaturated Fats We usually think of oils and fats as being something to avoid if we are trying to lose weight and/or eat healthy. The truth of the matter is that some oils are not only good for the body, healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil are actually vital for optimum health of organs.

Other good sources of monounsaturated fats are: Olive Oil, Avocados, Peanut Butter, Nuts, Olives.

So, an healthy and balanced diet with moderate exercise should be included in any weight-loss regimen, given the approval of one’s personal physician. But, incorporating a regimen of carefully planned foods such as those listed above will help your body to rid itself of that unsightly belly fat, and help you to enjoy a longer, healthier life!

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