Since this article deals with physical fitness, I find it necessary to remind all my readers to first thoroughly read my medical disclaimer which may be found ….. ( Here ).
There is a lot of controversy these days among physical fitness enthusiasts about whether the first meal of the day should be mostly protein or mostly carbohydrates or some balanced combination of the two.
As always I have to maintain that every individual case is different and that different combinations of foods are necessary for different situations and different metabolisms and only your personal professional nutritionist or doctor can help you with any degree of accuracy —- but I can tell you what little I have learned and share with you what has worked for me.
There are some days when I start out with a couple of eggs and some strips of crisp-microwaved (never fried) bacon and hot fresh coffee. I rarely ever eat bread for the morning meal except on the rare (Very rare) occasions when I go out with my friend, Jim, for Kentucky-style biscuits and gravy —- which, as I said, is a very rare occasion indeed!
You must keep in mind that one of the first acts of my day after breakfast is a trip to the gym. Sometimes I go to the gym 5 days a week for moderate to easy exercises on such things as stationary bicycles, elliptical machines, and stair climbing devices — sometimes a little bit of treadmill thrown into the mix.
Being 79-years-of-age, I have to be careful about the kinds and types of exercise I do these days as well as the intensity and duration of those that I choose. At this age, I find it very important to pay close attention to my doctor-recommended heart rate as concerns exercising.
But I am digressing. This post is about morning meals and I should stick to the subject so as not to confuse my readers.
The jury is still out for me as to whether I should focus on carbs or proteins for my breakfast as my breakfast is also what some people call, “A pre-workout meal.”
If I remember to take my vitamin/mineral supplement, my extra vitamin C, my liquid wheat germ oil, my extra vitamin B-12 and B-6, then the egg and bacon breakfast seems to be enough to “Power” me through my daily 15-minutes at the gym.
I used to spend a couple of hours at the gym but I find now that 15-minutes of sustained activity on various machines and what have you gets what I need done accomplished for me and I am a happy camper.
Sometimes I only go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and on Tuesday and Thursday I walk, jog or power-walk a mile or two outdoors when the weather permits. I do always take Saturdays and Sundays off from my exercise routine because I believe that I need those two days for my body to recuperate, rest and adjust. One more time I remind you that I am talking about me and you might find your own needs very different from mine.
My thing is not so much to build muscle anymore. I have spent a lifetime doing that. My thing these days is to maintain “Tone,” “Fitness” and a continual sense of “Well-Being” and I must say that with certain rare exceptions, I have done well at accomplishing those goals for myself.
One thing that I have developed as a habit is to start the day with a glass of warm water into which I have stirred two tablespoons of purest lemon juice and just enough real honey to sweeten it a little bit.
When I do not do the lemon, then I substitute the same amount of unrefined apple cider vinegar (The kind with the substance called ‘The Mother’ in it) —- something I can get at any grocery store or specialty health food store.
I have no idea as to what this drink is supposed to do for me but I suspect it has something to do with water balance and eliminations because I have noticed that when I take it, I do expel a lot more bodily water through eliminations than when I do not take it. This may or may not have something to do with helping to rid the body of toxins. Like I said, I am not a nutritionist and I do not know but I do know that the very first bodybuilding course I ever ordered through the mail suggested using either of these substances mixed with water and I have been doing it for almost 60 of my 79 years.
There is something about an early morning shower before breakfast that helps to invigorate me but again, I do not have a clue as to why it is effective. I just know that it is.
The one thing I have learned about my morning shower is that the water should be “Tepid” in temperature — not hot, not cold. “Tepid” seems to invigorate me, hot makes me sleepy and cold is just …. creepy and makes me a little nervous. I guess everybody has a different reaction to water temperature. I have just told you mine. Like I said, I like the water to be moderate or “Tepid” — somewhere in between hot and cold.
I know that a brisk rub with the towel following the shower does something wonderful for blood circulation in my skin. …. kind of like a massage …. but not as expensive. A “Loofa” sponge seems to add to the experience for me.
My carb breakfast — when I do a carb breakfast — is usually a couple of bananas and a glass of orange juice. Sometimes I add either an apple or a pear. I used to drink grapefruit juice but since my doctor got me onto blood pressure medication, he doesn’t allow me to drink grapefruit anymore and I am sure there is a reason for it but don’t ask me what it is because I haven’t a clue. It must be that grapefruit might interact with my medication or something. See how important it is to include your doctor in every decision you make about your health practices? It is absolutely essential in my book!
Sometimes when I am extra hungry I will add a few figs or grapes, dates or prunes to this banana and orange juice repast but I have to be careful because if I take in too many figs or prunes, the fiber acts on my digestive tract in a rather unpleasant manner and I spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. I guess this is another case of “Moderation In All Things.”
Dinner is another animal altogether for me.
I like a four-ounce portion of my choice of (a) steak (b) fish or (c) chicken — sometimes turkey — along with generous servings of vegetables (steamed, baked or boiled — sometimes broiled — but never fried — and some kind of fruit with generous amounts of fresh pure spring water. (I think sometimes that some municipal tap waters ought to be classed as a food rather than as a beverage because of the solids that get trapped in it.).
Did I mention yet that I often switch my dinner with my lunch because I have come to believe, over the years, that it doesn’t make much difference when a person eats their food but that it is the number of calories consumed that makes the difference as far as weight control is concerned. But do not take my word for that because I am not expert. I am just telling you what I am comfortable doing for myself.
I do know that if I eat too much before going to bed at night I have a tendency to reflux and to choke sometimes and that is not pleasant at all and I do not recommend it for anybody. I always have to wait for at least three or four hours after I eat my evening meal before I dare to lie down in a bed to sleep. But again, I am talking about myself and not about you or anybody else.