Can you believe it's March already???? How have you done with the January and February challenges? Are you still free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes? I hope so!!!
The nutrition challenge for this month is: to remove all nitrites and nitrates from your diet. Nitrites and nitrates, (referred to as sodium nitrites/nitrates on many food packages) are found commonly in foods that are cured or processed, such as: deli meats, hotdogs, sausage, bacon, etc. Why do we not want to eat them, you ask? Well, when you eat nitrites, they can be converted into nitrosamines, which are potent cancer causing chemicals. Specifically colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Research has also found that people who consume nitrites and nitrates are more likely to have COPD, which is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, DNA mutations, and if you are a child you have an increased risk for brain tumors. In fact, nitrites/nitrates are so dangerous that the USDA tried to ban the use of them in the 1970s but were overridden by the meat processing industry. This chemical is what they use to cure all their meats, give them a bright, fresh color, and keep them from spoiling on the shelf. Thankfully, due to the increased awareness of their dangers, many supermarkets are now offering deli meats, hotdogs, bacon, etc. without sodium nitrites/nitrates. Naturally occurring nitrites/nitrates can be found in certain vegetables, but, because they are natural and not artificial chemicals, there is no harm to you. Please read your food labels to make sure you are not consuming any of these cancer causing chemicals. You will be doing your family's health a huge favor!!
Now, how are your workouts coming along? Have you been able to increase your cardiovascular exercise? How about adding in some weight resistance training? Remember, you must overload your muscles past their normal ability in order to see change. Exercise shouldn't be "easy". You should have to push yourself!! So, for this month try to add in some old fashioned calisthenics, such as jump roping, push ups, mountain climbers, running sprints, and bear crawls. You really don't need a fancy health club to get exercising- you just have to motivate and push yourself to new limits!
Have a great March everyone!!!