When I speak about movement i’m referring to energy levels (our ability to move), building strength (our ability to move a load) and flexibility (our ability to move freely).
If people really knew what happened when the food we eat enters our system they wouldn't be so careless with what they put into their mouths.
Food is the fuel that powers our lives. Not just in a physical sense, but in a mental one too. So how does food affect the way you move and how can you make a positive change?
How do our bodies digest food?
I’m sure you listened in science - but just in case… digestion starts from the second you put your food into your mouth, from the point you chew. It then goes into the stomach (after going down the oesophagus) where your muscles and enzymes further break down the mass into a paste like substance. Next it’s onto the small intestines where you absorb the majority of nutrients that we need to power the body. At the end, before the inevitable, it enters the large intestine where the last pieces of excess water are removed and the rest of the food is prepared for waste. (Hopefully that wasn’t to painful!)
Our bodies are fine pieces of machinery moulded by nature. You only get one. To keep this piece of machinery running as efficiently as possible you need to feed it the right food.
The degree to which real nutrition is so misunderstood shocks me. I see it not only on the shelves of supermarkets pushing the latest ‘healthy deal’, but also in many fad diets and detoxes promoted by seemingly credible influencers, that cause more harm than good. (This rant is something I will save for another blog!)
Why bad food can slow us down?
To make this easier to understand I would like to use an analogy. Picture the body as a living battery. Through all of our daily activities like walking, running, cleaning, working, energy depletes from our battery.
What a lot of people don’t consider is that our internal activities (what’s going on within the body) also deplete our battery, things such as thinking and digesting our food.
When we eat good healthy food (vegetables and fruits foods high in vitamins and minerals) digestion is easy for the body. We recognise it and it all makes sense, so it uses little energy and fuels the body quickly. However when we eat bad foods i.e. fast food, sweets, biscuits (all the naughty stuff) the body struggles.
This increase in workload forces the body to use more energy, which results in feeling of tiredness and fatigue. The exact opposite outcome to the purpose of food consumption.
There is a reason why athletes don’t eat Mcdonalds before a race.
How can we change old habits?
After improving our understanding, we need to make a change. The small changes that are made can make the biggest difference:
Replace sugary snacks with natural fruit - instead of going to buy that bar of chocolate get yourself an apple or a banana it’s still sweet but it's good for you
Dedicate real time to cook your food - I know with our busy schedules it looks like there is no time to cook, but with the right prep and priority management not only can you make meals to fuel your week they will also be delicious.
Understand nutrition - Get to know the benefits of the food you're eating, understand how it reacts with your body and from there you will start making more conscious efforts to plan how you eat. A great book to purchase on these subjects is the Plant paradox by DR Steven R Gundry (warning this book will shock your current belief system on food!)
The light at the end of the tunnel
On a positive note - even though the body is vulnerable to bad food, the body also has the amazing ability to heal itself by removing toxins when we reintroduce healthy food. By eating right our own bodies save us from ailments and restore the correct movement and a feeling of natural balance. It’s actually amazing.
So in conclusion educate yourself on the purpose and benefits of real nutrition for real physical efficiency. Don’t just take what food manufacturers and governments tell you. There is a reason that there is less cancer in Japan - google it.
To get everything your kitchen needs, visit Brixton Market on a Sunday for spices, vegetables and street food that will entirely change your opinion of 'health food.' I stock up here every week and kit myself out for cheaper and fresher than the high street chains which are just 2 minutes away from this epic-ness!