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Personal Diet and Activity Plan sample essay

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Having reviewed the food journal analyses and evaluated personal activity balance I have reached several critical conclusions.

First important thing that I have learned about myself is the fact that I tend to consume products insufficient to number of servings. Thus, regardless of my genuine attempts to eat products of all major food pyramid categories, such as grains (food made of wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, cereal grains), vegetables (dark green, orange, starchy, dry beans and peas, other), fruits (berries, melons, bananas, apples, etc.), dairy products (milk, cheese products, yogurts, milk-based deserts) and meat and beans (meats, poultry, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds ), my daily intake usually remains inadequate. After giving it more thought I have realized that the reason for this is my tendency to divide the categories of pyramid among several intakes. For example, after having eaten something from the vegetable or fruits group I do not consider adding another serving of those to my remaining meals (Food Journal Analysis #1). Some of the product groups, such as, for example, meat, I have been purposefully limiting, aware of it being very rich in fat and hard to digest. This situation is even more complicated by the fact that my choice of products is frequently monotonous, thus, leading to the inadequate daily supply of the listed food groups. Moreover, while undersupplying myself with most categories, I simultaneously tend to have a rather high intake of protein because of my weak understanding of protein-containing foods. So, the results are unsatisfactory; while I attempt to have a balanced and rich in nutrients diet, my actual daily supply of important vitamins, minerals and proteins is not balanced enough to achieve the goal of good health.

I have become aware of the conditions to which not meeting nutrition needs could easily lead. For instance, one of the critical daily needs of every organism is to supply your body with adequate amount of proteins. Indeed, it is difficult to underestimate it importance since it consist of amino acids, serving as bricks for all live cells. Thus, every cell of one’s body must be sufficiently supplied with these ‘building bricks’ coming form the protein foods. For instance, proteins make up about fifteen percent of the mass of average person and are included in the construction of muscle, ligaments, skin, cartilage and hair. Therefore, the consequences of protein undersupply can range from decreased performance ability to the serious malfunction of our organism, since proteins are also included in hormones and hemoglobin. While I am not the one to worry about the insufficient supply of proteins, my inclination to eat too much of it typically leads to increasing the fat in one’s body, which I do not consider necessary for me.

The case with fiber consumption in my daily food intake is exactly the opposite. That is, I do not eat enough of fiber-containing products. I am aware of the fact that fiber is also a very important nutrient, because it helps food pass through one’s organism, mainly because it absorbs water. It is particularly important for people that tend to consume too much protein-containing foods, because the protein in one’s body must be dissolved with the corresponding amount of fiber. It does not mean that it is o.k. to consume too much protein as long equal supply of fiber is provided; however, it illustrates the importance of fiber as a mandatory part of one’s daily food ration. Therefore, as I have stated in one of my food journal analyses, I have decided to include more fiber-containing foods in my daily ration, such as beans, lentils, and, probably, peas.

To summarize, I have realized negative patterns in my nutritional habits and taken steps to improve them, paying closer attention as well as making a more educated choice in regard to the food products contained in my daily intake. I have learned that it is essential to monitor closely what and in which amounts we eat in order to maintain one’s health in good condition.

After carefully assessing my nutritional habits, I turned to learning more about the food products and the nutrients contained in them. As I have specified above, I have oversupplied myself with proteins. This has happened because I did not understand the protein-containing products properly. That is, I have thought that simply not eating beef, chicken or other meat, would be enough to maintain the necessary level of proteins consumed throughout a day. As you can see from my food journal analyses, I was surprised to learn that to be my mistake. In fact, simply eating fish products provided me with more then enough of protein. Actually, as I have learned, merely including cereal with milk for breakfast, perhaps, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and a piece of fish with something like a side of beans for dinner, could provide a sufficient daily dosage of protein for an average adult. In addition, eating such products as chicken, fish, beans and beef also help to slow the food movement from stomach to the intestine, which means it could help the person to get hungry later because he or she would feel full for a longer period of time.

Another nutrient that I became more familiar with was fiber. My problem, as stated above, was that I consumed insufficient amount of it in my daily diet. Just as in the case with protein, this resulted from my lack of knowledge – this time about the fiber-containing products. One of my food journal analyses records how I originally supposed that merely including apples, cereal and raisins in my daily ration would give me enough of this nutrient, and was surprised to learn that I had met only about eighty percent of the recommendation, consuming twenty instead of the recommended twenty five grams of fiber a day. That is why I particularly considered including such high fiber-containing products as peas in my daily food intake. As I have learned, dietary fiber is contained in vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, noting, that canned and frozen foods contain just as much fiber as raw ones, other types of processing, however, reducing its content. In my personal ration, raisins accounted for the least amount of fiber providing me with only one gram of fiber per ounce, while cereal provided the most of it, accounting for about seven grams per cup (Food Journal Analysis # 2).

As to the importance of meeting the daily recommended nutrient needs, MyPyramid Food Guidance System proved to be very helpful in assessing my intakes compared to the amounts recommended for an adult of my height and weight. There are many implications of meeting the recommended nutrient needs every day, as maintaining healthy diet could help maintaining body weight in a healthy range or, if needed, in losing one’s weight, it could also be helpful for reducing the risk of various chronic illnesses and in maintaining one’s body functioning at an appropriate level, as well as for providing oneself with an adequate energy level, etc. (MyPyramid.gov).

The nutrition can also play vital role in the cause as well as prevention of diseases. In particular, since my father was diabetic and I have a chronic medical condition known as Crohns Disease, it is vital for me to pay close attention to the foods I eat, since it can directly affect the symptoms of my disorder and influence the general progress or regress of my health condition in future. Unfortunately, there is no known diet which would work for every Crohns patient, however, it is up to me to keep notice of what food tends to aggravate this condition and make necessary dietary changes based on my observations. Considering my father’s medical condition I must stress the importance of taking the necessary steps for its prevention through my diet and lifestyle, such as controlling my sugar sources or maintaining a healthy percentage of bodyfat.

As for my weight, I am in the normal range for my specific height of five feet and two inches, weighting one hundred twenty six pounds. My specific weight goal is one hundred and twenty pounds. Thus, I would like to loose six pounds and remain at a healthy weight. MyPyramyd Food Guidance System advises on slow decrease of calories intake while maintaining a sufficient nutrient intake and increasing the physical activity. As for me, I plan on including yoga and walking in my exercise plan, this way achieving my goal of maintaining healthy weight as well as remaining physically active to improve my overall health condition and maintain it at that level. Since there’s apparent relationship between energy balance, that is the correlation between calorie intake (from nutrition) and calories out (through metabolism and energy expending daily activities), and weight control; in order to achieve my goal of loosing weight I must maintain my energy level to be constantly negative for a certain period of time. This is achieved through merely keeping the amount of calories in my body a little lower than required. As I have stated above, I am going to achieve this with the help of proper nutrition as well as that of the increased physical exercise.

To summarize, I would like to repeat that learning more about various nutrient-containing products has helped me to balance my diet and change my eating habits to those including a lower fat intake but more fruits and vegetables. I have also realized the importance of combining the proper nutrition with physical activity for achieving overall good health condition. Thus, I have engaged in the current yoga program. Nevertheless, time management remains to be the problem for me. Not being able to attend yoga class every time, I use the treadmill as my back-up plan for maintaining constant level of high physical activity.

As I currently do not have any children, it remains to be a personal self interest to remain fit and healthy, especially keeping in mind the fact that my diet plays an important factor with my medical condition of Crohn’s disease.

References:

MyPyramid Food Guidance System Educational Framework Retrieved July 28, 2006, from MyPyramyd Food Guidance System Web site: < http:// mypyramid.gov/professionals/pdf_framework.html>.

Weight Loss &Exercise. Retrieved July 28, 2006, from American Diabetes Association Web site:
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