Author: sgf33573

The Truth About Superfoods

When I eat, I have three primary factors that influence how I eat: taste, nutrition, and quantity. To keep things simple, I want to eat as much tasty, healthy food as possible anytime I eat.

I mention how I eat because I believe I have a good understanding on how to eat, and I do not fall into buzzword traps. Meanwhile, terms like superfood are overtaking most people’s nutrition lingo.

By the Oxford Dictionary definition, a superfood is, “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”¹ This definition is very loose and vague, as many foods are nutrient-rich, and those that typically are nutrient-rich provide health benefits. With superfood being such a huge buzzword right now, it seems like a smart time to see just how properly termed this is.

More than anything, we should strive to have people eating healthy diets in a sustainable (replicable) manner. So, are superfoods all they are made out to be, and do they help people consume a heathy, sustainable diet? When I mention sustainability, I do so in a manner that applies to each individual uniquely. People need to eat a diet that they can eat, feel happy and comfortable eating daily of whatever food they choose to eat.

The Guardian published a piece looking at multiple studies on superfoods recently. Although they wrongly stated that superfoods have, “no actual benefit to health”² based on the European Food Safety Authority, they do make a point that buzzwords have a strong affect on diet influence as 61% of British bought foods based on the word superfood alone.

Additionally, foods like avocado, and  pomegranate are two example foods looked at in this study review. Avocados are talked down by this review because the avocado study they are looking at is paid for by the Hass Avocado Board, and is inconclusive with regards to cardiovascular benefits. However, the study does show positive benefits on lipid profiles, which means avocados are good for people.  Again, pomegranates are talked down because they are not guaranteed to reduce artery damage from cholesterol; however, it is overlooked that they add plenty of nutritional value when eaten.

This review clearly diminishes superfoods while ignoring values these foods still have. Although superfoods are not all they are held up to be, they still are of benefit in anyone’s diet.

In the end, as professionals we need to find ways to dictate more of how studies are turned into layman terms and articles. While superfoods are not all they are made out to be, it is on us to make sure information is handled properly. Nutrition is very important, and we need to provide correct information, so people eat healthy, replicable diets.


PowerUp P.E.

Having been fortunate enough to work with kids the ages of 12 and under for multiple jobs I have held growing up, I have seen some of the best and worst ways to coach kids. Some of the worst training sessions happen with the absolute best planning ahead of time. Trying to stay within a box can greatly limit kids fun, which in turn causes activity time to fail. Instead, planning for fun and giving more leeway actually can lead to some of the best sessions for kids from my experience.

As much as anything, I remember only being taught about competition growing up. Cooperation was something that was not taught to me in a more formal manner until I was in college. While cooperation happens in certain team games, it is not something that we truly consciously know or think of early on, and that can hamper some development. Personally, I was and am one of the most competitive people around because of this. I might say I am going to do something for fun, but inevitably within 5-10 minutes that activity turns competitive.

PowerUp P.E.  is an initiative in Rhode Island that looks to make P.E. fun for kids in school and also helps bring the cooperation aspect consciously into the kids’ minds. With activities like “Animal Walks,” “Oscar the Grouch,” and “‘One, Two, Three, We’re Free’ Tag” kids learn fundamental athletic movements in a fun manner.

Going even deeper, kids are able to provide feedback on the activities, and are given feedback in order to improve on their basic movement skills. They also are able to pair these activities with other subjects like social studies in order to less formally learn school subjects like history in a fun manner.

Having something like PowerUp P.E. added to most schools around the USA would be a great way to keep P.E. in most curriculums. Even if P.E. is taken out, this can be a beneficial way to help teach subjects like social studies as it keeps kids both entertained and focused.

I believe this can be used both as a program during the school year, and the summer. It can help maintain knowledge learned during the year if properly used as a summer camp. Also, it can be used both during and after school during the school year. If P.E. is removed from school’s then schools or other places can use this after school to help teach both basic activities and general school classes.

Practitioners should look for ways to implement this as quickly as possible, as it can solve the growing P.E. problem in the USA. 22% of schools already are without P.E. and this program is an ideal way to help bring it back to schools.