Super Food of the Week: Venison

Venison is a highly prized, wonderfully delicious and nutritious meat that comes from deer that are either wild or farm raised. The flavor of the meat is directly related to the animal’s diet, and is usually described as having a deep woody, yet berry like taste. Typically the texture is supple and tender. Although venison may not grace your dinner table very often it can actually be a great addition to a healthy diet plan. Venison contains high amounts if protein, B vitamins (B12, B2, B3, and B6), as well as iron.

Venison is a great source of protein and, unlike most meats, is low in fat, especially saturated fat. Four ounces of venison supplies about 68% of the daily value for protein for only 179 calories and 1.4 grams of saturated fat. A serving (4 ounces) of venison also provides about 28% of the daily value of iron. Boosting iron stores is a good idea for women, especially menstruating women as they are more at risk for iron deficiency. Compared to beef, venison provides well-absorbed iron for less calories and fat. It is important to note that iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body, and is also a part of enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

As previously stated, venison is a good source for B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. In research, B vitamins have shown to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by preventing the build up of dangerous molecules that contribute to these conditions. Vitamin b12 has been shown to be helpful in protecting colon cells from the effects of carcinogenic toxins, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer. Vitamin B3 (or niacin) has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis, reducing the risk as much as half.

The next time you plan on serving meat for dinner, try iron-rich, vitamin packed venison. Venison is a great alternative to beef, but as with beef and other meats, care and caution should always be used when handling raw venison. Make sure it does not come in contact with other foods, especially those that will be served uncooked. If your recipe calls for marinating, you should always do so in the refrigerator as the meat is very sensitive to heat which increases chances of spoilage.

Fit Tip of the Week: Breaking Through Roadblocks

The problem is that you want to exercise regularly, but somehow you keep hitting roadblocks- those pesky little persuasive excuses that come up for not sticking to a fitness plan. To make fitness a part of your life, you must identify your roadblocks and find ways to break through them. Here are some common road blocks and solutions to help over come them:

Roadblock #1: I just don’t have enough time to exercise. A perceived lack of time is probably the most common excuse for not exercising. When life gets chaotic, exercise is typically the first thing to get the cut. It’s very easy to convince yourself that your morning workout can wait until lunch, or maybe after dinner, and finally tomorrow.

Solution: The “stress” of life is always going to be there, but we have to keep in mind that we must take care of ourselves. If you don’t take care of yourself today, it is very possible to one day find your self unable to take care of your business. Research proves that people who exercise are not only healthier, but also more productive. Just 10 to 30 minutes a day of exercise, if done consistently, can provide health benefits. While planning your day, plan a 30-minute appointment with yourself.

Roadblock #2: I have no energy. After a long day at work, it’s so very tempting to go home, prop your feet up and “tune out” in front of the television.

Solution: Try scheduling your workout at a different time. Try getting up 45-minutes earlier and go for a morning walk (and if you have a dog, bring them along too!). Another solution is to keep your fitness gear in the car and go straight to the gym on the way home and schedule your workout with a buddy. Nobody wants to disappoint a friend by flaking out, right? Also it’s important to note that exercise does give you more energy!

Roadblock #3. I hate exercise. This holds some truth to it only in the fact that exercise can seem like a chore if the activity that you’ve chosen doesn’t appeal to you.

Solution: This one is a pretty easy one. If you can discover a type of exercise you enjoy and stick with it, eventually you will find the need to exercise, physically and mentally. Think about the things you enjoy and use it to your advantage. If you love music then bring along your iPod on your morning walk and get your 30-minutes of physical activity while you sing along to your favorite songs. I typically find that once people find a physical activity that they enjoy they not only look forward to it, they also feel that their day is incomplete if they miss a workout.

Roadblock #4: I don’t see any results. Ok, you’ve been exercising religiously for weeks and you haven’t lost any weight according to your bathroom scale. Frustration makes giving up seem like the right idea.

Solution: Stay off the scale! Weight is not a very accurate way of measuring your progress. Especially if you’ve been strength training in your routine. The key is to think about the progress you have made. Maybe you can walk longer or lift heavier weights than you could when you first started your fitness routine. The numbers on the scale might not be changing right away but you notice your close are fitting differently (in a good way) thanks to the building of muscle. Use these victories as motivation. Even though the scale doesn’t say so, you are making progress.

Roadblock #5: I will never be perfect. The all-or-nothing attitude or thinking it’s not worth exercising because your body will never be “perfect”.

Solution: I hear this a lot as a personal trainer. Sometimes we can be our own worst critic. Starving for perfection can lead to failure and we must keep in mind that no one is perfect. Instead of focusing on how your body looks, focus on how it feels. Just because someone looks to have the “perfect body” doesn’t mean that they’re in good health. Also learn to compromise. If you can’t do a full 30-minute workout then try for 15-minutes. Some physical activity will always be better than none.

Until next week…

KinkySheaPT