As a young person I strongly believe one day I’ll be a cool granny who will run in the meadows. And the whole sitting for 8 hours in front of the laptop at the office, followed by several hours of sitting in the university, plus the late “healthy” eating of student’s food in bed won’t stop me. If only it were so.
I often attend business seminars, eager for new knowledge and acquaintances. Thus I came across a health one which taught me little tricks everyone can do to be healthier. Fortunately I managed to interview the lovely lecturer Dr. Rayna Stoyanova. When you see a person, you can assess if what he does for his health works. Seeing Rayna, you are convinced she knows her work.
Adi: Is there a way to be healthy although we sit on a chair in the office 8 hours a day?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: The sedentary lifestyle would be detrimental for us if we don’t make efforts on purpose to give more dynamics to it, in the physical sense in our everyday life. Walking one hour a day, using the stairs instead of the elevator, practicing a given sport, the minimal limbering-up every 60 minutes in the office – these are examples for movement, which will keep away the diseases, help us being more effective at work.
Adi: Can you give us an example for good breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: First, don’t forget about the three main courses, as missing each of them leads to slow-down of metabolism and compensation with the amounts of food and increased fats supply from the next course respectively. The good breakfast is light and balanced – wholegrain or oatmeal with milk, a fruit with half bowl with yoghurt, wholegrain slice of bread with a piece of cheese or just a fruit, it’s important to start your day with a meal which will speed up the metabolic machine. Lunch is good to be cooked, hot and energizing but not much in quantity so we start to feel sleepy – a hot soup or fresh vegetable salad with a slice of bread, and dinner – rather protein one– a piece of steamed meat or fish with some vegetables. Listen to your body, eat slowly, chew long enough and enjoy every mouthful.
Don’t eat “on foot”. I want to make people eat consciously and with pleasure, to love food with all their senses. I feel quite sick when I see overfilled plates and stuffing of mouths with whatever and all types of combinations, and these are often young men and women pretending having affinity and taste for life. Of course, this problem affects predominantly our culture at the level of mentality, but I think the key for resolving the main problem with obesity of modern young people is hidden exactly in these habits.
Adi: Can we eat in between the courses?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: Middle courses help us not to feel too much hunger for the main ones, so from this point of view they are useful. A middle course between breakfast and lunch and an afternoon meal are fully enough, as this may be a fresh juice or smoothie, a handful of raw nuts or a fruit.
Adi: What is the reason more and more people to have insulin resistance?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: The cause of insulin resistance, unfortunately, is still not quite clear. What is known for sure is that it is directly linked with the grade of obesity in the abdominal region /the so called visceral obesity/, and this type of obesity, except for the lifestyle, is linked also with the level of stress or rather with the manner of dealing with it. The diet in insulin resistance is such that doesn’t allow pulsatile /sharp/ release of insulin from the pancreas. Or in other words said, foods with low glycemic index should be preferred. These are foods which slowly and gradually release their energy from the carbohydrates. In order to become clearer, I’ll give an example with rice – the white rice is a source of fast carbohydrates, i.e. it as high glycemic index; brown rice, the one with more flakes and fibers and requires more digestion, will need more energy for its absorption and will release more slowly and steadily energy for the body, i.e. it has lower glycemic index. The dietary regimen is not always enough in insulin resistance; sometimes therapy with medications is necessary. Furthermore, a natural way to increase insulin receptors’ sensibility is the muscle contraction or systemic sport practicing.
Adi: Is it a myth that we shouldn’t eat after 18 o’clock?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: If we work till late or if we should be active in the late hours, following this rule is impossible. It is important to provide adequate time for the gastrointestinal system to evacuate food and to have healthy and sound sleep. So, we have to end with food and beverages intake at least two hours before going to bed.
Adi: Are you a fan of superfoods?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: Superfoods, of course, are foods with curative effect upon the body; except for being modern, they are really very useful. I am their “fan” and often use them, especially when I have to be entirely concentrated and effective in my work or when I want to get energized fast and safely for a long time.
Adi: Is the strength training only for men?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: Strength training can be adapted to woman’s body; it builds up musculature which is a trigger for metabolism. Muscles are remarkably heavier than fats and extremely important for a healthy and beautiful body.
Adi: When is it best to do sports – morning/evening?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: The morning training is recommended as it makes you vigorous, wakes you up in unique manner and gives energy. This is the time fats are burnt the most efficiently because of the circadian release of hormones of metabolism. The lack of time in the morning often leads to evening training, thus we free ourselves in a healthy way from working problems and can obtain real wholesome sleep. So do sport, whenever it suits you, but it’s important to be regular and moderate as well.
Adi: Give us advice how to prepare the morning coffee in a healthier way, is the milk ok?
Dr. R. Stoyanova: Coffee itself is not harmful; on the contrary, it energizes and awakens you, protects the liver and aids kidneys’ drainage. It’s another question you should not go too far with it, by the way this is valid for each food. If you love coffee, prefer it freshly ground and organic if possible. Don’t add milk or sugar, thus its real taste and part of its curative impact is lost. However, if drinking coffee is a ritual for you and you can’t do it without a notion of sweetness, add a little bit of brown sugar or agave nectar.