I admit it … I do occasionally go lacking for ideas for this space. After 34 years, that’s inevitable. Most of the time it’s just that I don’t want to repeat myself. I wrote the same piece on Mrs. Geraldine Upton at least three times before my wife reminded me that I had already covered my story with her.
This time it’s sort of the same thing. I’ve written about nothing but COVID-19 and returning to school and sports for three straight weeks.
I usually write about whatever is on my heart and that’s been foremost since it looked like there would be a fall sports season. And I would be lying to you if I told you returning to sports wasn’t still weighing heavily on me. But the fact is, we’re in it, with games about to commence.
I don’t worry about volleyball and soccer as much as football. In football, the contact is more, the numbers are much higher, and I honestly believe the chances of getting COVID-19 are much higher.
I understand the overwhelming desire to return to some degree of normalcy and I know what the senior season an athlete dreams of means to them. So, I’m there. Every day. Doing what I can to keep them safe. Because that’s my job.
To protect my family, I’m putting my clothes directly in the washing machine and heading for the shower every day when I get home. I wear a mask, I wash my hands. I maintain social distancing whenever possible. But if I have an injured athlete, social distancing goes out the door.
Back to the original dilemma: What to write about that isn’t about COVID-19 (obviously, I’ve already blown that one). I asked a patient of mine for suggestions about what I should write about this week. He had already admitted to being a regular reader — looking for my column on Sunday morning every week.
He said “write about what we should be eating to stay healthy.”
OK. I can do that. I’ve been down that road before but I’ve been told you have to hear something seven times before it really sinks in. So here is my opinion.
If it contains white sugar or white flour, stay away from it. You don’t have to completely eliminate those food culprits from your diet, just limit your intake of both of them.
I just don’t understand those that drink several sodas every day. The average soda contains about 8 teaspoons (or 30-40 grams) of added sugar. Each. The American Heart Association recommendation on added sugar is about 25 grams a day. That’s just too much sugar.
And we can’t ignore that there’s a lot of sugar in other foods. Ketchup. Salad dressing. Sports drinks. Barbecue sauce. We get plenty of sugar in our diet so we need to look for ways to cut back. All of us.
In general, Americans consume way too much in the way of simple carbohydrates. My personal path was that my problems with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) went away when I dropped my carb intake considerably. Complex carbohydrates are OK but even then, we need fewer carbs and a more balanced diet.
We all need to eat more simply. The items in your grocery cart should have one name, not a list of ingredients. There are good fats and bad fats. Know the difference.
Eat smart. Eat healthy. But food is meant to be enjoyed so don’t beat yourself up for the occasional lapse.
Follow @Troy_Provost on Twitter for more from sports reporter Troy Provost-Heron.