In a previous blog i mentioned that upon obtaining my daily coffee at a local service station at 6 am in the morning i was  not surprised to see that tradies coming in for their early morning coffee and either a muffin or a Pie or pastie ! 

If they could sell beer at that time of the morning then i have not doubt that would be on the menu as well !

Ok Tradies do have it tough – early morning starts on the job at 7 am mean many Will get up at 5 am or thereafter and either skip the home breakfast to get on the road or breakfast might be a quick cereal with toast and then get out of the home door  . Not a good start to the day as the body needs good fuel for the day and lots of vitamins and minerals and phyto -nutrients ( plant nutrients that contain enzymes) for lasting energy/ immunity  and tissue strength. 

Recent research has shown that in Victoria 25% of school children do not have breakfast and some 75% of adult males do not get their daily requirements of fruit and vegetables !

So why is a good diet and especially a good start to the day so important ? 

Tradies as a group are particularly prone to an increase risk of a wide range of diseases such as Heart Disease , Bowel issues and Gut complaints , Arthritis and Eye problems not to mention weight gain and diabetes. To prevent these disorders and to have Radiant Health through the day then the body must be nourished . 

As a rule of thumb for general dietary requirements i recommend a diet that is 20% protein and 80% fruit and veg . No bread , pasta , milk , potatoes and rice .This balance provides a good intake of vitamins and minerals , fibre and essential proteins for tissue growth and maintainance  and lots of fibre . This ratio is ok for most workers and for those who wish to maintain or reduce their weight . For those whose jobs involve hearty  manual labour or heavy workload then inclusion of more protein at breakfast and thoughout the day are recommended . The rule of thumb is that after breakfast there shoud not be any hunger pangs until at least 11 am . So if breakfast is taken at 7 am then if enough protein is taken then this should last most until 11 am . If there is hunger pangs before this time then it is a signal that not enough good Quality  protein has been consumed. Protein can be eggs , steak , chicken or like or even a high protein shake may fit the profile .  Protein balances blood sugar levels by controlling insulin responses . In a high carbohydrate  breakfast the  pancreas releases  insulin to help control  the amount of sugar released from the digestion of the carbs. High amount of sugar in the blood stream acts as ” sandpaper” on small blood vessells due to velocity wear and tear  and high insulin gives a signal to cells  to store the glucose as Fat !  Further more because high amounts of carbs caused an overproduction of insulin then a few hours later there is a blood glucose crash when the cells have absorbed the glucose leading to  fatigue and hunger . So the cycle repeats itself so long as carbs are ingested , a kind of yo-yo effect .  Clearly the weeties for breakfast will not do the job !

A better option for Blood glucose control is the high protein breakfast such as three scrambled eggs with some diced veg or meat protein . The diet for Chinese coolies in Singapore when ships had to be unloaded by hand was chicken and rice laksa for breakfast . The “coolies” commenced work around 7 or before and worked 10 hour days lugging heavy loads and cargo . So a big and  easy to digest breakfast was a critical meal for them for the day . On many of the old wharfs there were many cafe’s devoted to making these high protein curries and some have carried over until today and are popularised by the Vietnamese “pho” which can be had for either breakfast or lunch .

Lunch can be a big salad sandwich or a Vietnamese  Bian mei roll with lots of vegetables . One tradesperson  that I know brings a big thermos of Beef soup and root vegetables for lunch – he claims that this is easier to digest and quicker to eat during the short work break .

Dinner suggestions  are a big plate of salad or vegetables with some protein . Sure for those who do not have weight issues then some rice or potato on the plate ( no chips) can be looked at . Generally Less protein is required at the end of the day so only a small serve is required .

For further information please contact me on www.adelaidenaturopath.net.au

Peter Farnsworth