In a previous blog, I mentioned that upon obtaining my daily coffee at a local service station at 6 am; I was not surprised to see 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 no doubt that would be on the menu as well!
Tradies do have it tough – early morning starts on the job at 7 am mean many Will get up at 5 am and either skip the home breakfast to get on the road, or breakfast might be a quick cereal with toast and then out of the home door. Not a good start to the day as the body needs lots of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients ( plant nutrients that contain enzymes) for lasting energy, immunity and tissue strength.
Recent research has shown that 25% of schoolchildren do not have breakfast in Victoria, and some 75% of adult males do not get their daily fruit and vegetables!
So why is a good diet and especially an excellent start to the day so important?
Tradies as a group are particularly prone to an increased 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. Especially diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. The body must be nourished with the right foods to prevent these disorders and have Radiant Health throughout the day.
For general dietary requirements, a diet of 20% protein and 80% fruit and vegetables is best for promoting good health. No bread, pasta, milk, potatoes and rice. This balance provides a good intake of vitamins and minerals, fibre and essential proteins for tissue growth, maintenance and bowel health. This ratio is ok for most workers and those who wish to maintain or reduce their weight. More protein at breakfast and throughout the day is recommended for those whose jobs involve heavy manual labour or heavy workload. The rule of thumb is that there should not be any hunger pangs until at least 11 am after a good breakfast. So if breakfast is taken at 7 am, then if enough protein is taken, this should last most until 11 am. If there were hunger pangs before this time, not enough quality protein was 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 prevent the amount of sugar released from the digestion of the carbs. The increased amount of sugar in the bloodstream acts as “sandpaper” on small blood vessels due to velocity wear and tear and high insulin signals cells to store the glucose as Fat!
Furthermore, because high amounts of carbs cause an overproduction of insulin, 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. The processed cereal 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 seven or before and worked 10 hour days lugging heavy loads and cargo. So an extensive and easy to digest breakfast was a critical meal for them for the day. On many of the old piers, 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 many vegetables. One tradesperson that I know brings a big thermos of Beef soup and root vegetables for lunch – he claims 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 needed.
For tradies who have to get up early, perhaps making porridge or Bircher muesli the night before and having that for morning break may be better. This will balance blood glucose and minimise an insulin spike.
One Cavvaet on the above is those who are on intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet. For those accustomed to such an eating regime, skipping breakfast may be the norm and having good two meals a day – early lunch and dinner can be acceptable. This may be especially good for the tradie who is overweight or trying to lose weight.
For further information and a free health check, don’t hesitate contact to me on www.adelaidenaturopath.net.au.
Peter Farnsworth N.D