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Healthy Lifestyle Assessment

The company I work for offers a yearly Healthy Lifestyle Assessment for the employees. I wouldn’t normally participate in this sort of activity for a multitude of reasons, but this year I decided to only because there is financial incentive involved. Since the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, there are financial incentives for companies to have wellness programs for their employees which includes some sort of assessment.

The assessment included an analysis of my blood for cholesterol levels, A1C (checking for diabetes), weight and blood pressure. I also filled out a survey of lifestyle habits. All of my bio-metrics were within healthy ranges but the survey indicated some risk. The survey is based on the eating habits from ChooseMyPlate.gov, which gives you recommendations on how much fruit, vegetables, protein, dairy and grains you should eat in a day based on your age, gender, height, weight and physical activity. For example; it has calculated my daily calorie intake as 2400. What!!? It has suggested that the majority of my calories come from grains, no no no!

According to my healthy lifestyle assessment I eat the right amount of vegetables, not enough fruit, dairy or grains and too much protein! Is there such a thing as too much protein when you are bodybuilding?

I am not a nutritional expert, so I’ll throw that disclaimer out there, but I would have a hard time recommending ChooseMyPlate as the source of information on how one should eat for a healthy lifestyle. What if you’re gluten free, what if you are dairy free; like so many of us MSers are?

In my opinion the basics to a healthy diet are eating fresh whole foods and avoiding packaged processed foods as much as possible. I eat a diet of 80/20, meaning 80% of my foods come from whole foods such as vegetables lean proteins (fish, chicken) and 20% from processed sources, such as a bagel here and there. There are so many articles and studies on diet it can be overwhelming, you have to do your own research, experiment and come to your own conclusion on what diet works best for your health and lifestyle.

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