|Hot lunch not always healthiest option
Q: My 6-year-old son wants to eat hot lunch every day because his friends do, but I know I could make him some healthier options here at home. Any advice?
A: This is probably an issue that a lot of parents deal with. Sadly, the nutritional guidelines for public schools are terrible, which gives them a license to serve cheap, processed food. That being said, some schools make more of an effort in the area of nutrition than others.
Therefore, it really depends on what your son has available to him at his school. Some schools actually offer salad bars and fresh fruit as staples, which is a good thing, but many don’t even go this far.
My recommendation would be to pack him a cold lunch as the standard, but then look at the school lunch menu with him and pick out a few days that both of you approve of. This gives him a little control over his own food choices, but also lets you lay the ground rules for lunchtime eating.
Ideally, the focus should be on healthful food options, and with careful planning, I think this can be accomplished with a combination of both cold and hot lunches.
Q: Is it wise to include supersets in my workouts and, if so, what are the advantages?
A: Supersets involve performing two exercises back to back with little or no rest in between. And if you’re looking to change up your workouts a bit, they’re definitely worth a try.
There are numerous superset variations, but the most common types would be same muscle supersetting or antagonistic supersetting. As the name implies, same muscle supersetting incorporates two different exercises for the same muscle group. For example, one set of dumbbell chest presses could be followed by barbell incline press.
Antagonistic supersetting involves opposing muscle groups, so you might combine biceps curls with triceps extensions, again with no rest in between sets.
No matter what type of supersetting you engage in, there are three obvious advantages to utilizing this method of training. First of all, doing supersets saves time, which is clearly advantageous when people want to get in and get out. It also allows an individual to train at a higher intensity, which can produce better results in the long run.
And lastly, because supersetting allows for increased workout intensity without using very heavy weights, the likelihood of injury decreases significantly. Give ‘em a try and see what you think.
Q: A couple of my friends have recently started juicing. What are your thoughts?
A: Juicers are quite popular these days, but here’s my take on the whole juicing phenomenon.
Occasionally, I’ll meet people who just hate fruit and vegetables. They pretty much avoid them altogether. But interestingly, a few of these individuals have said that juicing seems to work for them. They don’t seem to have a problem drinking their fruits and veggies. If this is the case for you or someone you know, I say “go for it.”
However, we need to remember that most juicers remove virtually all of the fiber as the fruits and vegetables are processed. If you add in the research that shows that fiber may provide much of the health benefits attributed to fruits and vegetables, we have a problem here.
I would argue it’s much better to eat fruits and vegetables intact - the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Plus, most folks consume far too little fiber anyway, so juicing is just going to exacerbate this problem.
Bottom line: Save your money and stick with whole fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
Michael Kelling is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Rohnert Park. To submit a question for future articles or contact the author, e-mail Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.