Alan Green

Episode 4 - Nutrition, Energy, and Ag Teacher Wellness (Part 2) / Transcript

Blog Post created by Alan Green on Oct 5, 2020

Alan Green:

Welcome to Connect, a podcast by the National Association of Agriculture Educators. No matter how long you've been in the classroom we as agriculture educators know the power that connections play in bettering ourselves as educators and strengthening our profession. Connect is a podcast by the National Association of Agricultural Educators and works to educate listeners about NAAE resources, inform them of new and innovative practices, and connect current and future agricultural educators and supporters. I'm you host, Alan Green, we are excited that you are here so let's get started.

 

Alan Green:

Hi there and welcome back to Connect, a podcast by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. On today's episode Parker Bane, the current NAAE president and guest cohost, and I are continuing our conversation about Ag teacher nutrition, health, and wellness.

 

Parker Bane:

If you're new here we were joined by two agricultural educators, Amanda and Melvin, during our last episode where they shared their stories about their health journeys along with tips and tricks that any listener can implement in their own lives to maintain their energy throughout the day and be the best for themselves, their students, and their families.

 

Alan Green:

And if you're interested in listening to our first episode, you can listen to it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play, or by visiting our website at www.NAAE.org/podcast.

 

Parker Bane:

Before we welcome our guest for today's episode, we again want to reiterate that this podcast episode is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any serious lifestyle changes should be made only in consultation with your physician.

 

Alan Green:

On today's episode we're excited to keep the conversation about Ag teacher nutrition, health, and wellness going. We're joined today by Ms. Ginny Reddick, who is a nutrition and wellness coach for individuals, groups, and organizations. We are so excited for everything that Ginny has to share with us, so let's jump right in.

 

Alan Green:

Ginny, thank you so much for joining us today on the Connect podcast.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Thank you for having me.

 

Alan Green:

Now Ginny, will you just start off and share with our listeners more about your role in nutrition and wellness? What kind of work do you do and what services do you provide for different individuals, businesses or organizations?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yeah, I'd love to. So just to kind of set the picture of who I am and what I do. My mission as a nutrition wellness coach is to empower people to have their best energy so that they can truly be the best version of themselves, so they can thrive in life, so they can achieve their goals and their mission in life. That is why I do what I do and I love it. And that really has played in all of my roles as a dietician.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So, a little bit of background about me and who I am, I am a registered dietician and I've been one for 17 years. I can't believe I'm saying 17 years, it feels like I just graduated from college. But anyway, here I am. So, my first role as a dietician I was a bariatric dietician, which means I worked for bariatric surgeons who did weight loss surgery. And I loved that because I really hoped people prepare for surgery but the main thing that I did was help them learn how to eat after surgery and then to help them lose weight, but then also to maintain that weight loss. So I got to track with these patients and these clients for years after their surgery, helping them, empowering them to eat well to fuel their bodies to lose weight and then continue to keep that off.

 

Ginny Reddick:

The next role I played, I was a corporate dietician. So, that I did kind of a 180 of being in the clinical setting then to a business corporation. I worked at Chick-fil-A in their corporate headquarters and I worked in their wellness program. And so what the wellness program was, was we actually had a fitness center, and we had personal trainers on staff, we had event planners, so we worked as a team to help the employees of Chick-fil-A really have their best energy so they could be the best employees, so they could be the best spouse, parent, community volunteer, you name it. Whatever their roles they were playing, we helped empower them to do that their best. And we really focused on energy and how they could have their best energy so that came through nutrition and exercise, and also we did fun events for their families as well. So we would go hiking in the Tetons, and again, just kind of incorporating wellness and nutrition and exercise into their daily life.

 

Ginny Reddick:

I loved that and I actually worked as the nutrition coordinator for most of my time there but I also ended up managing the programs, so did more of the vision of the program for that too and I loved that.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Now, what I currently do is private practice. So I work with individuals, I work with families, I work with children and adolescents, I work with athletes. So, I kind of have a wide variety of people I work with, helping them achieve their health goals. I also work part time for an integrated medical practice, and what that is, is we focus on functional medicine where we combine Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and Western medicine to help our clients get to the root cause of their issues. We really try to help them heal from the inside out. Nutrition plays a huge part of that, a lot of it starts in your gut, you probably have heard that buzzword. Starts in your gut, and so that's what I do is I actually help implement, help people implement the nutrition and eating protocols that we have, create meal plans for them, and that's something that I love. I loved the integrative nutrition because again we're really trying to help people heal from the inside out, so they too have their best energy to live and thrive their best life.

 

Parker Bane:

Now this isn't the first experience that NAAE has had with you, is it Ginny?

 

Ginny Reddick:

No.

 

Parker Bane:

In fact you've presented and shared your information with accelerate, which is a program for mid-career agricultural educators. So, why do you think that nutrition and wellness is so important for anyone, but particularly agricultural educators?

 

Ginny Reddick:

We'll go back to my, kind of main focused word, which is, it's all about energy. And we know that our physical energy matters, right? And we know that food is our fuel for physical energy. But food effects not just our physical energy but our emotional energy, our mental energy, our relational energy. It really, it touches every part of us and we know that. I can just say the word hangry and you probably all would be like, "Oh yes, I know what feels like." And that encompasses not just physical hunger, I mean, yes, when you're hangry you're like, "Where is the nearest food option?" And usually it's something quick and carbohydrate filled, but it's also when we start having what we call brain fog or we can't think as clearly. And so a lot of people talk about that, we're like, "I can't think very clearly." Or you're sitting there trying formulate a sentence and you can't very well, or it also effects our emotional energy. When we're hangry, we're irritable. So, we're somewhat-

 

Parker Bane:

No, never.

 

Ginny Reddick:

...Right, exactly. You could try so hard to be your best but if someone just does that one thing and you're hangry it just can cause you to snap, right? Or you just zone out and you don't pay attention.

 

Parker Bane:

I really hope that my wife and several of my former students are listening to this and taking notes right now, because you're explaining years of Parker Bane relationship.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Exactly.

 

Parker Bane:

So glad to hear you bring up the hangry piece, that is validating.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Right, exactly. And we have all felt that way. And it encompasses our physical, emotional, relational, mental energy. So I say, "Why is nutritional wellness so important?" It is because it is going to help you have your best energy. And I say this, "Not only your best energy in the morning but also mid day and evening," that's always something that I focus on. You not only want your best energy, you want your best energy consistently. You want it throughout the day so you can be that best version of yourself, do your best work every point of your day not just either in the morning or the evening if you're more of a morning person or evening person. No, you can truly be thriving throughout your day if you're fueling yourself properly.

 

Alan Green:

Absolutely. And that is actually a great lead in to our next question. So, right now when we're recording this episode it's the beginning of August, it'll air the end of August. And that means that a lot of teachers right now are either just starting school or they're getting ready to go back, whether that's remote or whether that's in person. And one thing that's very common for teachers is, this is the time of year where they might set goals for themselves, initiatives, intentions for the upcoming year, particularly around health and wellness and diet. What advice would you give to someone who's working in education for setting and sticking to those intentions in order to help them have a successful year?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yes, that's a great question. So, the best phrase I can say, "If you can take anything with you," well besides some of the other nutrition principles. But, really if you can think, "Okay, I need to find my why." I love to start off all of my coaching sessions with, "Okay, tell me why the goal that you have even matters to you." So that would be what I would say is going to be a fuel for you, and you've got to have that intrinsic reason why, that you're going to choose an apple over a brownie. We've got to have that, because that's going to help fuel us to make the wise decision.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So when I start off talking a coaching session with someone I always say, "Okay, paint me a picture of what you would feel like, what you would be doing, what you would look like in a year from now." I love to use a year because it's like, "Okay, that's doable." You can kind of think in a years term, you're like, "Okay, this is my vision." And I want you to paint the picture like, "This is what I would be doing, this is how I would feel, this is how I would look." I mean you name it. And that, a lot of times just painting that picture helps you get to, "Why, why does this matter?"

 

Ginny Reddick:

And it could be, "Because I want to be playing with... I want to have, at the end of my day, I want to have energy to play with my kids. Or I want to be just as engaged in helping my students learn at the end of the year as the beginning of the year. Or it could be I have this goal of I'm going to be... By the end of the year I'm going to run this half marathon." I mean everybody's goals will be different and their reasons why, but it's just so good to think of, "Okay, paint a picture of what you would be like and what you would feel like in a year and then go back to, that's why."

 

Ginny Reddick:

Find your why of why having a health goal, having a nutrition goal matters to you because I've had people who say, "Okay, I want to lose this weight to get into this by this date." That's great, I mean sometimes those short term goals we have those and those are good, but a lot of times it's real hard to choose like I said, the apple, especially when there's donuts at the beginning of school or teacher appreciation week and people are bringing in... They love to bring in food, right? And so it just helps to fuel your choice in that and help you... You can either choose... You can choose the apple and say, "I know this is going to fuel me better." Or you can say, "No, I make this choice right now and that's great, but I know for dinner this is what I'm going to have." So it just really empowers you to think of nutrition more holistically and really help you keep those goals in front of you.

 

Parker Bane:

So is it fair to say that the "why" piece is a psychological component, primarily?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yeah, exactly it.

 

Parker Bane:

So, as kind of a follow up on that, one of the things that I think agriculture educators struggle with is the guilt factor. You know, we're always in competition with our peers, there's always something more that we want to do, so what advice do you have for somebody in that psychological piece for getting over that hump of guilt to where they figure out that it's okay to take care of themselves and it's okay to make different choices?

 

Ginny Reddick:

That's a great question. And that I really would probably point back to the vision, the why. And making sure that you kind of go back, you have a lot of people pulling at you and saying all these things but you've come back to this vision of what you want to be and how you want to... what you want to be doing, how you want to be... I mean, what you want to be fulfilling in your life in that year timeframe. So a lot of times when people do come back and say, "Well gosh, I have this, my kids pull me this way, or my significant other doesn't want to do the same thing as I do." That's a lot or "I'm just too busy.

 

Ginny Reddick:

It can be like, "Okay, well, but remember this vision, remember the picture you painted, and you said, this is where you want to be, and this is who you want to be. And that is the reason why and so it's okay to stand up for that." And to say, "This is where I want to be and to stick to that." So I always like to go, that's why I like to start off my sessions with that. And always, always like to go back to that, because that really does help kind of, when a lot of outside factors come in and pull you in different directions, you can go back to the center, and your kind of intrinsic reason why.

 

Parker Bane:

That is great advice. And, I hope people are taking notes feverishly as they're listening. So, one of the problems that we have as agricultural educators is, we kind of talked about time on a macro scale, looking at what are your goals within a year? But what about just getting through a really long day, I know that there are a lot of agricultural educators that work really long hours. And so how do they keep their energy up not only when they're with their students for however long that day might be, but also for their families when they get home?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yes, so this brings us to the very practical nutrition principles. So, there are three foundational nutrition principles that I recommend, for, I really recommend for everyone. And so I recommend this for everyone who's listening, because no matter what season you're in, and that's what I always like to say is, "Honestly, it can be for you right now, it could be for your children, it could be for you five years down the road. These are foundational principles that what you want to be implementing every single day." Now, in different season of your seasons of your life, you may eat differently, like, okay, if you're maybe you're trying to heal from a disease, so you may be eating, like slightly different, maybe taking away certain foods and adding some back in or maybe you are training for a minute and a half marathon, maybe you're training for something like that, well, you may eat a little differently in that timeframe. But the key is, you're still following these principles.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So like I said, these are three key foundational nutrition principles that you can take with you now and throughout the rest of your life. Number one, is eat consistently. So what I mean by that is, we want to eat every three to four hours throughout the day. So that could look like, you wake up at 6, you eat at 7, than you maybe are eating around 11:30. And then you're having a snack around 3:00 or 3:30, and then dinner around 6 or 6:30. So, when I say eat consistently, I don't mean eat all the time, it just means eat in that three to four hour range. And I'd love to get that range just because it gives you some flexibility based on your day, based on your hunger. The key is you don't want to go over four hours. Why? Because your blood sugar drops and we get hangry. We go back to that piece, so we get hangry. And you probably... most of us have all felt that way before. And we don't need to eat really before three hours because then that's just constantly eating we need to give our body a little bit of a break.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So that three to four hours is such a sweet spot to stabilize your blood sugar. And the reason why stabilizing your blood sugar or your blood glucose is so essential is thats what supplies your body with energy. Every cell runs off of glucose. So, in order to get keep ourselves healthy and to have that quality energy. That's why we have to feed ourselves. And that's why eating in that consistent interval of that three to four hours is so essential to having energy throughout the day. So that's number one.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Number two is, "Okay, now that I know how I need to eat consistently, what do I eat within that?" You want to make sure you're eating protein, fat and fiber at every meal and snack. So those are kind of big, big words. And you probably know a lot about what a protein food is and what fat food is. But just a little bit of information about both of all three of those. Protein is just so essential to helping, you know build your muscle building, be a building block for that.

 

Ginny Reddick:

But it is so essential in stabilizing your blood sugar too. It supplies your body with energy. It also takes a longest to digest. So it actually fills you up. I mean, you probably have felt this, if you don't eat a meal or snack with... if you eat a meal or snack without protein, you're hungry an hour later. For instance, you eat a bag of pretzels, you're hungry very quickly after that. But if you eat a handful of peanuts, it's going to stay with you a little longer. So protein is so essential for that. Fat is again essential too for stabilizing your blood sugar, and it is filling again. If you eat a meal without fat, it doesn't taste good, or you have to add a lot of sugar do it. So fat is so essential for that. And it's so important for just our overall health and balancing of our hormones. It really is so essential for our brain to work well. So fat is such a key piece.

 

Ginny Reddick:

And then fiber. And fiber is not as glamorous and glorious as fat and protein mainly because it's not... it doesn't have a diet named after it, like keto or paleo. But it is so essential to to make sure you're getting that in every day. And again, it builds you up, it helps stabilize your blood sugar, so giving you consistent quality energy throughout the day. Another thing about fiber that is really wonderful, is that it actually is detoxing, it will find toxins in your body and take them out of your body. So the combination of all of those is so powerful in helping you have your best energy and fueling you throughout the day, as well as helping you prevent disease or heal from disease. So they're also essential. Now, you're probably like, "Well, what are foods that are protein, fat and fiber."

 

Ginny Reddick:

Protein foods are pretty much any of your meats, any meat, you know, beef, pork, fish, eggs. All of that... any animal based product is going to be protein. Other protein foods are your nuts and seeds, and beans. So beans are also in lentils, those also have protein. And actually some vegetables have some protein, they're not high in protein, but they do have some protein too. So, the kind of your main focus is any animal products. So again, all your meats, your dairy eggs, than your beans and lentils, legumes and nuts and seeds. Then, fat is all of your oils. So like your olive oil, or avocado oil, or coconut oil, sesame oil, all those oils as well as certain foods like avocados. Nuts and seeds also have it you'll probably hear that a couple times because nuts and seeds actually have protein, fat and fiber. But that has good quality fat as well. And actually most meat or animal products is going to have some fat as well. So, with fat and when when I say you need to have the combination, we're not talking about high high fat here, we're just talking a little bit because it'll help again, stabilize your blood sugar, which fuels your energy levels.

 

Ginny Reddick:

And then fiber is found in vegetables. I mean, all vegetables have fiber. Some fruits do like, berries and fruit that has a crunch. So like your apple or your pears, things like that. Your whole grains, so whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, even some of your starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, those are going to have some fiber as well. And then beans, I think beans and lentils and legumes have fiber as well. So, fiber tends to be a little harder to to get. Most Americans, we get an average of right around 7 to 10. If we're really conscious, maybe around 15 grams of fiber. But the recommendation is that least 25 grams of fiber somewhere between 25 and 35. So you have to be pretty intentional, and you can do it but you just have to be pretty intentional. The American diet tends to be higher in protein and fat than it does fiber. So that's just something to think about is, "Okay, I've got to concentrate on getting all of these, but making sure you're getting fiber as well."

 

Ginny Reddick:

So that is number two. So we've got eating on that 3 to 4 hour window, 3 to 4 hours throughout the day. Making sure every time you're eating, every meal, every snack, you are getting a combination of protein, fat, and fiber. And then number three, it's pretty simple, but just drink water. It is one that we forget is so essential for energy. And why it's because half of our body is water. 70% of our brain is water. If we are dehydrated, we are definitely low on energy, we will not have our quality energy throughout the day. So I recommend drinking about half of your body weight in ounces of water. It's a good goal, you don't have to try it, it may not... it may be difficult to do every day. But sometimes I mean, one thing I love to recommend is just find a water bottle you like and carry it around, you'll carry it around with you if you like it right.

 

Ginny Reddick:

And so just and then you know how much you're drinking, you can track it. So that is so essential. And that's an essential part of energy is drinking water. So those are the big three, eat consistently every 3 to 4 hours, eat protein, fat and fiber every time you're eating and then drink water.

 

Parker Bane:

Where have you been all my life? This is fantastic. And I really hope that we get a huge audience checking this out, this is amazing advice. So thank you for everything that you're doing.

 

Ginny Reddick:

My pleasure.

 

Alan Green:

I was gonna say that, one thing with our podcast, is we really want to provide teachers with tangible things that they can take from the episodes and implement in their life. So, I think those three things that you mentioned, right there are just really strong things that any listener can implement and see a change in their life. Ginny, one question that I have for you that wasn't one that we had originally prepared that your conversation just made me think of it, Ag teachers are on the road a lot. We're traveling for conferences, contests, livestock, shows, conventions, all different types of things. I know from my personal experiences when I was a teacher, that it can be difficult, especially when you're on the road to make eating healthy, or making healthy choices a priority. What would you recommend for Ag teachers or other professionals who might be listening for how to eat healthy and make up those healthy choices while on the road, when they're not right in their kitchen, Or right in their classroom?

 

Ginny Reddick:

That's a great question. And I have some great thoughts on that. Honestly, just to kind of go back to my days at Chick-fil-A, there was a lot, there was a huge department in Chick-fil-A that traveled, that's what they did. They are business consultants and they travel all around to the operators. So that was one of their biggest questions too, is, "How do I eat healthy on the road." And it's difficult. And so I just want to say if you're on the road a lot, I know it's hard. The first thing I'll say is, "Do the very best you can, you don't have control over every circumstance." I wish we did, but we don't.

 

Ginny Reddick:

I wish we did in a lot of areas of life, right, but we don't have control of everything. So you're not going to be able to know exactly how the vegetables were prepared at the restaurant you go to, but you can still choose the vegetables, and you're making a wise choice there. So when I encourage you that, like I said, "We don't have control over everything," but you can still make wise decisions and that can still fuel your energy and help you feel well. So the first thing that I would say is continue to eat consistently. And with travel that may not look like three square meals and one or two snacks. I know when I travel, it doesn't, hardly ever. And so I just say keep that three to four hour schedule of eating.

 

Ginny Reddick:

It does not have to look like a perfectly square meal. But it can still look like fuel. And you can still get things that have protein, fat and fiber that may not look like a plate that where you're sitting down eating some chicken and a salad. So that'd be number one. Then two, when you are thinking of you know, preparing for a trip, I always say pack some things that you know you can fall on if you're in a place where one, you can't get something to eat. Or you're in a place where there's nothing that you feel like will help you when you're eating. So what I say is, snacks that are non perishable that you can pack protein bars, and again, I look for bars that have protein, fat and fiber, just to just to name a few that I like. One is, RXBAR. They're really quality, very few ingredients and they have protein, fat and fiber.

 

Ginny Reddick:

And if you can get ones that don't melt and I've learned that the hard way, because there's chocolate ones, but there's also ones that are blueberry, and mixed berry. Peanut butter and jelly actually is a flavor that's delicious, and it doesn't have chocolate to melt. So, that's a great bar. Two other bars that are really like, one is, Garden of Life Organic Fit bars. I know that's kind of a long sentence, or long name. But they have great protein and fiber and they have very little sugar. So those are good ones. And then Bulletproof, that that brand, Bulletproof, they have bars. And all of their bars are really good too, because they have protein, fat and fiber, and very little sugar.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So that's another thing always look for, is you don't want to have... sometimes with bars, they can just be a lot of sugar. So just trying to look for ones that have, lower in sugar, but if they have good quality, say 10 grams, or more a protein. And at least, 5 to 7 grams of fiber. And anywhere from like 5 to 7 grams of fat, those are going to be good bars. So bars are good ones. Nuts are great one, nuts in trail mix. And you don't have to have the trail mix that has peanut, m&ms in it if you don't want it to melt again. But, those are always so easy. Any nut, any seed has protein, fat and fiber and works great and honestly, you can buy in bulk and put them in snack bags, and you can carry them with you that's really simple.

 

Ginny Reddick:

A lot of times if you don't even have something with you and go into a convenience store, and they have nuts. So, just in any kind of like pinching situation, nuts and seeds are always so good. So those are just some easy ones to always have with you. Another thing when you think about going out to eat, again, you're trying to think protein, fat and fiber. I like when I think about a plate, I like to think okay, I need about half of my plate to be some type of vegetable or fruit. Yes, fruit has a little more sugar. But sometimes you're in a place where there's just not even vegetables, but they do have fruit. So, any kind of fruit or vegetable is half of your plate. And then a fourth of your plate being your protein, whether that's chicken, whether that's, fish or beef or any of it. And then another fourth of your plate could be your kind of grain food, whether that's rice, whether that's bread.

 

Ginny Reddick:

If it's a sandwich, unless you use Chick-fil-A, I like to use it. But if you go to Chick-fil-A and let's say you want the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, you count... maybe you do, you can do that sandwich, and then you have a side salad with it, or you have the fruit with it. Or if you want like the grilled chicken nuggets, and you want a small fry, but you don't have any other grain food, like the bread, and then you have the fruit or the salad. So you can kind of balance that way, so fourth of your grain food, the fourth your protein and half of your plate as fruit or vegetable. And then the other one would be just take your water bottle. And the nice thing is now so many places, especially airports, as many of us... I know many of us aren't going on airplanes, but sometimes it's essential, right. And so if you're in the airport, they have place for you to fill up your water bottle, which is wonderful.

 

Ginny Reddick:

And you can have that with you. But always just drinking water because again, one thing I didn't mention about water was that a lot of times when we think we're hungry, we're really just dehydrated and we just need water. So a lot of times just drinking water can curb some of those hunger cravings if it's not been your like 3 to 4 hour window yet.

 

Alan Green:

And I think as far as like the water bottle thing that's such a great thing for teachers to have is just a high quality water bottle. And I know a lot of schools have the drinking fountains where there's a spot to fill up your water bottle. And also two of the district that I taught at, it wasn't there right away and teachers asked for it and student asks for it and they were able to put it in. So I think that's another thing too is, that is an option and use your voice if that's something that you think your school would use. Ginny one thing that I really struggled with my first two years of teaching was, it's just that I would have a mindset, "Oh, I have these meals at home. I brought a healthy lunch. I ate a healthy breakfast." But I would snack throughout the day. And not necessarily like the snacks that you mentioned, but the things that were sweet, salty, fried. How would you recommend or what would you recommend to teachers to help curb that so that they're making those healthy snack choices versus things that aren't as healthy?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yeah, I feel like I'm kind of always going back to those principles. But what helps the thing that helps most with curbing the sweet cravings is fueling yourself with the like I say, "I don't like to use right or wrong, but the quality foods and that is protein, fat and fiber." So sometimes I think we get distracted by what is healthy. And we forget that we need all those ingredients, because, for instance, you can eat a salad, but if you didn't have some fat on that salad, some people like, "Okay, I'm trying so hard, I'm not going to put dressing on it or what not," then you didn't get any fat. And it can really cause you to have sweet cravings later. Or if you didn't put protein on it, a lot of times we can eat, will... or enough protein for sure. A lot of times we can have a little protein. But if we don't have, I recommend, and I use grams, sometimes it's harder to think about grams, but somewhere between 20 and 25 grams of protein at a meal, which is the equivalent about 3 to 4 ounces, which is about the size of the palm of your hand, for a piece of meat.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So if we don't get that, we're going to crave sweets. So it's so important to make sure you're getting all the components, the protein, fat and fiber. If you're missing one, let's say you had just, let's say a breakfast, you just had eggs. And like, let's say you've had eggs and a little bit of bacon, if you're doing more of a paleo style eating, but then you don't have any fiber there. Well, it's gonna be easy to kind of start like craving later on down the road if you didn't have the fiber piece too. So I would say it's so essential to have all three of those every time you're eating. And then you know, I think it's important to have some things that you do... to have some sweet options that contain protein, fat and fiber. IE, like trail mix, I mean, trail mix actually has protein, fat and fiber. And sometimes for me, that's a really great way to curb a sweet craving, but also get the other things that I need.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Or if you're something... if you're craving salty. For instance, the nuts, just having like a handful of nuts gives you that salty instead of reaching for the chips. There are foods out there now, one in particular is called Flacker Crackers, which is so funny, I think. But they're, they're flaxseed crackers. And the beauty of these crackers, they actually have protein, fat and fiber, like in good quantities, because it's a flaxseed. And they have several different flavors. So, it's sometimes nice to have those things on hand where you're like, "I'm really craving that salty, like craving the chips. But if I have a cracker that has protein, fat and fiber, and I can dip it into hummus or I can dip it into guacamole or put a little bit of nut butter on it."

 

Ginny Reddick:

That satisfies that crunchy, salty craving, or like I said, with a sweet craving, you have a few options. Even in, you can google, this but even doing protein ball, protein energy bites or balls, where you use good whole grain oats. And then you add... you use a nut butter, like a peanut butter to bind it. And then you put some chocolate chips in and you can even add a protein powder to it and then blends all in. And you can have those as just like easy snacks, but they're real satisfying because they got a little bit of a sweet taste, maybe some of those dark chocolate chips. So, the darker the better, in a sense of it doesn't have as much sugar, but it satisfies that sweet.

 

Ginny Reddick:

I think that's another piece. It's not only filling yourself with a protein, fat and fiber, but also making sure you have some options that are sweet or that are salty, but that still contain that protein, fat and fiber.

 

Parker Bane:

I have to apologize to our listeners right now. And the reason being is I edit... I'm getting hungry sitting here listening. It's around lunchtime when we're recording this. So for those of you that are maybe you know, you'll close to that three or four hour window when you're needing a little bit of blood sugar. And all this talk about all these snacks is kind of getting you going here. I want to give my apology, but, we're talking with Ginny Reddick and she is an expert in nutrition and she's helping us out today. So, you've given us a tremendous amount of great advice. But one question that I have is, if we can do only one thing, if there's only one bit of advice that you could share with us that an Ag educator could do to have more energy, what would you recommend?

 

Ginny Reddick:

I'll go back to those three nutrition principles. And they are the key to having your best energy. And I say that, that I believe, not only I believe but science and even practicality can show you that. There are other pieces that are essential for our energy too. For instance, exercise, sleep, they're critical and essential, you know movement. I'll say that instead of like, you don't need to do intense exercise, but just movement is so essential for energy, they're all, they all play a huge piece, all combined together for your best energy. But, there are going to be days where you're not going to move as much, right? We travel, we're on the plane, or we're sitting in a car, or we have to sit at our desk, that's just the nature of life, that there's just going to be days where we're not going to get a chance to maybe do our exercise or move as much.

 

Ginny Reddick:

There are going to be nights where you don't sleep well. I mean, the sleep is always so essential, but there are going to be times like that. If you have young kids, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So, there are gonna be times when both of those may not be as ideal. But, we're always going to eat, wait, even if you're only, if you're only going to eat one time a day, you still are going to eat. So that food is so essential. Its something that we're going to do every single day. So if you can apply these nutrition principles, honestly, if you apply these nutrition principles, you start balancing your blood sugar. That is going to give you energy to want to move, you're going to be like, you're gonna be fueled to be like, "I want to get out."

 

Ginny Reddick:

I was talking to a client Monday, he was like, "Now that I'm starting to do this, I actually want to come home from a very busy, very, very, very busy and high stress job to exercise which I didn't feel that way before." So there there's that, there's the benefit of fueling your body, so then you want that exercise, balancing your blood sugar, and consistent energy throughout the day. And keeping in that cycle actually helps you sleep better. So it can promote good sleep. So, food really affects the other two as well. So I will say, if I can, if there's one thing it'd be applied these three principles. And like I said, it doesn't have to look like three square meals, it could be, kind of more small snacks, but at least you're eating consistently and you're getting that combination of food and you're drinking that water will affect all the areas that also affect your energy.

 

Ginny Reddick:

So that it's that, it's those three nutrition principles.

 

Parker Bane:

So when it comes down to the brass tacks, it's really timing nutrients and water?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Yes.

 

Parker Bane:

Awesome. Awesome.

 

Alan Green:

Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. Ginny, one thing for teachers is we make, sometimes these intentions to have these goals to eat healthy and to exercise. What would you recommend to maybe a first year teacher who's really just trying to keep their head above water? Or maybe someone who set these goals, but they're really struggling to implement them? How would you guide them to implementing these healthy choices into their lifestyle?

 

Ginny Reddick:

Oh, that's good question. You know, I would go back to their intrinsic reason why it matters. And I think that's why I love starting off all of, my sessions with individuals to say, "Okay, why does this matter? Paint me that picture." And so when you are, gosh, on a struggle bus, just it's, it's so tough. And you have to... sometimes you're going to have tough times. And it's going to be a week where it was just really hard. But you can still go back to that vision. You can go back to that "why" and you get back to it. And so a lot of times when I have coaching sessions, and we have follow up sessions, and there is that struggle. I'll say, "Okay, let's step back, and let's just talk about, again, why this matters." And sometimes I'll just remind, I'll say, "Let's go back to the vision statement that you created of where you want to be and what you want to be true about who you are in a year."

 

Ginny Reddick:

And, and so that would be where I would go, I would kind of say, "Okay, let's go back." And especially one thing that I thought about with those who are at the early stages of their career, its sometimes it's even good to ask, "Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be even in five to 10 years?" Sometimes that helps with those mundane tasks and getting through a lot of the like, I remember as my early stages, my career, just figuring things out, just treading water. If someone had asked me, "Okay, where do you want to be? Who do you want to be in five to 10 years?"

 

Ginny Reddick:

It would help me focus on some of those habits, even when it was really hard and felt like I was like treading water during that time. So I would even say, "Take it out even further than a year, if you're kind of at that early stage where you're like, just feeling like you just got to survive." Well, we all feel like that at some point, right? But for sure, at that time, maybe take it out to five to 10 years and say okay, "This is where I want to be. These are the goals I had, this is who I want to be." And that really can help. Again, go back to, "Okay, this is why I want to lace up my shoes and go out for this walk."

 

Ginny Reddick:

So ,that that would be my advice is kind of go, again go back to your why. And if you know, again, if you're on that early, early stage, maybe even take it out to five to 10 years because sometimes that's even more appealing because you do have a vision for that. This is where you want to get to, and this is who you want to be.

 

Alan Green:

Absolutely. And I think one thing that's exciting too, is just the, excuse me, the tangible things that you left for our teachers to implement into their life. I think one thing is, any teacher can go and implement these things, and they deserve it. And their students deserve it for them to be at their absolute best and to have, that best energy that they can possibly have. Ginny, thank you so much for joining us today. It was a pleasure having you on.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Oh, it's my pleasure. And thank you all for having me and giving me a chance to actually share this, with all the educators that are listening, is such a pleasure. And it is, I love what I do. And so I love getting a chance to talk about this and hopefully empower everyone who's listening to make some of these even small changes to help you have your best energy.

 

Parker Bane:

Thank you so much for all of this. This has been great.

 

Ginny Reddick:

Well, thank you. It's been my pleasure.

 

Parker Bane:

So there you have it. Another great episode about the importance of Ag teacher nutrition, health and wellness. And how important it is to maintain our energy throughout the day in order to be at our best for ourselves, our students and our families. Before we close, we'd like to again thank Ginny Reddick for joining us on today's podcast episode. We appreciate the concrete steps and advice that she's provided to help our members fuel their bodies and minds with proper nutrition. And finally, if you're interested in learning more about additional resources related to health and wellness, make sure to check out our podcast show notes at www.NAAE.org/podcast.

 

Alan Green:

Thank you for joining us for this episode of connect a podcast by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It's always hard to say goodbye but we'll be back with more episodes to help you build even more connections to help you grow as a professional. If you'd like what you've heard, we'd love to have you subscribe, rate or give us a review on iTunes or whatever platform you use. So we can help connect more agricultural educators to our podcast. Until next time.

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