Mens Diet and Health tips for Dads on SingleDad.com. Learn how our Single Dad dropped 60 points on cholesterol, lost 5 pounds and is on a journey to find more quality sleep.
Dads Health: How To Improve Your Health
Summer marks the time of year where I get to see my doctor
and conduct my annual physical. My
doctor visits are something of a non- event, however this year is different.
This year’s appointment was different because it was more than a casual
conversation with my doctor about my blood work and a brief prostate exam. The
results of my exam were interesting; I lost over 60 points in my cholesterol,
increased my testosterone levels in my aging body and dropped 5 pounds from
last year’s weigh in.
My doctor, who was surprised by the results of my tests,
asked me, "How did you do this?" I don’t exactly know my reaction to his
question, but I can assure you that I somehow used a variety of humor to
deflect the compliment and accept the reality on the good news of my health.
How did I do it? I don’t really know how it happened, but I
am sure I can draw a few simple conclusions to things that I changed in my
daily routine over the course of this past year as a Single Parent trying to
find the balance between family, career and keeping fit.
Now, I’m not a doctor, nor am I giving medical advice;
however, here is a list of categories that I made a conscious effort to change
during this past year and I believe has played an important part of my overall
improved, Dad Health.
Dad’s Diet: Cooking
As a Dad Cooking Blogger, I have always kept an open eye and
ear for learning new recipes. I have also learned how to modify and adapt new
cooking techniques in some of my more flavorful recipes. This means I had to
re-think and re-tool my recipes with healthier ingredients for my family and
Olive and Grapeseed
Oil: almost all of my recipes that require cooking oil have adapted to
these two types of oils. Both Pompeian Olive and Grapeseed oils are packed with Omega 3’s,
which are healthy antioxidants that your body needs.
More Fruit &
Veggies: I had a flashback to my early years as a kid living in Southern
California. I was raised in a very humble home. In fact, my mother used to
always say,"We are so poor, we can’t afford to pay attention"… Looking back, it now makes more
sense in what she was doing at diner time. I never felt poor growing up, but what I do remember
is that every meal started with sliced fresh fruits or a salad. Little did I know
that my mother was filling our family up with fruits and veggies so we would
eat a smaller portion of the main dish. This tradition of eating salads and fruits before the main meal is being past on to my family.
This past year I have learned to be more creative with Plant Based
Nutrition. I have found quick and simple ways to combine seasonal fruits with
mainstream veggies that my whole family enjoys. I have added "Meatless Mondays" and continue to introduce more meals packed with alternative sources of plant based protien. Now our dinners begin with a mixed salad of fruits and
veggies and I would have never guessed how well it has been accepted in our
meal routine this past year.
More Protein: Almond
It’s hard enough these days getting your kids off to school
with a well balanced breakfast, so this past year, I had to learn how to lie to
my kids. That’s right, every morning; I lied to my kids when I made them a
"Milk Shake" for breakfast. The morning milkshake contained, frozen Silk Brand Almond Milk, Coconut Oil,
Ice, Soy Protein, and fresh or frozen fruit of their choice.
This milkshake was "Liquid health" for my kids and it gave me
piece of mind that they had sustained energy from these shakes when they went
to school. In addition, I incorporated these shakes into my pre and post
workout shake. High in protein, low in fat and calories; this was a smart
choice for me. This past month, I
have just started using Silk Brand,
Coconut Milk. There is a lot of stuff being written about the health
benefits of Coconut Milk and I am incorporating it into my diet.
One Final note about my diet; I have made it a practice to
have 4 meals a day. My breakfast starts early with my protein shakes and I have
a mid-morning meal and a late afternoon meal. Most of these meals are medium in
portion size and will contain fruits, nuts and a protein. My dinners have been
the smallest meal containing the largest portion of fruits or vegetables.
My overall dinner goal is to be done eating all meals and
drinking all liquids 4-hours before bedtime. I learned from my doctor’s visit
that having late dinners and going straight to bed is harmful to your
digestion. It is very common to get acid-reflux due to the body in a flat,
resting position so early after a meal. I have noticed making my dinnertime earlier and waiting at
least 4 hours before bedtime has improved my overall digestion.
I have broken up my vitamin and supplement intake into two
stages. I know this may sound tasking, but I have seen the results. At night, I
take Omega- E Fish Oils, and B-12 before going to bed. And for the
Day, I take my Centrum Silver Multi-Vitamin,
Vitamin -D, and Vitamin-C.
Breaking these vitamins and supplements into two separate
stages has made a huge difference in the way that I feel. I have noticed my
overall energy levels are up and my focus is strong all day and evening long.
Sleep: Quality Sleep
This past year, I have noticed that my sleep patterns are
off. One of my follow up visits from my annual physical was all about quality
sleep. Many people like me are unaware of the quality of their sleep. In fact,
there are three stages of sleep that are necessary for your body to go through
in order to be rested. Most people
don’t realize that there are ways to help improve your chances to get quality
As a result of my testing, I realized that I was not getting
enough oxygen at night. There was a process involved to discover this
information, but I have now narrowed down my medical options to get more oxygen
at night while sleeping. Here are some of the tips I learned along the way in
hopes of improving your sleep quality:
Eliminate your Caffeine and High Sugar Based
Beverages by lunchtime. This includes the Chemical Sugars as well…
Give yourself 4 hours between your final meal
and bedtime. Give your body the time to digest before heading to bed for the
Same 4-hour rule applies to all water and
alcohol. Last call is 4 hours
before you go to bed.
Nose Strip: Try using a Breathe Right Nasal Strip
to help clear your passages. Your nose is heavy and these strips help open up
your sinuses without drugs. I sue them and they work! Get a FREE sample, Click here.
Overall, quality sleep is huge topic for busy single Parents
and I will continue to share with our members about my journey on getting
better sleep. If you feel like you
are missing quality sleep, go see your doctor and get tested on your oxygen
Healthy Dad Summary
In summary, there are a variety of changes that I made this
year that brought me to better Dad health. However, it’s an ongoing journey and
I will continue to share my stories in hopes of bringing ideas, resources and
changes to your Dad Health this year.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”