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Entries in sugar (2)

Monday
Feb222010

Ellen DeGeneres joins the No-Sugar Bandwagon

Out at a bar the other night, a friend who is well plugged into the social media landscape and pop culture universe made a comment about my recent article highlighting Steve Nash's no-sugar diet.  She asked, "Have you heard about Ellen? She's given up sugar too!"

Well naturally my initial response was, "Uh...who is Ellen???"  After some clarity, she explained that Ellen DeGeneres had began a sugarless crusade of her own recently.  Ellen apparently took a look at her increased daily schedule and workload thanks to being a new judge on American Idol, and rationalized (perhaps with some consultation, I don't know for sure) that eliminating sugars from her diet would be a great way to prevent the wild insulin surges and subsequent energy crashes that come with regularly ingesting sugars.  Much like Steve Nash, she has focused on getting her sugars the natural way, mainly through fruits.

I don't know how long Ellen will stick with this (cutting sugar is by no means an easy pursuit, especially the first few days) but I am proud of her for taking on this challenge.  My hope is that for someone with such an enormous platform as "The Ellen Show", she will influence many of her viewers to follow suit.  Let's be honest, quite often people feel more motivated to give something a try if one of their favorite celebrities is already doing it.  This is one instance where I hope the trend continues.

For continued learning, here's a great blog I found by a woman who decided to give up sugar for a year back in 2008.  I won't spoil her story, but I think you can guess how it turned out.

Tuesday
Feb162010

Steve Nash's No-Sugar Diet

This may be the first entry so far that is completely self-explanatory, thanks to the title.

 Odds are I don't need to explain to you who Steve Nash is, so instead of repeating his bio, I'll save some time.  I was blown away earlier today when I found out how seriously Steve Nash takes his nutrition and how closely he monitors what foods he eats.  His diet is pretty simple and as "idiot-proof" as it gets:

No sugar.

That's it.  Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate, no calculations, or balancing of macronutrients each day. 

Nash guest-wrote a column for Men's Journal back in December 2009 where he outlined his discovery of what eliminating sugars from his diet could do for his health and NBA career:

"Refined sugars, Dr. Jain told me, impair your immune system. In fact, one teaspoon of refined sugar suppresses our white blood cells for up to six hours, making it a lot easier to catch a cold. I really can’t afford colds during the season, so that’s all I needed to hear: I cut out refined sugars cold turkey. No M&M’s at the movies, no energy bars, no Gatorade — I even had to be more careful when going to Jamba Juice, because sometimes they use sugar-filled juice from concentrate. After a few months, I stopped craving sugar entirely."

"The difference was instantaneous: I slept better, I recovered from workouts more easily, and I had more energy. When we started training camp in September, we were doing two-a-days — four or five hours on the court — and I never got sore. Even more telling is the fact that this summer I traveled all over the world for my foundation, bringing team sports to war-ravaged countries. I was missing out on sleep and still training the whole time, but I never got sick. I’ve got to think it’s because sugar wasn’t wearing me down."

        

Steve Nash is also a big fan of green tea, one of my personal favorites.  His meals in an average day (aside from a fiber breakfast cereal) generally follow Paleo qualities (lean chicken, fish, lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds).  He even replaces the dairy milk at breakfast with rice milk or almond milk.

There's even a site dedicated to anecdotes around Nash's great nutritional habits and the effects they've had on NBA teammates like Shaq (now with the Cavs) and Jared Dudley.

Aside from being a two-time MVP,  one of my favorite pro athletes, and generally all-around cool guy, Steve Nash is yet another athlete who proves that you can compete at a high level, well into your thirties when you take command of what goes into your body.  More times than not, the better foods that go into your system, the better performances and overall health that will result.

Here's a Nike video where Steve Nash shows off his multi-sport skills: