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Reduce the carbs for a high-energy breakfast

Happy New Year, Albany! 2009 is now in the record books, and 2010 is well on its way to be one of the best yet!

On a side note before the column, I would like to thank everyone that submitted an essay for the case study. I have enjoyed reading each one and truly wish that I could accept all of the entries into the program. I will be posting the winners and their stories in an upcoming column. This has the makings of something great for the lives of two Albany individuals.

In the famous words of the late Paul Harvey, "And now, the rest of the story ..."

It seems that, after the overwhelming response to last week's column, Albany has a love affair with oatmeal! I would like to take the time this week to clarify some of the issues that were discussed last Sunday. If you did not get a chance to read last week's column, I discussed a certain individual who suffered from lack of energy right after eating breakfast. His breakfast consisted of oatmeal, which was instant, I failed to mention, a protein bar and orange juice.

If you cannot see the problem here, the majority of this breakfast derived from carbohydrates, sugar, protein and sugar and sugar to wash it down. Now since further discussion I have found that the O.J. was "light" so the sugar is not as high as regular orange juice. Even the thought of the "light" juice blew my mind as if I was standing in a checkout line after purchasing an over abundance of garments for my wife and the cashier saying something idiotic like, "You saved $85!" In actuality, I would have saved a lot more by not being in that line to begin with, if you get my drift...

Certain foods affect people in different ways, and this holds true for carbohydrate consumption. If you remember, I applauded the digestive aspect of the oatmeal but questioned the overall nutritional value. Oatmeal, in some cases, has been shown to raise individuals blood-sugar levels while it could potentially lower others. It is just one of those things that you are going to have to try for yourself. By the way, there is no proof that Wilford Brimley now has diabetes from eating too much oatmeal; but you must admit, the association was just too hard to pass up.

As for me, I used to eat oatmeal almost every day. I too suffered from the mid-morning lull and was in search of an answer. After doing a little playing around with my breakfast, I have finally found the right combination that allows me to have an overwhelming supply of energy throughout the morning. What may shock you even more; I don't ingest a single carbohydrate before lunch if I can help it.

Keep in mind that I am no nutritionist and have even less desire to be one. With that being said, here is what is working for me. I start the day with six whole eggs and 18 raw almonds around 5 a.m. I will then work for three hours and have a similar meal, consisting of 6 ounces of chicken and more almonds or pistachios. The combination of lean animal protein and fat is what allows me to have sustained energy all morning.

For lunch, I will usually have 6 ounces of lean meat, asparagus and you guessed it, more almonds. If you haven't noticed by now, I like almonds... What you may not know is I am 6 foot 3 inches and just over 200 pounds. Before committing to this zone/paleo way of eating, I was 220ish and around 16 percent body fat. Now I am down to single digits, and my performance and strength have never been better! Again, this is merely a log of my diet, not a recommendation for you.

Back to the individual who I spoke of previously. He has traded his protein bar for four eggs, has a bowl of fresh fruit instead of the oatmeal and eats some nuts for good fat, and his energy levels have improved.

Remember, diet is all about the individual. What works for one will not work for another and vice versa. Unfortunately, I am only allotted so many words for this column, so I must end here. However, feel free to checkout www.worldcampfitnesstraining.com for links and information on this and other health-related topics. Thank you Albany for such a fun 2009! May all of your dreams come true and your goals attained in 2010 and once again, thanks for reading The Herald!

E-mail fitness columnist Kris Morrill, certified personal trainer and owner of World Camp Fitness in Albany, at kris@worldcampfitnesstraining.com.