I feel like every week at uni is either really good or really bad, such polarisation but this week I’ve felt pretty level-headed and calm.
We had a great session on fats and athletic performance which was so interesting; I really am loving that module and two lectures on presentation skills which were useful reminders. Our tutorial was not as much of a let down as last week, but we were put into groups which just does not work well online. We had to create a meal plan for a day for an athlete. It was surprisingly tough to get enough calories, particularly carbohydrates into the plan. You would think it’d be easy to just eat a load but the number of calories a top-level athlete needs to consume is probably more than you realise!
I was able to get a bit of coursework done but not as much as I’d have liked. I had a lot going on outside of uni but from next week my personal workload decreases a lot so I’ll suddenly have a lot more time I can schedule to get cracking with my undergrad research project. I’m excited to really delve into it. I’m looking deeper into plant-based nutrition during pregnancy, it’s such an important and interesting topic so I really can’t wait.
Outside of uni, it was a busy week, it was also a week full of cramping and a heavy period so a bit draining but I’m looking forward to a fresh week next week full of research.
This weekend I’m leading a nutrition workshop – Saturday 17th October 2-4pm so if you fancy joining, you can attend online as well as at A Fine Balance Studio. Click here for more info and to book.
Personal learning this week: Awareness is key, we cannot help ourselves if we are unaware of what we need.
Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:
- 70% of your immune system is found in your gut –Gut-associated lymphoid tissue makes up the majority of our immune systems. This means our microbiome and the stuff we eat has a huge impact on our immune system health and functioning. Our microbiome is also super adaptable which is both good and bad so the more variety of plant-based foods we eat the greater the diversity in our gut and the better it functions, also the more processed foods we eat the more our microbiome reduces and our digestion and immune system do not function so well.
- High fat diet is not good for athletic performance – studies conclusively show time and time again that a high fat diet is not good for improved physical performance. There are a handful of studies which suggest otherwise and all have a flaw in their study design.
- Some COVID vaccines could use shark liver oil – sounds bizarre, is unfortunately true. Squalene is a hydrocarbon found in a shark’s liver and is used in vaccines as a helper ingredient to enhance an immune response. It is not confirmed it will be used in a COVID-19 vaccine but it is already used in other vaccines. I am not anti-vaccines; they definitely have their place but don’t see the necessity in killing sharks to create them. There are alternatives but it takes longer to extract plant sources of squalene than it does to get it from a shark. Let’s hope we can have a COVID vaccine soon but without taking the lives of thousands of sharks!