Sheena and John discuss how to stay motivated in your exercise program, healthy eating and various other healthy habits with University of Alabama Associate Professor Dr. Philip Gable. Original airdate is March 25, 2018.
John: Happy Sunday afternoon, and welcome to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. It’s good to be back with you after having a week off from being on the radio and for spring break for all you guys. Sheena, how was your spring break?
Sheena: It was pretty good. Now I will say, I had to go to a work conference in Birmingham for about half of the week, which honestly wasn’t bad because I got to see all of my other dietician colleagues across the state. One good thing about it was not technically having to be at work. Sometimes I hate being at conferences, and even if I have put that Out of Office reply, I’m still that person that’s constantly checking my email. Then I’m getting all huffy puffy and distracted because I should have just not been reading emails while I was at a conference. I didn’t have any of that so it was good.
John: Right. It was nice to just kick back, and relax, and learn?
Sheena: I did. I did learn a lot. I was actually sworn in as President Elect of my state association, so that’s really great.
John: I forgot you … Yeah, congratulations.
Sheena: I think I might be one of the youngest presidents they’ve ever had, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m really excited, I think, too, we have a lot of students that attend our event, too, those that are up and coming as student dieticians and everything else. They definitely … They wanna make sure that they’re staying abreast of their research. One big thing for us, too, is advocacy and really showcasing the need for our services within the medical community and getting reimbursement from insurance. All these things that if you had told me 10 years ago, I would be passionate about. I would probably have believed you. Yeah.
John: [crosstalk 00:01:46]
Sheena: What did you and the Fam-Gym do for spring break?
John: Absolutely not a lot of anything.
Sheena: That’s the best.
John: Yeah. Actually, similar to you, I ended up doing a lot of work. I’ve been on the board for a journal, it’s an online journal for … It’s basically for undergraduate students to promote research. It’s called the International Journal of Exercise Science. I think you may have reviewed an article for it.
Sheena: I did. Yes, thanks to you. That was a great experience.
John: Fortunately or unfortunately, I was selected as associate editor in chief. It sounds a lot better than it is because I’m basically doing a lot of administrative work. I’m trying to learn the ropes on that. It’s really fun. It’s really … For me, it’s been encouraging over the years watching this because I’ve been doing it since ’08 with this journal. It’s so cool to see so many undergrads getting involved in research. I just absolutely love it. If you’re to ask me, 20 years ago, would I be passionate about something like this? Absolutely not, probably. I love seeing the kids [crosstalk 00:03:02].
Sheena: Yeah. Well, it sounds like we both had pretty productive spring breaks with all of the patients that I have that had been coming to see me for their follow-up appointments this past week. They’ve mentioned their spring break trips. Actually, I had several students that did a combination of going to the beach and Disney World all in the same week. I had a person go to Belize. I’m like, “What in the world? I did not have spring breaks like this.”
John: How did people get to be?
Sheena: I’m like, “What is happening? Are you using extra financial aid funds?” I just don’t understand what’s happening. Clearly, they have-
John: Can you say that on my [crosstalk 00:03:37]?
Sheena: Probably not. Clearly, they are having a different spring break experiences than I had when I was in undergrad.
John: Right. I’m in the same boat with you. If we went to Gulf shores for the Red Night Riviera for a night or two, we were living large back in the day.
Sheena: Yeah, and it was probably with family it was because grandma wanted to go. It wasn’t because we were an independent group of college students going. I don’t know, but we’ve got a great show this afternoon.
John: We really do.
Sheena: I’m excited.
John: A great guest. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I found out we were gonna have this guest. Also, we have a new segment.
Sheena: Yes, we do.
John: I’m really excited about this new segment called Sheena Talks About A Food.
Sheena: Yes. I’m gonna be giving you some clues about this mystery food, and then we’re just gonna see if I would say it is gonna be difficult for you to guess. I’m just gonna go and assume that this is not part of the Jackson menu rotation.
John: Probably not.
Sheena: But I think Alicia has probably eaten it, probably not, Dr. John Jackson.
John: It wouldn’t surprise me. I doubt I can guess it, but I’m excited about this whole concept. I think it’s cool.
Sheena: Yeah. It’s gonna be good. You guys, we’ve got to take a break. We have got a great show ahead this afternoon. You were listening to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Michael Caskey: Hi. I’m Michael Caskey, I’m a civil engineering major. You’re listening to 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. I wanna thank you once again for joining us this Sunday afternoon after a little time off of a spring break. Everybody getting back into it, and just a little time with before finals are just around the corner, and we’re out of here for the summer.
Sheena: I know. I know I mention this before the break, just getting to see all of my patients this past week as I’ve come back from spring break. A lot of them, I can tell, some are really gung-ho about finishing out the semester strong, and others are kind of … They’re kind of in that struggle because they’ve lost that motivation. They had that break off. For a lot of different folks, it’s been different things, whether it’s motivation with academics or some of the habits that we had set up with them ahead of time. It’s always an interesting dynamic at this point in this semester.
John: Right. It’s interesting that you’re talking about … I know you stayed busy year round. For us, if we at University Recreation, if I were gonna say a slow time of year, aside from summer when there aren’t new students here, this is our window of slowness, if you wanna talk that. For some reason, we have yet to figure it out. We’ve looked at it. We know that when January rolls around, everybody has their New Year’s resolutions. We know that pre-spring break, we get a lot of people. Within that window of time from January until March, we’re really busy, as busy as we can be. This is our … We talk about motivation. At this point, people tend to lose their motivation for some reason or something else comes up. We don’t know.
Sheena: Right. Well, just out of curiosity for you guys at University Recreation, knowing that there is that dip right after spring break. Do you guys ever initiate any new programs or anything like that to try to loop people back in as a little like dangling care of like, “Hey, how did it start all semester? This is your chance.”
John: Right. We do. This is one of the things that we do. We were encouraging people to, if they … If it’s their first time, and they’ve never been in there, they’re not comfortable being in a gym, hey, this is the time to come in if you wanna get you sworn out really busy, [crosstalk 00:07:43] gonna work out in. We do have special programs and different types of things that we’re doing. I will tell you real quickly before we get into our topic that you’re gonna absolutely love this. You’re gonna have try to this class. Our guest, we’ll ask him in a minute if he would like to try this class, too. We’re having a restarting a stiletto class.
Sheena: [Malienta 00:08:06]. Okay.
John: Yes. It’s apparently the new thing in some of the larger cities.
Sheena: Is the group exercise instructor, what gender is the group exercise?
John: Both female. Two females will be teaching the class. It’s actually a paid class. It’s not a regular group exercise class. There will be a progression along there. Anyway, it will be interesting, definitely interesting.
Sheena: I’m perplexed. I know that there are typically a lot of gazers that will walk by the class.
John: By the windows, yeah.
Sheena: The window because I feel like there could be a lot more of that happening, maybe some-
John: We even had discussions about do we need to change our policy with this type of class. How long can you stand by the window before we ask you to move along?
Sheena: Yeah. You’ve also had like belly dancing.
Sheena: There’s not to say … I mean, days has its own very gyrating movements.
John: Gyrating movements, good choice of words.
Sheena: Yes. Well, I will say with my one days experience, and I know I’ve shared this before. It was fun learning this different choreography, which I’m not the most coordinated person anyways, but it turned into an impromptu twerk battle. I promptly removed myself to the back corner, and that was … I was like, “Wow, all I know is some Filipino line dancing.” That’s about it. I just need to step back for a second.
John: That’s awesome.
Sheena: Yeah. Anyways, wow, we’re going in a really different direction.
John: Yeah, totally different direction. We need to get back on the motivation thing, on the motivation trying here.
Sheena: Yes, we do. Yes.
John: Speaking of motivation, we got our guest today. This is … If I hadn’t gone into exercise with myself, and I had not been a damn jock, I would have probably chosen to go into psychology because I’m so interested in it. There are so many things. It ties in so closely with what we do. I know with what you do, I’ve read some books on the psychology of eating. One of my favorite books is Mindless Eating. You, too, might laugh at it. For me, it’s super interesting.
Our guest today, Dr. Philip Gable, Associate Professor from the Department of Psychology, correct, I didn’t know if that was the exact right term.
Philip Gable: Yes, correct.
John: We’re fortunate to have Dr. Philip Gable here today. Dr. Gable specializes in motivation, would you say?
Philip Gable: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
John: Well, just great to have you here. We appreciate you coming in on a, obviously, short notice. It’s hard to catch you during spring break. Hard to get anybody during spring break. Anyway, do you mind telling us just a little bit about your background and where you come from, and how you got interested in this?
Philip Gable: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for having me on the show. Yeah. My education background, I did my PhD at Texas A&M University. Then my first job was here at the University of Alabama. I’ve been here eight years, joined the psychology department back in 2010. Really enjoy it.
Most of my research focuses on emotional processes, and motivation is always tied in with emotion. It’s really hard to pull those apart. If you’re motivated by something, there’s probably an emotion attached to it. We study the motivational core of emotions. A lot of the way that we do that is we use neuropsychological measures. I do a lot of electroencephalography, just measuring brain activity associated with emotions, brain activity associated with motivation. The way it interacts with our attentional processes, how it influences memory.
I would say the core, I’m a motivational researcher, so I’m really interested in this broad topic of what does motivation do to us, how does it affect our brains, how do we enhance it, how do we knock it down sometimes because sometimes we’re gonna be motivated in the wrong direction. How do we push this around?
On a personal side, I’m excited about the radio show because I professionally, in all my classes, if you ever been into my classes, you know that I talk a whole lot about just health in general. I would say, yeah, if we had a different career path or whatever, kinesiology would be one of my great interests.
Sheena: That’s awesome.
Philip Gable: Dietetics would also be as well. It’s an interesting field, but health psychology is another area. It’s fun to study how we can motivate health behaviors using psychological processes. I would say the joke in psychology is that you do a lot of me search. It’s not just research, it’s me search. Personally, I think health behaviors, fitnesses is one of the most important things in our lives because we only got one body, so we got to take care of it.
Philip Gable: Then, professionally, though when you read all the research, I teach a biological psychology class. If you’ve had that class, they walk away with three big things. They know they got to eat well, they got to sleep well, and they got to take care of their bodies.
John: That’s great.
Philip Gable: We end up talking a lot just professionally about the benefits of eating, sleeping, exercise with just their health overall, but not just their mental health, but their physical health because they’re all tied together.
Sheena: Yeah. Well, it sounds like we had the jackpot with the faculty member that we have chosen on this topic.
John: Yeah. I had actually asked around, and I don’t know if you know this or not, but you’re known as the motivation guy around campus.
Philip Gable: Oh, well, thanks [crosstalk 00:13:32].
Sheena: Yeah, that’s a good thing to be known by.
John: Yeah. There are a lot of worst things that you could be known for. It’s great, too, to hear, we were talking a little bit before the show started about how you personally like to work out and enjoy working out. Have you been that way your entire life?
Philip Gable: No. Yeah. It goes … I was gonna bring this up on motivation long term. Maybe we’ll come to in a little bit later. I really didn’t start working out until I was about a sophomore in college. Really not interested in any kind of running, fitness or whatever until I was a sophomore in college. Then from there, it just developed and taken off. We can talk about the long-term motivator behind that. No, not my whole life.
John: Right. Would you just say running is primarily your thing? You like running more than anything else?
Philip Gable: If I had to pick one, if you could only do one thing for the rest of your life, I would probably go with running, yeah. Overall though, I find just a lot of different physical activity. I love to lift. I think that’s real important to both running. Biking is fun. I’ve really gotten into swimming here, part of the master swimmer.
Philip Gable: Yeah. Kind of a general running, fitness thing, yeah.
John: That’s great.
Sheena: Sure. Well, I know you … Before we started recording, you had told us about you having two kids. I’m sure that provides a motivation for staying in shape, to be keeping up with them. We’re just excited because we have a great list of discussion questions for you this afternoon. I know we’ve got to take our second break, if you will stick with us. You guys are listening to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Eli Gold: Hi, this is Eli Gold, the Voice of the Crimson Tide. I love 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. We’re continuing our conversation this afternoon with Dr. Philip Gable from University of Alabama here. He works in the psychology department, an associate professor. He’s in a lot of his research on motivation among other things.
There was a topic that we wanted to discuss. Sheena and I had balances around a little bit. Sheena really had a great idea of wanting to … because it’s been a slow time of year for a lot of people when it comes to working out. So much research has been done on getting people initially started working out. I don’t know, from our perspective, from a campus recreation perspective, that seems to be all of the focus. One thing that we really need to be looking at is what keeps people working out. Dr. Gable, that’s why you’re here. You’re here to answer those serious questions for us.
Philip Gable: I am.
John: Just knowing that, we were talking a little earlier about what our patterns are. This slows down, this time of year slows down for us, post-spring break. Would you be willing to just take a guess for me? Why this occurs? Just maybe elaborate on that a little bit.
Philip Gable: Absolutely, I’ll take a stab at that. The joker in the gym when we talked because the gym, you end up meeting all the people there. You end up talking why is it so busy right now? Well, because it’s right before spring break. Then we all come back after spring break and we say, “Why is it so empty?” Well, because spring break is over.
Anecdotally, there’s no data for this. Well, I don’t have any data for it necessarily, is that we’re less motivated because we were … Got to go to the beach, we’re gonna be in swimsuit. Now, that’s over with. That’s not part of my motivation anymore. Part of it could just be the time of year and the social aspect of it.
Busyness is a big part, a big excuse when people don’t … They’re more motivated by other things right now. A lot of deadlines are coming in. Classes are closing out. That becomes more important, again, I think in motivational term. You’re more motivated to do well in your class at this point than spend time at the gym. It could even be time of the year. You have to think about the annual rhythms of your body. We’re sleeping less because there’s more sun up. You’re also … there’s some mood effects from the weather as well. If people feel good enough without working out, why would I need to work out? A lot of it has to do with emotional processes as well. I think it could be several things.
Sheena: Yeah. No, that brings up a good point. You know what’s interesting for me? Certainly, just like University Recreation, my office stays pretty busy right after that winter break leading up into a spring break as people are trying to eat in different ways and everything else, but I have this weird, and I wouldn’t say issue because it’s a great thing, it’s job security for me. After spring break, I have new patients that are coming in that have gotten motivated from spring break because maybe they ate so heavy over the break. They’re like, “Oh, my goodness, what I did I do to my body? I ate all this food at Disney” or wherever they went. They’re like, “Something’s got to change.” When we think about motivating factors and what may be placed people in certain habits, for me as a dietician, seeing how people are motivated from the habits that they practice over the break can be motivation to get them into my office. I think that’s interesting on a health perspective as well.
John: Right, yeah. One of the things that I … I don’t want us to focus completely on the physical activity part of this. Obviously, the nutrition part of it and the habits that people have and the motivation to eat healthy. Well, as they tend to go hand in hand, I should ask you that question, Dr. Gable. Would you say that if someone tends to start a healthy habit or a habit they perceived to be healthy, does that tend to lead to more and more healthy habits or … What can you say about that?
Philip Gable: Yeah. I think that has a lot to do with if they identify themselves as a healthy person. One healthy habit, yes, does lead to … More likely leads to another healthy habit. It just like … I think it was Pascal who said something like, “Show me someone who’s done something just one time basically.” Usually if you do something, you’re more likely to do it again is what he was saying especially if it’s something desirable. Exercise, yes, there’s a lot of benefits to that. I think it’s part of that whole identity of, yeah, I’m a healthy person. You see that when people say, “I’m a runner,” or “I eat healthy” or “I’m a biker, a weightlifter,” whoever they are, that’s part of their identity is their fitness [crosstalk 00:20:29].
John: Right. You would say that on the opposite side of that, that, that could lead to people not being as likely to work out because they identify themselves as not healthy or not a runner, not an athlete. I’ll maybe go with that word, not an athlete.
Philip Gable: Yeah. I would see that. You hear that all the time, “I’m not a runner.” Well, yes, you are. If you have two functioning legs, you can run just fine. I tell everybody … When people say I can never run, the half marathon is coming up this … It was yesterday.” What you have to tell them is, yes, you do, you could train for it, and you could easily run the half marathon if you spend enough time training for it. Anything right and sleeping well, and all of those, to go back to your question, they’re all tied together. You can’t exercise if you’re eating crap. You can’t exercise if you’re not sleeping well. I think a lot of those … It’s a whole body process to eat well, to sleep well, to exercise well. Then if you do one of those, you’re probably more motivated or you are able to better do the other things as well.
Sheena: Right. Well, I think you bring up a great point just in terms of when people see certain habits as their identity. I actually did a presentation with a group of students just about millennial food choices, and how it really nail with food choices or even exercise choices, they see it as a statement of their personality just like fashion statement. They wanna be seen as the bodybuilder or as the crossfitter or as the vegan or whatever else. They see it as a way to showcase their personality through those behaviors, not just what they’re wearing. I don’t know. I’ve gotten … I’ve really been geeking out about stuff like that lately.
John: It’s really interesting to look at … I’d never really thought about it that much, how people’s identity plays that big of a role in it.
Philip Gable: Yeah. I think you’re on the right track if you look at … You were just talking about fashion, and people end up wearing clothes that … Fitness gear has become the normal wear now and what used to be called tennis issues are now normal shoes. Everyone who wears their running shoes are now normal shoes now. I think part of my … One of my [inaudible 00:22:48] hypothesis that people like to project that image, they like to say, “I am a fit person because that’s a positive projection to others” in a sense.
Sheena: Yeah, for sure.
John: Right. Would you say that … Looking at internal versus external motivation, we always tend to say that people that are internally motivated are more likely to be successful. That’s from a layperson’s point of view. We hear that a lot. Do you agree with that statement though as a professional?
Philip Gable: There’s some research that suggests internal motivation is stronger and longer lasting than extra motivation, but you’ve got to understand a lot of these are … It’s more on a laboratory type setting. It’s not necessarily the real world. The real world is both. It’s always some of both in a sense. I think, as far as motivation to be healthier fit, it would require both. I think you have to have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
John: Just for a sake of our listeners, can you elaborate on what those differences are in terms of internal and external motivational factors?
Philip Gable: Absolutely, absolutely. Intrinsic motivation is usually associated with an individual’s own personal desires or their … When I think of intrinsic, I think of internal motivation. What is it that you want to do? What are you driven to do as an individual? It has a lot to do with some intrinsic motivators or things like I have control over what I wanna do that motivates us to, that’s intrinsic motivation. I wanna compete against other people because that’s an intrinsic drive to compete or compare self with other people. Those are some examples of internal motivation.
Extrinsic motivation, the biggest one is money. That’s one of the most popular ones in the sense that you pay someone to do something, they’re gonna do it repeatedly, gambling. If you … Other extrinsic motivators, you’ve got very primary extrinsic motivators like food is a big one. Any of the biological needs that we have are extrinsic motivators.
Sheena: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate just being able to have that elaboration, especially, for some of our listeners who may not have been as familiar between the two. Gosh, we have to take another break, you guys. I hope you are willing to stay with us for an additional segment. We’ve still got some great questions for you, but you got to take that break. You are listening to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Speaker 6: Hey, hi, I’m [inaudible 00:25:38]. My favorite station in the world, 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone. We’re continuing our conversation this afternoon with Dr. Philip Gable, once again after had to be interrupted by a break, thanks to you, Sheena, but you always do that to us.
Sheena: I did, but I have that music break in.
John: Yeah, continuing this great … It’s such an interesting conversation about being motivated and staying motivated to exercise. It’s one of those things that is just so difficult for so many people.
Dr. Gable, we were talking earlier about people who are lifelong exercisers. How so many of those people, they can trace their roots back to a given point. Why do you say that is for some people? There are other people that have tragedies happen in their life, and it doesn’t necessarily translate into Forrest Gump running for miles and miles without stopping.
Philip Gable: It’s a good example, yeah.
John: That was the only place I could go with that.
Philip Gable: Yeah, absolutely, right around Alabama. Why not?
John: Right. What would you say? Can you say why some people have a tendency to revert to exercise. I have some thoughts on that myself, too, but I’m obviously not … I wanna hear what you have to say first.
Philip Gable: I think the bigger question is how some people are driven to continue something for a lifelong, for the rest of their life, for example. It’s a difference between say dieting versus healthy eating for the rest of your life, just to put in different context. I think some of it comes back to being an identity. This is who I am, so I’m gonna fulfill that in my life by doing what I believe, who I believe I am.
Other things … You never know what a motivator is gonna be. Sometimes, it could be … There are two different types of motivation. There’s motivation that’s driven to approach, and then there’s motivation that drives you to withdraw from something. Sometimes people are motivated by … Because something is more attractive or something is more delicious, for example. That would be an approach motivator. Also, sometimes, people are trying to avoid a negative thing.
Again, we talked about that when it comes to fitness as well where we’re trying to avoid a health problem or you hear this a lot around after New Year is “I’m trying to avoid gaining weight or trying to avoid being overweight,” for example. Some of the lifelong motivators that I had seen, see this, they did an interesting study with habitual chronic marathoners, people who have 25 marathons in their life, for example. One of the consistent themes that emerged from that was they had a history of some health problem. Sometimes, maybe they had a heart attack, and so they took up running and became this hyper-runner in a sense because you’re an elite hyper-runner when you run 25 marathons because they were trying to avoid that health problem or maybe they were a smoker when they were younger and they were trying to reverse some of the negative effects of smoking. So that drives them on.
For me, personally, it was … I told you I got really involved in exercising and fitness when I was a freshman in college because I got real sick. I had a very brief acute illness. I had kidney disorder. My kidney has shut down. It cleared up, but it reminded me that I wanted to be a healthier person. I did not want to identify as a sick person. I was motivated to do that. I think it’s been a motivator for the rest of my life. I talked about this when I teach class.
Clearly, not everyone needs to have a chronic illness or don’t take up smoking, so that you don’t have to reverse those specs later on. You see a lot of … How could people have that for the rest of their lifetime? I think it comes back to what’s your identity, other motivators along the way because it’s not … Every time I decide to go for a run, I’m thinking, “I don’t wanna be that person I was when I was a freshman in college.” It becomes other things, like I wanna run faster or be healthier or I ate too much cake last night. It depends on what it is. It varies every single day.
I think it needs to be a flexible … A lot of different motivators. If it becomes one motivator, in particular, one thing that’s motivating you, that becomes a fixation. There’s some evidence that shows when people exercise just to look good or just to lose weight, that, that’s less motivating. They’re less likely to continue exercising than if their motivator is to be healthy, if that’s their main objective in a sense. You see the two very big different motivators behind that, an identity versus an objective extrinsic or external control format.
Sheena: Sure. Well, thinking, and of course, just going along with our theme of motivation, not necessarily on the physical activity realm but knowing that we have a lot of listeners that are college students and them trying to continue to stay motivated as they finish out the semester, what kind of practical things can they keep in mind to keep up that momentum to stay motivated in terms of just finishing out strong?
Philip Gable: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the big one is busyness is the big deal I hear a lot of times now. Registration is next week. What are your … Are you putting that on your schedule? Are you putting time to exercise on your schedule? Are you putting time to prepare good food on your schedule? Are you being scheduled in that sense? There are other simple ways, there’s a million ways to improve fitness and things. One of them, one of the simplest is just the social motivator.
Do you have friends that you work out with? Do you have people that you like to see at the gym? You wanna show up to the gym because you have friends that you wanna see there. There’s a lot of little things you can do. I feel like it all comes together, like getting good sleep. You’re not gonna wanna go to the gym, even if it’s in the afternoon if you didn’t sleep good the night before. I pushed sleep a lot. It’s one of the underrated, under motivated aspects of our health. It’s essential. It’s absolutely critical. I think all of those are tied together.
Sheena: Yeah, sure.
John: You mentioned that one of the things that, in exercise science, one of the things that we talked about is, as it relates to nutrition and recovery is, that term over training just throwing around a lot. There doesn’t necessarily ever have to be such a thing is over training. It could be under recovery or not getting the proper nutrition that you need because if you take care of those three legs to a stool, you know that it holds up.
One thing that I did wanna run by you before we got off to the topic, what are your thoughts on, potentially, as an external motivator, this is a negative one, but I have seen it before. Are people feeling guilty for some of … In their life, when we talk about a major life event. One of the things that happens when you exercise is not comfortable. For some people, it’s a way of dealing with, potentially, dealing with guilt. Obviously, that wouldn’t be a healthy way to do it.
Philip Gable: Correct, yeah.
John: But it is something that you probably would see, would you agree with that?
Philip Gable: It is a motivator, for sure, absolutely.
John: Yeah. It’s one of those things that I feel like I see a lot in that. From a personal training perspective, what I always try to convince my clients that I’ve worked with over the years is if you can get to the point to where you’re working out because of the way it makes you feel, if that’s your motivator, then you’re gonna wanna do it regardless of what other motivators are out there. If you can get to the point of I’m exercising because this makes me feel good, not because I wanna lose so many pounds or I wanna do this, then you’re a lot more likely to do it.
Philip Gable: Absolutely, yeah. You’ve talked about just how it makes you feel good, I get to talk about this in class. We used to talk about exercise releases endorphins. Well, now, there’s some new researches, maybe it’s not the endorphins as so much as a neurotransmitter called endocannabinoids. We all probably know what cannabis is. It’s the active ingredient in marijuana. We have receptors and neurotransmitters in our body that mimic the basically cannabis in a sense. We talked about exercise high. It makes you feel good. It could account for some of the perceptual alterations that happen during exercise.
It’s very real that the bodily changes that occur during exercise that help you mentally and make you feel good, make you feel better, but it is work. If exercise were a pill, everybody would take it, but it requires some effort and some work.
John: Yeah. To me, that’s just … You always see that as, that pain is either, for some people, it’s the motivator to continue to work out or it’s a thing that stops people from working out.
Sheena: Yeah. Well, for me, as a dietician and being an advocate of preventing, eating disorders before they start, one big thing that I will often ask clients or just colleagues I work with, when you’re choosing that eating or exercise behavior, are you doing it because you love your body or because you hate your body? Because if you’re doing it because you hate your body, that can really take you into a dangerous mindset down the road. If you’re really going into mindset, “I’m doing this because I love by body, I’m wanting to nourish it, I’m wanting to take care of it, not because I’m punishing it, and I hate it.” I love that it went into that conversation piece.
John: Wow, it’s interesting.
Sheena: Yeah, but I have been feeling this conversation this afternoon. Dr. Gable, you have been fantastic. We have one last little segment, and it sounds like you might be a very appropriate person to join John in our segment as I share new food with him. I hope you’ll stay around with us for just a little bit longer.
Philip Gable: Absolutely, yeah.
Sheena: Perfect. Well, you guys, we’re gonna take one last break. You are listening to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.
Group: We’re the [inaudible 00:36:22] Assembly. We’re listening to 90.7 The Capstone.
John: Welcome back to Fit2BTide on 90.7 The Capstone. This is John along with Sheena here. We’re wrapping things up for the day with a new segment that we’re starting. We might continue it depending on how it goes.
Sheena: [crosstalk 00:36:44].
John: I’m really excited about this. This segment is called of Officially Sheena Talks About A Food. What we’re gonna do is, that was terrible, but that was [crosstalk 00:36:55].
Sheena: No, that was good. It was very dramatic. I like it.
John: Yeah. Here we go. We’re gonna let you describe … You’re gonna describe a food to us. We’re gonna take turns trying to guess what that food is. You have some very good information about food also, so that you can … People can actually use it in a recipe, particularly after.
Sheena: Yeah, for sure. Definitely some education involved. I’m just gonna list off some facts, and then I’ll give you each time to make your guess, if that works. Will that work for you?
John: Okay, that’s great, okay, yeah.
Sheena: Okay. This food is considered by health professionals to be a super food. It comes in different colors, and there are about 1,800 different varieties. It originates from Peru, but is also grown in Bolivia and Chile. It can be eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a great source of plant-based protein. I can’t tell, John, if you already know what it is or not. I don’t know. I’m feeling Dr. Gable is gonna get it right off the bat.
You can eat it hot or cold, but it definitely has to be cooked first. It should not be eaten raw. It’s gluten-free. After cooked, it has a soft and fluffy texture. It has anti-inflammatory benefits, helps lower cholesterol. It is good for heart health and digestion due to its fiber content. People consider it to be a grain, but it’s actually a seed. It’s quicker to cook than most comparable grains.
So, I don’t know. For someone who may eat this a lot, they’re probably gonna get it right off the bat. If you don’t eat it on the regular, it may not come as easily.
John: Well, as we know, as I’m an potato eater, it’s neither one of those. Dr. Gable is furiously writing over here. I assume he probably knows what you’re talking about. You know what? I am completely clueless. You come on our show and make me look totally bad, but I’m all for it. I’m down with it. I don’t have a guess. I don’t have the slightest clue. Dr. Gable, what do you say?
Philip Gable: There are so many things it could be. I really feel like it could be a lot. I’m gonna go because you mentioned the South America, chia. I think it’s a chia.
Sheena: That’s a great guess. It actually is not chia. Yeah.
John: Don’t look at me because I could even … Yeah.
Sheena: Well, it’s quinoa.
Philip Gable: Yes, of course.
Sheena: Yeah. One interesting thing about … Honestly, as a dietician, I tend to go anti-trendy foods. In quinoa, just like kale has become trendy, but it does have a lot of great nutrition benefits. For a lot of vegetarians, it’s known as what’s called a complete protein just as far as having those complementary amino acids in there. It’s a great source of protein for vegetarians, really versatile. It can be cost effective depending on where you buy it.
One of the recipes, and we’ll actually be sharing it through this station’s Twitter account, it’s a One Pan Mexican Quinoa. You can add your quinoa in, adding some black beans, corn, some diced tomatoes.
John, do not give me that look. There are listeners that really love those ingredients.
Philip Gable: Absolutely.
John: They surely do [crosstalk 00:40:21].
Sheena: Yes, adding some cumin in there and some coriander or if you’re on a budget or don’t have a lot of seasonings, you could do a low-sodium taco seasoning packet in there and also add a little bit of chicken stock in there to cook the quinoa. It’s really good. You could eat it hot or cold. It’s our meatless Monday choice at my household if I had to be honest.
John: I can eat pizza hot or cold.
Sheena: Yeah, this is true.
John: Real quickly, can you define super food when you say that?
Sheena: Well, I would say, probably in lay terms or what you’re gonna see on the Internet is a food that just has an abundant amount of health benefits, whether that is the amount of vitamins and minerals that are in there and everything else. For me, as a dietician, I have to connect that with how practical it is for someone to use it. Is it a super food to them because it’s super yummy? Is it super nutritious? Is it super easy to cook?
Even if something is a “super food,” I think really connecting with my patients on how they can use it practically is gonna be a huge piece. Usually, if you’re thinking of something as a super food, it’s because it has … Seem to have such abundant health benefits whether it’s like anti-inflammatory, great fiber, vitamin and mineral content, all that good stuff.
John: Really quickly once again, where can they get this recipe?
Sheena: Hopefully, we are gonna be able to tweet it on the 90.7 The Capstone Twitter account. We’ll actually do the link to the blog post. It was written by a college senior at a university in North Carolina, so I wanted to make sure I picked a recipe from a college student.
John: Great. It’s perfect. It is.
Sheena: Yeah. Well, all right, you guys. We are done with another fabulous afternoon. We hope you will join us next week as we come back on. You had been listening to Fit2BTide with Sheena and John on 90.7 The Capstone.