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Spinal cord injury; what to eat?

Eating healthy as a wheelchair user is important!

What to eat when you are a wheelchair user? It’s very easy to gain weight when you are sitting all day. Especially when you move less than an average person because of your disability.

Listen & Learn

People who use a wheelchair can find it hard to lose weight because they burn fewer calories through physical activity. If you are new to using a wheelchair, you probably eat as you did before. You suggest you take a serious look at what you eat daily and think about what you truly need. Your body changed, so did its needs. t couple of years with food. And finding out what suits me and my body. I learned to listen to my body and what it needs. And when I got injured I had to adjust again.

Change

People who use a wheelchair can find it hard to lose weight because they burn fewer calories through physical activity. If you are new to using a wheelchair, you probably eat as you did before. You suggest you take a serious look at what you eat daily and think about what you truly need. Your body changed, so did its needs.

It’s not easy to change habits, but everyone can do it. You have to learn about what it means to sit all day. You have to understand the consequences. Most people I meet have no idea how their own body works. They don’t listen to what their body tells them and what is kind of food they really need. You need a diet that feeds you.

My journey

Ten years ago I started to eat less meat, maybe 2 or 3 times a week instead of every day. Shortly after that, I tried to become a vegetarian and it worked for a year but then I had setbacks. I had my ups and downs with trying to adapt for weeks. At some point, I went to the gym daily #fitnessfreak and ate chicken and eggs almost every day. But I started to replace meat with vegetarian options because grocery stores started to offer more vegetarian meats. For me, it was a process.

I’ve had a dietitian in the hospital who told me to eat a lot of meat because ‘that’s good for you’. Well, I disagree! I have been following the work of a couple of researchers and dietists on nutrition. I follow these guidelines;

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetable

  • No dairy products

  • Limit sugar

  • No meat

  • Avoid processed foods

  • Drink plenty of water

  • No alcohol

For me, this is a guideline I now believe is the best. I keep reading about food and trying different recipes. #learning

I don’t eat eggs but I do eat honey. I’m not vegan but I am mostly vegetarian. Even fish can once in a while end up on my plate when I’m at a restaurant. Just like alcohol... I’m not saying I never drink a glass. But I probably consume 5 glasses of alcohol a year, that’s not much.

Don't you miss eating meat? Not anymore! When I first started I did. Rome wasn’t built in one day. My taste pallet adapted. Now I even get sick when I do eat meat! #transform


Why? I know it’s better for me, my body, the animals and the planet. It’s a choice! #plantbased

What's the best diet for someone in a wheelchair? Every body is different.

Some people have allergies, it really depends per person. I believe a plant-based diet is.

I only share what I know now (& and I’m still learning).

What don't you eat? I eat mostly vegetarian meals; I am not vegan (yet).

I avoid bread, pasta, alcohol & processed food. I have weak moments where I eat snacks that I probably shouldn’t eat (thinking about popcorn, crisps, pizza, etc.). But that’s not daily & keep it proportioned.

What do you eat?

Breakfast: Blueberry smoothie or oatmeal. (sometimes cornflakes, not so healthy)

Lunch: Salad or leftovers from the night before. While being working from home, it’s awesome to have the fridge nearby.

Snacks: Kombucha, carrots, hummus, cinnamon apple, dark chocolate (I’m a big chocolate fan), dates, fruits.

Dinner: Sweet potato with vegan meat & beans, quinoa with a vegetarian chicken, spiced tofu with noodles, chilli sin Carne, a veggie burger, vegan quesadillas, fresh spring rolls, quinoa sushi (no fish), cauliflower curry and so on..

How to lose weight when being in a wheelchair? Exercise, lift some weights weekly and don’t eat more than your body needs. Most of us overeat because we are used to it. We grew up, learning it’s normal. But confront yourself and your choices and you will realize maybe a few habits need to go. So it's a combination of both. Reach out for help and ask a professional for advice.

I personally have not lost weight because I think my body is healthy as it is now. I know my diet is balanced and I do my best to stay healthy. I have a few things to improve but I’m sticking to the guidelines I’ve written above, and that works for me!

Eating healthy saved my life before and I will benefit from it later If I continue to look after myself!

And don’t forget to exercise; #benefits

  • Increase your endurance

  • Improve balance

  • Makes you feel fit and strong

  • Prevent injury

  • Maintain muscle/bone mass

  • Alleviate muscle/joint pains

  • Enhance your range of motion

Leave a comment if you agree or don't!

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