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PHOTO BY NICOLE PELL Ogie Shaw talking with Rotary Club about childhood nutrition.

A few nutrition points to consider – from a Rotary guest speaker

This past Wednesday at our Russellville Rotary meeting, our planned guest speaker was scheduled to share with us about Childhood Nutrition.

We were all pretty much thinking, at this point, we might be beyond help.

Plus, when he arrived, several of us had already ordered lunch – and I don’t believe any of us had ordered a salad. We did feel better, though, when he ordered fried okra.

Ogie Shaw has extensive and varied experience dealing with nutrition. He served in the Army, has a degree in speech and physical education, holds a Master of Sacred Ministry degree and is certified as a Cooper Trained Health Promotion Director.

He has played baseball, basketball and football, and he studied karate in Japan, holding a second-degree black belt. He designed an off-season conditioning program for the Portland Trailblazers in 1979 and served as a consultant and instructor for the Seattle Seahawks in the use of isokinentic-aerobic exercise.

Currently, he is president of Ogie Shaw Fitness.

He could give us a wealth of knowledge on how to get fit and stay fit, and he did give a few gems that I thought might be helpful to share with you.

He really thinks a fitness program should be a consistent habit, seven days a week, about 20 minutes a day – and you should feel tired when you’re done. He said he doesn’t know why everyone tries to promote these fun workouts. As he put it, it shouldn’t be fun – it should be challenging. If we establish these habits as children, they will stay with us, just like brushing our teeth. And furthermore – children learn their habits from watching their parents or other adults they are around.

He is not fond of low calorie diets but to give an idea of target calories, he said to think of your target weight and, for women, multiply that number by ten. For men, multiply that number by 15. That is the number of calories you need per day – if you don’t get out of bed and do anything.

Ogie was also not fond of diets, such as the cabbage diet, in which you eat one thing for two weeks and then you have to stop. As he pointed out, the reason they make you stop is because you will die otherwise.

He also shared with us this book, “Nutripoints,” that rated all types of food on a nutrition scale. For example, a donut is -2; an egg is -12 (shocking – I thought eggs were good for you, with the exception of cholesterol); but spinach is 75. A person needs to eat at least 100 nutrition points per day. So if you wake up each morning and eat a donut for breakfast, you start your day off in the hole.

Your nutrition intake, he emphasized, is more important than your calorie intake.

Ogie said if you only do three things to try and improve your health, he recommends cutting out sugar, drinking plenty of water and stopping eating so close to bedtime.

Maybe we all (myself definitely included) should pay more attention to what we are doing and make an effort to focus on fitness.