18 Mar Food For Interpreting
This article was first published on September 12, 2013. Its author is our beloved founder, Maria Cristina. She reminds us of the saying “We are what we eat” and guides us in making healthier, smarter choices that will help us perform better at our jobs. Enjoy!
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it is currently 1:00p.m. We are going to break for lunch. Please be back in your seats promptly at 2:00 p.m. so we may continue hearing this witness’s testimony. Remember not to discuss any details concerning the case with anyone. This court is now in recess.”
The race is on because there is no time to walk to a neighboring restaurant, do battle with the lunch crowd, order, eat and walk back. The only choice is to buy something from the vending machines at the courthouse, gulp it down, answer pending messages and emails, and make it back to the courtroom.
Not an optimal option but we rationalize it, buy a ham and cheese sandwich, a bag of chips, a soda and a doughnut for the late afternoon blues which we can have with a coffee to give us some energy later. This is a situation I daresay many interpreters encounter rather often, which may be compounded by getting home in the evening, exhausted after a long day, and pulling out a frozen meal – “healthy” or not – to save time and rest up for the following day. Especially if we have to prepare for the coming testimony.
In this a short and trite but telling example, we have a listing of some of the worst foods we consume in the United States, on a regular basis:
Processed foods (sandwiches) Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease is 42% higher among people who regularly eat processed meats.
Soda Nearly half of surveyed Americans drink 2+ glasses a day. An average can contains 10 tsp. of sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup and represents many health risks in addition to an increase in obesity, in a country where more than one third of the population suffers from this condition.
Potato chips In addition to causing you to tip the scales, the regular consumption of potato chips will cause a spike in blood pressure from the high sodium content, a rise in cholesterol due to the trans fats from deep frying and the saturated fat. Other researchers are saying that the carcinogen acrylimide, created during the deep frying process, puts you at a risk for cancer.
Doughnuts a compendium of trans fat, sugar and refined flour, with a high fat content and around 300 empty calories, to calm a sweet tooth and purportedly increase your energy level.
Frozen meals do not usually contain enough calories or vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritive value by being frozen. The meals have a high sodium content that make them dangerous to our health, often exceeding 25% of the daily recommended allowance for same.
Many of the foods discussed here have a high sugar content. Read this link to understand more fully the drowsiness that sugar creates and what that entails. Another substantial portion has a high sodium content, which causes high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. For an overview of how these effects are produced, read here.
As interpreters, we need to be at the top of our game because we never know what the next assignment will require and our brains need to be able to swiftly collect our resources and deliver them as soon as it receives a signal to act. We cannot afford to be lethargic on the job. Moreover, we are often involved in stressful circumstances which raise our blood pressure so we must try to purge foods that will increase our blood pressure further. Our level of energy and state of health depend to a great extent on the food we ingest.
Read up on what comprises a healthy diet and learn how to interpret the nutrition labels on food. They are extremely helpful in formulating what we include in our meal plans. Strategize what you are going to eat in advance so you won’t be caught off guard by circumstances and have other options.
Let us know if you have any other suggestions for healthy eating in difficult circumstances.