Food For Interpreting


ucm_300131“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 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 (sandwich) 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 health.

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 an elevated 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 eliminate 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 meals. Strategize what you are going to eat in advance so you won’t be caught off guard by circumstances and will have other options.

Share with us any other suggestions for healthy eating in difficult circumstances.

About mariacristinadelavegamusings

Certified SpanishEnglish interpreter by the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts, the State of Florida and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), where I have served on the board of directors, am chair of the Public Relations Committee, and have a column entitled "Getting Down to Business" in Proteus, the association newsletter. I am a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and have a monthly column named "Interpreters Forum". In addition to the prior two associations, I also belong to AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters). I own ProTranslating, Inc., an LSP in Florida. I hold an MBA, which keeps one foot firmly grounded in everyday waking consciousness while the other aggressively seeks unity consciousness...

Posted on September 8, 2013, in consecutive interpreting, court interpreting, Interpreting, Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. When I have an early conference to interpret I feel better in booth if I don’t have carbs for breakfast.

  2. Michael Giammarino

    Carry a bag of almonds walnuts and raisins with you. You can also get a protein bat and an apple. If you have to run to eat a sandwich you can get turkey which is better than ham. Any fool who wats chips and donuts must know nothing about nutrition.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Thanks for the wonderful advice, Maria Cristina! I always carry some kind of easy-to-carry healthy snack for emergencies. When possible, I pack my own lunch in a small cooler, and always grab a piece of fruit when I leave the house!

  4. Georganne Weller

    Hi!     Thanks, glad you feel well enough to keep sharing your thoughts with all of us.  I am in Miami right now, about to leave for Orlando for a short assignment with the Dept. of State.  Hope it goes well since they seldom call me!      As I’ve mentioned many times, whenever you feel like it I would love to see you if I am in Miami.  Please be my guest for wherever you want to go, O.K.?

    Greetings/saludos

    ________________________________

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