Health and wellness comes from being connected with our body and mind. Learning to hear and understand how both interconnect in the scope of wellness. For the purpose of this post, I will focus on some key basic points for proper diet and nutrition to sustain health and avoid empty calories that only make us toxic and lead to weight gain.
A very popular subject for most is weight loss. Obesity has become an epidemic.
According to the CDC, more than one-third of US adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and some of the leading causes of preventable death. Most of these adults fall into the middle age category or those over the age of 60. Although we are now seeing a huge increase in obese children and adolescents as well, and they are now exhibiting the same diseases as middle-aged adults! The estimated annual medical cost for obesity in the US was over $147 billion in 2008. Imagine what it is now!
Obesity is said to result from an energy imbalance (more calories in than utilized) but that is not the only factor. Although genetics can play a big part in this, a lot of it comes from behaviors, lifestyle and the environment, as well as socioeconomic factors.
Environmental toxins are now everywhere. Since the 1990’s we are seeing our food being genetically modified, injected with hormones, antibiotics, etc. and we are all ingesting all of those toxins every time we take a bite or a drink. Kids drink soda like it's water, and even worse, the energy drinks, which are loaded with sugar and caffeine. It's no wonder we are all toxic! The good news is, we are all capable of changing those outcomes. Sugar has become the new “cocaine” and it's just as addictive, and it's added to everything! So is fat. Those two combinations of sugars and fats create a formula for a disease.
Here are some basic takeaways on how you can begin to make changes to a healthier lifestyle, and in turn, improve your chances of losing that added weight and maintaining a healthy body.
#1—Move—start moving your body every day. It does not need to be considered “exercise” as that tends to be a four letter word for lots of us—yuk, I hate to “exercise”. But if we pick something we enjoy doing, it no longer becomes a chore, and we will be more likely to stick with it and make it a habit. Such as going for a walk, gardening, playing a sport you love, riding a bike, hiking, or my favorite -dancing! None of these cost money and it gets the body moving, pumps the blood, removes toxins, and lactic acid build up which causes muscle pain. It also reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood sugar, and helps with high cholesterol. It helps to loosen up tight muscles and joints and keeps them moving. As what you don’t use you lose!
#2—Eat clean whole foods—like you have heard before, only shop in the outer aisles of the supermarket. Stay away from processed foods. That means, avoid foods that come already packaged. The more whole and pure the food is, the better. You want to avoid foods that cause inflammation. So opt for grass fed organic meats as much as possible, lots of fresh veggies and fruits as well as whole grains. Your plate should ideally be 2/3 veggies and whole grains and 1/3 to ¼ animal protein. Green leafy veggies are one of the best, as they are high in fiber, which actually help your gut to remove toxins from your body. Fiber is the natural “detox”.
Animal protein contains inflammatory enzymes not found in plant-based proteins and whole grains, so try to limit animal protein to two-three times a week. If you can’t stick to that, then at least limit it to once per day, not 3 times a day. This includes dairy. Dairy is actually very allergenic to the body and causes inflammation. That’s why so many people are lactose intolerant, and why so many babies get colic. I opt for almond or coconut milk instead.
Check the labels for the ingredients listed. If there are too many or you can't even pronounce them, then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. Some to definitely avoid are trans fats, food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, nitrates, and nitrites. All of those are very toxic to the body. Avoid gluten, which is also inflammatory.
#3--Most importantly, drink plenty of water. Water is a natural way to lubricate joints, improve painful stiff muscles and helps to flush out toxins from the body. Ideally you should drink half your body weight in ounces per day. On average that’s about 64 oz. (half gallon) per day. Avoid sodas and energy drinks they are loaded with sugar and harmful chemicals that are toxic and go right to fat in your body. Limit caffeine or coffee to once a day. I know I love my coffee, but I will only have that one cup in the morning. Caffeine is acidic and creates inflammation in the body. Also limit alcohol to one drink at most per day for women, and no more than two for men. Less is even better. I love my wine, but now I keep it to one glass on the weekends. Limit fruit juices as they are also high in fructose. Juice your own, and include more veggies with 1 low fructose fruit such as green apple.
So by starting out with just these 3 simple steps you can be on your way to a healthier you. You will notice how much better you feel.
If you want to find out more or get specifics on any of the information shared above, sign up here to get updates.
To check out botanical products to help you detox and maintain a healthy weight go to recommended products.