This morning I read a post:
I’m not dieting – I am changing my lifestyle.
It was a post I shared from Dr. Hyman, with which I completely agree. What people need is the willingness to change their life – bad habits and all. Our society is stressed and sick. Not even counting the major preventable diseases, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension… looking around is worrisome. Witnessing the cases of gallbladder issues, acid reflux disorder, digestive problems, or simply bad sleep is troubling. Unfortunately, I can count so many individuals who suffer from the above, just within the circle of my family and friends. Personally, I experienced headaches on a regular basis when I was younger. Sinusitis that would turn into laryngitis would show up about 2-3 times per year. My children were treated for chronic ear-infections; their noses were always runny and stuffed. So what is it that makes all of us so sick? And what is the magic trick to get us all better?
Starting lasting change is easy. Simply follow my 7-Easy-Steps to Better Health!
1) Start your day with a Green Smoothie. Blend some spinach or kale with an avocado, an apple, or some other fruit. Experiment and create your personal favorite. Add some berries or seeds. If you do not care for the chunky texture in the smoothie, you can juice the fruits and veggies instead.
2) Usually, I do not tell my clients to cut out anything from their diet because adding healthy items crowds out unhealthy habits naturally. However, I would like to recommend that you try to cut out all soda and sugary drinks. Hydrate with plenty of water instead.
3) Start reading the nutrition labels and ingredients lists on whatever you buy. Look for hidden sources of refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and coloring, MSG, BHA and BHT, sodium nitrate and nitrite, caffeine, Olestra (Olean), brominated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You can also follow Michael Pollen’s advice: “Do not buy anything that has a health claim on its package.”
4) Add fresh greens and plenty of vegetables to your diet. This is self-explanatory. Buy, cook, and consume a new vegetable each week. Remember, it may take a little while for your taste buds to adjust. My personal example: I never used to like Brussel sprouts, asparagus, olives, or red beets. After experimenting with them and trying out new and different ways to cook those veggies, I now love them and even crave them. Remember that not many in our generation were brought up eating farm-fresh every day. It is a learning curve for everyone.
5) Check in with your body’s personal needs and see how it reacts to possible food-stressors like wheat/gluten, dairy, sugar, or animal products. Sometimes it is helpful to eliminate a complete food group for a week or two to see the body’s reaction. You can then reintroduce the items and observe the signs again. After a while, you will be able to read your body’s messages closely and you can tie certain ailments to certain food you eat.
6) Eliminate fast food and start home cooking with fresh ingredients (those that do not have a bar code). This ties back to #4 and the adventure of trying new ingredients and cooking methods.
7) Enjoy! Have fun with those changes in your life. Do not beat yourself up over a cookie and stop stressing if things do not work out perfectly right away. This is a lifestyle change and it takes time. This is different from the approach of any diet offered because it is a sustainable change that will last for your entire life, not a quick fix. Be prepared to encounter difficulties — think of them as the natural flow of life. You will feel the upward spiral soon.
Warning: Nutritional changes combined with a regular program of physical activity, mental exercise in faith & spirituality, and the nurturing of personal relationships and your profession will greatly increase your personal health and happiness. Watch out, you may become a new person!
(Source: © Alexandra Roach, Healing the Military Soul – How Warriors Can Regain Strength from Within)
And, don’t forget to SMILE – it’s important to enjoy your life and the company of the people around you!
Many hugs your way, (…because we all need them)