Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Changing Your Diet

July 9, 2016

Nope, we’re not talking about going low-fat, low-carb, or low-anything-else.  The key to a well-rounded, nutritious diet is to go ‘whole’.  Whole, unadulturated foods contain the proper balance of nutrition and enzymes to help digest and assimilate those nutrients.  You can accomplish this with whatever lifestyle you choose from raw-vegan to omnivore.  The main objective is to keep foods as close to their natural state as possible.

We’ve been told for years that fat will make you fat, so carbs and sugars (often hidden) took the place of fat in processed foods.   We’ve turned to processed low-fat foods that are supplemented with carbohydrates, sugars, and artificial flavors to enhance the texture and taste lost when the fat was removed.  Guess what?  A pound of sugar is 100% fat-free!  The problem is that when simple, refined carbohydrates enter your body, whatever isn’t burned as energy right away has to be dealt with.  The liver turns this excess glucose (from simple carbs and sugars) into fatty acids to be stored for later use.  So we’re eating less fat (from animal products or healthy oils like olive and coconut, which by the way are necessary for assimilating fat soluable vitamins and minerals) and eating more refined, processed foods and not only losing out on necessary nutrients, but we’re getting fatter and less healthy in the process.

So what do we do?  We need to eat and don’t always have time to cook a healthy meal so fast food is the only answer… or is it?  How about real fast food, like a smoothie?  Whole milk (raw if possible) or unsweetened yogurt, frozen berries (blueberries are chock full of antioxidants and other goodies), add a banana for sweetness and as a thickener and you’ve got a fast meal.  Make it a super meal by adding ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, a handful of baby spinach, wheatgrass powder, or a spoonful of coconut oil.  You can get a full serving or more of veggies in one smoothie!  The extra seeds and oils will also give it staying power so you’re hunger is satisfied longer.  Make a blender full in the morning, pour some in a travel mug and pop into the fridge at work (or a cooler bag with an ice pack) and you’ve got a healthy meal faster than any fast food restaurant can offer.

Changing your diet isn’t about focusing on what you can’t eat, but what you choose to eat.  When your refrigerator and pantry are filled with whole healthy foods like vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, there won’t be room for the unhealthy foods.

u12268677Try one or two new items each week.  Add quinoa to your shopping list and do a search for a variety of quinoa recipes.  Try a new vegetable you don’t usually buy, like zucchini.  Add it to an omelette, throw it in a stir fry, saute it in garlic, or bake it with fish.  Add finely diced carrots, celery, and onions to your tuna salad.  Avocados can be used for just about anything, including chocolate pudding! (yup, look it up!)  Dice avocado and tomato into a bowl of quinoa with a squirt of lime juice.  Dice it into your chicken salad (for an extra boost, sprinkle some turmeric powder into that chicken salad too).

This doesn’t have to happen overnight.  In fact, it shouldn’t happen overnight.  If you clear out your pantry of everything and just stock it with new things, revolt is bound to happen.  Remember, this isn’t about what you can’t or shouldn’t have.  Just slowly add new things and the old things will slowly make their way out of your life.  Does this mean you’ll never have chocolate cake or ice cream again?  Of course not!  It just means that your body will be healthier and better able to deal with that when the occassion does arise.

Want more great food info?  Follow my other blog LifeWalkRecipes for great whole food recipes and tips and tricks for your kitchen!

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Balanced Diet, A Different Perspective

July 1, 2012

Acid vs Alkaline

We often talk of a balanced diet in regards to the food pyramid, or the number of servings of fruits and vegetables we eat each day, but balance is much more than that.  Our body’s pH levels must be in balance for us to stay (or get) healthy.

The Western diet leaves most people overly acidic which leaves us open to dis-ease and chronic illness.  By making just a few changes to your daily diet, you can get your body back on track and better able to ward off these illnesses that plague our society.

While you might look at the acid-alkaline lists and think, “Wait a minute, lemons and limes are acidic!”  True, but they key is not just the acidity of the food itself, but how it reacts in the body.  Lemons and limes are actually alkalizing in the body.

I encourage you to explore this further by looking up acid-alkaline and pH balance online.  Do your own research.  There are many lists out there and some conflict slightly (whethere a food is acid or borderline, etc).  Go with yout gut (no pun intended) and change your diet as you see fit.

If you want to “see” the results of your dietary changes, you can purchase pH strips (I have found them online at iHerb.com, feel free to use the code ACU064 to save $5 off your first order).  These are strips of paper that test your saliva or urine for pH balance.

So now that you’ve done a little research, share what you’re changing in your diet this month.  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your thoughts!

Diet vs. Diet

April 9, 2012

So are you trapped by a diet or freed by your diet?  What’s the difference you ask?  Plenty! 

The diet trap is what one follows to lose weight.  It usually means restricting certain items from the menu.  It’s designed to be a quick fix to a long-term problem.  We eliminate things we enjoy in hopes of better health.  What often happens, however, is that we either lose interest and drop the diet or we lose the weight, drop the diet, go back to old habits and the weight returns. Restricting  ourselves, either to certain types of foods or a certain number of calories, puts our nutrition out of balance and can actually increase cravings for the things you are trying to eliminate.

Your diet is what you eat on a regular basis for health and nourishment (not a short-term fix).  If your diet consists of items that are making you ill or overweight, then it’s time to start adding new things to it.  Add new things?  But I’m already overweight, you might be thinking.  Here’s the deal: begin adding new healthy foods to your daily diet and the unhealthy foods will eventually be squeezed out and your health (and weight) will turn around. 

Simple yes. Easy, not necessarily. It will take some effort on your part.  So where do you begin?  Just choose one thing at a time to add to your daily diet.  Choose a new vegetable to have a few times a week or add extra water to your daily regime.  If you’re drinking from a water bottle all day, sodas will be pushed out.  The more vegetables you add to your meals, the less room there will be for the processed, packaged foods.  If you replace 3 breakfasts each week with a smoothie packed with fruits and green superfoods, that’s 3 days without bagels, waffles, or donuts for breakfast.

The focus on the freeing diet is adding rather than restricting.  When you add vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and superfoods, your body will get the nourishment it needs and the cravings for refined carbs and sugars will go away.  When your plate is filled with these nourishing foods, there won’t be room for the processed food-like products.  If you change your thoughts from “I can’t have that” to “I can have it, but choose to have this instead” you are back in control.

When you begin eating clean, whole foods, your body will begin to work more efficiently.  Your immune system will get stronger. Your skin and hair will look and feel healthier.  Your energy levels will increase.  Keep adding new things.  Try new foods.  You won’t necessarily like all of them, but there are so many whole, healthy, natural foods that you can keep trying different ones and just keep the ones you like.

So turn your health around by adding new whole, real foods to your plate. Then add some more… and more. 

In the next article we will talk about what types of foods to add to your menu.  Don’t want to miss it?  Subscribe to this blog or ‘Like’ our FaceBook page!

Holistic = Whole-istic

August 1, 2011
I recently had a discussion with a friend about what ‘holistic’ means and what makes us holistic practitioners.  Shortly after this conversation, I received another e-news headline singing the praises of the newest miracle food.
 
While we want to eat healthy (since you really are what you eat, ya know!) we don’t want to lose focus of our “wholeness” by simply supplementing with the latest fads.
 
They said antioxidants are what we need to live longer.  So we all went out and gorged ourselves on blueberries.  They said Omega-3 would help our hearts, so we sought out fish oil capsules.  I’m not saying these products won’t work, but we need to keep in mind what our whole body needs.
We know that gasoline will make our cars run (and if you get brand X it will run better, longer!)  Does this mean we fill up the fuel tank regularly and ignore the engine oil, brakes, or tires?  Of course not!  Proper tire inflation helps gas mileage, engine oil keeps things running smoothly, and brake pads… well, you get the idea!
 
So while it’s a good idea to keep an open mind about new foods or supplements to help you live better, remember all the rest:
 
Nurition: Whole, organic foods, the fresher the better – as close as you can get to their natural state
Exercise: Everyday activies are best (climbing stairs, gardening, walking the dog, housework) but if work keeps you sedentary during the day, then hitting the gym or taking classes is great. Muscles and cardio for sure, but remember flexibility too: tai chi, yoga, qi gong.
Rest: adequate sleep ranges from 6-8 uninterrupted hours for most people
Emotional Support: Friends, hobbies, relaxing activities!  These are as important (if not more) than the others.  When you are relaxed and happy, the rest can fall into place.

How do you keep your health in balance?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your ideas with other in the community.


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