Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

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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Eat An Egg!

May 1, 2014

I love when I can put a message clearly into words for others to read. This one isn’t mine, it came from my friend Mary Ellen who has been creating like a mad woman lately, her latest creation is 23rd and Bird, an awesome little shop in Norwood, MA. I think she gets her point across quite nicely…

“Over the years, I have found that some of my most profound “aha” moments have come while giving advice to my children. This is especially true when the sh*t is getting real, or the sh*t’s hitting the fan or there’s just too much sh*t going on. Basically, it’s advice on how to take care of yourseIf. I often tell the girls, when they are having a meltdown, to go get in some water. Jump in a puddle, run in the rain, take a swim or a hot bath. So yesterday, before racing off to work. I decided to shower, which I really didn’t have time for. I even managed to shave a leg! (I’m planning on getting to the other one later this week.) But it was good to ask the question, “What do I need?”egg

Yesterday, I said to my son, who is equally as overscheduled, that no matter what, he should properly fuel his body with food. Decent food. So today, heeding my own advice, I ate guacamole on toast and eggs with hot sauce. I sat down and ate it…because I needed it. And now I’m writing this post, which I also do not have time for, but I felt I needed to be heard. (And you’re my friends, right?) And I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. I, personally, have never been this busy, but “busy” is not going to kick my ass.

I’m not telling you what to do, but for God’s sake, put the sh*t down and have an egg.”

Thank you Mary Ellen. I think I’m going to go make breakfast. Eggs, I believe, are in order today.

April Showers

April 1, 2012
April showers bring May flowers is how the saying goes. What I think it means is that we sometimes have to tolerate the unpleasant to appreciate the pleasant. We wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of summer without experiencing the cold of winter. We spend years studying for a degree or learning a trade with the (hopeful) payoff of a fulfilling career.
 
Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad. It’s often how you look at it. Just as we wait through the April showers in order to enjoy the May flowers, those April showers can be fun and refreshing as opposed to dreary. Consider taking a walk on a warm, rainy spring day. If you’re near a pond or lake, spend some time watching the ducks. Ducks really know how to enjoy a good rain shower. Be like the ducks and just let the rain roll of your back.

On occassion, the emotions are too deep to just let “roll off your back”. You have to go deeper. Some call it the “dark night of the soul”, where you need to hit rock bottom before you can emerge, like a phoenix from the flames. When emotional turmoil takes its toll, the best way past it is through it. The thought and worry about going through an emotional upheavel is often worse than the actual emotions. Our imaginations can come up with some pretty painful stuff. When things start to feel bleak. When you reach a point where you can’t or won’t work through an emotional blockage, get help. A spiritual counselor or coach can help you with this process.

Share what you will look at differently this month? What will you let “roll off your back”? This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page. Share your thoughts!

Eat Real, Eat Well

March 20, 2012

Losing weight and getting healthy is not about low-fat, no-salt, flavorless and fake foods.  It’s not about every chicken dish you’ve ever known remade with soy products.  Your body needs fat.  It needs cholesterol. It needs salt.  You just need to find the right natural products that provide these healthy (and necessary) nutrients.

Consider this, if your grandparents knew it as food, it’s probably real food (yes, including real butter, lard, whole milk, and salt).  If it grew from a plant or ate a plant, it is probably real food.  If it was made in a plant, reconsider your choice.

Think about the vegetables you eat… are they oily?  In most cases, no.  So how do we consider vegetable oil a healthy food product?  Olives, when pressed, give oil.  That sounds like a winner to me.  And what exactly is a “Canola”?  Do the research.  There is no such thing as a “Canola plant”.  “Canola” is derived from “Canada Oil Low Acid”.  I will not go into details, look it up, then decide if you will continue to use it in cooking.

So if all these “healthy” products are not what they seem, what do I do?  Think natural and think flavorful.  Food was not meant to be flavorless cardboard nutrition pellets.  Take that free-range organic chicken and sautee it with garlic and veges in coconut oil (a medium-chain triglyceride – look it up!)  Vegetarian?  No problem.  No need for fake soy-based protein substitutes.  Get your protein from real, whole foods like beans, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy (if not vegan), and whole grains (especialy quinoa).  There is no need to resort to soy burgers, soy nuggets, and meatless meat products to get enough protein.

And I know I will step on a few toes here, but if you are vegan or vegetarian for health reasons, do some more research.  Meat and poultry are not the health demons they’ve been made out to be the past 20-30 years.  If you are vegan or vegetarian for humanitarian reasons (and especially if you are lacking in necessary nutrients that are easily found in animal protein), find a local farm that you trust to get your occassional meat, eggs, and dairy products.  There are many small, non-factory,  farmers who are just trying to make a living for their families and who feed and treat their livestock well.  You will not only enhance your health, but you will support your local economy as well.

When your body has the proper amounts of nutrients, including fat, cholesterol, and high quality salt, your weight will stabilize to it’s healthy and natural level.

Who Can Heal You?

September 1, 2011
We turn to medical professionals, alternative practitioners, self-help books, even psychics, but who can really heal us?  If you’ve spent much time and money on books, lying on massage tables, being poked, prodded, and questioned you may not like the answer.

While practitioners can offer assistance, only YOU can heal you.

That might not be the news you wanted to hear, but if you think about it, it’s a great position to be in.  You are now in control.  You get to decide how to approach your healing path.  You choose who comes along for the ride with you and who is left behind (which can often make a huge difference on your health and healing).

 You may have heard of people who have tried every technique available to quit smoking, but they just can’t kick the habit while others simply quit.  The mind is a very powerful part of healing.  And without the will, healing is nearly impossible.  Take the example of smoking: when you truly decide that smoking will no longer be a part of your life, then it will no longer be a part of your life.  You may need the aid of patches or pills to assist with the physical withdrawel symptoms, but your desire for smoking will no longer be there as a temptation.

Maybe you want to improve your health: balance blood sugar or cholesterol, lose weight, or build endurance.  Whatever your goal, your will to achieve it is the best tool you have.  There is no magic pill or potion that will cause you to lose weight if you choose to remain sedentary and continue to eat foods your body cannot tolerate.

Something else to keep in mind as you decide to change your life: who will you bring along for the ride, and who will get kicked off the bus?  If you are surrounded by people who don’t share your optimism or are determined to hold you back with their own habits, you may want to consider associating with and befriending those who are more in line with your goals.Your options on how to create health and wellness are boundless!  What will you choose?

 
I want to hear about your choices!  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your plans, ask for a cheering section, cheer others on!

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