The Year of Acceptance - Eating Food for Health & Happiness
Being healthy starts from within, which for most of us, self-acceptance is hard to find. We can easily console our friends and family when a crisis hits. Or even be there to help out when someone is in need, but what about ourselves? It is time for most of us to find self-acceptance, joy in the strengths and weakness we have in ourselves and create the life we want.
Let's give ourselves the chance to eat well with foods that nourish our bodies, not fad diets that bring us deprivation and stress. As working professionals, we try to do everything well, all the time. In trying to keep everything and everyone in our lives moving efficiently, we usually throw ourselves off balance.
Most of us have already thrown the 2012 resolution to the side and fallen back into old habits. While working towards the ultimate prize of self-acceptance and health daily, we need to keep moving forward one day at a time to reach our health and life goals.
My motto is, "taking steps toward better health, daily", which means pick one or two things a day that makes you feel better, eat better, and live better. In 30 days, you will have created healthier habits.
Here are a few ideas to keep your health moving forward. I hope they inspire you to take those steps toward better daily health.
Avoid Refined Sugar:
Forget botox and fillers, to help keep your own collagen from breaking down avoid white, refined sugar (pasta, flour) and defy aging the healthy way. White sugars weaken the immune system by destroying your white blood cells ability to fight bacteria in the body. Eating refined white sugars (pasta, flour) that are stripped of all vitamins, minerals and fiber encourages the secretion of vital nutrients, like calcium from your bones. As we age, brittle bones or osteoporosis can keep us from doing the things we love. Being mindful of your sugar consumption can help stop the need for future drug therapy and keep you healthy for the activities you love.
Avoid Aspartame & Other Fake Sugars:
If you really are looking to lose weight than it is a must for you to stay away from fake sugar. Your body can't tell the difference between sugar or aspartame, however, it is like crying wolf. When you eat sugar from whole foods, your body revs up to burn the extra calories, but when you put in diet soda, your body eventually stops revving up, because there are no calories to burn so your body holds onto to fat instead of releasing it.
So ironically, consistent consumption of aspartame (and other fake sugars) could actually add to your weight. Aspartame is a known neurotoxin (carcinogen) and its use is banned in many countries. Synthetic sugars contribute to the overall acidity in your body and could lead to inflammation and the adding of more fat cells.
Invest In a Good Probiotic:
Having issues with digestion, gas and bloating? It could be that your body needs some help breaking up some of those processed foods you have vowed to get rid of in the New Year. As we age, our digestive juices can be hindered by excess fats and processed foods which could cause gas, bloating and acid reflux.
A good probiotic found at your local health food store will help relieve these symptoms. Increasing your intake of whole foods, especially well chewed raw fruits and veggies along with reducing your intake of animal protein will give your digestion the help it needs. Whole foods are full of enzymes that help the digestion process and cleanse your system.
Greens, Greens, Eat More Veggies:
Get a Vitamin Boost of antioxidants, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc and omega-3s by adding a variety of colorful veggies (berries) to your daily diet. Try out a new recipe: a week with sulphur-producing veggies, like, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, onions or garlic.
Cut and freeze or buy frozen spinach or kale and add to fruit smoothies for an added punch. This is a Good way to sneak some veggies in for the kids too.
Move It Daily:
We are always on the go for everyone else it seems, so take time to for yourself. Make movement a must, Daily! We all find time for the things we want to do. Find Movement that works for you..walking, running, dancing or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Yoga and Pilates are awesome for your strength and flexibility, but move your lymphatic system with moderate cardio exercise that gets those toxins (fat) out..start with 20 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Log it or Lose it:
I used to be able to remember everything I needed to do throughout the day, but there are days if I don't write down what I'm eating, thinking, or feeling I just don't remember. I believe that writing down the foods you are eating and the feeling/issues that are making you grab those extra "whatevers", will help stop a lot of bingeing.
It is just like when we redirect our kids to something more productive to stop the whining. Just taking that few moments to write down, "Help!", can redirect you from making a choice that leaves you feeling guilty. Sometimes we need to do something that helps us redirect. Journaling has been a work in progress.
What has helped is to stop judging myself, no perfect sentence or spelling, just my mind dump for the day. I don't have a journal for food and a journal for thoughts, I just have one, I call it my food/mood journal and let it rip. Remember you don't have to do everything all the time. Just be grateful for the one or two things you do for yourself daily for better health and happiness.
About The Author
Kelly Lavieri, CHC, AADP is a Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, as well as a Health Educator. Kelly specializes in helping her clients obtain optimal health through effective and supportive nutritional and lifestyle coaching. If you are looking to make healthy changes in your life...not just your weight, please contact her at Kelly@focusnutritionandwellness.com