The first step to optimum health is making food choices that serve our unique bodies. Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can be used to create energy that makes us look and feel great!
So, if you feel like you are choosing the foods that will do this for you. If you are listening to my mantra and incorporating those foods into your lifestyle. Lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Don’t forget your healthy fats found in fish and the occasional piece of grass-fed organic beef. Yet you still are not losing weight and feel BLAH! Why is that?
To understand why you are consuming the right foods but still don’t have very much energy, let’s follow what happens after your food is consumed.
Healthy Restaurant Eating Guide
Even the healthiest sounding dishes at a restaurant can be loaded with sodium, refined sugars and processed foods. In addition, most restaurants are not preparing food with your health in mind but with getting the most bang for the buck. They are not using oils such as coconut or olive oil but are cooking with canola oil and other less expensive oils that not only cause inflammation that leads to various dis-ease states but also may carry contaminants of foods that you are trying to avoid either because of food allergies or food sensitivities.
The first rule of thumb to eating healthy is to prepare your food at home. With some education, this can be easy and fun!
However, there are those times when preparing your own food is just not an option. Here are some tips to help you navigate restaurant eating:
Relax! Your genes are not set in stone.
Just because your mother got breast cancer, or your aunt or your sister, does not mean that you will get breast cancer. Similarly, just because your father is diabetic does not mean that you will become diabetic.
What genes we express, or don’t express, are determined not by the genes that we inherited but by the choices we make that activate those genes.
Thanks to much of what we hear in the media, cleansing has earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. When you hear the word “cleanse,” do you immediately think of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements and short-term deprivation for short-term gains?
The truth is, a cleanse doesn’t have to involve any of the above—and if you cleanse in a healthy, supportive manner, you can achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain and full-body health.
The following are four myths you may have heard about cleansing. Understandably, these myths may cause you to be hesitant to try a cleanse. Keep reading to find out the truth behind these myths and why cleansing might be just what your body is craving.
“If I eat less and work out more, I’ll lose weight.”
I used to believe that too. And then I realized that it was not working for me. I looked around the gym that I was at more often than I was home and realized that that was not working for a lot of people. And then, I learned the truth.Contrary to popular belief, calories in does NOT equal calories out.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you just can’t exercise that donut away.
Did you know that lack of sleep can make you fat? Being sleep deprived reduces the production of a hormone called leptin in our bodies and it is this hormone that controls our hunger signals. That is one reason why you might tend to eat more when you work an overnight shift.
Sleep also has a multitude of other benefits, including:
There is a direct correlation between your ability to lose weight and your stress level. We all have a certain level of stress in our lives but it is how we manage that stress that affects our health and happiness and even our weight.
So many of us joke about our sugar addiction but it is not a laughing matter. Sugar addiction is a very real thing and detrimental to our physical and emotional health. It is reported that it is the most common addiction in present day history. More common than marijuana and coffee. According to the American Health Association, the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day and, even more shocking, the average child consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. That converts to more than 135 pounds of sugar per year per person!
What Makes Sugar Addictive:
- Even though we want to stop consuming it, we have a compulsive need to do so.
- Sugar, like other addictive drugs, requires more and more of the same substance to cause the same feelings.
- It affects neurotransmitters in the brain in the same way that street drugs such as cocaine.
- If the substance is removed, the person has withdrawal symptoms. In the case of sugar, those symptoms may be headache, nausea, insomnia, moodiness, nervousness, anxiety, as well as other symptoms.
“Cleansing” and “detoxing” are hot right now. Unfortunately, many people that are going that route are looking for a quick fix to lose a few pounds and are not exploring a detox as a way to change the way they eat and their health. When done properly, cleansing or detoxing acts as an elimination diet and is the gold standard to learn what foods do not work for your individual body. However, our bodies are detoxing every day. It is the kidney, liver, colon, lungs and even skin’s job to remove toxins from our bodies. When our systems are working optimally, waste is eliminated from our bodies and not stored as fat or causing us problems such as fatigue, headaches, foggy brain, achy joints, autoimmune disease or mood disorders. Try implementing one of these ideas at a time and building up to doing all of them to get lasting changes.
Start every day with a glass of water with a ½ lemon squeezed into it. Even though lemon is acidic, the body digests it into an alkaline ash. Our bodies function more effectively in an alkaline state and this is a great way to start hydrating right away and get the digestive juices flowing.
Get Plenty of Rest
Turn off the t.v. (or any other screens) at least one hour before bed and do not read anything that might cause you stress. This is your time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Go for a walk. Practice some light yoga. Meditate. Give your worries over to a journal. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and when you soak in an Epsom salt bath you absorb magnesium through your skin. Magnesium is a common deficiency. It leads to restless leg syndrome, muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations and constipation.
Practice going to bed at such a time that you can get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and true healing doesn’t start until you’ve been asleep for about 5 hours, so it’s important to prioritize it.
Eat Whole Foods
Eat whole, real foods provided by nature. Food manufacturers create foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt and low in nutrients. Then our bodies have to work to remove those toxins but we are not giving our bodies the tools it needs to do that. Stick to foods high in nutrients. Especially important are the green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables which provide the liver with the nutrients it needs to do it’s job.
Breathe! Such a simple thing yet one that a good friend reminds me to do on a regular basis. Why? Focusing on breathing resets our stress hormones. When our stress hormones are activated everything slows down – our digestive system stops working effectively, our elimination system slows down and is not efficient, and our bodies are given a signal to store food as energy which equals an increase in our fat cells, i.e. weight. By doing this simple breathing exercise, we reset our cortisol and get our bodies working again Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 8, and release for 7. Repeat 4-6 times at least twice a day.
Move Your Body
Notice I didn’t say “exercise.” Going to the gym and working up a sweat with a bunch of other people is not everyone’s idea of a good time and if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. Find ways to make use of your body every day. Use a basket at the grocery store instead of a cart. Take the stairs instead of an elevator Get off the bus a stop earlier than you need to. Play with your kids. Pay attention to opportunities to add movement into your days.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and people typically under consume water. There are many reasons to consume plenty of clean, pure, unadulterated water but for the sake of this topic, water is required to allow the toxins to leave our cells and be excreted in our urine and stool. If you are not taking in enough water, our body does not detoxify well. The results are headaches, muscle fatigue, constipation and other problems.
These are some very easy tips that are sustainable and help our bodies to detox every day – not just when we decide we need a strict diet.
Which tip are you going to implement first?
Do you need guidance and support to get started on detoxing daily? Sign up for my 28-Day Jumpstart to Weightloss starting September 4th under “Services.”