Do you want to keep your vitality and remain youthful as long as possible so you can enjoy everything life has to offer? As we get older our bodies start to slow down and we may notice more aches and pains and we start having more health problems. The question then becomes, how can we do a better job of preventing disease? Drug treatments alone cannot keep us healthy. The answer is plain and simple - food. Here’s why it matters and what you can do to beat disease.
Think of your body as a car engine. Would you rather be a streamlined sports car, or a sputtering old jalopy that stalls at every light? The food you eat is its fuel. So let's think about the food you eat. What are you creating and is that what you want? Jalopy food creates weight gain, a weakened immune system, inflammation, headaches, fatigue and other diseases. Sport car fuel keeps the body and its cells functioning at optimal levels, it fights disease and helps your brain stay healthy. If you want your cells to keep doing what they are meant to be doing, you need to feed them the correct fuel. If not, they break down and disease starts to creep in. Your everyday food choices affect how you feel the next day and the next. Here are three tips to help you keep your vitality so you can feel your best.
Eat vegetables with every meal. Fifty percent of your diet should be vegetables. Plants are our only source of fiber, which is the fertilizer for the good bacteria that lives in your gut. Fiber helps digested food move smoothly through your system. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease. It helps you lose weight. Another reason for eating vegetables is that they are our only source of Phytonutrients which is a group of chemicals essential to protecting us from cancer, inflammation, infection, heart disease, autoimmune, and other ailments. Be sure to include a variety of colors when eating your vegetables. (Food What the Heck Should I Eat by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD.)
Drink more water. “Soda and all sugar-sweetened beverages are the single biggest factor contributing to obesity and are also linked to type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, kidney failure, high blood pressure, heart disease and more. Sugar-sweetened beverages are deadly”. (Food What the Heck Should I Eat by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD., page 241) Water is the best drink ever and always will be. Your body wants and needs water to thrive. Drink at least 8 cups daily.
Reduce flour and sugar intake. The problem with eating sugar and flour is it increases insulin and excess insulin stores carbohydrates as fat. Sugar is the root cause of many health problems. One client I worked with had frequent headaches and brain fog. She wanted relief from her headaches and agreed to try a food elimination plan that her doctor recommended. A food elimination plan is not eating a list of trigger foods for 21 days. This allows your body to recover and function more efficiently. Then you reintroduce each food and learn how certain foods react in your body. She found that gluten and sugar were the cause of her ailments. She has enjoyed finding different ways to incorporate a variety of foods that help her maintain her optimal health.
A typical meal should contain fifty percent/eight ounces of vegetables, 25 percent/four ounces of whole grains or fruits, and twenty five percent/four ounces of protein. Fats are included in the salad dressing or cooking with healthy oils such as olive oil, ghee, coconut oil or avocado oil. Only eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Avoid snacking. You will notice a difference in how you feel as you learn to fuel your body with what it needs instead of eating for pleasure or to relieve boredom.
I work as a life/health coach for Mark Anna, FNP. As a functional medicine provider he helps people get to the root cause of their health problems. He referred me a client in January who had borderline rheumatoid arthritis and did not want to take medications. He recommended she do a food elimination plan. I started working with her the end of January. She was hesitant to do this but wanted to feel better so she committed to taking small steps. She is a picky eater. She is busy and said it is easier to order out. She struggled with her weight and hated the person she saw in the mirror. She loved her sweets and didn't know how she could ever cut back. We worked on her beliefs and the story that she was telling herself. And week by week the changes started happening. She became aware of how her thoughts were creating her results. She paid attention to when she was really hungry and what she was eating. She started drinking more water and quit coffee. She started adding vegetables. She quit drinking soda. She cut back on eating out, and started reducing sweets. She cut back on how much she was eating. It wasn't long before she was sleeping better, had more energy, and she no longer hated her body. She was excited and confident. By the end of March her clothes were fitting differently, other people were noticing her weight loss, and she continued to make small changes one step at a time. By the end of April she was ready to take all the tools she learned and keep applying them on her own. This is a text I received from Danielle on April 30th, "I just want to thank you for eveything you taught me. My blood pressure is now under control so I am no longer taking meds. My cholesterol is much better so my dosage was cut in half. My RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is actually normal now after a decade of suffering from RA. My CRP (C-reactive protein) is no longer elevated & my liver enzymes are normal.”
The food you eat will make a difference in your life for good or bad. Do you want a body that's like a sports car or an old jalopy? It’s never too late to minimize disease, have optimal health, and enjoy everything that life has to offer. Fuel your body with the good stuff. You are worth it.