"Food can be the most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison." -Ann Wigmore
Over the last few years, I've learned a lot about health and wellness. It's my intention, with this little blog post, to let you in on 10 life-changing truths that have truly propelled my health journey. I hope they are helpful to you, too. Ready?
1. ADD IN THE GOOD STUFF! Life is not meant to be lived in denial and restriction. Where's the fun in that? Too often when starting a health journey, people focus on what they CAN'T have. Instead, I encourage you to focus on what you CAN have. What can you ADD IN today to make you healthier and happier? A green smoothie, a big salad at lunch, an extra glass of water. The more of the good stuff you add in, the more of the not-so-good you crowd out...and you won't even miss the not-so-good! (The first thing we want to focus on crowding out is sugar!)
2. ACID/ALKALINE BALANCE. Your body is constantly trying to maintain homeostasis (balance). Through the Standard American Diet of processed, packaged, fake foods (and too much meat, dairy, sugar, toxins), we force our bodies into an acidic state. Acidosis leads to chronic inflammation and disease. So, your job is to bring in as many alkalizing foods as you can to bring your body back into balance.
3. BIOINDIVIDUALITY. Each of us is different. What works well for one person might not work as well for another. That's why there are so many dietary theories and experts on the market. What I want you to do is get to know YOU! You are the only one who lives in your body. Only YOU know how things make you feel. When you eat something, consciously consider how it makes you feel immediately after you eat it, an hour later, two hours later, etc. Physically and emotionally. Nourish your body with those things that make you feel your best.
4. FOOD CRAVES FOOD. The more of the good stuff that you add in, the more of the good stuff you'll crave. Watch! It's true. The reverse is true, too. The more you eat the processed/packaged/sugary foods, the more of those you will crave. Add in more of the good stuff and watch your taste buds begin to change.
5. HYDRATION. We are a dehydrated society. So many of our ills and issues could be solved by just rehydrating. The general rule of thumb is for you to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day. You can infuse your water with cucumber, mint, citrus, berries, etc., to make it more interesting. You can also add ingestible-grade essential oils to give your water an extra yumminess!
6. THE BLISS POINT. It's important for you to understand that food manufacturers know exactly how to combine fat, salt, and sugar to keep you coming back for more. It's called the "bliss point". Isn't that crazy?! You need to know that manufactured food (and I don't even think "manufactured" and "food" should be in the same sentence) is made to be addictive. Now, don't you just wanna go eat an orange just to spite those manufacturers? ;)
7. BECOME A LABEL DETECTIVE. This week, go to the store and start turning food boxes/packages over and read the labels. What's in it?! Is sugar one of the first ingredients? Are the rest of the ingredients un-pronounceable? (Is that a word?) If the label looks "complicated," leave the food on the shelf. Then head straight to the produce department where there are no labels!
8. PLAN. There's just no way around it. Planning and preparing are the secret keys to creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I know it's hard. And, maybe it's not soooo much fun. But, you have to put some thought into your grocery shopping, your weekly menu, and your daily meals...or you'll drive thru Wendy's at the6 pm hour when everyone is starving and you have neglected to plan! So, take some time on Saturday to plan out your week. Then shop on Sunday and cut up/clean your veggies. Go a step further and make a couple of meals that your family can have for dinner for a few nights during the week. While this will take some time to put into practice, I promise it will take the stress out in the long run!
9. RECONNECT WITH YOUR BODY. When was the last time you thought about your kidneys? How about your liver? Well, that's too long! Most of us take our organs for granted. But, my goodness, do you know what they do for you every day? A LOT! It's time to reconnect with them. Learn how to support your kidneys. Learn which foods help support your liver in its detoxification job. Learn how to re-populate your gut with healthy flora...and why it's important! When you understand how things work in that body of yours, you want to help support their function!
10. FOOD FOR LIFE PURPOSE. Notice how this doesn't say, "Food IS life purpose." Nope. We have somehow elevated food to be THE thing in life. For some, it HAS become their life purpose. But, food is secondary. It's here to support YOU as you fulfill your purpose on this planet with passion and energy. Food fuels you. It plays a supportive role, not a primary role. If you feel like your purpose in life is lacking, you may have a tendency to turn to food to fill the void. I encourage you to do some self-evaluation around this and remember that food is here to nourish you body and give you energy to do your thing on this planet!
Take these truths and apply them to your life. You will be well on your way to creating your most vibrant health ever when you do!