10 Thoughts about Health
1 Our body is literally our home, let’s take care of it.
I didn’t appreciate this statement until middle age.
As a young person I was healthy, my immediate family was too. I grew up in a rural neighborhood where the kids played outside and snuck berries and veggies from neighborhood gardens. My mom and dad were both healthy.
It wasn’t until my mom developed C.O.P.D. and my sister developed back while I was in my mid- thirties that I actually had personal exposure to the limitations imposed due to a body not respected. It was at this point too that I was probably my most unhealthy.
My number one value is freedom and seeing someone trapped in a body that no longer serves them was a huge wake up call.
2 Love this definition…Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity."
Health is holistic; it’s not simply going to the doctor, popping a script, or trying to lose weight.
3 Fat is good
Many of us have the lowfat diet programmed into our minds when it comes to healthy eating. This is probably the worst myth we believed about food. Maybe the egg myth was worse. So much conflicting information out there. At the end of the day, think close to nature whole foods and you will be fine.
Good fats are typically as close to nature as you can get, who’d have guessed?
Avocado, olives, oysters, salmon, other fatty fish, seeds, nuts, pasture raised eggs, grass-fed beef, grass-fed full-fat milk products.
Oils and butters simply pressed from plants and not highly processed using chemicals. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, almond and other nut and seed butters.
Bad fats are: Trans fats which are now banned in the US and highly processed vegetable oils.
Highly processed oils like, soybean, corn, cottonseed, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, sesame, grapeseed are usually processed using chemicals. These are the cheaper oil options so used in most commercial processed and prepared foods.
I would stick to the Good fats for home cooking because you’ll get plenty Bad fats when eating away from home.
4 Sugar IS bad, refined carbs turn into sugar in your body…rice, pasta, flour…all sugar basically
Other than taste, refined sugars and carbs have no redeeming qualities. You might argue that you need carbs for fuel, yes but you can eat your carbs in whole food form like broccoli, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, they do not need to come from bread, cake, and pasta.
I also think sugar is additive and the more I have, the more I want. I like to savor my sweet treats and I make sure I don’t waste the sugar and calories on sub-par items. Delicious croissant vs white bread, amazing and beautiful bakery cupcake vs. a Twinkie, and then I try to keep my treats to once per week certainly not every day.
5 One thing, one habit at a time. Start now and make changes gradually. This is something I struggle with. I have a tendency to want it all right now. I do know that when I choose one thing and focus on that one thing until I master it, I am much more likely to stick with it, long term.
Drink half your weight in ounces of water. This is not something I’m awesome at but I can tell when I’m on my game because I notice the following improvements. When I’m full of water I do not get hungry or crave snacks, my skin is plump not dry, I feel less tired, I have less allergies. All good, only downside is nighttime bathroom visits. I drink too late into the evening.
7 Conflicting information
There is an overload of health information out there and half of it conflicts with the other half…ugh.
I think one of the best ways to think about what is healthy for us, is to think about ourselves as the human animal in nature. What would we be eating, how active would we be, our sleep habits etc.
You don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours or even every 4. Unless of course, your doctor wants you to, some health issues need steady food intake, but other than that do what works for you.
I personally eat around 10:30 -11:00am and again around 5:00pm. I generally snack in between meal 1 and meal 2 not too much after. I’m not rigid within this, it’s just where I settled in.
Figure out what works best for you just know if you’re eating all day long you better be paying attention to what and how much, it can quickly get away from you. And if you train yourself to be hungry every few hours, you’ll be hungry every few hours.
9 Whole foods, mic drop
The simplest way to eat healthy is to eat whole foods. That’s it. Foods that require the least amount of processing are the healthiest. Things like fruits, vegetables, meat.
Pick a food and think it through:
Fruits and Vegetables would be picked or gathered, when in season, some are good for drying and storing.
Nuts and seeds would be gathered, and they would naturally store well.
Honey in nature would be stolen from bees.
Meat would have to be hunted, it can be smoked or dried and stored.
Eggs would be stolen, when in season.
Rice and grains would have to be gathered from each individual plant, when in season, it would store, but you’d have to gather a lot.
Bread or pasta would have to be grown, picked and processed, milled into flour, mixed with other ingredients (that also have many processing steps) and then baked. Modern bread has lot’s of added chemicals and bleaching and other crazy stuff.
A Cupcake….see where I’m going here?
Preservation and domestication make all these things available at all times. I say just use your head and keep it simple.
Stick to whole foods.
It surprises me sometimes when people tell me they don’t sleep well or they sleep 6 hours or less and they don’t think it’s a big deal. If I don’t get a decent sleep for my eight hours it really messes with my mood and energy levels all the next day or two.
Getting less than 6 hours a night is not healthy! Adults should aim to get 7-9 hours a sleep every night.
If you aren’t getting a good sleep, start by cutting down on caffeine and stop drinking caffeinated drinks 10-12 hours before bed. Pay attention to your supplements, teas, drinks, and sugar intake too, all these may stimulate you and prevent sleep.
Create a routine and sleep in a cool dark room as well as limit your evening screen time.
My big sleep interrupters are whatever my hormones do before my period, alcohol, and caffeine. Alcohol is tricky, I may fall right asleep at first but then I wake up and can’t get back into deep sleep. UGH!!