Tag Archives: Eating well

Nutritious Food is Essential for Good Health

Fruits and Vegetables
Image by by Erdosain

Nutritious food is essential for good health. Everyone knows that on some level, but being caught up in the hustle and bustle of living and getting ahead in society, the truth of it seems to get lost. There is so much to do and so little time. In all that rush, it is easy to forget to eat well – in fact; it is easy to forget WHY we should eat well. We rarely stop to think about nutrition or question whether or not our bodies are getting what they need.

It seems like every day there is a new report about what we “should not” eat, and more reports about what we “should eat.” People are confused. With the confusion plus the stress that results from intensely busy lives, it is no wonder that the average diet has become less and less nutritious. Too many have resorted to the easy way out by eating whatever is the most convenient.

However, it does not have to be that way. There is really no reason to be confused because good nutrition is quite simple if you follow four simple rules:

  • Eat as close to nature as possible – fresh and organic.
  • Avoid all processed foods (including white sugar and flour)
  • Avoid anything with additives.
  • Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

If you can learn to use those rules to guide you in selecting foods, I promise your body will get all the nutrients it needs to be healthy and to serve you well for many years to come.

The Benefits of Proper Nutrition

  • Plenty of Energy – Eat lots of fruits and vegetables in all the colors of the rainbow and never skimp on green leafy vegetables if you want your energy to be at its peak most of the day. Remember – you can eat all the vegetables you want and never worry about calories.  Fruits are also terrific from a nutritional stand point, but if you are watching your weight, remember that fruit contains a lot of natural sugar.

As you begin the switch and let go of the processed, non-nutritious foods you have been eating and fill your diet with natural, delicious health-promoting plants and other fresh foods, you may even find yourself eating more than you have in the past . . . . and enjoying it more, as well.

  •  Normal, Stable Weight – Just the elimination of processed foods and eating lots of fresh,organic foods that provide the nutrients your body needs, will normalize your weight more quickly and easily than you can imagine. Everyone likes to look good, but when I talk about normalizing your weight I am talking about much more than how you look. Normal weight means you are a healthy weight for your height and body frame (looking good is a fringe benefit).
  • Strong Immune System – If you want to feel good all the time and be one of those people who say, “I never catch colds or have the flu. In fact, I rarely get sick at all.” Learn to take care of your amazing body. Remember, the foundation of good health is to eat a nutritionally balanced diet all the time. The benefits will astound you.

You may be thinking that eating healthy foods takes a lot of time and energy and you are too busy to bother. You are right. It does take a little more time to squeeze your own orange juice than to pour it from a bottle or carton – but the taste is so much better (and the nutrition sky rockets). Just keep your eye on the prize – a strong, efficient immune system that will protect you from whatever crazy germs are floating around.

  • Less Moody – Research in connection with the relationship between poor nutrition and mental health is in the early stages. But, there are some studies that already support the theory that vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals play an important part in preventing mental illness and dementia – depression in particular seems to be affected by diet.

If you or anyone you know has suffered from depression, you know how it can ravage a person’s life (and the lives of those around him/her). If there were any chance that eating more fruits and vegetables and giving up fast foods would help, it would be well worth the effort.

  • Healthy Teeth and Gums Taking care of your teeth is very important. This includes going to the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleaning, practicing good dental hygiene on a daily basis, and most important of all – getting proper nutrition from your diet to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

You may not be aware that gum disease has been identified as an indicator of potential heart disease. Problems with your teeth and gums can be a clear signal that all is not well – even though there are no overt signs of problems.

  • Enhanced Ability to Focus and Be Productive – If you are in the habit of filling your body with caffeine every morning and then drinking more and more to stay awake, try eating a good breakfast instead, including a green smoothie or a glass of green juice (like wheat grass). You will be absorbing all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay sharp, focused and highly productive. An added benefit is that you will not hit the wall with the mid-morning slump!  (And of course, eat a healthy, nutritious lunch and dinner, as well)
  • More Physical Stamina – Diets that provide a solid supply of nutrients will help the body work at full capacity. The way you feel physically and the things you will be able to do without falling down in exhaustion will probably surprise you. You will find that you can once again ride a bike, walk on a treadmill, work in your yard, move furniture, hike through the mountains, etc.

Even sexual activity will be much more enjoyable and issues are more likely to disappear.  ED drugs may become a thing of the past as your circulation increases. The chances for heart surgery (by-pass from clogged arteries) will diminish drastically, as well.

  • Look Better, Feel Younger   A well-nourished body improves everything – your color (no pasty-faced, grey look for you), the sparkle in your eyes, the smoothness of your skin, the shine in your hair, the spring in your step.

When you begin eating a highly-nutritious diet all the time, you will begin to notice a remarkable difference in 60 to 90 days. You will feel better and look better. Your skin tones will be pinker, your skin will become clearer (age spots may disappear or get smaller), and the whites of your eyes will become whiter.

All of that is nice, but the most important change is that you will simply be healthier. There will be less chance of getting sick with colds and flu, as well as a significant reduction in your risk for cardiovascular problems – the #1 health concern in our country, which is directly related to diets that are filled with empty calories and devoid of nutrition.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”12″ size_format=”px”]Copyright © 2014 Blurtigo Holdings, LLC All Rights Reserved.[/typography]

Eating Well – One of Life’s Great Pleasures

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#e62730″]Eating Well Is One of Life’s Great Pleasures [/typography]

Eat Foods that You Enjoy

It is not uncommon to read about the need to eat nutritious food to keep your body healthy; but there is another component of eating well that is not often discussed – TASTE. Some people believe that healthy food doesn’t taste good. Not so!

Our amazing digestive track includes taste buds that are designed to enjoy healthy, nutritious food. The problem is that if you have spent your entire lifetime eating “fake foods” that are heavily processed and filled with additives, your taste buds may not be working well.

It is time to bring your taste buds back to life. Let go of your unhealthy eating habits and give your taste buds a chance to recover and function as they were meant to function. Very quickly you will find yourself falling in love with natural wholesome food.

Once your taste buds have recovered and are working at peak level, if a particular food tastes bad to you, choose an alternative. There are so many choices, especially in the vegetable family, that you should not have a problem finding foods you enjoy.

Always keep in mind that eating should be a pleasure; so, it is important to love the food you eat. The goal is to fill your diet with nutritious, healthy food that tastes good in order to sustain a healthy diet that will build a healthy body to serve you well for many years to come.

Unfortunately, there are some foods that have been genetically engineered and no longer taste the way they should. My recommendation is to buy organic foods as often as possible. Morgellons Aid tells us that, “Natural/Organic” foods…are minimally processed and do not contain any hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food. This includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meats. In the Western Countries, especially the U.S., it becomes important to seek out organic foods. Processed organic food usually contains only organic ingredients. Label reading becomes a mandatory skill.” For more information, read the entire article.

Eating Can Be a Social Event

Unfortunately, when people decide to “go on a diet” or to change their eating habits, they decide to avoid social events because they typically revolve around food. Food and socializing seem to be the norm in most societies. Remember you always have choices regarding what you eat – simply learn to choose wisely. If you are committed to eating well, it will become less and less difficult to eat only foods that are good for you. In fact, throw your own party or intimate gathering and serve the delicious, nutritious discoveries you make as you travel the road of pleasurable and healthy eating.

Slow Down and Enjoy

Busy schedules and demanding lifestyles have created a monstrously bad habit – eating too fast! SLOW DOWN! Do not rush through your meals. I know it can be difficult when you are continuously under a time crunch.

Most businesses allow only half-hour lunch breaks and even schools are shortening the lunch period – in some cases it has been cut to 12 minutes. That is horrible! Those kinds of mandates are exacerbating the problem we have in helping children to develop good eating habits. The last thing we want is to have them associate food with stress. Forcing them to eat lunch in 12 minutes will reinforce that issue, not alleviate it. If you are a parent whose children are dealing with this, I encourage you to fight it.

If you have only a half-hour lunch at work, at least try to slow down and enjoy the 30 minutes as much as you can. Then, make your evening meal a leisurely, enjoyable time for everyone.

Eating Should be a Mindful Experience

Break yourself of blindly stuffing yourself with whatever is most convenient and easy to prepare (and all the addictive foods like McDonalds and packaged foods).

Educate yourself. Learn where food comes from, how it grows, what is in everything you eat (learn to read labels), notice how it is prepared and how it literally “feeds your body” (or not). Be thankful for the food you have. Savor the flavors and textures of different foods and appreciate the presentation. Make eating a sensory delight – which BTW can only be done with natural foods.

If you take the time to do all of the above, you will begin to naturally make healthier choices. It is much more difficult to choose poor quality, empty-calorie foods when you take the time to know what you are eating. At the very least, learn to read labels!

Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Healthy Breakfast
Image by urbanfoodie33

Another bad habit that has become the norm, especially in the U.S. is skipping breakfast. I have heard many people say that they do not like to eat when they first get up. Frankly, that is also a habit – they have trained their bodies to feel that way. Waiting a little while is OK, as long as you don’t wait too long (no more than ½ hour) before you eat something healthy – and, I don’t mean a cup of black coffee.

Start with a big glass (or bottle) of water – then, have a piece of fresh fruit (or make your own juice); enjoy a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, organic raisins, a little honey and cinnamon (or scrambled eggs and multi-grain toast) – and finally have your coffee or tea (if you must).

If you can’t, or choose not to find the time to prepare an actual breakfast – a good shortcut is to learn to make nutritious smoothies. (Check out my cookbook, Breakfast and Brunch for some great recipes.) Whip them up and start your day right!

After sleeping through the night, the body needs to be hydrated and nourished. The statement, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” is not an old wives’ tale. Adults need to eat in order to maintain energy and be productive. Children need to eat to support their rapid growth and in order to learn. They cannot and do not perform well when they have not eaten breakfast.

People who want to lose weight may decide to skip breakfast, but that choice can backfire because they either nibble on high-calorie snacks because of hunger pangs, and/or they eat more at the next meal.

When you eat breakfast, you kick-start your metabolism, recharge your brain and your body, and have the energy and ability to stay completely focused on everything you do.

Never Eat After 8:00 P.M.

When people decide they want to change their eating habits, some of the biggest challenges are:
1. Learning to eat at regular intervals.
2. Stopping when you are full.
3. Never eating at night (after 8:00 p.m.)

There are differences of opinion about whether night-time eating will prevent you from losing weight, or not, but it is bad for your digestion and can interrupt your sleep cycle.

Night-time eating is a habit. It is not about hunger. It is more likely the result of loneliness, stress, boredom, or fatigue. It is quiet, no one is around to give you a hard time, and it always tastes so good (but it is not good for you).

The truth is that it is important to learn when enough is enough – and a healthy, nutritious dinner should quell your hunger and be enough for the day. In order for your body to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from your food, your digestive system must work efficiently. It must have a chance to rest. Give it a break each night from dinner-time – overnight – until breakfast.

Make eating a pleasurable event. Eat well, share the bounty and your new habits, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle that is easy to sustain and rubs off on others.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”12″ size_format=”px”]Copyright © 2014 Blurtigo Holdings, LLC All Rights Reserved.[/typography]

What You Eat Defines Who You Are

What you eat defines who you are – that is a strong statement, but also very true.  The question is . . . who are you?

What you eat defines who you are
Image by ArenaCreative

Health professionals and nutritionists around the world concur that there is a strong connection between nutrition and health. One of the primary factors is the importance of vitamins and minerals in the diet. In fact, many doctors today include blood tests that check for vitamin deficiencies as part of annual physical checkups.

With the easy availability of food in the vast majority of countries – especially first world countries, it is unfortunate that there is concern about nutritional deficiencies among general populations, but there is. Because of the incredibly fast pace at which everyone lives, coupled with the fast-food lifestyle, many people are overfed and under-nourished – and don’t even realize it.

Efforts are being made to spotlight the importance to the body of eating healthy foods. Kudos should be given to TV shows like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he tried to complete a healthy make-over of America’s school lunch programs, and HLN’s “Cook Your Ass Off.” Hopefully, such efforts to educate the public about this vital issue will continue.

The stark reality is – most illnesses in modern societies are the result of unhealthy eating habits. The big killers – heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and some cancers, plus other health issues such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, tooth decay, and even depression can be traced to eating meals that are calorie-filled, additive-loaded, and essentially lacking in necessary nutrients. There is also mounting evidence that autoimmune illnesses such as Fibromyalgia are linked to a deficiency of vitamin D (Pain Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 452-458).

The human body is amazingly resilient, thank goodness, but why do we continue to force it to work overtime to keep us healthy, when we make little or no effort to assist it in the process.

When people take the time to learn about the importance of nutrition and how it affects their health, they are more likely to make the necessary changes in their food choices. When those changes are made, the results are often dramatic and astounding.

The best part of all is that it is not difficult to eat well and live well. In fact, it is very simple and can be summed up in a few sentences: Eat as close to nature as possible – mostly plants, hormone-free meat, cage-free eggs, drink lots of water, exercise (don’t be a couch potato), go outside often – get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Avoid all prepackaged foods, fast foods, and anything with additives. Supplement with vitamins, etc., only when truly necessary.

A vegan lifestyle is a choice that many people make, but you can also choose to follow the formula above and eat everything in moderation. When you choose to eat healthy, you will automatically be increasing your nutritional quotient, improving your health dramatically, and taking critical steps in disease prevention.

In addition it helps to know where (and how much) fat, fiber, protein, and the various vitamins and minerals come from. Due to the commercialization of food and corporations lobbying the government, our information is tainted, the answers may surprise you.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Thankfully, true food allergies are rare. However, food intolerances are more common and people who suffer with them should avoid the problem foods whenever possible. The number of people suffering from food allergies and intolerances seems to be growing every year.

Food intolerances can sometimes evolve into an actual disease. For example, Celiac Disease has been forefront in the press recently. This is a condition where the body loses the ability to properly digest gluten and makes eating gluten dangerous for the individual. The rise of this disease in part is due to heavily processed foods that contain gluten.

The intolerance causes a reaction which can actually damage the lining of the stomach which prevents it from absorbing nutrients from food. If the condition is not diagnosed quickly enough it can be life threatening. The good news is that there are many gluten-free foods available today for people with this condition and maintaining a completely nutritious diet is not a problem.

The weird thing is (at least I think it is weird) – it is quite “fashionable” to eat as if you have a food issue even when you do not. My question is – Why would you do that? The only thing that is being accomplished is limiting the ways to get all the proper nutrients needed for good health. There is absolutely no reason to pretend there is a problem that doesn’t exist. It is important to eat a wide variety of “living” food, mostly plants to get the necessary nutrients to be healthy, feel good, and avoid diseases as much as possible.

If you believe you may have a food intolerance or food allergy talk to a healthcare professional about concerns, have the necessary tests run, and discuss your options if the tests are positive.

Join us again for the next post in the series to learn more about the relationship between nutrition and your health.

 [typography font=”Cantarell” size=”12″ size_format=”px”]Copyright © 2014 Blurtigo Holdings, LLC All Rights Reserved.
[/typography]