“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates
It is true food IS SO important to us. Have you ever noticed how when you eat processed foods or fast foods, our skin becomes dull, we are more prone to spots, bloating and our hair becomes lank? NO? I invite you when you are next shopping to look at peoples baskets and then look at them….you will see a reflection of the person in the food and vice versa.
I have long been interested in the benefits of healthy living – this means what I put in my body, on my body and the environment surrounding me too. One person from school said to me at a reunion some time back when I bought out some rye bread for breakfast for them….you always did care about what you ate and refused anything too fatty…forgotten that I do remember quitting sugar quite young because I felt it wasn’t good for me and beginning to eat vegetables because I liked the look of them and thought they were good for me!
A few key tips to assist you in healthy eating:
- Reduce/omit salt – or use pink Himalayan salt instead this is higher in minerals
- Reduce/omit alcohol – EMPTY calories and full of yeast and sulphates…ever noticed how you become bloated and have blocked sinus after drinking wine? I know I do – I react really quickly
- Increase the amount of water you drink – everyone harps on about this I know but if you think about it we are 50-80% water and this keeps our bodies young, vital and our mind more active…often when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty. It is our mind that tells us we are hungry when really we are dehydrated.. People that are hydrated tend to have fuller, younger looking skin and are more mentally active….get that water filter out and drink more
- Omit/reduce dairy – we are the ONLY mammals that still breast feed past weaning age….dairy can increase mucus, can be terrible for skin and is full of FAT….calcium can be gained from many other foods including celery, nuts, green vegetables and much more…do you see elephants hunking down on a slice of cheese? No and look at the size of them… give yourself a break. If you do feel you need to still have that ‘hit’ go with goats cheese or buffalo cheese – much easier to digest and tends to be less antibiotics used in the animals as they are not so mass produced.
- Reduce/omit caffeine – caffeine acts as a stimulant so too much can leave us feeling the ‘D’T’s’ yes we can get caffeine withdrawal very easily – work but cutting 2 cups out per day until to you are at zero or just 1 per day…
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can produce restlessness, headaches, and irritability. Caffeine also elevates your heart rate and blood pressure. Over the long-term as your body gets used to caffeine, it requires higher amounts to get the same effects. Certainly, having your body in a state of hormonal emergency all day long isn’t very healthy.
Caffeine is also a diuretic and causes a loss of fluid, which then leads to a dehydrating effect. This is obviously not conducive to fitness activities such as resistance training, as fluid is needed for the transfer of nutrients to facilitate muscular growth. It is also important when considering the further loss of fluid while exercising in hot environments.
Perhaps the most important long-term problem is the effect of caffeine on sleep. The half-life of caffeine in the body is about 6 hours. If you drink a big cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine at 4PM, at 10PM you still have about 100mg in your body. By 4AM, you still have 50mg floating in your system. Even though you may be able to sleep, you may not be able to obtain the restful benefits of deep sleep. What’s worse, the cycle continues as you may use more and more caffeine in hopes of counteracting this deficit. (from http://www.overcaffeinated.org/effects-of-caffeine-on-the-body.php)
- Drink green or white tea – this still has some caffeine, however, it is lower than other teas and certainly coffee. In addition there are many studies that suggest that green tea can assist in weight reduction and increase the anti-oxidant release in the body – remember to drink either loose leave or a NON BLEACHED variety like Pukka, Clipper etc
- Eat seasonally – so good for the body AND the planet – it supports our local markets, traders and reduces carbon foot prints by reducing the amount of transit – in addition did you know that most fruit and veg. we eat has been picked and packed WAY before the product has reached full ripening and thus nutritional value so what we are eating has been stored for weeks and ripened un-naturally – hence the short shelf life – although BEWARE the food that lasts for ages………chemicals and GM foods are unnatural and unhealthy. A friend of mine recently found (May 2011) some grapes in the back of her fridge….date December 2010 and they had only just started going off……ouch what does that say about our foods….know I don’t want to eat them thanks!
Some simple steps can assist us in living a healthier, more fulfilling life…..
Below is a SNACK treat I make to assist me when I am on the run and not wanting to stop off and buy processed unhealthy foods…Until next time…. live vibrantly and shine…Sarah