As many of you might know I am well on my way to being a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. I know it kind of sounds like a made up title, but the courses I'm taking and the things that I am learning are real and applicable and wonderful. I'm so, so excited to start helping and empowering and educating people on how they can have a better life -a healthy, happy, and whole life.
Weight is one of those things that comes up a lot when I'm talking to people about what it is I'm wanting to do with my life. I see women whining on blogs and facebook status updates about the last five or ten pounds. I see about 4.7 million pictures of half-naked, half-starved girls on Pinterest Boards, usually titled "Motivation." Once I followed one of those pictures (pinned by a beautiful and healthy girl) to a pro-anorexia website. Which really, really makes me want to pull my hair out.
Weight, in a lot of ways, comes down to the draw of the gene pool. Studies have proven that the dietary habits of your grandmother and great-grandmothers affect you. Many think, oh yeah, it's grandma's famous cookie recipes to blame -but it's not. Not necessarily anyway. It was grandma's diet that has affected the genes that were passed down to you. With that in mind, as far as our bodies go, some of us can eat all the right things, and work our little butts off, and we're still going to be unhappy with the weight that is healthy for us, as an individual. I know "fat" skinny people (people who look healthy but aren't) and I know "skinny" fat people (people who are in very good shape, but are overweight according to the BMI). I think what we really need to shift our focus to is: Am I healthy? And then, when we can answer yes to that, to be satisfied with whatever that looks like on us.
That said, studies in genetics are revealing that what we eat can "turn on" and "turn off" many of the genes that are predisposed to things like cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases... The true bottom line is: good health is a choice, more often than not anyway.
I have a few good friends who are currently working on how they can become more healthy, and for them I'd like to give a general list of things they can do to help achieve that goal.
1. Understand the difference between good fat and bad fat.
2. Understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs.
3. Keep a food journal.
4. Read food labels religiously, not just serving sizes and calorie counts, but the ingredients. Know what you are putting into your body, and if you don't recognize the word, google it. Take responsibility. The food industry and the government are not looking out for your best interest -no matter how much they'd like you to believe otherwise.
5. Eat a good breakfast, eat a good breakfast, eat a good breakfast. Protein (I'm talking organic, free-range eggs, greek yogurt, hemp powder in a smoothie) is good in the morning -for most people.
6. First thing in the morning drink a tall glass of water with lemon (I like using my lemon oil, but the juice of a lemon would work as well). Then wait a little while before eating your breakfast.
7. Eat three meals and two snacks throughout the day.
8. Pre-portion your snacks.
9. Eat more salads.
10. Enjoy smoothies with greens on a daily basis.
11. Drink more water, as in 64oz a day.
12. Drink two glasses of water (16oz) for every soda or coffee you drink.
13. Get outside in the sunlight without sunscreen for about 20 minutes a day, or take a D supplement.
14. Use smaller plates and bowls.
15. Remember your stomach is roughly the size of your fist, and portion accordingly.
16. In the middle of a meal, stop, put your utensil down, and give your stomach and brain a chance to catch up to each other.
17. Chew slowly and thoroughly.
18. Don't eat in front of the computer or the TV.
19. Plan your meals.
20. Don't shop when you are hungry.
21. Shop the edges of the store, and stay out of the middle as much as possible.
22. Drink herbal teas.
23. Don't eat heavy meals right before bed.
24. Give your body twelve full hours without food between dinner and breakfast.
25. Choose steamed, baked, or grilled foods -nothing fried.
26. Eat more raw foods, veggies and fruits.
27. Switch to whole grains.
28. Give up all sodas and energy drinks and anything carbonated.
29. Stop eating refined and processed flours and foods, including fast foods.
30. Stop eating sugars, especially the artificial ones -including HFCS. Honey, Agave, and Maple Syrups are good substitutes.
31. Buy organic whenever possible.
32. Get the doggie bag with your meal, and put part of your plate away for another meal.
33. Get support of friends and family.
34. Stop reading beauty magazines.
35. Visualize your success. Believe your success.
36. Poop everyday.
37. Exercise, stretch, and breathe everyday.
38. Eliminate toxic stress on your body.
39. Take 10 minute epsom salt baths periodically.
40. Use music to help motivate and encourage yourself.
**If you have questions about any of these, please feel free to ask!**