Health Enhancement Basic Plan. This is part of a Defending Your Body series developed to encourage incremental changes in habits and strategies. As such, it is do-able, and if implemented to the extent that you are able, will provide elevated health. The worse off you are, the more dramatic the changes are likely to be. Watch for a future blog on symptoms to expect when you improve your diet.
- Exercise & Movement
Exercise is exertion, whether it’s resistance training or cardio. You want to ‘tone’, not build up. Choose something that is not a chore for you, but that you enjoy. Walk. Walk some more. Make your strides as long as possible without injury. Stretching is good. Movement is another matter. Choose stairs instead of escalators. Bend down as often as possible. Make movement your first choice when faced with a choice – every time. The best exercise is one that you will DO !
Do something daily unless you are ill in which case rest and drink water.
‘Sarcopenia’ is an enemy to youth. It is defined as the body’s tendency as we age to lose body muscle and gain fat. It’s a natural process but you can stall it greatly if you simply move and challenge what you consider to be your limits.
Try using a rebounder in the morning, for example. Start easy with 5 minutes or less, and work your way up to 15 minutes. This exercise moves the lymph, which assists greatly in detoxification. Rebounding also tightens and releases most muscle systems with each bounce, so it has a toning effect as well. Practice yoga if you have an instructor, or something to follow like a video.
This is tricky. We are creatures of habit and pre-conceived notions, so these habits work against us when we are trying to make improvements or changes.
Eat lightly but often. Eat slowly, chewing your food 20 times before swallowing.
Take breaks in between bites. This gives your body time to realize that it is satisfied. If you eat quickly, you will consume far more than your body needs, thus storing the excess. This is how the Slow Food Movement began.
Skipping a meal now and again (good idea) will allow the body to use the stored fat since your body is tricked into believing it is starving. If this is not appealing, then eating smaller portions will accomplish the same thing. Make your in-between snacks something healthy like fruit, which should be eaten alone.
- Eat salads first, not meat (assists in peristalsis, movement of food through your digestive tract)
- Take a digestive enzyme before meals (helps break down food)
- Take smaller portions on your plate
- Keep meat portions less than 6 ounces, 4 is recommended but restaurants usually serve more than 6.
- When you feel satisfied (because you are eating slowly), leave the rest on your plate until you learn your satisfaction levels.
- Consume beverages with meals
- Mix starches and proteins at the same meal
- Eat bread products with meals (starches)
- Eat close to bedtime (try for at least 4 hours prior)
- Use margarine ever, or Canola oil (invented as a lubricant for war machinery)
- Have dessert (have a tea instead)
Grocery store aisles are full of temptations. Go with a shopping list and stick to it. Try to go shopping after eating, otherwise you may be tempted to make poor choices that you think will satisfy your cravings.
Shop for fresh food and leave the packaged goods alone whenever possible. Leave cookies, crackers, cereals, and tin goods on the shelf.
Read labels. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, put it back. Ingredients are listed on the packaging in their order of prominence (by law), so if sugar is #2, the product is loaded with sugar.
Watch for hidden names. Example – ‘natural flavour’ can mean ‘MSG’ which is a known neurotoxin (poisonous to the brain) that will harm you. Anything with ‘aspartame’, a neurotoxin that crosses the blood-brain barrier, should stay at the store.
Avoid at all costs:
- HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), a cheap sugar substitute. It is in thousands of products like yogurt, dressings, cereals, cough medicine and many products that will surprise you. Thus – read labels, ask questions.
- Any bread that is not whole wheat. Keep bread in the freezer to have it less ‘handy’.
- Sugar in any form. Get yours from fresh fruit.
- Nutrition & Supplementation
When complete, your Nutritional Profile will tell us what you may need in the way of supplementation. In the meantime, there are certain things that make sense for us all, based on current knowledge of deficiencies in the general population, particularly as we age.
The following are fundamental to optimal health, and should be included in your diet.
- Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is very good. Fish oil is less good, but still OK. The best is Juice Plus Omega oil in capsules. Juice Plus Omega has not been run through a fish first, and contains Omega 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 sourced from the origin – algae.
- Magnesium. Avoid tablets as they are not assimilated in the body properly. Transdermally (sprayed on skin) is best if tolerated.
- A good digestive enzyme, available at health food store or chemist.
- A source of water, non-chlorinated and non-fluoridated. Ozone water can also be a ‘supplement’ to flood your cells with oxygen once or twice daily.