10 Tips for Your Healthier Future

  1. Breathe! And take a few minutes each day to create that quiet space to help your body relax. Why? Reducing your stress levels reduces the stress on your body’s systems. Why? stress causes disease, even if you are eating healthy food. Include a walk at a nearby park, or relax in a chair in your backyard, “slow down and smell the flowers!”
  2. Take some time to write down what foods you “always eat”, when you eat them and why you eat them. Is there a pattern to what/when/why you eat what you do?
    1. Make another list of foods you’ve been told have been healthy for you, what foods you ate as a child/young adult and how you felt after eating them.
    2. A third list of foods that you eat when stressed, or even when you’re happy.
    3. And another list of foods you don’t like, and why if you can.
  3. Guess What? Your brain and gut-brain are hard-wired to process food based on your very ancient paleolithic ancestors eating patterns – eat lots to survive until the next meal. But today’s availability of food is hijacking that system because it is not used to all the variety including processed food available 24/7. Intermittent Fasting where you stop eating after dinner and wait 12 hours until your breakfast allows the digestion process to complete it’s process and also helps “wash” the brain of toxins. For example, eating dinner at 6pm means breakfast is at 8am. And by not snacking before bed cuts down on calories too.
  4. That rainbow of foods nutritionists talk about – that is something to listen to. Your body will be getting the wide variety of nutrients it needs to be in its Whole Optimal Wellness.Try something new at least once a week, ie jicama, dragon fruit, Chinese greens.
  5. Add fibre to your diet! It adds extra bulk without adding extra calories. And our bodies need fibre to create short chain fatty acids (SCFA) assisting with the anti-inflammatory process in our body and fibre also feeds our gut biome bacteria to produce the SCFA. Ideally more than 30 g / day with super-fibre-foods: whole grains and legumes, dried or canned beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils.
  6. Read the labels on all your packaged food, especially for sugars. Did you know that there are at the moment 56 different names for sugar substitutes? And that glass of bought orange juice can have up to 22 mg of sugar in 1 CUP! That’s almost the daily dose for women. And that’s not even counting honey, sugar, molasses, stevia, yacon syrup.
    1. Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day. For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day.
  7. What about Fruit sugars? The brain is a complexity of operations and because it is also hardwired from our ancient ancestors who did not have added sugar in their diets, it gets overwhelmed with the sugars we eat and created quite an interesting and sometimes unstoppable relay system that keeps asking for more. Fruit sugars are slightly different because of the way they get absorbed further down the intestinal tract.
  8. Chewing your food assists in the digestion process, and sends a signal to your gut brain that food is coming. Chewing each mouthful 25-32 times gets the food in the right form for the stomach and also slows down your eating. You may even find you will eat less.
  9. Serve your food on 8” plates instead of the typical Western 10” plates. Your brain actually registers a sense of “enough” when it sees a full plate, hence make it a smaller one.
  10. Fill your plate with lots of veggies, lots of leafy greens and legumes. Whole food, plant-based nutrition is the only diet proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients, opening up arteries without drugs or surgery. It does this by improving blood flow to all our organ systems. Whole plant foods are heart healthy brain-, kidney-, and liver- healthy too. (from How Not to Diet by Dr. Michael Greger). Your body IS your greatest guide – it’s brought you this far and your 60 trillion cells are your greatest cheerleaders. You’ve Got This!!

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