What is a healthy diet? It's all relative, really. To some, it means not eating out, to others it might be eating fruits and vegetables daily. But really, how good are your eating habits? Here are clues indicating you're not eating that healthy after all.
1- Your recycling box is full Great, you contribute and do your part for the planet, but it also means you eat a lot of packaged food. Most of these are processed and not whole. Here's a list of not so healthy packaged foods:
Cold cereal: if you cook quinoa or steel cut oats, then great, anything else has been processed and stripped of nutrients. Juice box: eat the whole fruit and get the full spectrum of vitamins. Unless you juiced it yourself, this is pure sugar. Yogurt container: you can make your own, or at least buy the natural organic kind, not the fruit or flavored ones. Cracker box: even though it maybe advertised as organic and low fat, it is still processed, unless it's raw or you baked it.
2- You're eating whole grains and buy natural organic food. Patients often tell me they eat whole grains, mostly consisting of bread (which still has sugar in it and preservatives), crackers, whole wheat pasta, and whole grain cereals. Most of these are often processed with white flour and other ingredients, and most don't contain much fiber or nutrients. Eating organic is a good choice, but some of these products are not fully organic and sometimes still contain preservatives which are not natural or easily absorbed by the body.
3-You're vegetarian, eating low fat, gluten free... Being vegetarian is relative to what you eat. It could mean eating fries, pancakes and cookies all day long. As long as you eat healthy and whole foods, it doesn't matter if you eat meat, fish or are vegan.
The low fat craze of the 80's is not as prominent anymore, but some people still believe that eating avocado, nuts and seeds, and adding olive oil to their salads will contribute to weight gain. These foods are full of nutrients and provide essential fatty acids required by the body to stay healthy.
You've chosen to eat gluten free, perhaps because you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, have a sensitivity to wheat, or simply think it is healthier for you. However, it won't provide perfect health unless you eat real wholesome food. There are many gluten free products out there that are processed and stripped of fiber and nutrients, which basically negates any health benefits.
So what else are you supposed to eat? Is there anything left? Sure, and here's some help.
I believe in the 80/20 diet. Eating healthy 80 % of the time and having a little less good food for the rest.
80% of the time, eat the following:
Nuts and seeds: raw, roasted, sprouted or even making milk out of them.
All fresh fruits and vegetables: cooked, steamed, raw, stir fried, grilled...add spices, olive oil, sea salt, or cook them in wine (I'm French, after all).
Fresh wild fish, wild meat or organic meat (Free of hormones).
Quinoa (not a grain by the way), brown or wild rice, buckwheat, sprouted grains.
Sweet: raw honey, stevia.
20% of the time, consider some of these:
A glass of wine.
Dairy: hard and older cheeses (goat is best), goat yogurt, raw milk.
Brown rice cakes, home made granola bars.
Dark chocolate, at least 75% cocoa.
Look for recipes that are simple, quick and delicious, and enjoy the benefit of a healthy diet. Start slow, introduce new foods and eliminate one processed food each week. Plan ahead. Before the start of the week, hard boil a few eggs, grill salmon, cook some quinoa, and make a veggie stew. Bring nuts and seeds everywhere so you're never caught without options to eat healthy when out of the home. It will become a habit in no time, and you will reap the benefits of optimum health.
Clara Cohen Reg. Acupuncturist at Healing Cedar Wellness
We all want to be happy. When you think about it, most of the things we strive for in life are really just things we hope are going to make us happier people. We believe that success will make us happy, or a good relationship, or a really awesome car. All of these goals are just a means to an end; the ultimate goal is happiness. But how many of us can say that we are really happy in life? We may look at what we have and think… I SHOULD be happy. Or on the flip side, we look at what we don’t have and think… I COULD be happy. But how many of us can say we really ARE happy.
Most of us aren’t as happy as we want to be, instead we suffer. And the reason we suffer is because we are focusing on negative thoughts about our past or our future. We create stories about the negative sensations we experience or fear we might experience, and these stories linger far longer than the pain or discomfort of the initial encounter. We all do it. We dwell on a bad conversation we had at work, or we stay awake at night worrying about a presentation we have the next morning. This is suffering; it’s about living in the past or future instead of the present moment.
New research suggests that people who focus on the present are happier. This present moment, the one you are in right now. But how do we achieve this? Our minds wander; it’s what our minds are designed to do. In fact, it’s what makes us human, and it’s the root of creativity, innovation and change. If our minds didn’t wander into the past, or imagine the future, we wouldn’t have life saving technologies, beautiful art, or soul food. We need to let our minds wander sometimes, but we also need to learn how to let all other things melt away and come back to the present moment. This is a skill that needs to be honed and practiced, and according to research it will make us happier.
So here is an exercise I challenge you to try. Go outside and walk for 20 minutes. Leave your cell phone at home and just go for a walk. As you’re walking take note of 5 things you see (it’s easy this time of year with all the rich beautiful fall colours). Take note of 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel (maybe it’s the cool air on your skin, or how your breath fills your lungs), 2 things you smell and 1 thing you taste (If it’s a salted caramel mocha, don’t worry, I won’t judge!). As you are taking note of these things, give them time to sink into your skin, take a moment to savor them. Try not to think too much about it, just experience it. Check in with yourself after the twenty minutes and see if you feel any different. You might just be a little bit happier!
Kristen Johnston, M.A., RCC
Healing Cedar Wellness
The best way to treat a cold is not to get one in the first place! The common cold is caused by a virus, and is spread through coughing, sneezing, and person-to-person contact. If a sick person sneezes and touches a doorknob, and then you touch the same doorknob, there is a chance that you will ‘catch’ that person’s cold. Not everyone that is exposed to the cold virus will get it. Reasons why you would not develop a cold upon exposure are if you already have immunity to that virus, or if you have a strong enough immune system to fight off the virus before it manifests in your body symptomatically.
You are most likely to develop a cold when you are not getting adequate sleep, when you are consuming highly refined, nutrient-deficient and sugary foods, and when you are overworked or stressed. People who have small children in daycare, or who work in daycares, schools or health care settings, are also more likely to catch a cold.
The best ways of preventing a cold are to ensure proper hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Also, it is important to get lots of sleep, and take time for yourself to minimize stress. Nutritionally, stay hydrated, avoid eating sugar and packaged products that contain highly refined carbohydrates, and incorporate more green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet.
A healthy adult should get approximately one to two colds per year. If you are getting colds more frequently you will likely need some additional strategies to help build your immune system. Consulting with a naturopathic physician can help to get to the root cause of why you are getting sick, which can then be used to customize a treatment plan to tackle your individual immune challenges.
Dr. Meghan Stobbs BSc., ND Naturopathic Doctor at Healing Cedar Wellness
Our fantastic team of practitioners contribute to our blog articles. Together we aim to restore balance within the body, educate each patient and guide them on their journey to optimum health. Our clinic offers natural health for the entire family, from babies to older adults and everyone in between.
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