I assume you know what a nutritious diet consist of, so I won't talk about healthy nutrition. We are all aware of what's good and what's bad for us in terms of food (at least, I hope so). All we need is to be prepared.
Here are 3 tips to help you be prepared:
1- Meal Planning: this is the hardest one for people, but it pays off tremendously in the end. My husband and I spend our Sunday evenings cooking for the week (okay I cook, he keeps me company). We drink a glass of wine and have great conversations, our bonding time if you will. For about 2 hours, I cook our weekly meals. I make 3 to 4 different dishes (see below for ideas) and put them in containers. I hard boil eggs. I cook meat and fish which can be paired with a salad as a quick meal. We both bring our food with us to work. We eat real, nutritious food, and also save money!
2- Keep snacks handy: if you're hungry and you're away from home, the easiest thing to do is stop somewhere and grab food. Unfortunately, there aren't many healthy options around. Keep water with you at all times; have nuts or seeds handy (they make a quick, healthy and fulfilling snack, and don't need a fridge); and make your own trail mix, ensuring you keep a bag in your car or purse.
3- Eating out: you need to be mentally prepared for this one. There are healthy choices at most restaurants and coffee places. Not perfect choices, but at least options. Order foods that are wholesome, such as grilled and sautéed meat or fish, with vegetables, and with the least amount of sauce. No bread, no dessert, but enjoy a glass of wine if you wish. Remember, you're there to enjoy the people you're with. At the coffee shop, have a tea, coffee or any natural beverage, no food unless you brought some nuts to munch on. At the convenience store, fresh fruits and unsealed nuts or seeds are probably your only healthy options.
Here are some healthy menu planning ideas:
2 Brown Rice Cakes with almond butter, 1 apple & Green tea (this one is for people who just need a light start to their day);
1 Cup of cooked quinoa, with 1/4 cup of almond milk, chopped walnut, cinnamon & chia seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel cold easily);
Smoothie with one avocado, an apple, 1 juice of a lemon, kale, spinach and celery with ground flax seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel warm often);
1 omelete made of 2 eggs & 2 egg whites, chopped mushrooms & grilled asparagus, sea salt and pepper & green tea (for those who like some savory food upon waking).
Anxiety disorder will affect almost 90% of the population at least once in their lives. Anxiety range from mild worrying, to phobias, or post traumatic stress to full blown panic attacks. Chinese Medicine looks at any mental health issues as an imbalance within the body & mind. When someone worries constantly, he or she will eventually create physical symptoms manifesting from the emotions the person dwells on. Anger raise blood pressure, sadness may induce fatigue, fear will affect the kidneys, worry often affect sleep and digestion. A patient who worries can experience nausea or even vomit from the anxiety, other may loose sleep over it.
Natural remedies to help anxiety: - Taking supplements to calm the mind: Essential fatty acids like Omega 3 & 6 found in fish oils and seeds. - Eating a sugar free, gluten free diet may help reduce the digestive issues and clear the head. - Yoga, meditation, deep breathing will appease the mind. - Getting help by talking to a psychologist or acounsellor. - Get regular massages to relieve the tension. - Acupuncture will reduce the panic attacks, calm the mind and help the body rebalance itself. - Auricular Acupuncture is particularly effective in helping patients feel more grounded.
Acupuncture for Anxiety research: click here For more help on Anxiety treatment, contact Healing Cedar Wellness.
Are you having a tough time changing the health habits of your significant other? Almost ten years ago, I met a great guy who is now my husband. When we met, we had the love of the outdoors in common, so our dating process was filled with kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and camping in beautiful British Columbia.
So we had the outdoors and traveling in common, which was fantastic, but when we decided to move in together, it wasn't an easy ride at first.
Because I enjoyed cooking, I was in charge of grocery shopping and meals preparation. And because he had an office job that required him to dress up, he was in charge of laundry and ironing (yes ladies: it's true, I don't do laundry!).
When we first dated, I was shocked at his fridge supplies: orange juice, milk and ketchup: that was it! He ate out every day, fast foods, hitting the Food Court at work, and a quick coffee in the morning: yikes! No fruits, no veggies! He also was allergic to dust, animal dander and every spring, had hay fever. He was covered in rashes on his legs and had one bowel movement every week (Oh my!).
So when we moved in, I decided to turn his health around. It was tough and I had to make small changes weekly because, let me tell you, I came across a lot of resistance. He used to say to his friends: "There is no food in our house", while our fridge was full. Because no junk food meant no fun to him. He used to say: "What is that? Bird food? It looks funny" at every meals during the first year.
I took it slow and Each week I changed only one thing:
Introduction to meatless dinners
Fresh Fruits salads for snacks
Almonds and dark chocolate for hiking
Tasty salads with goat cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
I never bought junk and made his lunches and breakfasts: he saved money (which he was very happy about) and in spite of the resistance, he ate it all, admittedly with some complaint at first, but soon realized his health was improving. I also added supplements and acupuncture to his regimen.
Today, he has no allergies, his skin is rash free, and has a daily bowel movement. He probably will be embarrassed I'm mentioning his daily bathroom ritual (Dr. oz opened a whole new world to us since he talked about poop). He's never sick with the flu and hasn't miss a day of work in years. He loves healthy foods and actually will request my brown rice stir fry dishes, grilled asparagus, quinoa salads and smoothies. Of course bad habits die hard. He still likes fast foods and will enjoy it once in a while, but at least not every day and keeps telling me, he owes me his health. So it's all worth it!
When you find it difficult to keep your kids or partner on a healthy path, remember that in the long run, they will thank you and appreciate the effort you made on their behalf. Just do it slowly, incrementally and with love, the reward is so worth it.
And for the record, I brought health to my hubby but he opened up a new world to me, and now I really enjoy reading the news and watching science fiction movies with him. In the past ten years, we have grown from each other and our relationship is stronger each year because of it.
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
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