I Want to Be Healthier - Where do I Start?
Often it can be overwhelming knowing where to start when you are wanting to make an effort to become healthier for yourself and your family.
A great place to start is with nutrition, the food and drink we put into our bodies daily. What we eat and drink impacts every cell in our body and therefore, every organ and body system. Depending on the types of foods and fluids we eat and drink these substances can either have a beneficial impact on our health or a detrimental impact. If we want great physical and mental health, an abundance of energy, and to feel good, positive and well, then we need to feed our bodies and minds great things!
So how do we know what foods and fluids are great? Which are harming our health and wellbeing and which are helping? Let's start with Macronutrients, the four essential nutrients your body requires to function at its best. The key here is to choose the healthy forms of these essential nutrients over the less healthy forms as often as you are able to.
Healthy Water - Fresh pure filtered non-fluoridated water.
Healthy Carbohydrates - Fresh organic fruit (berries, apples, oranges, pears, grapes) and vegetables (kumara, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, yams, salads), brown bread, wholegrains (oats, flour, rice, pasta), beans (navy, pinto, broad), legumes (lentils, chickpeas), nuts (brazil, pecan, pistachio, cashews, almonds), seeds (buckwheat, linseed, poppy), and sprouts (alfalfa, bean, brussels).
Healthy Protein - Organic eggs, grass-fed meat (beef), organic free-range chicken, fish, whole organic forms of dairy, nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts) and seeds (sesame, chia, pumpkin, sunflower), brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, beans (kidney, black beans), and legumes (beans, peas, lentils).
Healthy Lipids - Olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, oily fish (mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines, trout), nuts and seeds, whole raw organic milk, whole full fat dairy products (cheese, yogurt), and avocados.
Implementing Change - How do we make these dietary changes?
So how do we do this? How do we make these dietary changes, especially when our lives can be busy and we already have so many other things to do?
1. Incrementally, Step-by-Step
The key here is to make these changes incrementally, step-by-step. This will also help these new dietary changes to stick. Often we can try to make nutritional changes and think we have to change everything all at once, this becomes overwhelming and a source of stress (which actually defeats the purpose of eating healthy as your digestion will be impaired due to stress hormones and won't be able to effectively assimilate the nutrients from the food) and we are less likely to continue to stick with the new foods/fluids we are trying, or to introduce further new options into our diets.
2. Simple Switch Out
The good news is that we are already eating and drinking daily (fancy that ;)) therefore all we have to do is, what I like to call, a simple switch out. For example, switching out those chocolate biscuits or sugar-laden muesli bars with a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts, or that afternoon black tea or energy drink for a herbal tea or glass of filtered water.
3. Set a Manageable Goal
Set yourself a goal, make sure it is manageable. For example, how many "simple switch outs" do you think you could reasonably manage each day or each week? If its only one thing a week, great! Any change is change. Once you feel like each of the switch outs you have made are a normal part of your eating habits, then choose another food or fluid you would like to switch out and go for it!
- What nutritional changes would you like to make?
- What simple switch outs could you start with?
- How many changes do you think you could manage daily or weekly?
Let me know in the comments below :)