The start of a new year often inspires us to change something for the better in our lives. Eating healthier is the number one resolution, which unfortunately soon thereafter tends to die of unnatural causes … The reason lies perhaps in the fact that we can only see our bodies’ “wrappings,” our skins, but not the reality inside. A different approach, therefore, might actually help make that resolution stick — for good.
First, on your computer, (not cellphone), type Human Immune System or Human Digestive System, for example. Read at least one such article, even if you don’t understand parts of it. Without a doubt, what will strike you is how extremely complex the human body is.
This revelation inevitably leads to two conclusions: 1. The body’s trillions of cells cannot perform its daily millions of highly elaborate and delicate biochemical activities to keep us healthy and fight disease, if it is not supplied with the hundreds of nutrients that are necessary to properly function. 2. Each one of us is our own main health care provider. No doctor can control what or how much we eat, whether we get enough physical activity and sleep. Clearly, what we eat has a direct influence on these biochemical activities at the cellular level where health and disease begin and end. Can a car run, if the wrong kind of liquid is poured into its gas tank?
Consuming highly processed foods stripped of most of their natural nutrients, and replete with unhealthy additives, harmful amounts of various types of sugar and the wrong kinds of fats, greatly contributes to disease, high medical expenses, unnecessary suffering and diminished quality of life. Even a deficiency of one nutrient can cause serious health issues, including birth defects, mental disorders or chronic diseases.
Improving eating habits is easier than you think if you do it gradually and stay determined and focused. Attempting to bring about an overnight revolution is doomed to failure. Keep in mind that eating healthy is not about deprivation, rather it is empowering ourselves to enjoy fresh, delicious and nutritious food, improve our health and quality of life.
Making only two changes every 14 days is easy and effective. Always adhere to the changes already made and add two more.
Drastically reduce sugar consumption, including commercial sugary drinks and desserts. Eliminate fried foods, bacon, ham and sausage. Avoid products made from white flour such as white bread, white pasta and pastry. Shun canned vegetables and canned soups, precooked frozen dinners, fast food and junk food.
Eat at home more frequently and make preparing simple wholesome meals a priority. Also keep in mind that sitting in the doctor's waiting room, undergoing medical tests or lying in a hospital bed takes more time and is much less fun than cooking scrumptious and nourishing food at home.
Shedding unimportant activities off your schedule and pruning TV, time, Facebook, Twitter and their other electronic comrades, allows plenty of time for preparing healthful meals.
Elaborate recipes are more time consuming and can be frustrating and discouraging. They also result in more dirty dishes. So use the KISS method, as in Keep It Simple Sweetheart. To stay motivated to continue your health journey, periodically read more about a human body system, the endocrine system, the brain, heart or liver.
A healthy diet consists of an abundance of raw and briefly cooked, or steamed vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds and fresh fruit in moderation. Eat beans, fish and lean meat, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and little or no red meat. Consume whole grains of all kinds, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, millet, quinoa, barley and oats. Throughout the day, drink six to eight glasses of water. A squeeze of fruit juice can be added to the water if desired, or make herbal tea in minutes. Use herbs (dried or fresh), a pinch of salt, olive oil, lemon zest and/or juice for flavoring foods.
Judy E. Buss is a syndicated food/health columnist, blogger for the American Holistic Health Association, nutritional cooking instructor and speaker.