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MAGAZINE | 11
By Paola Henderson
| HEALTHY LIVING |
ASK YOURSELF, "Why do I want to be healthy?" Most of
us will respond to simply feel better, to be there for our
loved ones; after all, who wants to be unhealthy?
Many of us are walking around, living life day to day with
no real purpose, and eating mindlessly. Food is definitely
not our number one priority especially when it comes to
healthy foods, yes we do feed ourselves but what is it that
we are really nourishing our bodies with and is our food
benefiting our bodies or malnourishing it? Many of us have
a misconception about healthy foods and think that eating
healthy is expensive and not satisfying.
Here are 12 steps that you can take to better your health:
1. Drink more water. Being hydrated lightens the body. If
you're stressed, tight and contracted, water can bring the
body back to balance. It can prevent premature aging, elim-
inate pain and headaches, lower blood pressure and pro-
mote weight loss.
2. Practice cooking. Eating at home is one of the healthiest
choices you can make. It's not difficult; it just takes some
practice to get your groove down. Plan a weekly menu,
shop and prepare as much as you can beforehand. The ac-
tual cooking part takes much less time than the shopping.
It just takes a little planning!
3. Increase whole grains. People are gaining weight be-
cause they're consuming too much processed food, caf-
feine, sugar, nicotine and alcohol. It's not because of carbs.
Whole grains or complex carbohydrates such as brown
rice, quinoa, oats, beans, nuts and legumes help us main-
tain steady blood sugar, contain fibre and because they're
absorbed slowly, provide long-lasting energy.
4. Increase sweet vegetables. Most of us crave sweet, but
turn to processed sugar to get our fix. Try adding naturally
sweet veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, beets,
squash and cabbage. These foods are grounding and
soothe internal organs and energize the mind.
5. Increase leafy green vegetables. Did you know that
greens are the food missing in modern diets? They're also
the most important, nutrient-rich foods you can have;
proven to prevent disease, improve circulation, immunity,
digestion and so much more. This does not include iceberg
lettuce; I am talking about greens like callaloo bush,
spinach, broccoli, patchoi.
6. Experiment with protein. Protein equals energy and is
essential for having a healthy immune system. We asso-
ciate protein with animal products and most of us eat too
much meat, and especially chicken. Protein needs vary ac-
cording to the individual. Some people feel lighter and
clearer with less animal products while others feel more
grounded when eating meat. Be open to a variety of pro-
tein-rich foods such as nuts, beans and legumes and see
how you feel.
7. Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemical-loaded, artifi-
cial junk foods; consume less coffee, tobacco and alcohol.
Contrary to what we have been taught, dairy is not an es-
sential part of the human diet. This doesn't mean you can't
have it; it's just not nutritionally necessary. In fact, most of
us have an intolerance to dairy and don't even know it. This
is because we lack the digestive enzymes needed to digest
it, meaning we are lactose intolerant. As for the others go,
consuming less is best!
8. Develop easy and reliable habits to nurture your body.
Taking naps, warm baths, slowing down, getting outside.
All so these things soothe our soul, allowing for our body
to respond magically.
9. Have healthy relationships that support you. Surround-
ing yourself with people who believe in you, support your
efforts to grow and live your best life is essential to lifelong
health. When you don't, you feel stifled, restless, lethargic
and out of sync with your true self. Ask for support from
friends and family or a professional.
10. Find physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly.
Movement aids digestion, circulation and respiration and
has a major impact on mood and quality of life. Even the
healthiest eaters need exercise to ensure lifelong good
11. Find work you love or a way to love the work you have.
Careers can be one of the most dysfunctional areas of
adult life. Being in a job you don't like or having a bad atti-
tude about work affects your health. Find ways to be more
encouraged about exploring options.
12. Develop a spiritual practice. Spirituality gives depth to
life. It is also incredibly individual. Find what nurtures your
soul. It could be the religion you grew up in, meditation, a
walk in the park, a yoga class, playing music or dancing.
Find it and do it religiously.
Always looking out for your health!
Paola Henderson is a health coach whose main focus is
on busy women struggling with preparing quick, healthy
meals for their families, while also taking care of them-
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