This post is the fourth part of a six-part series including:
3 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins (AND Be An Earthkeeper for Your Environment)
Food is medicine. What you put into your body becomes you, based on both the nutrients and the energy of the preparation. I don’t believe that there is one diet that serves everyone equally, but I do believe that whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, or an omnivore, you need to eat healthy, sustainable sources of food.You wouldn’t go to a gas station and fill up your unleaded car with diesel fuel, right? You know that if you did that, you would ruin your car, and it wouldn’t run anymore. So why would you fuel your body with processed, unhealthy foods? Processed, additive-heavy foods aren’t what our bodies were intended to “run” on long-term, and they won’t last too long if that’s primarily what we eat.
Try to eat organic, non-GMO, non-processed whole foods as much as possible. If you aren’t able to purchase all organic fruits and vegetables, prioritize the high-pesticide-residue ones listed on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” List. In addition to considering the vitamins in your food, it’s also a good idea to eat mineral heavy foods too, such as sea salt, seaweed, and green leafy vegetables. As for drinks, limit the amount of alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks (including fruit juices) you drink. Sometimes making changes in what we eat can seem too overwhelming. If that’s the case, just pick one or two changes to start with and add more once your initial changes are well established.
One area of eating that’s vital to staying young, but which can be confusing to most people, is how to get the proper ratio of essential fatty acids in your diet. We need proper ratios of Omega-3, -6, and -9, but how do we get them? Which oils are best to use when cooking, and how much should you eat per day? Because this issue is so important but baffling, I’ve dedicated an entire chapter on this topic alone in my new book, 30 Days to a Healthier, Vibrant, Younger You.
Eliminating foods that may be adding inflammation to your system may also help you reign in health problems. My clients often find that their mood and health challenges (including allergies, asthma, ADD/ADHD and eczema) dramatically improve once they reduce or eliminate, dairy, sugar, food additives, and/or red meats from their daily diet. I recently healed myself a sudden break-out of eczema by re-examining what I was eating and eliminating red meat.
Stress can definitely impact what and how you eat, so keeping a handle on your stress levels will also help you eat better. Stress raises hormone levels (particularly cortisol) that often make us crave sugary, fatty foods. If this sounds like you, there’s a special section on overcoming sweet cravings in my book, 30 Days to a Healthier, Vibrant, Younger You, that you won’t want to miss!
Stress also means we have less time to prepare foods properly and might be tempted to go for more convenient, less healthy foods, including fast-food, take-out, or microwaved foods. Sometimes we simply eat more when stressed to avoid dealing with the anger, sadness, boredom, or other emotions that are stressing us out in the first place.
Many of us only think about what we eat and not how we prepare it or how we eat it. How you mentally prepare your food (or it is prepared for you) is essential though. Ingesting a meal when stressed out or when you’re angry at someone means that you’re “ingesting” those negative emotions as well, so always prepare and eat your food with lots of joy and love.
For more detailed info on how to start making easy healthy changes to your diet today, check out my book, 30 Days to a Healthier, Vibrant, Younger You.
Here’s to eating clean and keeping our bodies running strong! Bon appetite!