Springtime is a good time to reevaluate your diet. During spring we no longer need or frankly desire the hearty foods that we tend to eat during the winter months. We are also looking forward to getting active and outdoors. I like to share a few things for you to consider for shaping up your nutrition and lifestyle that will put you in the best position to achieve your best health.
Cook your own food: If you aren’t already, this is the best place to start. As the cook, you control the ingredients. You can eliminate the bad fats and processed sugars. You can include whole ingredients that are rich in anti-inflammatory omega -3 fatty acids.; foods loaded with antioxidants. Both of which help to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your mood.
Visit your local farmers markets. There you will find the freshest fruits, spices, vegetables, and grass fed and humanely raised meats if that’s your jam. You might even consider growing your vegetables. In today’s fast paced society, cooking is one of things that get outsourced first. It is so easy for us to pick up food or have it delivered via a service. From firsthand experience, I tell you there is nothing more gratifying than preparing a meal and then sitting down with family connecting over that meal. Remember eating whole freshly prepared foods is a big part of keeping yourself well.
Don’t Diet: I read somewhere recently that roughly 50 million Americans diet each year making the diet industry approximately a $30 billion industry. Understand something, restrictive diets don’t work. Well, they do…that is if you are looking to lose weight then gain it all back, plus more. Then in that sense yes, they work. Dieting is not good you. It causes stress, it triggers eating disorders and can make you fatter over time. You are better suited to take an assessment of your diet and over-all lifestyle habits. Practice mindful eating pay attention to thoughts and feeling that trigger you to overeat or eat unhealthy things. In addition, reassess your physical activity to see if you are getting enough exercise. Don’t forget about sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? Mindful/conscious eating, physical activity, stress reduction and rest are far better solutions than dieting.
Limit your exposure to toxic things: I want so desperately to say eliminate toxic things but to do this you would literally have to live in a bubble. Alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, cleaning products, artificial fragrances, processed packaged foods, sugar can all be considered toxic. These all can wreak havoc on your metabolism when you consume or are exposed to them in excess.
Find a doctor focused on wellness: Find a doctor who listens to you and understands the difference between treating an illness and wellness. Doctors trained in Naturopathy, Integrative medicine and some traditionally with wellness certifications are good places to start. If your doctor isn’t trained then you start the conversation, let them know about your intent to be well naturally and ask them to support you in achieving your wellness goals.
Stay Positive: Like me you were probably told to “see the glass as half full” by someone when you were faced with a difficult situation. Again, like me likely at the time you were faced with the difficult situation that was the last thing you wanted to hear. Turns out there is some merit and benefit to seeing the glass half full. Staying positive benefits your heart, increases your productivity, supports your mental health, and helps you to overcome the difficult situations.
To achieve a positive attitude practice intentional mindfulness. Pay attention to your internal and external environment and also start a meditation practice. You could also surround yourself with positive people. Another saying that someone shared with me: Who you spend the most time with is who you will likely become.
In conclusion, if you are reading this and thinking, “nah, it can’t be that simple”, well, actually it really is. Good, clean nutrition and environment, exercise, good support, and a positive attitude is all it takes to live your best life!