Have you ever heard that food is medicine? In fact, what you put on your fork is more powerful than anything you will ever find in a pill bottle. Food is the best investment you could make for your health.
Taking care of ourselves means taking care of what we eat and what we put into our bodies. But today, we have lost the ways to care for ourselves. Does your child even know how to identify the most basic vegetables and fruits? Does cooking mean microwaving in your home? Does food in your home come in boxes, plastic bags, and cans?
Here are a few basic steps you could follow to press that reset button and to start living healthy.
1. Cook Your Own Food
Studies have shown that in the 1900’s only 2 percent of meals were eaten outside of the home but guess what? Today, that number is over 50 percent!!!
My family is guilty of this. It’s a tradition of ours to eat out every Sunday dinner. But lately, due to our paranoia of harmful chemicals in fast-food, we have been eating inside our home and cooking our food. Plus side? We get to fellowship with each other better without the loud music and noise in restaurants.
Cooking real, whole food in your own home is not too hard, doesn’t take long and inexpensive. In fact, if you can read you can cook well. You don’t have to be Julia Child or enroll in an expensive cooking school for you to cook. You can learn to create NOURISHING, DELICIOUS and HEALTHY meals quickly and inexpensively by doing a little practice and planning. Stop watching cooking shows and start cooking real and whole foods now!
But I do know that eating out is sometimes hard to avoid. If you are in that situation, here are a few tips to help you when eating out:
– Look for the grilled section of the menu or ask for grilled fish or chicken.
– Ask for a large plate of vegetables, either steamed with a side of slice lemons and olive oil or sautéed in olive oil.
– Have a salad, but skip the dressing and ask for extra-virgin olive oil and sliced lemons instead.
Don’t rely on inexpensive convenience foods. Because they aren’t so convenient (in the long run) when we become dependent on expensive medication every month because we can’t work due to sickness, fatness and sluggishness, or when we feel so bad we can’t enjoy life any more. Convenience can kill us.
2. Grow Your Own Food
Half of the food we eat daily in our home is grown in our garden or in my father’s aquaponic system. My mother rarely buys taro (gabi), water spinach (kang-kong), onion leeks, mint leaves, calamansi, chili peppers, letttuce, snow cabbage (petchay), moringa (malunggay,) and katuray in the supermarket. Lately, we have been harvesting tilapia in our aquaponics and tilapia has been crossed out on the list of our TO BUY grocery list.
Don’t make the excuse that you don’t have a vast area of land to plant on. My family started planting on recycled water gallons. Our second floor was full of this water gallon, each containing a plant. I’m telling you, you can start growing your food in pots and recycled containers of all kinds.
Remember, food eaten in their nearest possible original form (RAW) is healthy food.
3. Eliminate Processed Fat, Sugar, Flour, and Trans-fat in Your Diet
If you have started growing your food, then you have made a big step in eliminating, in your home, toxic ingredients that can be found in all of the chips, cookies, candies, cakes, and all kinds of junk-foods that lined our supermarket.
The food-like substance proffered by the industrial food system trick our taste buds into momentary pleasure. But our biology rejects the junk forced on our genes and on our hormonal and biochemical pathways. Your tongue can be fooled and your brain can become addicted to the slick combination of fat, sugar, and salt pumped into factory-made foods, but your biochemistry cannot handle these foods, and the result is the disaster we have today: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar. Even though factory food doesn’t necessarily make you fat, it does make you sick!
Come to think of it, it has been years since any of bag of chips was sitting on our kitchen shelves.
Tips on how to start eliminating processed foods:
– Read the list of ingredients. Make it a goal to buy foods that have fewer than five ingredients. If it has more than five ingredients, don’t buy it.
– Don’t buy any products containing “hydrogenated” on the label. This signal trans-fat which are dangerous vegetable oils converted through a chemical process into margarine or shortening that block our metabolism, create inflammation, and cause diabetes. Yuck!
– Avoid foods that are fried in highly refined cooking oils such as corn and soy.
Is there still room in your kitchen shelves for junk food or factory foods?
4. Don’t Buy Foods That Come In A Box, Bag or Can
There are some perfectly good packaged foods out there, like sardines or roasted peppers, but you must learn to read labels in order to buy wisely. Look carefully at the ingredient list and the nutrient facts.
One tip: The most abundant ingredient is listed first and others are listed in descending order by weight.
5. Don’t Buy Foods That Contains Preservatives, Additives, Coloring, Dyes And All Kinds Of Artificial Sweeteners
If you bought something that comes in a box, bag or can, most probably it contains one, if not all, of these: preservatives, additives, coloring or dyes, and all kinds of artificial sweeteners.
You may also find flavor enhancers on packaged foods such as MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is a brain toxin that causes compulsive eating!!! Ever had that feeling that you just want to munch and munch on that chips? Yeah, it probably has MSG on it.
Artificial sweeter includes aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols. These artificial sweeteners make you hungry, create gas and store belly fat.
6. Study If You Are Allergic To Gluten And Dairy. If You Are, Remove It.
One kind of food may react differently to two people. Remember? No two person is the same on this Earth. I may not have an allergic reaction to dairy and yet my sister has one. Get to know your body and learn what and where is it allergic to.
Gluten and dairy are foods that can cause inflammatory reaction making them the prime suspect of weight gain and allergic reactions.
I am not against dairy but the dairy we get from the cows today are different from the milk our ancestors get from their cows. The cows of our ancestors are not injected with antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives, toxins and are not pasteurized or homogenized. Sadly, unless you raise your own cow, it’s kinda hard to source dairy that are free from antibiotics, growth hormones, or feeds. 😦
7. Drink Water!
I do know that you know your body is 70 percent composed of water and that no life could exist on Earth without this precious liquid called water but are you drinking enough water for your body daily? I have to admit I am guilty of this. I can go through a day just by drinking a small amount of water. But now, knowing better, I’ve been training myself to drinking 10 cups of water daily. 🙂 It will not only benefit your body but it will make your skin supple and moisturize.
Everything our body does, it needs water to do it. Water constitutes, regulates, flows through, cleanses and helps nourish every single part of our body.
8. Incorporate Essential Oils In Your Diet
Did you know that essential oils as a dietary supplement is a great way to support and maintain your body’s wellness? They can be incorporated into your food and beverages or be taken in vegetable capsules.
Essential oils from a specific plant are powerful and concentrated. That’s why one drop, one whiff, one taste says it all.
Essential oils have been a part of my life for almost a year now. I ingest it. I use it as my skin care. I use it to maintain my weight. I use it to clean our house. I use it when I’m sick, I diffuse it to use it as aromatically and all kinds of things. It never ran out of its uses. It is just so versatile that I fell in love with it when I finally had one of these oils in my hands. I just hope that everybody can experience the effects of these oils in their life.
Just make sure that where you buy your essential oils are trustworthy and that they sell essential oils that are pure, natural and safe for you and your family to ingest.
9. Eat on Time
Timing is everything when it comes to your metabolism. Not eating breakfast or eating too late can wreak havoc on your hormones and cause you to store fat instead of lose it.
My dad is overweight and my mom tried different kinds of herbal remedies, teas, and even all kinds of diet. He even regularly exercise but he still maintains he’s above-the-average weight. Then he tried eating dinner no later than 6 in the evening. After a few days, he’s weight started going down. How awesome is that?!
Pay attention to when you eat. Get into a regular rhythm. Our body loves consistency.
10. Practice Mindful Eating
Lastly, practice mindful eating. Take time to notice how every bite of your food looks, feels, and tastes in your mouth. Avoid multitasking while eating because we tend to eat more if we eat unconsciously. Bring your attention to the foods you are eating and turn off the phone, TV, email, and computer, or any kind of gadgets.
Don’t forget to offer gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for giving you the nourishing food you are going to eat and a healthy body to boot!
These are just basic baby-steps you could take while being on the journey to health and wellness. These steps worked for me. It’s best that you make your own steps or tweak mine to better suit your needs. Do your research and feed your mind on how to be healthy.
Remember, it is the hundreds of small choices we make daily that matters.
And don’t forget, the essential thing you need first is the WILL to jump on the road towards supreme health and wellness.