While you may not be ready to follow my advice 100% of the time (even I don’t follow my advice 100% of the time) here are three simple things you can do which will have profound effects on improving your health and how you feel on a daily basis.
Make Water Your Beverage of Choice
Making water your beverage of choice has two significant impacts. First, most people simply do not drink enough water. Water is essential to life. Our body is made of lots of water and our body utilizes it in many complex chemical reactions that are the basis of life. Of course this leads to the next logical questions – how much and what kind?
How much water should you drink? That will vary with how much water you eat (yes vegetables, fruit, and even meat contain water). My rule of thumb – if you are running to the bathroom every 30 minutes you are probably drinking too much water! What kind of water should you drink? Yes, we hear about the chlorine, fluoride, chemical, industrial waste, antibiotics, and hormone residues in our drinking water supplies; the BPA in the plastic bottles; and all the different kinds of water systems you can have installed in your house (reverse osmosis, oxygenated, etc). It can become overwhelming.
My advice is to just drink water and not necessarily worry about all that stuff. I really don’t think too many people have gotten ill and died from drinking too much water on a regular basis. The heart of the issue is more likely all the other toxins we consume which eventually overwhelms our body’s ability to detoxify itself. Yes, filtered water that you drink from a glass container is probably optimal, but the simple first step is to drink more water.
The second benefit of water as your choice of beverage is that you drink less of other unhealthy choices such as: soda (both diet and regular), fruit juices (yes, even those with “no added sugar” are still loaded with sugar), and some other ones that I won’t mention here as they are more controversial (okay, I’ll mention them – soy, other processed “milks” and pasteurized milk as well). Perhaps some of you will even drink less alcohol.
Make Your Own Sweet Treats
While it would be best to eliminate sugary treats at least if you make them at home you can avoid among the worst ingredients being used in commercial baking – white sugar, white flour, and trans-fats. You can substitute with raw cane sugar, maple syrup, or stevia for white sugar; you can use organic butter or coconut oil rather than margarine, soybean oil, vegetable oil, or other trans-fats; you can use almond flour, coconut flour, gluten-free or whole wheat flour rather than white flour; and you can use organic pastured eggs.
Among the unhealthiest foods you can consume are white sugar, white flour, and trans-fats which are prevalent in commercial baked goods. While I am not advocating mass consumption of the alternative I suggested, at least it is healthier, and you can control the ingredients.
Alternate Omelets (eggs) and Protein Shakes for Breakfast
As I’ve written in previous articles protein is an extremely important nutrient due to the many functions it serves. While it is presented in the main stream that Americans eat too much protein, the actual truth is that most do not eat sufficient protein. One of the main reasons for this is what our food manufacturers have decided to call breakfast foods – cereals, waffles, pancakes, bagels, muffins, and a whole variety of other processed foods. These products (notice how I won’t call them foods!) are typically all carbohydrate and no protein.
Therefore, to start the day in a healthy manner and to provide your body what it needs, I recommend a breakfast based in protein. Protein shakes made with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils or omelets (eggs and vegetables) are the ideal foods to “break the fast.”
Once again we see two benefits here - one from inclusion and one from exclusion. Inclusion is eating the healthy and body building proteins. Exclusion is not eating high sugar and fat storing carbohydrates.
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at email@example.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.