In the summertime, everyone's thoughts turn to the outdoors. We want to get out in the sun and have some fun. Some people do exercise outdoors, such as running, walking, and biking, all year long ...View Article
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Posted on 05-12-2015
Often times when I am talking to people about changing their lifestyle to one that includes more healthy foods, exercise, regular chiropractic care, and other things, I sense that at times they may feel overwhelmed. Changing the way you do things is not easy, but in many cases, it is essential for improving your health, and your quality of life! Making healthy changes does not mean you have to make them all at once! I always suggest making a few small changes to each part of your health paradigm a little at a time, but after a few weeks or months, you can look back and see the vast improvements you have made, which will also keep you motivated to continue on the right path.
The things I find that people struggle with the most are diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, hydration, sleep, sun exposure, outdoor activities, regular chiropractic adjustments, and "me time". I know it sounds like a lot of things, but small changes in each of these areas can make huge changes in your overall health. Now, if you were to try to make everything perfect all at once, you would drive yourself crazy, get burnt out, and revert right back to the things you were doing. And I get that some people have a really good system in place for some of these things, and just need tweaking in others!
Let's first talk about the biggest challenge people run up against when trying to become healthier, DIET!!! (cue the Darth Vader theme music)! When looking at diets that are out there to follow, which do you choose? Traditional? Organic? Paleo? Mediterranean? Atkins? Cabbage Soup Diet? South Beach Diet? Skinny Bitch Diet? French Women Don't Get Fat Diet? (yes those are real diets!) The list goes on and on. My recommendation is simple! Choose whole foods that are fresh, organic, and as local as possible! Farmer's markets are all over the place, and in many cases, foods can be much cheaper than shopping at a grocery store, fresher, and if you can get organic, use less pesticides and herbicides, and are farmed using techniques that will increase the nutrient content of the foods!
But how do I know what I am or am not eating enough of, or eating too much of? There are times where we may not realize the things that we are eating, or the patterns in which we eat until we see it. So I recommend people make a food diary, logging all of the foods they eat, and when, water intake, and supplements they take. This way, you can really analyze the foods you are eating too much of, or not enough of, and then do some meal planning and goal setting so that when you go shopping, you are filling in those gaps, as well as not just buying the same stuff over and over again.
By viewing your eating habits, you can easily see where to add a few extra veggies, and take out a processed food here and there, slowly sculpting a diet log you would be proud to show everyone! This also allows you to make sure you are getting a balanced intake of lean proteins and meats, good fats, veggies and fruits, low glycemic index carbs, and water, and can help you set goals to stop drinking as much soda, eating too much junk foods, and eating late night snacks that can wreck your whole diet plan!
Bottom line in diet changes is that you have to know what changes need to be made in order to make them. You don't know what you don't know, and using a diet log lets you go back a week or more at a time and really evaluate your eating habits. It also helps hold you accountable to yourself, and at the same time, allows you to be proud of the changes you are making!
Your food consumption is the basic foundation for your health. You can make pretty radical changes in all the other areas I listed above, but without a solid diet, you are wasting your time, and your quality of life! Start making little changes here and there, eating organic instead of conventional grown produce, use a mix of greens in your salads instead of just iceberg lettuce, grass-fed free-range meats instead of the regular grocery store meats, and also paying attention to your portion sizes.
Hippocrates, who is considered the father of modern medicine, said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." This is a very powerful quote, one you will realize the significance of more so once you have begun to eat better overall, and notice positive changes in your health, skin, weight, and the amount of time you spend NOT being sick!
Here is a link to some other suggestions for making healthier food choices!
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As always, continue to Eat Well, Move Well, and Think Well!
Your's In Health!
Dr. Phil Afghani
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