A lot of us want to start the new year off getting healthier, including moi!
Over the years I’ve seen doctors, read lots of books, attended lectures, and scoured the internet in search of the latest and greatest health advice. I want to share a round-up of what I’ve learned in case you, too, are interested in making some positive changes to improve your health! Given that entire books are written on the following topics, keep in mind that a blog post can only go so far, but hopefully something here will catch your eye and stimulate you, too, to make a healthy change for the new year.
Eat lots of plant-based foods.
As Kris Carr wrote in her best-selling book, Crazy Sexy Diet, “Nature is the source of all things healthy.” Buying your produce local from a farmer’s market is the healthiest way to go because the food has ripened longer in the sun and it is fresher – two components that increase its vitamin and mineral content. Nutrients are lost in the water when you boil your veggies, so steaming or roasting is better, but overcooking your food also accounts for loss of nutrients and enzymes. If you don’t want to go raw, lightly cook your vegetables.
Limit processed foods.
Cooked broccoli is technically processed, so use good judgment here. I was informed by my favorite naturopath, Dr. Judy Seeger, that “there is no healthy cracker.” (I tried hard to debate this, but I lost.) Dr. Judy also told me that even organic, sugar-free cereals are highly processed, and whole grain, gluten-free pasta is still pasta and it sticks to your intestines like glue. They’re all on the no-no list in my house. Basically, you want your food to look like what it started out as.
Drink green juice.
I have gone through phases with green juice, and I am back on the bandwagon. I believe what I read about it (hello, sparkle! hello, glowing skin!), and I really want it to work for me, so I’mma keep trying. I juice green vegetables, and I am fascinated with what I’ve learned about wheatgrass. If you’re not pro enough to grow and juice your own wheatgrass at home, you can buy frozen wheatgrass shots at some supermarkets.
The summary of what I’ve learned about juicing is this: it balances your pH, it slows aging, it’s great for detoxification and digestion, it boosts your immune system, and it gets all the good stuff that comes from the vegetables straight into your bloodstream instead of having to go through the digestive process, which is like a nourishment blast to your cells. (Hooray!)
Update: My third attempt at green juicing showed me again what I learned after my first and second attempts — it does not work for my body. So, now I attest that it is not for everyone!
Try green powder.
On the days I don’t juice, I often drink green powder mixed with almond milk and stevia. (You can mix it into green juice too if you’re hard core!) This stuff really packs a punch that I notice immediately. Green powder offers a convenient and healthful way to intake superfoods that you might not be getting otherwise, like blue-green algae, chlorella and spirulina.
Not everyone agrees with doing this, but I have read that our soils are depleted and our food doesn’t have the vitamin and mineral content it once did, so it makes sense to add supplements. I’ve been taking supplements for so many years that I feel I wouldn’t be complete without them!
I have learned that liquid vitamins have a much higher absorption rate than tablets or capsules, so if you’re not juicing, a liquid multivitamin like Vibe would be a good idea. Alternatively, spirulina tablets are my go-to on days I don’t juice/green powder. (One of my naturopaths told me she thinks the whole world should be on spirulina! It’s great for vegetarians too due to its high protein content.)
The other supplements I take are: vitamin D (most Americans are low in vitamin D), vitamin B12 (because I lean towards vegetarianism), calcium (doctor’s orders!), omega oils (countless benefits, including better brain function), probiotics (improved digestive function & more!!! sooo healthy), digestive enzymes (to help digest and process food; the older we get, the more help many of us need in this area) and MSM (this “beauty mineral” also reduces inflammation).
Avoid sugar AND artificial sweeteners (try stevia or xylitol instead). Limit drugs and alcohol (doy!). Drink filtered water (lots of it). Try raw apple cider vinegar, trace minerals, aloe vera or red desert clay. Stop using the microwave. Use Himalayan Salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Keep your pH balanced (you can purchase pH testing strips online). Exercise. Don’t eat too close to bedtime.
Ease into your changes and if at first you don’t succeed, do try again!
P.S. What have I left out? Share your top health tips in the comments below!