Do not eat unhealthy food! It is an unfortunate truth that although many foods claim to be good for you, they are not giving you all of the facts. When you are selecting the foods you want to eat be sure to read the labels; many of those that you would think would be nutritious are actually packed with empty calories. White bread is the most classic example of this; it is much less nutritious than its whole wheat counterparts, yet it claims to be a healthy part of any complete diet.
When you go grocery shopping, take the time to read the labels on the foods you buy. Stay away from anything that has a high sugar and/or salt content (sugar leads to foods being highly fattening, and excessive sodium with have a negative effect on your blood pressure and your body electrolytes). Steer clear of juices, unless they are freshly squeezed; most juices possess massive quantities of sugar. Unless you drink your coffee black try to stay away from that as well; the cream and sugar you had to your coffee can add calories to your diet very quickly.
In addition to sugar and salt it is important to check the fat content on the meat you eat. Lean meats are often more expensive to purchase but are infinitely healthier for you. Stick to fresh fruits and veggies rather than their pre-packaged counterparts (again, these are high in sugar and sodium-are you beginning to notice a trend here?). The short story is that any type of preservative is going to be much worse for your body than eating the food in its natural state.
Try to avoid:
- foods that are high in fat;
- empty calories-foods with a high caloric content that do not really provide your body with much nutrition, such as butter and white bread;
- junk food – if you are going to attempt to turn your body into a machine on the field there are some things which are going to have to be sacrificed, and your sugar addiction is among them – chocolate, ice cream, fruity candies, pies, cakes and anything else that falls into this category should be avoided as strenuously as possible / potato chips and other greasy, salty snacks fall into this category as well / as a general rule, if you’re dying for a snack while you’re in training take the time to reach for some vegetables, they’re easily metabolized by the body and are much more nutritive;
- any type of fast food, regardless of how nutritious it is purported to be, is not going to be nearly as good for you as the real thing – it may take you a little longer at night to complete your nightly routine, but in the end it the rewards will be worth the effort;
- foods which have been processed or fried, or contain a vast number of ingredients other than those at its core – you want to keep your diet as pure as is possible in today’s society;
- foods which have sugar listed as its primary ingredient, and this does not necessarily apply solely to cookies and candies, this includes items such as high fructose corn syrup, galactose, maltose…anything with an “–ose” on the end is probably some form of sugar – manufacturers often use these ingredients in their preservatives, artificial flavorings and gels, so, read the label if you are unsure if a product has a high sugar content;
- foods which have been cooked in oil – many oils are high in trans-fats, which are extraordinarily bad for you and are going to negatively impact your quest to get into shape;
- sugary drinks, such as juice and soda – these are essentially empty calories, and the sugar you are consuming will only serve to make you even thirstier.
You want to live fully, healthfully, I recognizes that achieving optimal health in the twenty-first century is a synergy of information, motivation, good habits and inspiration. I am aware that the current accepted course of much of traditional medicine – end-stage care of chronic, often fatal, diseases with drugs or surgery – may not be the solution for a long, healthy, fulfilling life.
Disease and disability take years and years to develop. Once we experience symptoms, our lives are often changed forever, usually for the worse. What if you could stop that microscopic cancer cell that showed up in your kidney when you were twenty-five years old and prevent it from thriving? What if by eating a diet high in phytonutrients and fibre, exercising to regulate your metabolism, sleeping enough to maintain a strong immune system – what if all of these and other aspects of your health style resulted in that tiny cell being flushed harmlessly from your system? What if instead of getting a diagnosis of kidney cancer at age fifty-five after a few years of mild nagging back pain, instead you sailed right on to sixty and seventy and eighty, still playing tennis, still gardening, still enjoying the spring sun on your face?
This is what I’m doing for you. This information, if you adopt it, is your ammunition against disease, frailty, and the host of indignities that come with poor health. I’ll help you dodge those potential bullets. With luck, you’ll never know how close they came. You’ll simply feel good. Energetic. Optimistic. You will feel better both physically and emotionally because you’ll be doing the best you can to live well on this earth.
But, if you got here, you probably already make some effort to achieve health. Perhaps you have a pretty good diet. Maybe you exercise regularly. Or maybe you hope that your good diet will make you ‘immune’ from an exercise requirement. Maybe you eat pretty well and exercise but get only about six hours of sleep a night and feel pretty good. But what you don’t know is that you’re really suffering from a chronic sleep debt that’s not only impairing your performance, it could also be promoting hypertension and diabetes as well as impairing your immune system and even promoting obesity. Health is a web. Each strand is doing a job; no part can be ignored.
Perhaps the big news of health style is the role that certain simple habits play in keeping us at our best. Sleep, attention to our spiritual side, social contacts – all of these affect health in profound and usually unrecognized ways. I find the research studies on these practices particularly exhilarating because they seem to confirm instinct. Doesn’t it make sense that achieving what I call ‘personal peace’ will actually promote health and perhaps even longevity?
My pyramid reflects every aspect of healthy living that I think needs attention – I’ll help you to get a great overview of how to live a long and healthful life.
- Cleveland, L.E., (2000), Dietary intake of whole grains, J Am Coll Nutr;
- Darmadi-Blackberry, I., (2004), Legumes: The most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different, ethnicities, Asia Pacific Journal;
- Dunn, A.L., Comparison of lifestyle and structured interventions to increase physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness: A randomized trial, JAMA (from KM Active Living Every Day);
- Finson, J.A., (2001), Phenol antioxidant quantity and quality in foods: Fruits, J Agric Food Chem;
- Gorton, H.C., Jarvis, K., (1999), The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections, Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics;
- Kris-Etherton, P.M., (1993), The role of fatty acid saturation on plasma lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins: 1. Effects of whole food diets high in cocoa butter, olive oil, soybean oil, dairy butter, and milk chocolate on the plasma lipics of young men, Metabolism;
- Sanchez-Moreno, C., (2003), Effect of orange juice intake on vitamin C concentrations and biomarkers of antioxidant status in humans, Am J Clin Nutr.