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Did you know that what you eat not only directly impacts your long-term health but can also lead to annoying little symptoms like fatigue, headaches, digestive distress, acne, sinus congestion, and difficulty losing weight?
Sadly, these symptoms have come to be accepted as just part of living because so many people experience them. But you don’t have to live with it! You have the power to take your health into your own hands, look and feel great, have energy, and be happy. No matter your age, or current physical condition, all it takes is a few simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments to improve your sense of well-being.
Here are my top 5 recommendations to help you look and feel your best:
1.Drink water. This may sound like an obvious fundamental but do you really drink enough? Your body is 50-75% water and requires a constant fresh supply in order to carry out all major bodily functions, including delivering nutrients to your cells and removing waste (the buildup of which can lead to discomfort and disease). So be sure to drink lots of water, especially in the summer when you lose more water through sweat. I recommend starting each day with a tall glass of water first thing in the morning, then drinking more throughout the entire day.
2.Avoid white flour and sugar. Things like white bread, pasta, baked goods, and sweets, including soda, might taste pretty good, but they wreak havoc on your long-term health. They contribute to insulin resistance, raise your LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, and since they contain little or no vitamins, fiber, or enzymes, they are more difficult to digest with little payoff for the body beyond instant energy. This can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, inflammation, fatigue, digestive discomfort like gas and bloating, and many other ailments. Simply avoiding these foods could be a major step towards greater health if your current includes them on a daily basis.
3.Eat fresh vegetables. They are essentially what your body is meant to be eating for the nutrients needed to stay healthy and strong. If you tend to avoid them, or relegate them as mere side dishes once a day, make a real effort to eat vegetables with every meal. Summer is a great time to eat them mostly raw because they can help cool you down and can easily be found fresh and locally grown. Buy organic whenever you can because those are grown in cleaner soil and have minimal pesticide residue, as well as tasting better and having higher nutritional content.
4.Stay active. Regular exercise helps improve circulation, detoxify your organs, boost your immune system, and keep your mind and body clear and energized. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym or start jogging if those fitness activities don’t appeal to you. Just do whatever you enjoy that involves movement on a daily basis, even if it’s just taking long, brisk walks around the neighborhood or dancing to music in your living room!
5.Sleep. Your body does a lot of repair while you sleep and not getting enough shut-eye for prolonged periods of time can lead to impaired cognition, stress, and reduced immune function, making you more susceptible to infection and disease. Aim for 8 hours every night for maximum health and energy during the day.
As a Holistic Health Counselor, I work with clients in making dietary and lifestyle adjustments to help them reach their wellness goals and achieve lasting health and happiness. If you can consistently follow the 5 recommendations above, you’re on your way to feeling great, looking great, and having the energy needed to pursue all your life’s passions with ease.