4 Steps To A Healthier You

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

How would you like to have a body that effortlessly supports you to accomplish all you have to do in a day? If so, then ask yourself this question: How often are you getting done what you need to get done, despite your body?

If the answer is often, then pay attention to what comes next, because with some small changes, you could create some significantly positive improvements to your quality of life. When your physical body is optimal you will find that you have the energy, power, endurance and ability to accomplish all your goals; including your aesthetic ones!

Like most people, in your different roles in life, you will experience times of extra stress. Healthy eating can play a crucial role in your ability to deal with these particularly intense periods, as well as provide an effective method for increasing your overall resilience. Likewise, while food can help you manage stressful events, food itself can also be the cause for stress within your body.

When you are going through a period of stress, your immune system may become weakened. Studies have shown that the body depletes its stores of nutrients when under stress, mainly protein and the B vitamins, which affect the nervous system, so taking care of your nutrition will help you stay focused, alert, energetic, and healthy. If you are lacking nutrients, your body will not be equipped to perform well during such times and this can lead to sickness.

The challenge you will face, like most of us, is that stress can sometimes lead to unhealthy lifestyle patterns and when you are harried and under pressure, you will tend to make poor food choices. Unfortunately, these food choices can cause more stress for you in the long run, as well as other problems.

It’s imperative to note that your nutritional hygiene can be a significant cause of chronic stress or catabolism within your system.

If you are like most people, you are all well versed with the notion that certain foods are low in nutritional value and, like most people you know, that when you reach for some foods, you are not making a healthy choice. But, what you may not be considering is that through your choices you are not simply failing to support your health; you are succeeding in supporting your dis-ease.

Take a look at the following points and ask yourself how often you have found yourself doing any of the following?

  • Drinking more than one cup of coffee a day.

  • Eating fast/junk foods

  • Skipping meals

  • Mindless munching

If you can identify with one or more of the above then consider the following information about the contribution, which these choices may have on how you are experiencing stress.

Coffee ~ a sleepless night may lead you to use coffee to give yourself a jumpstart in the morning. When coffee is used to offset sleep deprivation, it often results in a pattern of all-day coffee drinking. The impact of too much caffeine in your system can impact your overall quality of life very quickly resulting in physical dependency, mental stress and poor concentration, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and mood/emotional stress.

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Junk Food ~ due partially to an increase in levels of cortisol, under stress you may crave foods high in fat, sugar and salt. A therapy session with Ben & Jerry is counter-productive not simply because of the emotional associations you will create with low nutrient foods. When you consume high sugar foods, you overload insulin production resulting in radical swings in your blood glucose levels. The low blood sugar results in spikes in your cortisol production leading to a constant cycle of adrenal stress and can lead to mood swings, fatigue, poor concentration and other negative consequences in the short term, and greater health problems like hyperglycemia in the long run. Not to mention that although satisfying in the short term, they will leave you with less energy and even more hungry after an hour or two.

Skipping Meals ~ another habit you may adopt is skipping meals. With multiple responsibilities it’s very likely that you have found yourself rushing out of the house without a healthy breakfast or realizing you are starving in the late afternoon because you didn’t have time for lunch. Going longer than 3-4 hours in between meals will interfere with your ability to effectively regulate Glycemic control and sufficiently lower blood glucose levels will result in elevated cortisol. Since your brain uses glucose for its primary energy source, when you skip a meal, your brain is running without an optimum energy source. You will find it difficult to regulate your emotions and you will find little annoyances turning into major problems. Additionally, as a result of low blood glucose levels, you may also experience headaches, which will do little to decrease your stress or elevate your overall mood.

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Mindless Munching ~ with the list of challenges which come with your already busy life, do you really want to add food addiction? Using any food as a kind of emotional anesthesia, may buy you a temporary sense of calm, but it's a quick fix that wears off way too fast. If you are someone who is prone to emotional eating, under stress consider the associations you may be setting yourself up for.

Associating food with emotional comfort will only leave you reliant on an external source of comfort and dis-empowered from taking control of your own emotional regulation. When you eat when you aren’t hungry, you will begin to disrupt the natural connection you have with your body and your ability to listen to the messages it sends you. It’s also likely that you won’t be reaching for the kale or carrots to satisfy your oral gratification! Instead you’ll likely be choosing foods which will only negatively impact your stress cycle.

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By focusing on eating unprocessed whole foods, you will fuel yourself with the necessary nutrients to nurture your health and provide you with energy that will last for several hours. These nutrients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids (from proteins), essential fatty acids (from nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish s), and energy from slow releasing carbohydrates, lean protein, and fat (excluding transformed ‘trans’ fats). While most foods contain more than one nutrient, no single food provides adequate amounts of all nutrients so it is imperative to eat a wide variety of foods.

Note: Consuming foods high in potassium, magnesium and calcium can help you become more resilient and remain optimal during periods of prolonged stress. They work by counteracting many of the physical reactions which can either precipitate or occur as a result of stress such as lactic acid production in tense muscles. Consider creating a shopping list of the foods you enjoy and which are high in these nutrients. Next time you need to up your game, and can’t think clearly, you’ll already have a list outlined to help guide you. See the resources at the end of this post for a list of foods high in these nutrients.

Taking care of your nutritional needs does not need to be an overwhelming process.

If you are like most people, you will probably be conditioned to associate healthy eating with deficit in food intake. So many messages we are exposed to promote portion control etc. and the idea of withholding food is not usually, a very motivating idea. In fact, the opposite is often true. Improving the quality of your food hygiene can often mean increasing the frequency and volume of food you are consuming, along with the quality of course.

Taking beneficial action does not require you to overhaul your entire diet, although you may find that you eventually choose to. By simply choosing to eliminate some of the toxic elements you are exposing your body to you can create massive strides towards your well-being and see immediate results!

Consider making these healthy changes for yourself:

#1 Eliminate Soda and Energy Drinks

If you do nothing else, do this; completely eliminate soda from your diet! Soda is one of the main reasons, nutritionally speaking, why many people suffer health problems. Aside from the negative effects of the soda itself, drinking a lot of soda is likely to leave you with little appetite for vegetables, protein and other food that your body needs. Consuming large amounts of rapidly digested sugar and high fructose corn syrup causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin, which can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which may increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

They can also lead to the accumulation of metabolically toxic belly fat, cholesterol abnormalities, including high triglycerides and reduced levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and nonalcoholic associated fatty liver disease. Additionally drinking soda is known to symptoms of ulcers to flare up and is associated with symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (when the contents of the stomach leak back up and cause a burning sensation in the esophagus).

Soda also contains Phosphoric acid, which will leach calcium from your bones and contribute to a rising risk in osteoporosis. Lastly, please note that many deaths have been linked to the consumption of energy drinks!

Soda and energy drinks can lead to profound stress within your body and simply taking charge of just this one aspect of your diet, can have drastic effects and lead to significant health gains.

Soda Facts

  • The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

  • In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

  • You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days!

  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

  • To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the hazardous material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

  • 1 soda or energy drink = 10 teaspoons of sugar.

  • 1 can / day = 15 pounds of fat in only one year.

Note: While multivitamin and mineral supplements can be helpful, they will not replace the role that whole foods play in maintaining your optimal body. Whole foods contain many substances, such as phytochemicals and fiber, which boost the immune system and maintain your health. Additionally, not all of your food sources need to be organic. While it is certainly preferable, it can easily become pricey.

# 2 Eliminate Sugar

It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Sugar is known to feed cancer, impair the structure of your DNA, contribute to osteoporosis and decrease growth hormone; the key to maintaining youthful vitality!

Here are a few more of the potential effects of sugar:

  • Weakened eyesight

  • Increased drowsiness and decreased activity

  • Interfere with the absorption of protein

  • Cause food allergies

  • Contribute to eczema

  • Cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and mood disorders

  • Reduced defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)

  • Assist the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)

We/I am not going to lie to you. Ridding your body of the toxic effects of sugar is probably going to be a difficult journey for you to undertake. But, hang in there! The results will be well worth it.

After an initial period of detoxification, (where you may feel worse) you’ll start to notice the positive effects which can easily include an increase in energy, more balanced mood and hormonal regulation, clearer skin, and a smaller, firmer abdomen.

#3 Eliminate Aspartame

The lure of a low calorie sweetener is appealing. Most people have a sweet tooth and breaking free of the habit can be tough to do. We/I promise you that when you detox from sugar your taste buds will recover so that foods that once seemed bland to you, will taste sweet and satisfying. So, don’t be too quick to jump to a sugar substitute, especially not aspartame. This chemical is most often found in diet soda and low fat food products and it is noxious!

There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, auto immune conditions, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. Additionally, when stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas, aspartame changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, both of which are known carcinogens.

The negative effects of aspartame far outweigh any benefit you could ever seek to gain from it. Do yourself a favor and stay clear of this toxin!

#4 Start Juicing

Juicing is one of the most effective ways we/I have seen of helping you to re boot your system from a place of ill health and recover from the overload and burden of modern lifestyles. It’s quick, it’s easy, it allows you to consume a vast quantity of nutrients in an efficient manner and it can also be a creative and fun process, which you can choose to share with your family if you choose.

There are many resources you can find online to help motivate and inspire you to find recipes you enjoy. Try and go easy on using a lot of fruit as they possess a lot of sugar. However, if you need to improve the tastes of your green juice, do consider using berries, which are laden with antioxidants, and have been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition, lowered cortisol levels and lowered blood pressure.

The formula for your nutritional health is pretty simple. What you eat has the ability to either create or cure stress. Your choices will either take you closer to or further away from your health. So, choose consciously, choose intentionally and choose wisely.

Tip: A quick note on weight loss: Weight is not an effective measure of your health or your physical appearance. If you are interested in changing your physical appearance be aware, that you can create extraordinary results and see very little variation in how much you actually weigh! Conversely, you can see enormous changes in your weight and still be no healthier. In fact, you can become unhealthier and any desirable results you may have created will likely not be sustainable. Your level of toxicity has nothing to do with your size. So, step away from the scales, exercise patience and trust that when you pursue your physical health, you will be knocking down those obstacles which prevent you from being a better version of yourself… and, they’ll be staying down!

With love, light and laughter,

From one Goddess, to another!

Nutrition Resources:

Potassium sources include orange juice, squash, potatoes, apricots, limes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, and peaches. Calcium sources include yogurt, cheese, tofu, and chick- peas. Magnesium sources include Almonds, Cashews, and Brazil nuts, sesame, cocoa and oats.

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