Side Effects of A Healthy Diet
Side Effect #1- Weight Loss
It seems we as a nation are obsessed with our weight. Not surprising since we read and hear so much about how overweight we have become. Looking around, almost everywhere we go we can see firsthand that what we are reading about is true. From the first lady all the way to Dr. Oz, the main topic is weight and health. They are inextricably linked and it is undeniable that addressing the one will have a big impact on the other.
There's been a lot of talk recently about healthy versus unhealthy dietary habits. While it is true that exercise is a crucial piece of the health puzzle, exercise alone will not solve our health problems. Diet is the first puzzle piece we need to put in place, with the second one being exercise.
With our busy lifestyles, the typical American diet has become very much based on convenience and flavor instead of on nutrition. Let's face it: fat and sodium make food taste good! The challenge to the food producers has now become how to continue to provide great taste to our picky palates and also offer acceptable choices to those of us who have made the healthy decision. The fast food industry, fingered as a major culprit in our current national health debacle is beginning to make the needed changes in response to governmental and public pressure.
Side Effect #2- Vibrant Health
If you've heard about the superfoods list, you may already know that it is a food group with more nutritional value per gram than other food products out there. Healthy foods offer superior antioxidant protection, nutritional density, low calorie content and other health promoting components that can easily be incorporated into our diets to add vibrancy to our future health.
Get up ten minutes earlier in the morning to make a nutrition-packed breakfast. It's a small sacrifice that will pay off big in energy and performance throughout the day, and you will feel good about the healthy choices you are making.
While not all whole foods can be labeled superfoods, combinations of foods that go well together and include a superfood or two is one way we can maximize the health benefits of our diet. We will discover that it becomes unnecessary to “diet” when we are eating natural and healthy foods every day. Our weight will reflect our healthy choices and will stabilize at the optimal level. We can even get away with an occasional fast food meal without suffering ill effects. Once we have made the switch, we may discover we just don't crave fast food any more.
Side Effect #3- Loads of Energy
For a great energy punch first thing, an excellent idea is to eat healthy foods for breakfast. If we start every day with a fruit smoothie, a bowl of fruit over oatmeal or a simple fruit salad, we are providing ourselves with potassium, vitamins A, B complex, C, E and potassium. Apples, it is said, offer more early morning energy than a cup of coffee. Have you given up your morning coffee? You may find you don't need it if you eat apples, which provide a bigger energy boost than caffeine ever could.
Here's a great morning fast-breaker: Take an apple, core it and slice it horizontally. Spread all-natural peanut butter between each two slices to make peanut butter apple sandwiches. Don't be misled by what you've read about peanut butter being bad for you. The natural kind made with just peanuts and sea salt isn't bad. The truth is, you need some healthy fats in your diet and this combination will boost your fat burning metabolism and speed you on your way, quickly and easily.
Smoothies are another quick and easy morning meal that is also portable if you're in a hurry. Healthier than a shake, and who doesn't have a blender? Here's a yummy smoothie recipe that will get you on your way: Combine buckwheat (soaked overnight is best) with chia seeds and mashed banana, with about a quarter cup of almond milk and a dash of cacao for a tasty and healthy breakfast drink. There are so many flavor combinations you can tempt your tastebuds with- if you prefer the flavor of cinnamon over the nutty, chocolaty flavor of cacao you can experiment until you have your favorite recipe for healthy goodness down pat.
We started our new way of eating with the Weight Watchers Drop Diet. If you've ever heard of it, you should know it is a week-long extravaganza of weight loss foods that work better than a doctor's prescription for energy and slimming power. It is the perfect jump start for people who have made the decision to eat right and turn their health around. Switching to whole foods and developing a slimmer and healthier body gets a real kick-start with this excellent plan.
Side Effect #4- High Self Esteem
Self esteem is a combination of many factors, both internal and external. One of those factors could be our accomplishments. These can be both internal and external, depending on what the accomplishment is. If it happens to be an improvement in overall health, it could be a combination of feeling great along with comments from friends and family on our outward appearance. We look happier because we feel better. We look more attractive because our bodies reflect the choices we are making with regard to weight, fitness levels and overall health.
Getting a handle on a health issue such as diabetes so that not only do you feel better but your doctor is praising your latest test results and telling you to keep up the good work is an example of internal and external factors. How feel about yourself is an important part of your journey toward high self esteem, which is a motivating factor toward making those changes permanent.
Side Effect #5- Longevity
Lowering your risks of many diseases comes hand in hand with positive changes in diet, which translates to a longer life span. They say the best supper should be a light meal, and taking that advice to heart confers benefits to your heart. Diet has a direct effect on so many different chronic conditions, from diabetes to circulatory issues, heart disease and all types of cancers. If romaine lettuce, broccoli, avocado, olive oil, salmon, potatoes, brussels sprouts, tomatoes and cucumbers are part your daily fare...look out disease!
If we try to make the foods we eat every day healthy and packed with nutritional goodness, we are adding value to our lives in more than one way. There's no need to go hungry to keep our weight down, our energy high and our lives better. With these choices, which are light on calorie content but heavy on vitamins, micro-nutrients and physical benefits we maximize our vitality and minimize the aging process. That is how we have adjusted our daily food choices for the past several years at our house. We feel good about our choices and hope we've made you think a little bit about yours.
Healthy at 100
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