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8 Principles of A Healthy Lifestyle

Here’s a great read by Mark Occhipinti, Ph.D.

https://www.afpafitness.com/blog/8-principles-healthy-lifestyle?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email

The benefits of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle can save your life. There are so many positive reasons to change the way you eat. You will lose body fat, increase your energy, lower your risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, have more energy, have a better sex life-all true and attainable by following 8 simple principles:

Eating Whole Unprocessed Foods

1. Eating whole unprocessed foods provides an abundance of nutrients that strengthens our body’s immune system and protect us from chemicals in the environment. Reducing the risks of degenerative diseases, will save us money, now and in the long run. Just think –if you are not sick you do not need medications, frequent doctor visits, hospital stays, etc.

Fresh Foods

2. Vitamin supplements are not the answer for good health-eating good food is! Vitamins can be beneficial in certain instances, but they can never take the place of eating , fresh organic whole foods that contain not only the vitamin/mineral of the specific supplement in the bottle, but hundreds to thousands of nutrients that work together synergistically to support the human body.

Plant Foods

3. There are virtually no nutrients in animal foods that are not supplied more healthfully in plant based foods. Plant foods contain fiber for healthy colon, animal products do not. Plant foods contain dramatically more anti-oxidants than animal foods. Plant foods are either absent or very low in cholesterol and for the most part fat. Animal foods cannot make that claim. There are those who state that plant based foods contain little if any vitamin B12, versus animal foods that contain much higher levels. According to Dr. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study” states that American’s contain a 3 year supply of vitamin B12. It is very easy to add a supplement of vitamin B12 to assure yourself of maintaining healthy levels of this important vitamin.

Cancer

4. Genes alone do not determine whether or not you will develop disease-especially cancer! One in three Americans according to the American Cancer Society will develop cancer in their lifetime. According to current projections by the National Institute of Health, cancer will soon surpass heart disease as the number one killer in the United States. The “war” on cancer has it had been coined by President Richard Nixon in 1971 has for the most part been an abject failure. There is great news however-instead of trying to find a specific gene to “shut it off”, as many cancer researchers are doing today, we could just never turn it on. The research from The China Study clearly demonstrates cancer genes that are not expressed [not actually cancer cells], can remain biochemically dormant in the absence of animal proteins-specifically casein [from dairy products]. And in the case where the cancer genes have developed into cancer-the cancer can be reversed with a chance to a plant based diet.

There are several excellent books to help individuals in understanding cancer and taking ownership of the disease instead of putting their lives in the hands of oncologists –who will use the standard treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and then expensive drugs with many side-effects.

Nutrition Can Substantially Control Adverse Effects of Chemicals

5. We are all exposed to noxious chemicals-in the workplace and there is the potential to face them daily in our homes. Nutrition can substantially control the adverse effects of these chemicals. We may not be able to avoid exposure to chemicals that can damage the normal genes in our body turning them into cancer genes, however through a diet rich in anti-oxidants derived from a plant-based diet we can keep these damaged “cancer” genes dormant for our entire lives by eating whole foods [fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes].

Chronic Disease

6. Chronic disease does not happen over-night. Quite simply one hamburger or batch of chicken wings will not cause a heart attack. However daily doses of artery clogging animal fat over time will cause the dreaded diseases that cut short millions of Americans lives pre-maturely. In The China Study, Dr. Campbell has demonstrated that the same good plant-based nutrition that can prevent disease in its early stages [before diagnosis] can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages [after diagnosis] by switching to a plant-based diet. One of the most profound discoveries associated with a change in diet is in the area of auto-immune diseases.

Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis were and are by many in the health field to be irreversible, and that the best that can be down is slow the progression with drugs.

The evidence of a change in diet from an animal based to plant-based diet has been demonstrated by Dr. Roy Swank at John Hopkins University, Dr. Neil Bernard, at Physicians for Responsible Medicine is exciting, and gives great hope for those American’s suffering from these and other debilitating diseases.

Books

7. There is no specific magic bullet single nutrient that will cure, or prevent diseases. However, there are many books on diet or taking specific supplements without addressing over-all eating habits for sale today. Instead of seeking out a specific diet for a specific disease, switching to a plant-based diet will benefit the body and reduce all chronic disease developments across the board. The Campbell is quoted; +Quite simply, you can maximize health and reduce disease across the board with one simple diet.+

Everything is Connected

8. Good Nutrition creates good health, and everything is connected. Disease knows no barriers, the rich, poor, highly educated, famous all suffer needlessly from diseases caused by the choice made when it comes to diet. Instead of worrying about identifying a single gene among the hundreds of thousands in the human body, we could all +collectively relax, take a deep breath+ as Dr. Campbell states and realize that good health and avoidance is at the end of our fork.
It sounds so simplistic-preventing and reversing disease by changing our diet. It IS! The science is there to prove a change to a plant-based diet will change our lives. The only groups that will not be happy will be drug companies, and those industries that push animal products. We as Americans can take control of our lives and our health by simply eating a healthy whole foods plant-based diet. What do you have to lose?

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All Or Nothing Behavior with Weight

When people feel frustrated with their weight or are faced with health issues that are worsen by their weight, they tend to make goals that are ‘all or nothing’.  Typically, this avenue of pursuit doesn’t end with you achieving your weight goal.

If you were making decisions involving a business, you would never decide to set goals that could not be attained; why do it with your weight?  

A more realistic, doable course of action for your weight is better.  

There are a lot of changes that can be made to improve your weight and health:

Ditch soda for quenching and refreshing choices

such as fruit/herb infused water, or brewed and chilled green tea.  I use lemon green tea, apple spice tea and dandelion tea (to soothe tummy troubles). I brew all three in a mug. Cool and add to 32 ounces of water. A squeeze of fresh lemon is wonderful as well.

Eat the foods you like, but tweak them over time toward lower salt, fat and sugar.  

This mindset allows you not to feel deprived and forced to eat foods you don’t like.  Portion control and frequency of consumption are important if you want to see your weight drop.  Over time, you will see your attraction to fried, over salted and sugary items reduce along with your weight.  

Eat at home more than you eat out.

Between the dreaded (but delicious) bread basket and not being in control of the ingredients or process of cooking, eating in restaurants can hinder your weight goals.  Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to try new recipes and to be in control of fats and ingredients.  

Take a cooking class, watch healthy cooking ideas on FoodNetwork, or visit my healthy food boards on Pinterest

Ignite a passion for flavorful, energizing foods. Many find using a healthy meal delivery service such as Hello Fresh delivers diet-conscious dinners for $11.50 per portion to your door for you to cook.

Make sure your plate is 1/2 full of veggies, 1/4 protein (non meat varieties work well), and 1/4 full of complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.) at meals.  

Fresh fruit versus fruit juice is an easy change.

Snacking mid afternoon helps you avoid vending machines and drive thru windows.

I enjoy cottage cheese, 15 almonds with a string cheese, apples and a slice of sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt, or 2 hard boiled eggs and find them very satisfying.

Get your rest.

A lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone), which can lead to belly fat.  Evaluate your bedtime rituals if you have trouble falling asleep.

  • Disengage from electronics
  • educe stress with a bath or
  • reading all help signal that your brain needs to disengage and rest

Laughing and Gratitude

It may seem irrelevant, but laughing and being grateful can effect your weight. A constant state of stress and depression can keep you stuck at your weight. Look at what improves your mood, or ask for help if needed.

Being unhappy with your weight can be a vicious cycle of binge eating, rollercoaster weight loss and general unhappiness. Let’s work together to find a more permanent, health-oriented way.

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