NH Nutritionist

5 Things you can do today to Positively Impact your Health

We live in a busy world: jobs, schedules and responsibilities. All of these things take up our time and can keep us from properly taking care of ourselves. Stress, poor diet, and lack of physical activity are all major contributing factors to many of our modern ailments.

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Adopting a simple self-care routine will go a long way towards maintaining your physical health and mental wellbeing

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#1 Cut back or eliminate Sugar and Processed Food

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 The Sugar Monster is NOT your friend! The average American consumes 140 POUNDS of sugar each year. It is estimated that sugar, unhealthy oils and processed foods comprise over 60% of the Standard American Diet. Processed foods and refined sugars keep our body on a constant roller coaster of spiking and crashing blood sugar. This puts stress on our adrenal system and taxes our liver with filtering out the chemical stew that is mass produced “food”. Any sugar that is not immediately burned for energy is stored by the body as fat.

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Many processed foods are manufactured utilizing toxic oils that are known to create free radicals in our system that can lead to cancer. Preparing meals at home with quality animal fats such as lard from pasture raised animals, grass fed butter or coconut oil provides your body with the healthy saturated fats that it needs to build strong and healthy cells.

 

 

 

# 2 Hydrate

 

The human body is over 70% water. Staying properly hydrated is essential to maintaining healthy cells, organs, joints and blood. It is recommended to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. In addition to that, if you are drinking diuretic beverages (coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol) you need an additional 1.5 ounces for each ounce of diuretic.

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Ex: a 150 pound person needs 75 oz. of water per day. If they drink 16 oz. of coffee, they need to add an additional 24 oz. of water to counteract the diuretic effect of the coffee.

Electrolytes are also key to good cellular health. Adding a dash of good quality sea salt to your water will help to replenish vital minerals.

 

# 3 Move your Body

 

You probably don’t need me to tell you that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy. Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease are epidemic in our country. Establishing an exercise routine that you can commit to, and feel good about, is one of the best gifts you can bestow upon your body. Find something that you will enjoy and look forward to, rather than seeing it as a chore.

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Not everyone is a gym person. Personally, I prefer my exercise outdoors in the fresh air. It also means that my activities change with the seasons and the weather: Summer will find us hiking, kayaking, and swimming in our local rivers. Fall and winter we put the boats away, strap on the snowshoes and break out our winter gear. Find that one thing that makes you feel really good while you’re doing it, and build a lifestyle around it. If you like a gym atmosphere, try different machines, or group classes, yoga, kickboxing, indoor climbing, whatever looks like fun! If you live on the coast, the beach can be a beautiful place to get outside and connect with nature. If your exercise is centered on an activity that brings you joy, you are more likely to set aside the time for it.

 

#4 Relax

We all know stress is not good for us. Stress keeps our autonomic nervous system in constant fight or flight mode. This wreaks havoc with every system in our body.

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It is especially important to relax before meals, so that we may properly digest our food and assimilate the nutrients from it. Things to do before enjoying a meal:

Sit down and unplug. Get away from your desk, put down your electronic devices and take five minutes to unwind. Think about all of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Close your eyes for just a moment, and bring up a picture of something that makes you feel happy. You should begin to feel your body and mind relax, your blood pressure lower, and a sense of peace.

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Welcome to your parasympathetic mode.

Now you are ready to nourish your body.

 

 

#5 Connect

Humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted among us, still needs a couple of trusted friends or family. A life of solitude can contribute to anxiety and depression. Connections with loved ones are important to our overall mental wellbeing. If we are sad or depressed, we are less likely to participate in healthy activities, and more likely to make poor choices in our foods.

Make an effort to connect with the people that you care about and add joy to your life. You know these people. They are the ones that no matter how long it has been it seems like yesterday when you see their faces or hear their voices.

NH Nutritionist

“Life is better with Friends”