Sometimes we experience a complete disconnect between what we eat and how we feel. In fact, we can be so unaware at times that we don’t even recognize how we feel or what we ate or how some things effect us. Not just our weight or food allergy symptoms, but also our brain chemistry, gut health, liver function, and general gut health.
Here are a few tips (and maybe a little rant) about simple ways to improve our diets:
1 Try to eat something at each meal that is alive, and snack on living foods too.
Living food comes with it’s own enzymes to help us break them down and digest them well. Living food also comes in it’s own package which makes it enter our bodies in a more balanced way than processed food does. For instance, eating a whole apple gives you fiber at the same time you are getting fruit sugar, so it is absorbed more slowly than say, a fruit drink or even apple juice by itself. Along with enzymes, you could also think in terms of eating good bacteria too, such as un-sugared yogurt or cultured vegetables, grains or natural yeast bread.
2 Eat before you are desperately hungry.
Being proactive about feeding yourself (and your family) pays great dividends. When we are overly hungry we generally don’t make great food choices, and at that point we may have lost the blood sugar balance we need to maintain homeostasis, which can cause a cascade of imbalance in our chemistry. Knowing that meals are coming in a timely way certainly give kids (and adults) comfort, while also making it easier to maintain relationships. If you didn’t have to deal with a super-cranky, overly hungry toddler, or teenager, or your hungry self, wouldn’t that make your house more peaceful?
3 Stay clear of food additives.
Fresh food rots, so if you have a food product that can sit on a shelf for months or years, you know it is not in the realm of real. At that point it really isn’t food in my opinion. Food colorings and flavorings destroy healthy gut bacteria, can cause behavior problems, and are very addictive. Think whole and real and your body will thank you by staying more balanced, headache-free, addiction-free and your guts will be happier! Cucumbers, apples and real peanut butter; delicious salads; raw nuts and seeds; soaked, cooked grains; cultured vegetables; soup made from bone broth and vegetables; simple meats, like cooked, whole chicken; raw vegetables, steamed vegetables; and so on.
4 Decrease sugar intake.
This seems to be such a no-brainer, but the point doesn’t seem to make into our collective behavior. What is that about? Addiction? Most likely. And stupidity. Sorry, I just have to say that. Why are we handing kids candy every time they turn around? If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, weight issues, allergies, headaches, tooth decay, out-of-control kids, it surely would be worth the effort to make this shift. Sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies! It’s that simple. Stay away from it. At least, cut it down by degrees until you can do without it.
5 Drink better water more and more often.
Hydration is so important and so misunderstood. Often hunger, headache, irritability or even lethargy or feeling tired can really be signs that your body is dehydrated. It is estimated that 40% of adults are dehydrated on a regular basis. (Poor kidneys!) It’s a very simple thing to do: drink more water. Not more soda, not more juice, not more milk just clean water. (Chlorinated water kills good gut bacteria.) Get an app on your phone, keep a sticky note on the fridge, or do whatever it takes to remind yourself to drink more water. Every system in your body will work better if you do!
I surely hope you will have a wonderful holiday season and that you will be able to maintain a healthy balance. Here’s to your health! After all it is quite difficult to be our best selves without it.