A good friend of mine, Joann has encouraged me to keep writing about profound ways to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. She and I share healthy tips, and have helped each other stay focused on staying healthy through diet, exercise and being mindful.
Since I try to write about holistic health often, you may see even more on the topic.
One of the best paths for me has always been a healthy one.
I have not followed it all my life, but I am planning on being guided by health and wellness activities for the rest of my life.
When I was younger, I did not realize how important it was to do healthy things such as following a healthy diet and exercising. I did exercise but not with the passion that I do today. The funny thing is that back then had I been more passionate about exercise, It might have saved me a few doctor trips!
But today, I follow people like Depak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil. Depak guides us toward holistic health which includes the Eastern philosophy of balance which I believe in strongly. In order for good physical health, you must take care of your mind and spirit.
You need to balance the ying and yang. Some ways to do this are through meditation, mindfulness eating and yoga poses. I have found if I practice some form of mind-body concept daily, I feel better throughout the day.
Dr. Weil focus on a healthy wholesome diet that included less meat, more vegetables and fruits. He keeps many of us looking for good recipes to follow that are meatless, but still have the taste and texture that we enjoy.
Let’s start with Dr. Weil. He believes that what we eat is very important to how we age. He believes that if we do not take care of ourselves with healthy eating which includes eliminating or cutting severely our sugar and meat consumption, we will have a lot of inflammation in our bodies. This inflammation can cause such things as diabetes and othe inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Our bodies have normal inflammation which is the healing system’s response to localized injury. Our bodies fight back. But this type of inflammation serves a purpose and ends when the problem resolves.
Our immune system can launch an attack on itself, and this destructive potential of inflammation won’t quit.
This type of inflammation promotes disease, not healing as in normal inflammation. This inflammation can be so severe that it not only causes discomfort but also disability, failure of organs in our bodies and sometimes irreparable damage. For example: Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus can target the liver, brain, muscles and skin.
Recently, the root cause of Coronary Heart Disease has been challenged. The belief was that atherosclerosis, deposits of cholesterol in the arteries with increased cholesterol in the blood caused CHD. Today, cardiologists believe that much of the heart disease may be the result of inflammation or abnormal hormones that produce inflammation. Because of this new way of thinking, doctors are looking at the food choices that we make- and how it affects our health. The power of nutrition is at the forefront of preventive medicine.
The most publicized inflammatory diet is one that is high in fat. We need to examine the fat we are eating, and choose healthier alternatives such as PUFAs – polyunsaturated fatty acids. We need to get them from foods. The fatty acids are required in regularity, both omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3.
Widely available in the diet in oil rich seeds and cold-pressed vegetable oils.
The pathway of omega-3
Omega- 3s are much harder to come by. They occur in low concentration in leafy greens , a few seeds and nuts such as walnuts, flax and hemp. They are in a few vegetable oils such as soy, canola. They are in sea vegetables and oily fish along with cold water salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod and bluefish.
How to avoid consuming unhealthy fats in your diet
1. Do not eat products listing partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient
2. Do not eat vegetable shortening such as Crisco or products made with it
3. Do not eat margarine. Eat butter, olive oil or natural butter substitutes that are made semisolid by emulsification rather than chemical process of hydrogenation
4. Train your nose to notice rancid oils. Throw them out if they sell bad. Do not eat nuts, seeds or whole grain flour that smells bad. Oils that go rancid faster are safflower, sunflower, corn, sesame and soy.
5. Cold- pressed: Use oils that have been cold-pressed. Many vegetable oils are extracted with heat and this can cause chemical changes and pro-inflammation.
Taken in part from: Weil, A. (2005). Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being. New York, NY. Anchor Books.