The other day I was presenting my ‘Eating for Energy’ workshop for a group of local health enthusiasts when one of the women made a comment I hear way too often. She wasn’t feeling very well and complained of not being able to lose more weight and feel more energetic. She said: “I do not understand…I eat healthy all the time, I take supplements and I exercise regularly and yet I cannot lose weight and feel very tired. What am I doing wrong?”
Whenever I hear someone say that I cringe because unfortunately many people live their life under a false sense of being healthy. Many think that because they are following the latest nutrition fad and cut down on their coffee or pop or sugar, that automatically makes them healthy. In reality that is far from the truth…
To answer a question such as the one posed above is a complex subject. We are all so different in our own bio-individuality, that to say that one thing could work for everyone would be a major overstatement. In an attempt to point this lady in the right direction, I asked her to give me a few examples of some of the foods she was eating. Here are some of her answers:
- I have lots of smoothies made with real fruits and organic milk
- I only eat meat once or twice a week and mostly white meat
- I have yogurt with fruit for breakfast instead of pastries and breads
- I take my coffee with almond milk and stevia instead of white sugar
- When I go out I eat lots of salads
- I take a multivitamin every day
- I only use organic olive oil when I cook
- I used to drink a lot of red wine but now I only have a glass or two every once in a while
- I eat lots of salmon and tuna to get the necessary omega 3s
- I exercise 2-3 times per week
So you’re probably looking at that thinking that it would appear that indeed she was leading a pretty healthy lifestyle. But let’s look at this with a different lens and you will see how easy it is to be misled. I will address each point and give you some tips and strategies you can start implementing immediately to take your health to a whole new level:
- SMOOTHIES – Thought fruit smoothies are much better choices than pre-packaged and processed snacks, they pack high amounts of sugar that can cause havoc in a body that is overly acidic. Milk has been proven to have many negative side effects in adults including inflammation and hormonal imbalances. Here are some suggestions to turn this into a healthier alternative:
- Make your smoothies with lots of greens (i.e. spinach, kale, cucumber, wheat grass etc.) to reduce sugar and increase your alkalinity
- Replace bananas and sugary fruit with avocado for a sugar free creamy smoothie containing brain healthy fats
- Replace cow’s milk with home-made almond or hemp milk for a highly alkalizing alternative full of great nutrients
- Increase the nutritional value of your smoothie by adding superfoods such as: spirulina, chlorella, goji berries, flax seed oil, chia seeds, E3 live, Acerola C, Camu Camu, Maca powder, aloe, coconut, raw cocoa etc.
- MEAT – Eating mostly white meat is great but you need to ensure you always buy organic and grass fed products; use healthy cooking methods such as sautéing and oils that have a high smoking point.
- YOGURT – Ensure the yogurt you buy is organic and has no more than 2 ingredients: whole milk and bacteria. Many yogurts today have over 10 ingredients including highly processed sugars and preservatives that cause hormonal imbalances and inflammation.
- COFFEE – No matter how you put it, coffee is and always will be highly acidic. If you are looking to lose weight or fight a disease, you need to stay off coffee. If that is not the case, then coffee can be consumed in moderation. Ensure it is organic and always use nut milks such as the ones mentioned above. Stevia is a great alternative for sugar but it can also be highly processed. Stay away from white powder and stevia blends and buy only whole-leaf extracts.
- SALADS – Not all salads are made the same. Non-organic salads can be highly contaminated and make you more sick. Also, most restaurants use pre-packaged and processed dressings. If you have to eat out, ask for olive oil and fresh lemon wedges. At home, make your own dressings and store in the fridge for up to a week. Here are some great recipes to get you started
- SUPPLEMENTS – Not all supplements are made the same. Many companies use synthetic ingredients that your body cannot absorb. Also, if your digestive system does not work well and your body is clogged, it cannot absorb nutrients efficiently. So help your body detox, address any digestive issues you may have and stick with natural plant-based supplements.
- OIL – Using organic olive oil is great but it does not work well for all methods of cooking. Olive oil has a lower smoking point and thus using it for frying can turn it into a toxic compound. Olive oil works best for light sautéing and even better for dressings or drizzling over steamed vegetables. Use grape seed and coconut oils for recipes requiring high temperature cooking.
- RED WINE – Just like coffee, red wine is very acidic and always will be. It is ok to consume in moderation when your body’s health mechanism works well, but when it does not, stay away from any alcohol. Antioxidants can be obtained from many other clean sources such as goji berries, noni juice, wild berries and by eating a wide range of colourful and bright fruits and vegetables.
- FISH – Unfortunately salmon and tuna are some of the most contaminated fish these days. If you prefer to eat fish, then stick more with fresh water fish. Also ensure you take an Omega 3 supplement such as Algae Oil or Krill Oil.
- EXERCISE – Exercising 2-3 times per week is fantastic but it is important to exercise correctly and adjust your nutrition correctly. Exercising intensely can make your body highly acidic. A good rule of thumb is to exercise at such intensity that you can still carry a conversation with someone. Nutrition is also very important. Before exercising, have a drink that promotes detoxification such as Aloe Vera juice or an energy drink made with lemon ad coconut water. After exercising, your body needs amino acids to repair the muscles. Bee pollen, a smoothie made with banana and plant-based protein powder or a nut bar are some great choices.
As you can see, being healthy is not about following the latest fad and not everything works for everyone. Take your health into your own hands, get informed and learn what works best for YOU!
Choose Healthy! Choose Happy! And live always as the best version of yourself.