Did you ever stop think about the role of nutrition, health and healthy weight? Probably not. Nutrition is the daily intake of food and nourishment to attain and maintain health through all the stages of life, birth through our senior years
In the early 70’s, I taught all my heart patients about diet and exercise. I was the “kooky nurse”. I believe more than ever, when we get sick, we need to get back in the kitchen and what we are eating. Food is the basics of health. We are what we eat. A moderate diet with organically grown food, low in sugar will reflect a healthy you no matter what your genes are presenting to you.
Health is taught in schools. I know, that was a long time ago. At that time, you were taught some basics about nutrition (diet) and exercise. You might remember the 4 basic food groups. It was shaped like a box with 4 squares (meat/protein, vegetables, starch, fruits). Now we have gone to the pyramid for the model of needed nutrients.
Nutrition refers to feeding our body, to maintain health. That includes proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, fats, sugars, vitamins, and minerals to support the body in all it’s processes. These include, digesting and metabolizing food, sleep/wake cycles, thinking, blood sugar control, normal blood pressure, elimination, repairing tissues, and more.
We don’t spend enough time talking and learning about nutrition. We get sick and we take a pill (which may be appropriate). But we rarely talk about what we eat, how we eat and when we eat. We are told to change our diet, but how. It seems daunting.
To make matters worse, bad nutrition receives more advertising dollars and is portrayed as much more delicious than healthy food choices. Also poor food choices are all around; they are easy to get to on every street corner. You walk into a mall, and you are greeted with smells of cinnamon and sugar or fat and salt. My mouth is watering just thinking about this.
If you want to live a long and happy life, you have to eat well. Eating well includes a wide variety of foods, organic is best, as is local food and in moderate proportions.
Here are some reasons to eat organic and local foods.
Organic food are grown with good farming practices without chemicals. Traditional farms tend to grow the same food in the same plot of land year after year. They use chemical fertilizers to help the food grow and look good. They also use chemical pesticides to keep the bugs away. Good farming rotate the crops and use organic fertilizers. At the end of a growing season, the end of the crops are typically tilled into to soil. The organic matter of the spent crops decay and nourish the soil. It returns nutrients to the soil. Food grown over and over in the same plot of land will deplete certain nutrients in the soil. Rotating crops ensure the best nutrients. Chemical fertilizers can replace nutrients, but they are synthetic. Natural is always better than man made. Sorry, but Mother Nature knows best. She has it ove us.
There is a local, slow food movement under foot. It is a splended idea to get to know your local farmers. Buy from them. Support them. Help them and they will help you be healthy.
Healthy eating is also about creating a healthy habit. If your food choices have been less than healthy, so what. Start today with new healthy choices. It will take you several weeks to clear your palette. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. That is 21 days to put you on the road to health. Make a small changes at a time. It won’t be so overwhelming. You might start with dropping the coffee habit for 21 days. Next stop the sugar habit in the next 3 weeks. Try adding more raw foods over the next 21 days and so forth. In six months you will be eating very healthy and you feel very differently than you do to day.
Bennefits of eating healthy include having lots of energy, clear skin, healthy hair, healthy nails, clear thinking, more stamina and more.
You are worth it. You are worth having a health body and mind.
Would you like a free report that includes tips for weight loss, some very interesting food facts and more? Click here. It is yours. Here’s to a new healthy you, one healthy choice at a time.
Mary Pat FitzGibbons RN MS