“The food we eat can either be the slowest form of poison, or the most powerful form of medicine…”
– Christa Orecchio, clinical and holistic nutritionist.
Improving nutrition not only helps to improve our body fat percentage or muscle mass, it has the power to address health issues at the root cause and can transform lives from the inside out. What we put into our digestive system is shown to influence mood, sleep, systemic inflammation, auto-immunity as well as contribute to the development of illness and various conditions or disease states.
Fueling our bodies to perform and reduce the risk of illness can be achieved by:
- Eating more nutrient rich foods
- Reducing foods that cause toxicity
- Altering timing and quantity of food intake
- Improving processes by creating and consuming food.
When it comes to nutrition, there are many different approaches that can be effective when applied properly. What’s important with any nutrition initiatives is that it is centered around making a healthy and sustainable change. The emphasis should be on making informed choices and heading in a positive direction towards better long-term health.
Below are some helpful tips you can apply to your own nutrition-based health initiatives:
- Get to know your digestive needs Become more aware of how your body reacts to different foods. Identify any food sensitivities, intolerances or preferences you may have. Adjust your specific food requirements based on your individual goals, taking into account activity levels and metabolic demands. Goals can be simple or detailed, with more challenging goals requiring more intensive health initiatives and discipline.
- Beware of fast, convenient foods The vast majority of food that is advertised and made easily accessible to the public often contains ingredients, which in excess, can be very unhealthy (ie. foods which are heavily processed or refined, deep fried, contain chemical additives, high in sugar, high in caffeine, the list goes on..). Eating healthy is about choice. Whether it’s choosing where to eat or an item off a menu, think about enjoying your food as well as feeling good afterward. A good rule of thumb: Where did the food I’m eating come from? If it’s local, organic, or made with simple, quality ingredients it’s probably going to be better for you. There are good options out there, so get informed and get in the habit of making smart decisions consistently!
- Equip yourself with the right skills and know-how Educate yourself on the topic of nutrition. Putting energy toward reading healthy cookbooks and subscribing to healthy eating with inspire you to make good, informed choices which are specific to your needs and interests. Once you develop a passion for healthy eating, this will make food preparation a meditative hobby or pastime instead of a chore. Making your own food means the freshness and quality of ingredients are under your control. Acquire and document healthy, delicious recipes and enjoy the learning and experimentation process involved. Food is also an excellent way to bring together friends and family. Try new things and get to better understand different foods,flavours and what you enjoy. Compared to the standard Western diet, other cultures have aspects of their diet which are much healthier, more balanced and delicious (ie. Mediterranean, Thai-Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Nordic, Spanish, Ethiopian etc).
- Form a healthy relationship with your eating habits A healthy diet involves discipline at times but too much discipline can also be harmful. Find a balance and good choices which fit your individual needs and preferences. Striving for better health is a journey of discovery, not a destination - so enjoy every bite! Based on the above recommendations, your own ideas/research, and any professional advice - what is your strategy to improve nutrition habits?
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