Lean and green don’t exactly rhyme with alkaline, but they definitely go together. You came to the right place if you can relate to the following:
- wanting more energy
- wishing you knew how to eat food that tastes great and supports better health
- trying to figure out how to lose the weight without losing your mind
Lean, of course, is an ideal state in which your body is not carrying around extra weight. It also refers to a body mass index with which you can thrive and live. At a healthy weight your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. (Go measure here.) Getting rid of the bulge reduces the risks for all forms of chronic, degenerative disease that are correlated with excess body fat. If you tend to store fat around your mid-section and throughout the front of your body, you need to learn about this and put it into practice. Your life may depend on your doing so. You might want to learn about important measurements to confirm you are on track with your weight and your health. Here are three simple keys to launch your body into a get-and-stay-lean state.
- Reduce portions. Get in touch with the awful feeling of being over-fed and learn to stop before you overfill your tank. When you take in more volume that is required to satisfy one meal’s worth of hunger, your body knows to store it as fat. This is the spillover, like when you try to put too much fuel in your car. The gasoline spills onto the concrete. The excess calories and volume spill over into abdominal fat.
- Increase your movement and activity on a daily basis. Keep it moving. This stimulates your body to burn fat even between the times when you exercise. Being sedentary is the bane of obesity. When you pump and release your muscles, create resistance to build strength, and increase your heart rate, all things related to having a healthy heart and reducing excess weight come into play.
- Skip the junk and go for quality. It’s one thing to have an occasional bag of chips. It’s entirely another thing to use junk food for meals. Pay attention to your plate. Make sure you have healthy (artery friendly) fats, plus protein, plus carbs in your meals. There are great images on line to illustrate a meal that is balanced and complete. Your body will recognize the increase in nutrition and need less food.
Green, as you know refers to a variety of leafy veggies that are also called super-foods. If there was one thing to do to point yourself in the right direction health-wise it would be to add more foods into your diet like kale, arugula, chard, spinach, dark lettuces, and broccoli. These foods are associated with cancer-fighting micro-nutrients that quell inflammation. They provide your body with the absolute best fuel to help eliminate toxic by-products that lurk in our cells. Here are three simple keys to add more green, leafy veggies to your meals and snacks.
- Add a handful of kale or spinach to your morning shake. It’s often called a green drink and there are countless recipes that are easy to find on line. If you are used to a sugary breakfast, you will be blown away by how much energy a drink like this will give?you. It also puts you in a very good mood because food like this gives your brain the nutrition it needs to release all natural feel-good chemicals. (Unlike after eating loads of simple carbs or drinking coffee, there is no crash after the bump in energy, and it is not nutrition based.)
- Buy veggies that you like and prepare them simply at home. Having these super-foods on hand gets you on track. You do not need to be a gourmet chef to steam some spinach or kale, and add some garlic powder, olive oil, and grated parmesan cheese. So easy! Throw them in your grocery cart and get in the habit of including them with your meals.
- Add veggies to dishes you already make. Add raw spinach to your tuna sandwich. Throw in some kale or chard when you are scrambling eggs. Whatever you are cooking, try experimenting with adding green leafy veggies as a habit. We always throw an already-washed bag of organic spinach from Trader Joe’s in with marinara sauce or if we are making chili. This is a very easy habit. You will learn to love how you feel with the added boost of health-promoting dream greens.
Alkaline refers to your body’s pH level. Although, as in all facets of nutrition, the experts weigh in differently on this, there appears to be consensus that excess acid in our bodies is potentially correlated with conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer. Plus, the foods that do not increase our body’s acidity are often good for us. These include fruits, nuts, legumes, and veggies. Here are three ways to increase your body’s alkalinity without going over the deep end with extreme practices.
- Lemon juice and warm water first thing when you come into the kitchen in the morning helps to lower the acid load in our bodies. Plus, it is incredibly refreshing and tastes great. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with water, straight from a spoon, or over your salad with olive oil works too.
- Meats, eggs, wheat, chocolate, and refined sugar are associated with increased acidity, so be sure to eat these foods in moderation. If you suffer from any symptoms such as swollen or painful joints, or stubborn weight gain, you might consult a nutrition expert to modify your diet to get relief. You may need to eliminate certain offenders to get your energy and health back.
- Veggies rule, again! Veggies are nature’s great helper when it comes to weight, pH balance, and optimal health. When it doubt, add more veggies. Adding veggies to your diet is associated with relief from allergies, arthritis, and a clearer complexion.
Here are two significant signposts so that you know you are on track.
- Your cravings subside. You are free to choose foods that you know are going to boost your health. Now you may crave some steamed broccoli. Hooray! You have arrived.
- You have reliable energy. This is clinically noteworthy, especially when you aren?t relying on caffeine or sugar to boost you up.
Getting and staying healthy is more fun than you might have imagined. The payoff to you is tremendous. You can actually get hooked on feeling so good, that your choices to perpetuate this state become second nature.
Wishing you and your body a happy and harmonious journey,
With love and encouragement,
Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
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