Three Things that are Never Disputed
Through my training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I am being reminded of the controversy that is inherent in nutritional theories. For example, there is a book and a health expert that tell us that we can salt our way to optimal health. And yet, another expert says that too much salt is the reason for the epidemic of cardiovascular disease. Advocates of the Mediterranean Diet make claims about how we will live longer and with greater health if we eat according to that plan. And yet, a medical doctor declares that there is no reliable data that supports those claims. No wonder confusion is as epidemic as chronic degenerative disease.
However, throughout all of the literature that touts strategies for getting and staying healthy, there are three specific tactics that rise above controversy and dogma. They are irrefutable.
The first is a plant-based diet. In a very in-your-face style, one website essentially claims that eating your fruits and veggies will cure your body, your acne, your xenophobia, and the planet. Regardless of your particular beliefs, and whether you are a vegetarian, omnivore, pescetarian, flexitarian, or vegan, veggies are in. They provide the most abundant source of anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients, and essential vitamins and minerals that are converted in our bodies to turn on health-promoting activities. Eaten in abundance, fruits and veggies crowd out other less-good-for-you foods. If you snack on delicious bell peppers you will be less likely to go after the candy.
The second is to make lifestyle adjustments and correct bad habits. This is what you already know. These are entirely intuitive, unarguable and independent of any dogma or religious fervor, which can happen in the field of nutrition. Exercise more and avoid being sedentary. Replace your sugary drinks with unsweetened tea or water. Get plenty of sleep and go out of your way to keep your stress to a minimum. Avoid junk food and pigging out. Remember that everything counts and baby steps add up.
The third is to nip addictions in the bud. This applies to caffeine, alcohol, sugar, junk food, tobacco and any substances that have you hooked. It is impossible to live your best life when a substance has control over you. If this is you, the damage to your health is staring you in the face. If this is someone you love, maybe you can help that person see the light. Any movement you can make in the direction of becoming freer will add years and quality to your life. Clean up your act and your body will love you back.
These adjustments will impact everything you notice about your health. Whether it is sleep, skin, energy, your immune system, your digestion, your mood, mental clarity…you name it! Fall in love with feeling great.
With love and encouragement,
Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
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