Empowerment

A Fitness Journey: Eating for Health

Hi everyone, this is the third part in this series. I was not sure what exactly to write because there are many subjects I get asked about. One of the most common subjects is how do I eat right or healthy? The problem with this question is we are all different people. That means that there are some general things that are healthy. However, I cannot take into account every medical condition, allergy, or how every person’s body will react to a certain diet. Additionally, I am not a nutritionist or a dietician and legally I cannot make specific recommendations about a diet someone should eat.

I do have some suggestions to help a person find out how to eat healthier. These are the steps I have completed over eleven years that has helped me live a healthy lifestyle.

 

  1. The first and maybe one of the most important things to do is to get a yearly physical. I am not sure how many people actually schedule and go to this activity, but it’s vitally important. Many people only go to the doctor when they are feeling bad or have an issue. A physical is a preventative measure that will help an individual catch medical issues in advance. The other reason to get a physical done is for an individual to get a report of all their levels. A physical will tell a person whether their blood pressure is high or if their cholesterol is at the right levels. Additionally, the physical can determine whether an individual is getting enough vitamins/nutrients, etc. in their diet. The advantage of the physical is the doctor will communicate any needed improvements and how that person can accomplish those improvements through their diet or with supplements. On our journey to eat healthier we should take heed to the recommendations given by a doctor and make the changes.
     
  2. Read the labels of food, before purchasing. The majority of food and drinks that are bought at the grocery store have a label with the ingredients and the nutritional information. Fresh fruit and vegetables generally are excluded from a nutritional label. The label on food will list every ingredient added to the food that is offered for purchase. I suggest taking the initiative to look up the ingredients. We are in the age of Google. We can Google any ingredient and then look for the possible side effects. Once we discover the side effects, we can make our own decision if we want that ingredient in their body. Many ingredients will say, “Approved as safe, but the possible side effects are this…”, I am an advocate for not putting anything in my body that is artificial that can cause possible side effects from prolonged use. A person will have to make their own decision as to what possible side effects that they can live with. I have learned over the years, which foods and drinks are good for my body and which ones I will not eat based on ingredients alone.
  3. We all have some general knowledge of foods that are not good for us. Fried foods, soda of any kind, candy, and many other foods are known for not being good for our bodies. And yet we continue to buy them and consume them. Eating right does mean eliminating or at least limiting foods that we know are not good for our bodies on a regular basis. I will admit I occasionally have a pizza or some ice cream. However, the majority of our diet should include healthy food for our individual bodies. However, we can choose to completely disregard that a food is not good for our bodies and still consume it regularly, even justifying the reason for eating it. “Well I will give up this, but this over here I have to have or I am from this area, I am not giving up my fried foods…” Then when we go to the doctor and the doctor says our blood pressure is high or this level is off, we are wondering why and sometimes we even plead our case to our doctor by coming up with an excuse. We should make the decision to eat what is good for our bodies and not necessarily for our taste buds.
     
  4. Another excuse I hear all the time is “Oh you just don’t like to eat…” Then I have to reveal to that person that I eat five, six or sometimes even seven times a day. Then I hear “I could never eat that much…” Well, I thought the same thing when I first started eating healthy. However, once I started eating healthy and eliminated the majority of junk food from my diet I found that I actually ate more food with a greater frequency. I generally do not eat huge meals anymore. I used to be amazed by my grandad who lived until he was 97 and ate 5 or 6 meals a day. Now I understand that he grew a lot of his own food and ate a healthy diet. Healthy food eaten in 5 or 6 meals will fill us up just as much or even more as unhealthy, processed junk-food.
     
  5. There are so many diets, supplements, a replacement for this or that, and gimmicks. The best advice I can give to everyone is that we need to do our own research and decide what we want to use. I choose not to eat certain foods or use certain supplements because I have decided the negatives in relation to my health outweigh the positives. For instance, I may not eat bread or pasta, but another person may decide to leave bread and pasta in their diet. Every person has to decide which foods are the ones they want to include in their diet. A diet is never really set in stone and can always be adjusted. The World includes a variety of food that can be healthy, provide the nutrients needed and that tastes great.
     

The above points are just suggestions to help someone start their journey on the road to healthy eating. The hard part is for each person to figure out their perfect diet. Each person will have their favorite foods and different suggestions how they accomplish healthy eating. The journey to health is a personal one.  Every individual has to find their own way to eating for health.

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