Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
As many of you know I have a vegan diet, I was raised with a vegan vegetarian diet and have eliminated all dairy. I do however eat only wild caught Salmon and some white fish once a week. It has truly changed the way my body feels. My friends always tease me because I am always trying to convert my friends into vegan/vegetarians.
For me a lifestyle change is the best way to stay committed to healthy living and eating. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease when I was 19 years old and I have never taken western medication. When I am helping my friends change their diets and lifestyle I like to encourage them to make a doctors appointment. The first thing you want to do is get your blood drawn, find out if you are lacking any nutrients. It is very important to do this because the earth is constantly being depleted of nutrients. Due to high levels of pollution and chemical usage food no longer holds the same amount of vitamins.
Meats and Veggies may need extra assistance from vitamin supplements to help you maintain the proper amount of nutrients. Getting blood work done will help you to know if you are intaking the proper amount of nutrients and if not, what you will need to supplement.
For my wedding I have lots of my bridesmaids trying a vegan diet. The trick for me is to get them to start of just doing a few days a week with no meat. When you slowly introduce a new eating habit it becomes more of a regimen and less of a shock diet. Your body will get use to functioning this way and you will notice more long term weight loss and health benefits.
Remember that every blood type has different requirements, it has a lot do with what your ancestors ate and what your body needs to function properly. ( http://www.webmd.com/diet/blood-type-diet). However I always say pair your research with a consultation from your doctor and nutritionist. Do not simply change your diet based on fads and or articles. You have to be safe and make sure you aren't potentially harming your system.
I can tell you that ridding your diet of dairy, processed foods, white sugars, wheats and glutens will only benefit you. You will notice a difference in your skin, energy, hair, mood and emotions. Do not get overwhelmed with the idea of doing a lifestyle change, take it one day at a time
Here are five easy steps to introducing a more health conscious lifestyle into your current one.
1. Eat Greens with every meal : This may seem hard but if you drink a smoothie for breakfast and include kale or spinach in your smoothie it becomes easy. For lunch add a salad instead of fries with your burger. Or have a side of fries with a large salad of your choice. For dinner simply eat green beans, kale, or another green vegetable with what you are having. Technically greens should take up 3/4 of your dinner plate.
2. Meatless Mondays and Wednesdays: If you are a meat eater you can pick two to three days a week you won't eat meat. Slowly introduce this concept into your home especially if you have children or a spouse who loves meat. Get creative and have your family help you find new recipes to try on meatless days. It gives your body a much needed break from the excessive meat intake as well as your waist line.
3. Take a family walk after dinner: If you haven't started working out regularly at least four times a week, a family walk can get your body started. After dinner or lunch take a nice 20-30 minute walk around the neighborhood. Now I grew up in the inner city and I didn't have the best neighborhood for walks so I understand if that is an obstacle. Never fear, get on youtube and find a gentle 15-20 minute workout you can do with your family.
4. Work out 4 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes: Cardio and weights are going to be the fastest way to lose weight, paired with a proper diet. Join a gym or use youtube, we live in the day of social media. There are so many ways to find free workouts and you never have to leave your house.
5. Say goodbye to processed foods: You don't want to get into the habit of eating a bunch of frozen foods or foods with a long shelf life. I always tell people you want to eat foods that will go bad within the week. Fresh fruit, fresh veggies and organic, grass fed meats and seafood. This is not as expensive as medical bills when you have worn your body down. Trust me, your body is a temple and it deserves only real nutrients from real food. You want to make sure you are eating foods with less than 5 ingredients, with words you can pronounce,
Remember to take it meal by meal and day by day. Drinking tons of room temperature water as it helps you to digest food. Part of loving yourself is feeding your body good foods, your body is a temple and should be treated as one. Lets say you make a unhealthy choice for one of your meals, do not take the entire day as a wash. Your next meal is always a chance to make a better choice. We want to break old habits and create new healthy ones for our children and selves. Journey well in health and wellness.