There is no question that preventing disease is much easier than treating disease. Prevention however is not a priority in our current healthcare system. Studies indicate, that an increasing number of people are learning to advocate for their own health and wellbeing. As individuals begin to take a proactive approach to preserving their health they face the challenge of acquiring the right type of information. Individuals attempting to empower themselves to take charge of their health often have no clear idea how to go about it. More importantly, they don’t know where to seek reliable, valid information that will help them help themselves.
With respect to nutrition, information should be obtained from a nutrition professional. There are many people advocating to be experts, but in reality lack the credentials to substantiate this. Do your research. Physicians, unless they are specifically trained in nutrition, are not necessarily qualified to provide nutritional advice.
Learning how to take charge of your health is a process. Giving people the tools to stay healthy is as important as helping them when they are sick. By providing healthy nutrition choices through education and advising proper supplementation we can help reduce preventable diseases. However, nothing happens overnight and making a commitment to yourself and your health takes work. It’s not difficult work; it’s about being consistent and practicing healthy habits routinely. One such habit that I advocate is clean eating. What does this mean? The essence of clean eating is consuming food in its most whole, or natural state. This isn’t about a diet, it’s a lifestyle. By empowering yourself on a daily basis you will begin to see a healthier more vibrant you!
Clean Eating Philosophies:
Find your food clock: By working with your nutrition advisor you will find out what kind of eater you are. Do you need to feed yourself three times a day or six? Three meals and two to three snacks may work for some, but others find they don’t feel well with this routine. Experiment for a few days, or weeks to find what feels best for your body. Most importantly, make sure that you are not skipping meals.
Read your labels: Food that is truly clean doesn’t have many ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, your body doesn’t know what to do with it! Truly clean food has no more than four to five ingredients.
Avoid refined and processed foods: Foods that are packaged or boxed are lower on the clean eating spectrum. Try to avoid anything with added sugar, fats and chemicals. Breads, pastas, cookies and chips are all highly processed foods.
Get in tune with your body: Eat consciously. Try to identify your hunger cues. Eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you are satisfied; and eat slowly and enjoy your food. This is the best method of portion control. Being in touch with your hunger will help you stay at a healthy weight.
Eat sustainably: Shop for foods that have been produced locally and that are in season. Consume humanely raised and local meat/fish/poultry. It’s less taxing on the wallet and the environment.
Keep it in the family: Eating is a highly social behavior. Sitting down to a family meal at least once a week has been proven to help children stay healthy and allows the family to reconnect.