Have you been thinking more about your long-term health? Especially now when it feels like doctor’s offices or hospitals feel a little unsafe?
You’re not alone.
Despite being unable to see clients in our office, I’ve heard from more and more of you asking, “what can I do to protect myself long term?”
It’s not so much about COVID-19 itself, but a recognition that perhaps you’ve allowed your good habits to lapse and the bad ones have taken hold. You’ve started to notice that the way you’ve been living is out of alignment with what you want for your long term health.
Dramatic life events – whether it’s a pandemic, loss of a loved one or even our own personal health scare – have a tendency to make clear that we need to change our ways and adopt a long-term healthy living lifestyle habit. What seemed so hard once upon a time becomes a matter of life and death (almost).
So, why during “normal” times do we sit back and become complacent.
The truth is that most of us remain complacent because we’ve been taught that healthy living is somehow a restriction – that it’s almost a punishment.
We don’t want to be left out. Whether it’s our family driving our nutrition habits or even time with friends, we feel that if we’re not participating in certain activities or eating rituals that we’re going to be left out. It almost never occurs to us that we can actually be the catalyst for others to adopt healthy habits.
There is also something about healthy eating that we equate with being deprived.
If we’re unable to dive into a pint of ice cream or juicy steak, we believe that we’re being left with the scraps of life. It’s how our brains have been programmed to respond and behave.
There is also the fact that the more you feed your body unhealthy fats and sugars, the more it craves them because it has now associated eating these foods with pleasure – even if in reality they don’t make you feel good and cause your body to work twice as hard to digest those foods.
It can be a tough battle with your brain if you’re trying to adopt new habits.
And maybe you’ve even noticed that during the time of the pandemic, you’re actually participating in what we call “stress eating”. You’re reaching for comfort foods because there is nothing that can seem to soothe our anxiety.
You reach for cookies, french fries or donuts and it feels like you simply can’t get enough. The truth is that during stressful times, it’s normal to have such cravings – especially because stress may cause an imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin, can also cause food cravings – leaving us reaching for things that aren’t really good for us.
So, what can you really do when you’re faced with what feels like a mountain of challenges?
The truth is that when we think about getting healthy the first thing we think about is dieting. We turn to keto, gluten-free, paleo, atkins and so on, hoping that when we slim down our waistline that we’ll miraculously be converted into healthy beings who no longer crave oreo cookies or pizza.
The one thing you’ve probably heard me say over and over is that fad diets don’t work. They simply don’t.
And while they might help you lose a pound or two in the beginning, what usually happens is that the second you stop restricting the pounds pile back on.
The truth is that fad diets are simply not sustainable.
When I work with my clients, the first thing I do is try to help you see that what really needs to change is a) your outlook on health eating and lifestyle and b) your go-to habits.
For me, preventative wellness is more about adopting a long-term healthy living lifestyle that encompasses nutrition, movement, emotional wellbeing and balance.
Instead of thinking of healthy living as restrictive, it’s really about expanding your ability to truly enjoy life, move better and feel more confident that you are the one in control of your long-term health (and not a series of pills designed to tame your symptoms).
The one thing I’m hoping that this time teaches us is that we have the capability to put our health first and that we don’t have to rely on band aid measures to really feel good.
So, where do you begin? How do you use this time to truly adopt a healthy living lifestyle that will begin now and last beyond the stay-at-home orders?
To start with, it begins with an understanding that every choice matters.
I’m not talking about being fanatical about what you eat or how you move each day, but I am asking you to consider all of your options and make choices in alignment with your healthy living goals.
It’s about making long-term decisions such as giving up soda, chips or other junk food and sticking to it. It’s about adopting a mindful-eating lifestyle where you sit at every meal and simply slow down. It’s about making sure that you drink enough water each day and get 30 minutes of exercise!
Our choices matter, and the quality of your health is the one place that you’ll see some immediate results when it comes to your choices.
If you’re someone who experiences pain due to inflammation all you have to do is notice how your body feels when you indulge in sugar, wine or coffee. The pains will show up immediately!
When it comes to these choices, the simple changes will reap big rewards!
And if you struggle with knowing what to eat, we certainly can help you with that.
Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health (which is why I hate fad diets). One of the reasons I am so fascinated by nutrigenomics is that we can now look at our genes and see how certain foods can help us prevent diseases or even heal our body in more powerful ways.
And the more we can know how our bodies interact with the foods we eat, the better we can create plans that cater to your needs.
But even if you don’t get to that level of detail, you can still take steps. . .
- Cut out junk foods and high sugar foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat healthy fats
- Quit snacking and focus on eating 3 balanced meals
- Move your body – every day.
- Eat more plant-based foods (but remember they’re not all alike – we have a blog to help guide you here)
In the coming month, I’m going to be sharing with you a program we’ve been working on that focuses on creating a new normal for healthy eating. It will really be a comprehensive program that will boost your health and keep you on track for life (I haven’t been as excited about sharing something in a while because it’s going to be impactful).
But until then, we have plenty of options for you to get started. We offer 15 minute consultations that can point you in the right direction.
Don’t let this time slip by without taking action.
We are all being given an opportunity to really look at the habits and patterns we’d like to adopt (especially now that we’ve all been forced to cook more).
Even if you didn’t have the courage or confidence to explore healthier living before now, I want to invite you to start simply. This is about taking one important step that will build into many more! I hope you’ll take advantage and reach out – we’re here to help!
In good health,