What Can You Do Today to Make Tomorrow Healthy?

Posted March 21st, 2012 in Nutrition Articles, Organic Food by Rebecca Lane

I was recently asked to speak at a Women’s Circle about three things that I think are most important to change from a nutritional perspective and I’ve outlined them below. As far as I’m concerned, the foundation of health and treatment of any health concerns revolves around three basic factors: nutrition [steps 1 and 2], elimination of toxins (nutritional [step 3], emotional [stress] and environmental) and exercise. If I could add anything more to my talk, I would have spoken on the importance of daily exercise and creating a daily meditation practice.

Step 1: Increase your daily water intake

Many common health complaints actually stem from chronic dehydration. The most common symptoms include thirst, dry skin, dark colored urine, headaches and fatigue. Other, less know symptoms of dehydration, can include:

  • Digestive disturbances such as heartburn and constipation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Muscle cramps
  • High cholesterol
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Kidney problems

What kind of water should I drink?

  • Tap water – From the tap, the Town of Newmarket has its water provided by the Region of York and is treated through chloramination (adding chlorine and ammonia). Visit (http://www.newmarket.ca/en/townhall/resourcelibrary/2011WaterQualityReport-Jan202012.pdf) for the full recent report of the contents of Newmarket’s water. Our water is alkaline (avg 8.1 – where neutral is between 6.5 and 7.5) and in addition to the chlorine and ammonia, contains many other chemicals.
  • Bottled water – If you choose instead to drink bottled water, you might want to know that 40% of bottled water is actually bottled tap water! What’s also concerning is that the plastic in the bottles contain a chemical called bisphenol A, a synthetic hormone disruptor that has been linked to serious health problems.  When consumed, the plastic bottles themselves place a huge burden on our landfill.
  • Filtered water – The water in our home is filtered since that’s the most economical and environmentally sound choice. There are three main different types of filters: Reverse Osmosis, Ion Exchange and Carbon Filtration. There’s lots of information available on the benefits of each.
  • Living water – The ideal pH balance of your water should be between 6.5 to 7.5, which is neutral. Distilled water is too acidic and alkaline water is too alkaline (causing problems with low stomach acid pH). Spring water is in this ideal range. It is some of the healthiest water on the planet because it is “living water”. Living water, like living food is in its raw, natural state the way nature intended. We have unlimited access to a free spring located in Mount Albert – here’s the link http://www.findaspring.com/mount-alberts-communal-spring-mount-albert-ontario-canada/. The water is slightly sulphurous and a little murky but tastes delicious

How much water should I drink?

So, how much pure filtered or spring water should you drink per day? One litre? Two?

Here’s a good rule of thumb to determine proper hydration levels: Drink enough water to turn your urine a light-coloured yellow – no odour and very little colour!

Step 2: Increase the amount of veggies and fruit in your diet

Researchers have found that individuals with a high daily intake of vegetables and fruits (about 400 grams per day) demonstrate higher antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical-induced damage, and better cognitive performance. Notice that I mention vegetables first because they are FAR more important than fruits.

This ‘high daily intake’ really isn’t much – 400 grams – that’s approximately 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruit. A cup of shredded lettuce, for instance, will weigh about 55 grams. A cup of diced pineapple will weigh about 155 grams.

In my mind the main reason why eating raw, organic vegetables is important is because these “living foods” contain biophotons, small units of light stored by all organic organisms. Vital sun energy finds its way into your cells via the food you eat, in the form of these biophotons. They contain important bio-information, which controls complex vital processes in your body. When you take this vital energy into your body, you are re-charging it with health and encouraging it to return to a whole and balanced state.

Dr. Oz recently did a show that discussed Biophotonic scanning, a testing form that determines the amount of Biophotonic ability of cells (via measuring the level of carotenoids in the skin) – watch the video: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/cancer-fighting-antioxidants-pt-1.

With a bit of planning, it’s relatively easy to get plenty of fresh vegetables into your diet. You can snack on celery filled with raw almond butter, nibble on asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potato rounds, cherry tomatoes or red peppers dipped in hummus made from chick peas, and add leafy greens like spinach and kale to any meal. In the mornings, I make one huge salad for my whole family to take for our lunches. That way I know that between that and whatever fruit I send with them they are getting at least 2 servings of vegetables and fruit for lunch.  And I top my salads with herbs (like parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, peppermint) and sprouts like broccoli and sunflower seed – they add a huge micronutrient burst as well as great flavour.

Other vegetables, like zucchini and turnips, are mild tasting and can be blended into soups and sauces and you’ll never even know they’re there. Grated carrots and lentils can be completely hidden in a tomato sauce that’s delicious over spaghetti squash, or even your favourite rice pasta.

Probably the easiest way to increase your vegetable intake is to juice your vegetables. Fresh, organic, raw vegetable juice is easily digestible by the body and doesn’t damage either the micronutrients or the biophotons. I usually add a source of fat like flax oil or walnut oil to my juice to make it more filling. You may also find that adding some, or even all, of the vegetable pulp into your juice helps to make drinking the juiced vegetables more satisfying. I don’t have a juicer, so will process my veggies and fruits in the blender with some filtered water then filter some of the pulp out with a strainer or cheese cloth. Try adding ginger and lemon too.

Whatever method you choose, juiced or whole, raw or cooked, add at least one more serving of veggies and one of fruit to your meals today.

Step 3: Reduce your sugar, processed foods and grain carbohydrates intake

65% of Americans are overweight and 27% clinically obese. Most of the chronic disease that we see rampant in today’s society is the result of a diet that focuses heavily on sugar and grains. Processed foods are a key cause of the problem. We are addicted to a fast-paced life where hamburgers, fries and a soft drink are a regular meal choice. Not only are they full of preservatives and chemical agents, but they are also full of sugars and starch.

Consuming sugar throws off the body’s equilibrium and cause a variety of harmful metabolic consequences. Some of the most harmful include: suppressing your immune system; feeding cancer cells; causing heightened levels of glucose leading to reactive hypoglycaemia and potentially diabetes, producing a significant rise in bad cholesterol and causing a rapid rise in adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

Grains, even whole unprocessed organic grains, are rapidly broken down by the body and drive insulin and leptin levels up. Spikes of insulin and leptin cause cravings and surges then quick drops in energy that make it difficult for our body to remain in balance.

Any meal or snack high in starchy carbohydrates generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rise, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into the bloodstream, which lowers the blood glucose level. Insulin is, though, essentially a storage hormone, developed over millions of years to store the excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat in case of famine. With no famine, fortunately, in sight, this storage mechanism has become an important cause of bulging stomachs and fat rolls in thighs and chins. Making matters even worse, high insulin levels suppress two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively.

So, take a hard look at what you’re eating meal by meal. Look at making changes that take your meal decisions away from boxed and packaged foods, and move you over to the fresh produce aisle. Fresh produce is much less expensive not only today, but for the health of your tomorrows.

(Written with research from http://www.mercola.com various articles)

One Response so far.

  1. Jose says:

    water!. Do you drink enough water, in erengal?most of the time, yes. sometimes on long run days i don’t hydrate well enough, despite my best effortsHow much have you had today, thus far?at least 96 oz maybe a little moreDo you measure how much you drink each and every day?i keep a quasi-tally in my head, but it’s never really exact. i have a bottle that holds 32 oz. and I usually try to drink 2-3 of them per day. Do you count the water used in coffee and tea?never if it’s caffeinated. decaf herbal tea, yes, but only sometimes (i told you my tally was never exact!) Do you prefer bottled? Tap? Filtered?i use a brita filter at home. at work i refill at one of those bottle cooler crystal springs or something.Do you spruce it up with anything?sometimes a squeeze of lemon or lime. occasionally i also drink hot water with lemon if i want a warm beverage but don’t feel like tea or coffee. And while we’re at it why don’t we check our posture too?! Aw crap total fail. I’ve been working on this a lot lately, too!

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