I don't have a certificate or degree in health or fitness. What I do have is a continually increasing interest in the topic, and have for about the last 10+ years. I could say that it started as a child. I recall being called a picky eater, but I just couldn't help that I didn't really like meat. The fat and gristle never appealed to my taste buds. I did a little research on becoming vegetarian when I was younger, but then when I got pregnant at the age of 23 meat became repulsive to me. I just couldn't stomach it anymore. And that's where it really began. My educating and experimenting has continued since then and my love for healthy and whole foods continues to grow. I really love being in the kitchen and I love trying new things. It's even more encouraging that my husband says I have grown in to an amazing cook. :)
I also attribute my acquired knowledge and interest to my husband's family. His parents are vegetarian & vegan and have taught, and continue to teach me a LOT; other family members who have various food allergies/sensitivities, diabetes, celiac disease; and our family doctor who is a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and has healed many of our family injuries and illnesses naturally- that is, without drugs and many times, strictly through dietetic alterations.
This isn't just about being skinny and/or looking good. This is about feeling good on the inside and having energy to live your life to its fullest and for the longest. It doesn't just affect you right now. It affects your body's function for as long as you have to live in it. And the reason I love to share it is because I know how very true and real it is. I want to be part of the revolution and see people take a stand for their own lives.
Anyway, I could go on and on! :) But, with the above being said, I thought I would share some of my main healthy lifestyle choices. If you started with just these few things, you would start to see and feel a difference.
1. Protein. I believe this to be one of the most misunderstood categories in the American diet. I, as well as other vegetarians in my life, take a lot of flack for not eating meat. Seriously people, what's the big deal?! Yes, we need protein, but it doesn't have to come from an animal. Personally, I have had probably about a total of 6 months of eating meat over the past 10 years. I get my protein in a variety of ways: nuts, beans, dairy, soy and whey. If you choose to get your protein from an animal, I believe there are factors to take in to consideration that can decrease the risks associated with it. 1) Limit your red meat intake to 1-2 times per week. 2) If possible, choose grass fed, lean meats that were not grown with hormones. 3) Always accompany your meat with lots of veggies.
2. Complex carbohydrates. Many people have no idea of the nutrients they are being robbed of in their every day foods. This is because of the amount of processing these foods go through before they get to your table. This includes cereals, breads, pastas, rice, and most things that come in a box or bag. If it's white, it's probably not right. This is because the grains used to make the product have gone through a process which has stripped them of all their goodness and nutrients, and now they are a simple version of what they were intended to be. These bread, pastas, rices, etc. have little to no fiber left so they stick to your insides and slow digestion. (For more on this: see my "Brown rice vs. White rice" article previously posted. They are also usually loaded with added sugars. Which leads to my next topic.
3. Sugar. I also have a list on here of the many disguises of sugar. They put it in EVERYTHING and it makes you sick and fat. It is the reason nearly 75% of Americans will be overweight in the next 10 years. It raises your blood sugar level and slows digestion, increases your risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes, among many others things. Avoid it as much as possible! There are plenty of other healthy ways to treat yourself. To name just a few: fresh fruits over yogurt or cottage cheese, dark chocolate and sorbet.
4. Veggies. Personally, I think you should eat veggies with every meal. They are the best things you can put in your body. They are high in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. The more the merrier! :)
5. Exercise. That's right, I said it. GET OFF YOUR BUTT! The ways in which you can get your blood flowing are endless. Anyone and everyone can get some sort of exercise every day in some way. You don't have to be extreme, but you should do something that raises your heart rate at least 3-4 times a week; every day if possible. This, on top of a healthy diet can change your health and your quality of life forever. So, come on, get up and give it a shot! :)
Heavenly healthy and happy living to you all~