Tips for Overhauling your Diet
As a Certified Health Coach, I come across many people who are battling weight and digestive issues. I love to be able to work with them so that they can learn how to heal themselves and stay on the right pathway to keeping them healthy, strong and energized long-term. I know to some that sounds almost unachievable, but it is. All you need to do is have a plan and a goal (something like a roadmap.)
One of the first things you need to do to see what is holding your body back from feeling energized and great, is to check out your diet. What does hold you back in your diet from letting you feel your best? Let’s talk honestly here and get down to the nitty-gritty.
You Are Constipated
Constipation is not only a sign that you may not be drinking enough fluids, but it is also a sign that there is not enough fiber in your diet. Fiber helps draw waste through the gut and out the body. If you are not taking in enough fiber, your “pipes” get sludgy, your elimination-ability slows, and you grow more and more uncomfortable.
You should have at least 30 grams of fiber in your daily diet. However, when making this switch, make sure you do it slowly over the course of several weeks.
Tip: One great way to boost your fiber intake is by eating some boxed baby spinach (preferably organic). You can throw a little into almost any meal you make, whether hot or cold, and you will find you have increased your fiber with very little effort on your part.
You Are Bloated
Ugh! Isn’t that the worst feeling? None of us like that bloated feeling. It can be so much of a “mood changer” and can even ruin your day with the way you feel so “out of sorts.” Bloating is mostly caused as a result of improper habits, although some people are susceptible to it due to hormone imbalance and weak digestion. It is often preventable if you follow some eating guidelines.
Conscious eating is one important concept for preventing bloating. If you are aware of how your stomach feels, how hungry you are, and the effect certain foods have on your body, you will be able to adapt your eating habits accordingly. If you are truly conscious and follow your eating “intuition,” you should rarely experience uneasiness with your digestion.
– Eat only when hungry
– Digest your previous meal before eating the next meal or snacking
– Chew well and don’t talk while chewing. Try putting your fork down, and don’t talk and eat at the same time
– Don’t eat fruits after a meal
– Try chewing on a slice of ginger with lime juice or lemon juice 20 minutes before eating.
– Try digestion stimulating spices like black pepper, ginger or cumin
– Use a good probiotic regularly (especially after using antibiotics)
– Don’t drink anything cold while eating
– Avoid drinking anything for 30 minutes following a meal
– Pay attention to how your body reacts to dairy and wheat/flour products. If you feel bloated after eating them, reduce or eliminate them from your diet
Try these remedies:
– Chew on a few fennel seeds or sip hot fennel & mint tea
– Drink hot mint or peppermint tea
– Drink some hot ginger tea or chew some ginger gum
– Try some abdominal breathing for 5 minutes
– Try drinking hot water
– Go for a short walk
If your energy plummets a couple of hours after breakfast and you find you have to wake yourself back up with a cup of coffee cappuccino, etc., that is a great clue that your diet is missing key nutrients to keep your energized and alert. Try starting your day with a truly balanced breakfast; one that is low in sugar, high in protein and loaded with micro-nutrients. That will keep you full, fuel your brain and keep you going throughout the morning.
I know they are not for everyone, but I start my day off with a green smoothie, which usually consists of something like a stalk of kale, flax and chia seeds, apples, ginger, cinnamon, pineapples or some other berries. They are also good with a some nuts or a dash of coconut flakes. I found that I stay satisfied throughout the whole morning with my daily smoothie.
Others may benefit from a healthy omelette with spinach and tomatoes or other types of vegetables mixed in.
If your diet isn’t as it should be, you may find yourself experiencing mood swings, even anxiety or depression. Maybe your brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to function with the proper balance. You may not be eating enough carbohydrates for example. Think carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains – such as buckwheat or quinoa – which are needed to produce adequate serotonin (the “feel good” neurochemical).
You may have food sensitivities – even a gluten sensitivity. (Gluten is found in wheat as well as processed foods which can trigger system-wide inflammation which affects the brain and impacts mood.)
Maybe your diet in low in omega 3 fatty acids like wild fish, herrings, sardines, etc. Omega 3s are vital to help you brain work at top speed so that you are not vulnerable to mood swings and depression.
A Weakened Immune System
Did you know Lynne, that foods can affect your immune system? How do you know when you are falling short on protein?
Some clues include:
– A craving for sweets
– Brain fog
– You catch every cold or virus you come into contact with
– Malaise – a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, of being “out of sorts”
– Feeling of being washed out and weak
Add nut butter to your morning shake/smoothie
Add chicken to your lunchtime salad (or some other type of protein if you are a vegetarian)
Enjoy some grass-fed beef or fish at dinner time.
If you are a vegetarian, boost your protein intake with high-protein beans, tofu, tempeh or lentils.
Often with dietary changes, or something lacking in your diet, you will notice changes in your skin. You will break out with rashes, pimples or other skin eruptions This is often the body telling you that what you are putting in isn’t working right with your body. You may not be supplying your body with enough healthy fats to help your skin to function at an optimal level.
An imbalanced, bad or fad diet can trigger inflammation that shows up on the skin’s surface. Be patient because it can take a while to eliminate the “usual suspects” (otherwise known as sugar and dairy). With better diet habits, you should be able to calm the inflamed area of your skin, give it a rest, and clear up rashes, eczema, rosacea, or other skin flare-ups.
Change your Diet- Change your LIFE
It is truly amazing how our diet can have such an impact on our whole body as well as our entire lives. Although making a life style change can be difficult, the benefits and end-results are well worth the work and effort you put into it.
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