The state of our health has become very disordered lately, with the alarming increase of chronic disease, obesity, digestive issues, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. The World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization published a study in 2002 (WHO/FAO TRS 96) clearly indicating the correlation with diet and lifestyle that shows if we made simple changes we would prevent many of today’s common health problems. We have become a nation of 1st world malnourished people. How can that be?
NEW Delicious & Easy Ways to Enjoy Vegetables
There is a reason our mothers have been echoing their mothers’ for generations with the refrain “Eat your vegetables”, or maybe a more stern “You’re not leaving the table until you eat your vegetables!!!” Well instead of debunking this challenging advice, science continues to reinforce the need for a plant based diet all around. Mainstream food manufacturers are happy to tell us French fries with our hamburger are a serving, or the tomato sauce on your pizza is a serving. Sorry to disappoint you, but neither of these qualify. We’re talking broccoli, asparagus, leafy greens of all sorts and every fresh or frozen vegetable you can think of.
Whether we are trying to lose weight or just improve our overall health status, we know the drill; eat healthy, nutritious, whole food (especially those vegetables your mom always tried to force down your throat), exercise regularly, and practice stress management. What could be simpler?
Except that it’s never that simple. There are many factors that affect our ability to stick with the program, especially as part of our new year’s commitment to finally lose that last 10 pounds (or 20, or 50). So let’s explore a few of them.
How Sugar affects immunity, sleep, mood, chronic disease risk etc.
In my early 20s I read a book that made me pause and analyze my sugar addiction. It was called Sugar Blues, by William Dufty and was written in 1975 and may have been one of the first books to seriously question the dangers of our diet of highly processed foods. He was also among the first to compare sugar addiction to that of drugs such as cocaine and heroin, and once free of his addiction claimed some surprising results beyond the obvious weight loss, clear skin, generally improved well-being, but surprising benefits such as reduced attractiveness to mosquitos, reduced tendency to sunburn his fair skin, and an assertion that sugar was a large causative factor in cases of mental illness and addiction. In fact, many recovering addicts, especially alcoholics, substitute one addiction for another, enjoying unlimited donuts and coffee at AA meetings and coffee shops.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to healthy aging. It seems to me that most employers pay lip service to having healthy employees by providing sick leave, health and dental insurance, maybe providing gym or other exercise passes or discounts. But one area that seems to be missing is education and support for optimal health and wellness and reasons and guidance on the best way to use these health perks. There are often conflicts in how the stress of a job will undermine all of the health support employees receive through leave and benefits. There is also the issue of working in a supportive environment that encourages employee loyalty. I don’t know if loyalty was ever a tactic that employers regularly used to bolster their business success, but it certainly seems to me that there should be some way to work towards that direction. Employers particularly seem to forget how much influence their front line employees have on their customer satisfaction. It is always about the bottom line. A happy, healthy employee is going to support a happy, healthy business.
Top 10 Weight Loss Tips Part II
Last week in part I, we went over the first 5 tips for weight control, that is: Power Up with Protein, Curb the Crappy Carbs, Fat Friends and Foes, Harmonize Hormones and Move Those Muscles. Read last week’s post here. So we carry on from there. This is a bit of a longer post, but tough to shorten.
6. Crush Cravings
This seems to be the age-old question; why do we have cravings? Cravings are one of the most complicated aspects of weight control. While we may have good intentions, we are easily derailed by uncontrollable cravings.
Top 10 Weight Loss Tips (Part 1)
Nutrition for Detoxification
Why are we toxic?
There has been a heightened awareness that we are exposed to many toxins in the environment since the 1970s with the release of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. I studied it in high school along with many other boomers. You would think after all these years we would have figured out that continually adding new chemicals to our world isn’t a good thing, but it seems we haven’t made to connection to the increased incidences of cancer, MS, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, even obesity. All have been linked to toxicity and we just keep adding news toxins all the time and let the manufacturers tell us they are safe if used in the recommended fashion and then wonder why we are sicker than ever.
Water, Water, Everywhere
We are bombarded with reminders to drink more water, and for good reason. Most people are chronically dehydrated. I have to confess to being in that state more often than I’d like to admit. We get busy or distracted and we just plain forget to drink enough. As these waning days of summer are still hot and dry, we really need to remember to get extra fluid to counteract the effect of the heat.
There is some debate about how much we should drink in a day, but anywhere from 2-3 litres is the standard recommendation depending on water content in our food, weather/temperature, activity level and state of health.
As a boomer doing my own version of “Freedom 55” (that is reinventing myself by doing what I probably should have done 30 years ago had it been an option), I learned the hard way about taking care of my health as well as my wealth in my 40s. I was working more than ever (several part-time jobs), had 2 teenagers, a husband, a dog, house etc. and started to neglect the fitness and nutrition habits that I had developed in my 20s and 30s. I was just in the throes of peri-menopause, with the requisite hot flashes, anxiety, heavy periods and consequent anemia. After all was said and done I found myself through menopause by age 47 but with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease. At 50 my first bone density test was met with a diagnosis of osteoporosis. I was becoming my mother without the smoking and drinking. That set me on the course of reinventing myself and learning all I could about these conditions and working hard to get my fitness and health back. But it has been a long journey with many setbacks, mostly in the form of injuries, including a broken arm. My physiotherapist and chiropractor have become very good friends.
Tanya Sullivan is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant with many opinions on the state of our food and health.
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The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Tanya Sullivan C.H.N.C. Please note that Tanya Sullivan C.H.N.C. is not a dietitian, physician, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare professional. The information on this website is NOT intended as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice as well as before changing your health care regimen.