Sunday, July 28, 2013

Common Sense Ways to Improve Your Health

I've noticed that there are a lot of "tips" out there on how you can improve your health. Have you noticed this as well?

Do you find them as confusing and conflicting as I do? I often get a feeling of overwhelm and despair when I read them, because I realize that I can't possibly apply them all. IT feels like too much.

However, there are always a few sites that give common sense tips, or just have an attitude that I resonate with. For example, I recently bumped into this article via Facebook somehow. And while it has a lot of tips, I liked the attitude of the author.

He talked about improving your health by taking tiny steps, which is what I've found to work in my life as well. I do not stress too much about gaining perfect health, because that may never happen.

Instead, I do what I can do with the abilities I have. Sometimes I still berate myself, but I'm improving and getting better at not yelling at myself so much.

My favorite tips from that article were:

1. Tiny Steps

As I mentioned above, I liked the process of tiny steps. Not trying to change your whole lifestyle all at once, but changing one food, or removing one bad food.

It feels doable to me, and it makes me want to try it out. I think I'll start by removing the sugar I eat each week. So if I think about the sugar I eat as 100% right now, then I'm going to see if I can't reduce my sugar to 95%. So if I eat 100 grams of sugar per week, I'll reduce it to 95 grams.

Then with each week I'll keep going. It feels almost too easy, don't you think?

2. FasterEFT

I've heard of EFT (emotional freedom techniques), but not FasterEFT. It seems more efficient when I looked at the post.

It's basically tapping on meridian/acupuncture points on your body, as I understand it, and it's supposed to relieve stress. So far it's working pretty okay for me. I feel more relaxed when I do it, and I tend to yawn when I "let go."

Something to ponder.

3. Follow Your Heart

By far the most interesting was the point about following your heart and your passion.

I've been feeling lately an interest in the more spiritual side of life. I'm a bit skeptical still, but doing what you love speaks to me.

It feels like we have the feelings we have for a reason. And it seems like I went a bit off-topic with this post, but really, this has to do with health as well, because it we aren't happy, then we aren't truly healthy, are we?

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below if you have any thoughts or any common sense tips of your own.

Talk soon!

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Have an Aversion

We all love broccoli, right? (Image from Wikipedia)
I have to admit it, I don't like broccoli, not one bit. But I still wanted to start this blog where I share my journey towards better health.

For most people, broccoli is a symbol for a healthier diet, but it also is a symbol for the sacrifices you have to make when you eat healthier.

And I think that's a myth. You don't have to sacrifice anything, because that's the wrong way to look at things.

If you want to eat healthier, sure, you have to change what you eat. You can't eat pizza for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and a twinkie (do they still make those) before bedtime.

For a long time, I ate like this. Okay, I didn't eat twinkies, because we don't have them where I'm from, but I did drink soda, eat cookies, cinnamon buns, and ice cream. I used to practice sports, so I never really had a weight issue.

But what I did have was stomach problems, eczema, and a whole slew of other things, not to mention a blurry mind.

So while I don't eat a lot of broccoli today, I eat what I can. I stick to the 80/20 principle when it comes to healthy eating. I don't try to force myself to eat fruits and vegetables 100% of the time, because I've tried that, and it doesn't work.

Instead I eat a whole foods diet of:

  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables (when I can stand them)
And I do my best. I also take a multivitamin supplement, and a high-quality fish oil supplement to help cover the bases. Oh and I also take a vitamin D supplement, which I think is crucial, since I live in an area where we don't get a lot of sunlight.

There's been a lot of research done on supplementation, for example if you want more on vitamin D research, check out the vitamin D council.

Basically what I've found when living a healthier life is that you can take things one step at a time. You don't have to achieve perfection right away, because you'll never reach a perfect state of health or happiness anyway.

I do what I can with what I have. I try to avoid reading magazines and "advice from the experts" because it only confuses me.

Instead, I listen to myself and what feels right and doable for me.

While I have an aversion to broccoli, I've begun the journey to better health. I hope you'll join me.