2017 Resolution – Love Myself Healthy!

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Image Source: The Balanced Blonde

Another year is just beginning and I absolutely LOVE the idea of giving up all desires to be skinny.  Honestly, it is completely overrated, even if you’re overweight.  American culture has trained us to think that any excess body weight means you are overweight, which if not true at all! From this day forward, I suggest telling yourself that you are making changes to become the healthiest you for you.  Forget what society expects!  You DESERVE the gift of health.

You all know that I am a firm believer in the ancient healing art of Ayurveda. Following this ancient medicinal system, we are taught to treat our body with reverence. Your body’s are a reflection of our current health. All of your past decisions have made you who you are today. Embrace the lessons you’ve learned from them and use them to move into a healthier lifestyle.

Remember that even if you aren’t in perfect health, you are just as worthy of self-love as a body builder!

My story

Before my enlightenment

Throughout my teens, I followed so many diets in an attempt to look like my best friend who was much skinnier than me. I never took into account that my bones were thicker than hers, which meant I SHOULD NOT look the same as her. Fast forward to my twenties. I became friends with many “overweight” people who were doing things I couldn’t; my best friend from college played on our school’s rugby team. She ate junk food on occasion, but more often than  not she would eat mostly healthy foods. This is where I picked up my theory on how to eat to mold your ideal body!

Life preparing me for my enlightenment

This idea stayed with me long after we left college, but it didn’t click completely until I was living on my own in Philadelphia, PA. One sunny April day in 2013, I decided to walk to my local library. On my way there, my sneaker got caught in a crack in the sidewalk and I fell hard on my knees. While my knee injury wasn’t too bad, there was another lesson in store for me. About two weeks after my knees got better, I started having uncontrollable back spasms. They were so intense that when I went to my mother’s orthopedic surgeon to try to figure out what was wrong, that he couldn’t even touch me without extreme pain!

He ordered a number of different tests to decipher what was wrong but every test came back with negative results. His only conclusion was that my body had locked up from the intensity of the fall to protect me from something, and he was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! He then told me to go home and get as much rest as possible.

Enlightenment realized

After seeing this doctor, I made it my mission to take as much time to rest as I possibly could. Not only that, I realized that I should use this down time to make healthier food choices. Before my accident, I ate fast food multiple times a day. Since I could barely move around my apartment, let alone go downstairs to pick up food from a local restaurant, I brought into my home yogurt, instant oatmeal, protein shakes, et cetera – anything that was easy to make so I didn’t aggravate my injury.

After a few weeks of following this meal plan, my family started asking me questions about my workout regimen. They were concerned that I had been ignoring my doctor and working out. When I told them that the only thing I was doing was making better food choices, they were shocked. My sister even came over one day to check up on me. When she saw that my refrigerator was full of everything I had told her, she went home and left me to recover.

By the end of my recovery, I had lost 30 pounds, with NO EXERCISE!! To date, I’ve lost about 85 in total and I NEVER diet.

What’s the lesson for you in all this?

I’m telling you my story to reinforce the idea that with this new year, you should make a resolution to become a healthier you in small steps. You have developed your current eating habits over the previous months and years of your life – you can’t expect lasting results to come from drastic changes. Food is our first and best medicine for creating a healthier body.

I began this blog as a reminder that you have to love your body, regardless of what shape it’s in. When you love your body exactly for how it is, the easier it will be to make small, positive changes. My story is a testament to that fact. Millions of people start popular diets every day, have success in the beginning and then gain it all back… Why? If a diet is so great, why can’t people stay on them for life, or at the very least maintain the weight they’ve lost?

The truth is: consistency is the biggest piece of the puzzle. I’ve been way off track with this – my mother’s death took me by surprise and I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted because of the depression that set in after losing her. From this day forward, I vow to do better for myself…. Especially because my mom believed wholeheartedly in what I do!

In order to achieve this goal, I must remember that small, yet constant improvement and upgrades to my current preferences is my keystone to finishing the health journey I started back in 2013.

Neither you or I can do intermittent health care.  Healthy eating must happen daily.  Aside from occasional “free meals,” we have to eat to nourish and maintain our bodies.  It is an odd thing that has happened in our society where food intake is such a social and pleasure thing instead of a way to fuel our bodies.

So the conclusion is there is nothing wrong with always being aware of what we do to stay slim and strong and healthy.  We should love ourselves for who we are on the inside but also love the potential we have; both inner and outer and always strive to live up to it.

 

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How to Fight Winter Colds with Simple Carbs 

Every day I hear some new theory about the dangers of simple carbohydrates. While I understand what the experts are trying to do, they forget that these foods exist in nature for a reason, and it’s in our best interest to find out why! 

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have been dealing with a cold – mainly a scratchy throat and a cough. It is annoying to be sick, but about two days into this, I realized that there could be some good to come out of my misery. And I finally realized what it is: to help people understand the BENEFITS of simple carbohydrates! 

Yes, you read that right – there are benefits to eating simple carbohydrates. 

What do carbohydrates do? 

Carbs, as you may know are the easiest macronutrient for your body to break down and use for energy. When you’re not recovering from a cold, limiting them (especially the simple ones – white bread, rice, cake, etc.) is a great way to get healthy and stay healthy. If you do get sick, however, the number of simple carbs you eat every day should double or triple, depending on the severity of your symptoms! 

Why should you double/triple the simple carbs you eat? 

Did I freak you out by telling you to double your carb intake? Good, that means you’re open to hearing why. 

Carbohydrates are an important part of your healthy life because they contain three of the most vital elements our bodies are made of: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  In this instance, hydrogen is the key element. 

Hydrogen and ATP production 

Anyone with a background in biology will tell you that ATP is the body’s energy source. This molecule captures the chemical energy that was produced as your body broke down the food you ate and distributes that new energy to the cells that need it most. 

This is transfer of energy is done through the influx of hydrogen ions, which the precursor to ATP needs in order to build more of this crucial enzyme. So, the more carbohydrates you eat when you’re sick, the more hydrogen can be used to create more ATP and the more energy your body will have to fight off the infection so you can feel better faster!!! 

Discussion  

Think about the last time you were sick and how much food you ate. How did you feel on an empty stomach versus a full one? 

During these last few days, I was utterly miserable when I didn’t have much food to eat. I would have to take two or three cough drops an hour to calm my cough. However, when I went to the grocery store and bought some carb-heavy comfort foods and gave myself time to rest after eating I noticed my symptoms became less severe. 

What do you think about my theory of doubling or tripling your carbohydrate intake when you’re sick?