Do people stroll by your desk at work, examine what you’re eating and ask a million questions about it on a daily basis?
No? It happens to me all the time. ; )
As a mind/body wellness expert, I constantly get asked about what I eat to stay healthy- whether it’s what my students see me drinking during class (green juice) or what they peek at in my cart on the checkout line at Whole Foods (mostly green veggies, organic fruit, lean protein, various nuts, seeds and yes some Talenti Gelato for balance).
You see, I’m all about eating healthy 80% of the time and that other 20% is about enjoying myself.
The thing is, even if you’re eating healthy 80% of the time, you’re unfortunately not getting the same nutrient value from your foods as your grandma did. Conventionally raised produce contains far fewer vitamins and minerals than it did a half-century ago.
Yep, you can thank those chemical fertilizers and pesticides for killing the quality of our soil and depleting it of vital nutrients- even organic produce battles the last 50 years of soil depletion.
And forget about all things sporting a bar-code! Nearly 80% of them are full of genetically modified ingredients, artificial colors, preservatives and other unpronounceable chemicals.
Why do we need to be so vigilant about what we put into our bodies? Because so much of today’s food supply causes inflammation due to the preservatives, high sugar and salt content, synthetic sweeteners and hydrogenated fats it contains.
It’s lurking in everyday foods like eggs, alcohol, grains, coffee, anything fried, and dairy products, they all can encourage inflammation, which is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli and is a protective response.
Inflammation pops up when the body’s white blood cells protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, or when our immune system battles an autoimmune disease, which triggers the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues.
If Inflammation sounds like something only your grandma has, you’re wrong. Most chronic conditions like obesity, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and even teen acne have been linked to inflammation- hence it’s pet name, “The Silent Killer.”
Most people don’t go around talking about their inflammation, they talk about the disease it’s created because it was too late to prevent it from turning into something worse.
The easiest way to kick inflammation to the curb? Start by reducing your consumption of the inflammatory foods mentioned above, and then add in a few supplements that are known to fight it.
If you’re into wellness at all, you’ve probably heard all about how scientific evidence has indicated that a diet rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids helps support:
- A healthy brain
- A healthy heart
- A healthy immune system
- Healthy joint movement
- Healthy kidneys
- A balanced mood and sense of wellbeing
- Strength and stamina
- And it helps maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range
You can find them in salmon, walnuts, dark leafy greens and fatty fish, which are all rich natural sources of omega-3s- the only rub is that you’d need to eat pounds of them to get the benefits received from just one dose of highly refined fish oil with a high percentage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Studies have demonstrated that EPA is important for optimal brain function and contributes to the reduction of cellular inflammation. DHA has been recognized for brain, visual and nervous system health and development. Additionally, these essential fatty acids work together to contribute to good heart health.
Don’t get all freaked out about it tasting like fish, It took me a while, but I finally found one that doesn’t make me taste fish all day- so trust me, they’re out there. My best tip- take it right before you go to bed if you’re really worried about tasting it for hours.
Our guts are all the rage in the wellness world right now, and everything from our digestive system and brain health to glowing skin are affected by the number of healthy bacteria partying in there on a daily basis.
With over 400 types of probiotic bacteria hanging out, they not only help promote good digestion and help fight bad bacteria found in your intestines, our guts have a huge connection to our brain as well. Ever have “butterflies in your stomach” when you’re nervous? That’s your gut-brain connection!
Scientists have found that we actually have a second brain hiding in the walls of our digestive system, enteric nervous system (ENS), and it’s a hot topic for doctors trying to understand the link between digestion, mood and health.
Want to keep both of your brains healthy? Take a probiotic daily.
There are many probiotics out there, but you want to find one that focuses specifically on gut health, like the one I take that’s focused specifically on gut health.
If you told me ten years ago that I’d be drinking green juice on a daily basis I would have said “Kale NO!” But here I am sitting and writing this post while drinking my daily greens.
I know they’ve been all the rage for a few years now, but there’s a good reason why. Green veggies are full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and micronutrients that have a gazillion health benefits- including fighting inflammation.
Ideally, you should be getting two large servings of greens like spinach, kale or chard, but we most of us don’t’ even get in one. That’s where the green juice comes in- but who has time to peel those veggies, wash them, juice them and clean the juicer every morning?
I know, it’s a pain- but it is worth it and I highly recommend it if you can carve out the extra time. But if you can’t, don’t just forget the idea altogether-grab an on-the-go greens powder and pour it in your water bottle at any time.
I thought it was disgusting at first- all the ones I tried tasted like I was drinking a glass of grass- gross! Until I tried one that my friend and celeb nutritionist, Keri Glassman developed, with all organic greens, a nutritious mushroom blend, and a subtle berry taste that doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate your lawn clippings!
In the perfect world, yes we’d all be able to get what we need on a daily basis from the foods we eat, but that just isn’t reality for most of us- try and add one or two of these supplements to your day and watch your energy soar, your productivity increase and your overall mood sport a pair of rosy glasses!