24 March 2010
For this edition of The Big Picture it’s been a while since we kind of talked about health and I’ve found a really good article from Better Nutrition Magazine. Historically you all are used to me quoting Halleluiah Acres and I just wanted bring in an additional source, and also I have historically quoted Dr. Joey Blaylock. So now this is a third source from an article that I thought really gave us some specific ways that we can improve our health and they list 12 things that we can do. This is an outstanding review. Warning: do not read this article if you are looking for shortcuts to health. This article is mainly a review of things to do that you already know to be true.
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Of course this tops the list, fruits and vegetables – gives us the valuable nutrients we need to help our bodies fend off illness and have more energy.
2. Exercise. Consistent physical activity is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do for you body. Please keep in mind that if you have been inactive for a long period of time, you should check with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise program.
3. Sleep soundly. Never underestimate the power of getting a good night sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, depression, anxiety, a weakened immune system, and even diabetes. Get 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
4. Eat organic. If you can’t find organic then choose foods with the fewest amounts of additives, preservatives, colorings, and added hormones. Highly processed foods are harmful to our health.
5. Cut out sugar. Reduce or eliminate your consumption of simple sugars in the form of candy, soft drinks, doughnuts, etc.
6. Say no to bad fat. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats and eliminate your consumption of trans fats. Be aware that many fast foods are high in these bad fats.
7. Op for good fat. Essential fatty acids found in fish and healthy oils such as olives and macadamia nut oil should be added to the diet. Switch out butter with olive oil when cooking whenever possible. If you don’t like fish or don’t eat it a couple of times a week, take an essential fatty acid dietary supplement every day.
8. Choose whole grains. Minimize your consumption of refined grain and increase your consumption of whole grain in the form of whole grain bread and cooked grain.
9. Spice it up. Just as there are super foods and super fruits there are also super spices. Spices such as rosemary, cinnamon, and garlic have incredible healing powers that have been substantiated by scientific research. Use these super spices liberally and remember, salt is not a healthy spice.
10. Reduce toxins. If you smoke try to quit. If you don’t smoke, avoid second hand smoke. Also try to reduce your exposure to other toxins that can be found in common items such as body care products, household cleaners, and in our environment.
11. Manage your stress. Stress is hard to avoid these days, but we can take control of the way we cope with it. Avoid using alcohol, unhealthy foods, or isolation as a means to control your stress. Find healthy stress management techniques that work for you, such as connecting with supportive friends and families, being outdoors, exercising, reading, or meditating.
12. Love. Give love, receive love, and find ways to love life.
Of these 12, only 3 are very difficult to implement. Sleeping soundly, managing stress, and loving are the most difficult on this 12. However, with God’s help these can become the easier ones. The other 9 are left to our decisions and we can still pray for God to give us enough grace and diligence to implement the other 9. I rely on God’s grace to exercise and eat vegetables, otherwise it would be left to my self effort which would eventually give out. My life is already tough enough; the last thing I want to do is make it more difficult by being unhealthy. Whenever I see people early in the morning drinking a big container of coffee and smoking a cigarette I kind of tip my hat to them and think to myself, “Darn that person is tough as nails! How do they do it?”