Friday, February 10, 2012

Top 10 Health Tips

Here's a list of tips from our health expert Cate Munroe which will help you maintain a healthy, happy and active lifestyle, and who knows it may just shave a stroke or two off your next round...

1. Eat for Nutrients, Not Calories

The type of calories is more important than the amount. Nutrients nourish the body and brain, increase satiation, prevent overeating and prevent/reduce disease. Eat nutrient dense, whole foods such as grass-fed meat, free-range poultry, wild fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.

2. Avoid Processed Products

Processed products are devoid of nutrients, increase insulin levels, promote inflammation, create excess acid and contribute to disease. Avoid sugars (agave, brown sugar, fruit juice, sports drinks) and refined carbohydrates (flour, bread, pasta, pastries). Eat food, not products and always read labels.

3. Eliminate Man-Made Oils

“Franken Fats” like canola oil, flax oil, hemp oil, margarine, and soybean oil, promote heart disease, diabetes, cancer, suppress thyroid, and accelerate aging. Start cooking with coconut oil or other approved fats and use extra virgin olive oil for cold uses like salad dressing.

4. Supplement

The following supplements are recommended as an “insurance policy” to make up for a lack of nutrients due to poor food sources and/or soil depletion:
Vitamin D plays a huge role in the prevention and reduction of disease. Take a walk or lay out in the sun for 20-60 minutes with 80% of your body exposed (swimsuit) between 10am and 3pm. The darker the pigment of your skin, the more exposure you need. 
Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of Omega-3 Essential Fatty acids that reduce inflammation and prevent disease.
Calcium & Magnesium are a critical factor not only to bone health, but to our overall health.

5. Drink Water

Water is an essential element to survive that aids the body in numerous metabolic processes. Drink when thirsty (not the recommended 8 glasses daily). Examine the color of your urine to determine if you’re getting enough: yellow means dehydrated and clear means hydrated. For optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, drink 30 minutes before or after a meal.

6. Chew Your Food

With a busy schedule most of the year, it can be difficult to slow down and chew your food. Learn to chew every piece until it’s unidentifiable if you were to pull the “see food” card (but, please don’t). You can also put your utensils down between bites to develop more of an awareness for the delicious task at hand. Not only will you absorb more nutrients and enjoy your food more, but it can also help prevent overeating.

7. Fast

Fasting slows aging, improves body composition, benefits metabolism, aids hormones, and cleanses cells. Choose a 12 hour fasting window, for example 8pm-8am. Then, don’t consume anything that contains calories during that time. Drink water or unsweetened tea. As fat metabolism improves, fasting will become easier and longer, which results in even more benefits!

8. Sleep

Sleep increases mental and physical performance, improves memory, strengthens immune system, aids weight loss, reduces stress, balances hormones, repairs and regenerates cells and much more! Go to bed earlier, sleep in later and/or take naps. TiVo late night shows to watch the next day. Set aside 30 minutes during lunch hour for a quick office snooze with an eye pillow or soothing eye mask. Have leftovers for breakfast to save time. Also, make sure your bedroom is cool and completely dark.

9. Relax

Time to relax, recharge, and refocus is essential for optimal health. Take time every day to do nothing. Don’t watch TV or read a book. Unplug yourself from electronics and your “to do” list. Instead, lay outside and watch the clouds float by. Engage your senses and appreciate the moment.

10. Move

Learn the most efficient and effective ways to move and you’ll improve your health, build muscle and save time. Start by walking, sprinting, and lifting heavy things.