It’s been awhile. The storm at the end of October, overnight guests for two weeks in November, traveling for the holidays all took a toll on my writing. But, excuses now aside, I’m back!
During my time away I spoke to clients and friends dealing with issues from infertility to cancer to Lyme disease to just wanting to make healthier decisions. And now with the new year and the new (or often old) resolutions I thought it would be appropriate to talk about one thing that everyone can do to have a healthier you.
Fad diets don’t work because they simply can’t take into consideration your individual health challenges. But one thing that can boost your immune system if it’s been compromised and help you have a stronger healthier body (and mind) is to eat whole foods. This means kick the processed food habit.
I know, it’s so much easier to grab a power bar for lunch or microwave a prepared meal. You’re inundated by ads telling you that it’s easier, that you’re too busy to cook a simple wholesome meal and that their product is healthy for you. But have you ever thought about what goes into those crackers, power bars, and dinners that make them sit on shelves for months and months….and months? While the preservatives in your favorite foods help stave off spoilage there are many that may contribute to major health issues like asthma, cancer, compromised immune systems, and attention disorders. So is it really worth it?
It’s not easy to go against the grain, to challenge what you see and hear every day from the marketing companies. But the long term impact on your health is huge. It doesn’t mean you can never eat processed food but it does mean that you should aim to move your diet from a majority of processed food to a majority of whole foods. We are not a completely processed food free household but we do eat mostly whole fresh foods. The hard part of making the change is finding creative ways to get the cooking done. Remember, you don’t need to make extravagant diners. Tonight I made a simple stir-fry with chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and peas with quinoa. I cooked up 4 chicken breasts, using 1 1/2 and put the other aside to add to another meal later in the week. I usually make enough of whatever I cook to eat later in the week whether it’s dinner and then a few lunches or a few dinners.
Another plus is that you can vary the types of vegetables, fruits and grains you use. When you rely on processed foods you tend to eat the same food over and over denying yourself a rich variety of vitamins and minerals.
So whether you want to feel healthier in your body, pump up your immune system, or keep your body strong to fight off future illness I challenge you to introduce more and more whole foods into your daily diet. In fact, the healthier you eat the less you have to care about counting calories and fat, neither of which are actually bad for you. You need a good balance of carbs, protein and fat to have a healthy body. Lastly, while it may seem like whole fresh foods are more expensive ask yourself how much your health is worth. Last time I checked cancer cost more than food.