A friend asked me; Why are so many people experiencing pain? My mother asked me how my rheumatoid arthritis was these days and why are there so many people with it? A friend didn’t make it to our dinner party due to “flu like illness”. My Aunt is still trying to track down why she feels so lousy as she goes from one doctor to another.
I don’t think that there is one answer to these specific questions, except how I’m doing with my RA. Okay after living with it for over 12 years with no medication at the moment. I have literally digested every creditable book, study, class, and podcast on nutrition I could get my hands on and continue to study this passion of mine to this day and beyond. I used to sit at the pool with the other moms and hide my stuffy science books behind my flashy People Magazines. Discovering more about our food system and its connection with our health is my passion.
Today I’m not in a wheelchair due to my RA and I’m here to tell you; our environmental exposures matters less than what we put into our mouths. 1 It is summer and you can make a huge impact on your health right now and with less effort than you might think. Produce is all around us. Take these five points of beginning a journey for better health:
1) Eat More Greens
Farmer’s Markets are everywhere in the summer time. Take advantage of these. Of course organic is best. Many of our grocery stores also have organic choices. But if organic is just not available, then just wash your veggies well and/or peel them before eating them. As long as you eat them! Summer is hot and light lunches and/or dinners are a fantastic way to stay lighter and cooler. Salads are wonderful and you can load them up with nuts and seeds or fruit. You are not only getting many nutrients, (antioxidants, vitamins, and mineral) that are easily digested by your body and keep us light on our feet. We are also NOT getting ingredients that cause us to need a nap to digest a heavy meal. Less work on the digestive system helps us have more energy for the fun things we want to do.
2) Eat More Fruit
It is summer and the season of fruit! Instead of reaching for those empty high caloric treats like cake and pastries, reach for the naturally sweet treat that has many antioxidants and vitamins that keep us healthier and push away inflammation. Once again, we have farmer’s markets everywhere in the summer. While taking advantage of them, it’s a perfect time to make good habits and start a new lifestyle habit that just might change our health for the better.
3) Eat Oatmeal for Breakfast
We’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of our day. As the science becomes harder to ignore, consider this; eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of a heavy fat and cholesterol laden meal to keep us light on our feet. Oatmeal doesn’t have to be bland and uneventful. Put strawberries or blueberries in it. How about sweetening it a little with dates? Rip Esselstyn found that if he only asked his clients to apply this one principle to their diet every day, their cholesterol improved. Oatmeal is warm and can be very pleasing to the palette. It gives a feeling of satiety for the rest of our morning and keeps those hunger pangs away.
4) Eat More Vegetables
Finding a few vegetables we like goes a long way to eating healthier. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, beans, and so many more have fiber and are rich in vitamins and minerals that our body needs to function properly. We can roast them, stir fry them, steam them, and incorporate them into one pot dishes that are very filling and enjoyable. If we try to eat more of these types of foods our bodies will flourish.
5) Eat Less Meat
We’ve heard of meatless Mondays and other references to meatless meals and here’s why. The Food and Drug Administration asks that we eat more fiber, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol. If we take this advice to heart then it makes sense to include more fruits and vegetables. A salad, vegetable lasagna, or beans and brown rice can be a very satiable meal and will help us accomplish eating a more fiber, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol meal. Meat takes a lot of energy to digest, causes inflammation, any nutritional value it may have comes from the animal’s eating habits. Why not cut out the middle man? Eat your veggies.
So there you have my personal minimal list of 5 things you can do today to be a healthier you. Thank you for visiting www.www.stinechiro.com and take a look at our resources page for more information. Good health to you!
eCornell Plant Based Nutrition Certificate
Main Street Vegan Academy Certificate
1 T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University