Drink lots of water, take deep breaths, choose good supplements, eat all your vegetables, eat more lean protein, eat fewer carbs. With all the healthcare advice out there these days, and much of it contradictory, it makes healthy living seem like a complicated endeavor! In fact, all that advice can make a junk-food diet look attractive in its simplicity. But don’t panic! Healthy living can be simple.
You know what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. If drinking plenty of water, taking certain supplements, or eating multiple small meals a day makes you feel better, then you already know more than the experts. Similarly, you probably know which of your “bad” habits make you feel ill, like eating too much sugar or spending too much time at your desk. If you are not sure what makes you feel better or worse, keep a diary for seven to twenty-one days. Log your daily food intake, exercise, level of stress, amount of sleep, and anything else that might affect your level of health. Notice what happens when you add or vary any of your habits.
Once you have discovered two or three really great habits that make you feel good, adopt them for the year. To keep things really simple, choose no more than three great habits. If exercise makes you feel good, adopt the habit of exercising a few times a week. If adding fresh fruits or vegetables is good, resolve to add them to your diet on a regular basis, but don’t break the bank. Do what makes you feel good in moderation, and in a way that will be easy for you to remember. If you want to add vitamins or supplements (like AFA bluegreen algae) into your life, help yourself remember by putting the bottles or packets in your car, your purse, your pocket, your lunch, or your top desk drawer. Don’t kick yourself when you forget to take the supplements, and take them whenever you see the visual reminder of the bottle. Of course, consistency is always great for health, but in the beginning do what you can to make healthy living a rewarding and pleasurable experience rather than another item on your “To Do” list!
I find that just eating right however, no longer does the trick in a modern diet, so I have to resort to other means. Having examined the content of the food we buy at the grocery store, I’ve realized that there are no longer enough vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals in the food to keep my body happy. Even the best “organic” produce doesn’t have enough “goodies” to satisfy my nutritional needs. This leads to some serious nutrition problems.
Our society is producing more food with less soil, and the soil is getting poorer with each passing year. As you’ve probably already figured out, the food we grow gets most of its nutrition from the soil. Of course, you need sunlight and water, too, but the soil is the source of much of the vitamin, mineral, and trace mineral content in our food. Today, farmers don’t allow fields to lie fallow much, and don’t re-mineralize the soil, and as a result we have food that looks the same (or even better) than it did 50 years ago, but has some serious nutrition problems.
For instance, according to the Kushi Institute of Becket, Massachusetts, the vitamin and mineral content in our fresh vegetables has declined a lot. They studied USDA nutrient data that covers the years from 1975 to 1997. According to their study, average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables have declined 27 percent, iron levels have dropped 37 percent, vitamin A levels, 21 percent; and vitamin C levels, 30 percent. In other words, Popeye wouldn’t get nearly the same bang for his buck out of a can of today’s spinach as he would from a can of spinach of the 1975 vintage.
Now carry that same nutrition gap up the food chain. If you’re not a vegetarian, then not only are you eating nutrient-poor vegetables, but the source of your meat is also becoming nutrient-poor. Cows, pigs, lambs, and other animals are being fed lower-quality grass, hay, and other vegetative matter (I won’t get into the whole debate about livestock feed because it is way too complicated). Suffice to say that the nutritional content of all of our foods (unless we grow it ourselves) is getting lousier by the year, resulting in nutrition problems that many of us aren’t even aware of.
I am fortunate enough to live in an area where I have the space to grow many of my own vegetables and am surrounded by organic farmers I can trade with. This works to my advantage nutritionally during the Spring and Summer, but not for the rest of the year. Like most people, I then have to shop for food in our local stores. Knowing what I know about the nutritional content of the food I’m buying, I don’t worry so much about buying the right stuff there. Instead, I focus on creating a foundation with supplements that I know circumvent the nutrition problems created by food I buy at the grocery store.
On a daily basis I consume:
With these three categories of supplements, I know I’ve got all the nutritional bases covered. With this plan, I don’t worry so much about whether I buy this brand of carrots or that brand. The same goes for our dogs, cats, and horses. We buy the best available natural food possible for them, and then fill in the nutritional gaps with some of the items I’ve listed above. I find setting up my nutritional foundation with wholefood supplements, then getting foods from the best natural sources available to me, makes healthy living as simple as it gets.
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