Autumn Healthy Plan

Summer is over; the leaves are falling and you wish your weight were as well! The kids are back in school, he fall election is approaching and you’ll be faced with decisions to make regarding our nation's fiscal health as well as your own health.

With unemployment on the rise, the economy on the decline, and health care issues looming, this is the time to take responsibility for your own personal health care and the health of your family.

Some clues that your body may be out of balance are:

  • Frequent headaches, stomach pain, muscle cramps, coughing, fatigue, insomnia, restlessness, shakiness, muscle weakness, poor concentration, washed out pallor.

Imbalance in the body may cause emotional clues such as feeling:

  • Anxious, bored, scared, mad, sad, depressed, scattered, restless, irritable, agitated and distracted.

Food affects your moods, because it assimilates nutrients, as well as chemicals, fats and artificial ingredients into our bodies. This is a perfect time to clean up our diets. Healthy nutrition and balanced activity gives:

  • Better mental clarity to increase concentration and focus.

  • Energy, focus, improved mood, alertness and good attention span.

  • Balances your energy level throughout the day, eliminating the 'highs' and 'lows.'

  • More restful sleep which allows you to function at optimum level.

  • Assists in your overall confidence and self-esteem. When you’re feeling strong, rested and healthy, your mood is elevated and confidence boosted.

  • All over general health leads to better attitude.

Another benefit to changing the eating and exercise routine of your family is saving money:

  • Create a stronger, closer bond between you and your children. Eating together, even if it is just one meal per day, enhances family dynamics.

  • Better health leads to less doctor visits.

  • Less of the household budget is spent on medications.

  • More time is spent in school and at work and less time being home sick.

Starting out. You don’t have to struggle with a perfect diet and regimen. That will surely force you to give up before your start. Begin with basic and easy changes.

Drink enough water! When you are losing weight, you are releasing toxins that are held within the fat cells. To help flush out these toxins, you need to have lots of water. Remember, the more water you drink, the less your body will retain, making you look even thinner. Prepare your meals in advance. Choose a day out of the week when you have a few hours and make all of your protein, vegetable and carbohydrate meals. Portion them out into proper serving sizes and put them in the fridge and freezer. This will stop you from grabbing unhealthy options on the run. Don't cut out carbs! I cannot stress this point enough. The media has given carbs a bad name. It’s not the carbs; it’s the type of carbs, and portion sizes that are the problem. The following are a list of good carbs that I eat on a daily basis: Kamut pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice, all vegetables, fruit, whole oats (for oatmeal), cream of brown rice, beans, brown rice pasta, millet and bran buds. These are all very healthy and tasty food options that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These foods should be included in every healthy eating plan. Don't cut out fat! Fat is another nutrient that has been given a bad rap. I’m not saying you should go out and eat fat laden hamburgers every day. We need essential fatty acids, (EFA’s) every day. The fat I’m talking about is not produced by the body but is needed by the body. These EFA’s are essential for the health of your hair and skin, reducing blood pressure, improving memory and many other things. They can be found in fish oils, avocados, flax seed oil, hemp oil and primrose oil, among other things.

Fiber will help you lose weight. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar, makes you feel full and helps carry toxins out of your system. It is a weight loss superhero! You can find fiber in foods like: whole grain cereals and flours, brown rice, bran, most fruit, dried prunes, nuts, seeds, lentils, peas, and vegetables. (Please note: when looking for bread with whole grains, make sure to read the ingredient list. Whole wheat does not cut it especially when it’s not even the first ingredient. Make sure your bread says whole grain including the germ. Cut out the sugar. Carbohydrates and fat are not the villains, sugar is. Sugar will cause your body to store fat. Sugar is not just found in cookies and candies but in white bread, white pasta and fruit. (Do not cut out the fruit.) While fruit does contain sugar (fructose), it also contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The best way to eat fruit is to have it earlier in the day. The only way to cure your sugar cravings is to give up sugar. (Funny huh!) You will see, the less you eat it, the less you will crave it. Give yourself two weeks of no sugar and you will see what I’m talking about.

Make it a lifestyle. This is the most important thing. Eat healthy for life and exercise regularly. Yo-yo dieting can be worse for you than being overweight. Picking up the latest diet will only make you thin while you’re on it. Choose an exercise you en joy such as riding a bike, walking, yoga and you’ll continue for life.