Optimal health and vitality result from myriad long-term lifestyle choices — but there are a few key habits that can yield amazing results.
• Minimize sugar and grain consumption.
It is now well established that sugar contributes to a number of negative health impacts — fat storage, insulin resistance and diabetes, general inflammation, compromised immunity, and even cancer. That also holds true for grains, which are quickly transformed into sugars in our bodies. (Yes, this includes whole grains, alcohol, soda, and even certain vegetables like potatoes. Health guru Dr. Mercola recommends aiming for less than 25 grams/day of sugars, especially fructose.
• Eat more raw leafy greens and vegetables.
Raw leafy greens and vegetables provide a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes – and we’re discovering more health benefits of vegetables all the time. And they are low on the glycemic index. Most Americans don’t eat enough vegetables, especially fresh and raw. Always try to eat the freshest, organic produce you can. One of my favorite ways to get greens is in my raw shakes, which I have for dinner about six days a week. I especially love cucumbers in my shakes.
• Consume probiotics regularly.
Whether from raw kraut, kefir, kombucha, yogurt or supplements, probiotics offer multiple health benefits including strengthened immunity, better digestion, better nutrient absorption and even elimination of harmful microorganisms. Daily is best, but at least three times a week is recommended.
• Eat plenty of good fats.
The right fats are essential for health. They can reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, aid the liver, improve bone strength, enhance immunity, improve brain function and allow for proper nerve signaling. What are good fats? My favorite sources of fats include pasture-raised/grass-fed/wild meat, such as sardines or salmon, as well as raw eggs, beef, lamb, raw butter, whole/raw milk and raw cheese.
Try to include krill oil, the current best animal source of DHA and EPA Omega-3 fatty acids. Good vegan sources of fat are also important: coconut oil, avocados and raw, organic nuts. Great sources of ALA Omega-3’s (about 10 percent of which your body can transform into DHA and EPA) include whole flax or chia seeds. Chia and flax seeds also have a lot of protein and fiber. As a bonus, you’ll feel full if you eat lots of good fats, thus reducing cravings for unhealthy foods like sugar.
• Get outside and exercise for at least two hours per week between 10am-2pm.
The many benefits of exercise include: reduced insulin levels, reduced stress, anti-aging benefits, enhanced immunity, increased energy, improved mood, reduced cancer risk, hormone balance, increased flexibility, decreased body fat, increased bone density, increased metabolism, and more. Why exercise outside? It turns out most Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Exercising outdoors with some skin exposed to the sun can help produce Vitamin D, which offers a number of it’s own health benefits. The best exercise is the one you enjoy and that you will do. Have fun and feel good!