Today I’m going to give you seven simple recommendations, things that you can apply in your everyday life that should hopefully not be too difficult or too demanding. The idea is that these are simple recommendations that should help you to feel more healthy. The first recommendation actually has nothing to do with food at all. It has to do with water. As we all know, water composes 80 percent of our body and is involved in every single chemical process that our body does.
So water is crucial in our bodies because it is the transport system for all of the nutrients and proteins and anything else that we are digesting or putting into our bodies otherwise. Water is the vehicle that carries it around and helps it move around.
It is a part of every chemical process that our bodies are doing. Water. You want to drink as much of it as possible.
They’ve given us that guideline of eight ounce glasses of water per day. Don’t think of the numbers. The numbers can be very overwhelming. You don’t need to be counting the number or glasses of water. Just focus on drinking as much water as possible and when you can, substitute water for other drinks.
Substitute water for soda. Soda is the number one source of calories in the United States right now and it contributes 41 percent of what they call excess calories to our diet, so when they look at how our caloric intake has fluctuated since past decades they contribute almost fifty percent of the extra calories that we are consuming to soda alone. If you can replace your soda consumption with water, you will see very immediate results. Lots of people have actually reported cutting out soda and they literally see their weight starting to decrease.
It’s hard to think about soda actually contributing to weight gain because it’s a liquid and it’s easier to think about french fries. OK. French fries are probably going to create fat in the body, but soda itself does as well, and in another video where I’ll talk more about sugar. We’ll actually talk exactly about how that works. But, again, that first recommendation is to drink as much water as possible. Eliminate sodas. Eliminate coffee and juices as much as you can, but when you do drink coffee, go ahead and drink twice the amount of water afterwards.
Coffee actually dehydrates the body, so after you drink it it will leave you feeling thirsty, and rather than reaching for more coffee, go ahead and drink some water.
Also, when you have a headache, or when you’re feeling that feeling of thirst, quench it with water. DOn’t quench it with some sports drink or other soft drink. Those things are only going to fuel your cravings and not really quench your thirst. Recommendation number two has to do with how we eat. Recommendation number two is to become more conscious of your eating, to be more conscious of your hunger and of feeling full. Not to do other things.
Sometimes we’ll eat while we’re watching tv or eat while we’re studying, things like that, and that will actually over time condition your body to want to eat every time you watch tv or every time you’re studying.
So, separating that time that you spend eating and doing it more consciously will help bring your body more gratification from eating, but also help your body learn to distinguish when you’re really craving food because you’re hungry or when you’re just craving doing that thing which is eating. Another aspect of eating more consciously has to do with chewing and chewing more slowly.
Not only does chewing more slowly help with digestion because it’s breaking your food down more, giving it more time to interact with the hormones in your saliva that help to break it down and help it digest, but it also of course is going to slow the process of eating and give your body more time to kick into that feeling of feeling full and recognizing that you don’t need to feel full anymore. Some people like to actually count the number of times that they chew each bite and they’ll start by chewing each bite 30 times before swallowing.
Again, don’t get too fixated on the numbers. It’s not the number of times that matters but the actual process of chewing more and chewing more slowly that’s going to help you out. If you’re able to put your fork down, or force yourself to put your fork down somewhere midway through your meal and give your body a minute to catch up with itself, to really register whether it’s still hungry or actually if it’s satisfied or not.
This actually also ties in to the idea that as often as possible you kind of want to pre-meditate hunger. You don’t want to wait to that point where you’re so so hungry that you’ll just eat anything, that you are just gobbling gobbling up your food so fast that you don’t even think about it and you get to the end of your food and you just pass out, something like that.
If you actually get to that point it’s easier to just eat more slowly and be cognisant of when we’re feeling full, when we’re feeling satisfied and when we can stop eating.
Recommendation number three also has to deal with the way that we eat. It is to integrate as many raw, fresh foods into your diet as possible. One kind of general rule of thumb with that is maybe for every processed food that you eat or every meat that you eat, to go ahead and pair it with something either lightly steamed or completely raw.
Not only do raw fresh foods help you digest all of the other foods, they provide all the energy that we need, the nutrients and vitamins that we need so that our bodies can deal with maybe the less healthy things that we’re eating. Now again, when you’re consuming vegetables, the ideal form, not for all of them, but for most of them, is to consume them completely raw. From there, if you do need to cook them, lighlty steaming them with a little bit of butter is always a really good way to make them good, but remember that the longer you cook them the more they’re going to start losing those enzymes, denaturing those enzymes, kind of losing those nutrients that are so important.
The least amount of time that you can cook or steam something the better, is kind of a general rule of thumb.
To kind of recap those very important aspects of fresh raw foods, we talked about the enzymes that are there not only to catalyze other chemical reactions in the body but to catalyze the very breaking down of that food that you’re consuming, the nutrients and phytonutrients that they contain, now again, photosynthesis creates glucose in those plants and glucose is our body’s energy, so that pure glucose coming straight from the plant is our most optimal form.
There’s also fiber which is important, not only for transmitting things throughout the body, but also for initiating a lot of these different hormone responses that help us tell when we’re full, when we’re not full, help us digest and assimilate and all that good stuff.
Recommendation number four has to do with everyone’s favorite thing; sugar. Sugar has been around for a really long time and I will look deeper into sugar and its history in another video, but point number four deals with sugar. Not only do we want to cut down on sugar as much as possible, but we want to eliminate completely artificial sweetners. Artifical sweetners like Splenda, aspertame, Sweet ‘n Low, are far worse for you than actual sugar itself. Again, I’ll get to this in another video, but essentially these artificial sweetners do not initiate the insulin response that is required for your body to properly assimilate and respond to sugars.
The insulin response is not only important for transmitting and carrying these glucose molecules to different parts of the body so that they can be used, but they also kick into gear these hormonal responses that tell us when we’re full and tell us when we’re not.
When you are craving sugars, you’re not going to get the same satisfaction out of artificial sweetners and you’ll probably continue eating more and more of them. Diet sodas are one of the huge contributors to artificial sweetners. You are also going to find artificial sweeteners in anything that says “sugar free,” a lot of things that are “Low-fat,” again those little pink and blue sugar packets that are at the table and everything.
When you have those sugar cravings, go ahead and go for the real sugar.
Not only is it going to satisfy the craving you’re having for sugar and prevent you from continuing to consume these sweetened treats, but it’s also going to have a more natural response in your body. Artificial sweeteners are not only going to have an unnatural response in your body, but they have also been found to be neurotoxic, and in several cases, can cause headaches, nausea, fuzzy thinking and other neurological responses that way. It’s very scary because they can actually affect the way your body synthesizes proteins, creates your DNA, and lots of these processes that have lots of implications on your health and general wellness. Now sugar, while it certainly isn’t healthful, it’s something that your body knows how to deal with, knows how to break down, and will set off the appropriate response needed to not only satisfy your craving and give you that feeling of feeling full and satisfied, but also to appropriately deal with the sugar and assimilate it and get rid of it as needed so that less of it is stored as fat.
Recommendation number five has to do with something that most of us are concerned about, sort of that “buzz word” of dieting, and that is fat.
There is a lot of confusion regarding fat because there are a lot of different types of them and they all react in different ways in the body and stuff like that. There are all kinds of low-fat diets, low carb diets, low sugar diets, different kinds of terminologies that they throw around and it can get very confusing. The method that I am going to recommend to you today, which is hopefully a pretty simple one, is to avoid trans fats. Of course we’ll talk more about fats and trans fats in another video, but the recommendation here is to avoid trans fats as much as possible.
Trans fats are created through a process called partial hydrogenation whereby they take an oil, and put it through a series of processes so that it will become a solid.
A perfect example here is butter and margerine. Margerine is taken from an oil and then partial hydrogenized so that it will form that semi solid state and be used as a spread, things like that. It just has a different consistency but is way less healthy for you than butter. Granted, butter isn’t particularly healthful for you, but margerine is way way worse. It kind of relates back to the idea with sugar and the idea that sugar itself is not that healthful, healthful in and of itself, it’s not nearly as bad for you as it’s artificial counterparts.l Another problem with trans fats is that it alters your level of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is another one of those buzz words in the dieting and health foods industry. There’s kind of a lot of confusion surrounding what cholesterol really does and why it’s important to us. Cholesterol in itself is a necessary part of our bodies. It is a component in cell membranes and is transported in various forms to the body so that your body can use the fats that you need.
Now you’ve got one type of cholesterol that is responsible for transporting fats to the different organs of the body so that it can be used, and then another type of cholesterol that takes that fat away from the body and disposes of it when it’s not used.
These trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, actually increase the amounts of cholesterol that is carrying fats to your cells and decreases the amount of cholesterol that is taking the fat away and disposing of it.
Not only are these fats hard to break down, but they’re actually threatening that system that your body uses to make sure that fats are being taken away from your cells when they are not needed and disposed of properly. You need to look on the back of food labels to find trans fats in most cases. Anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils contains trans fats. There are a lot of issues with the labeling.
It’s not always going to be labeled very clearly, but if you read those labels on the back and you see partially hydrogenated oils, that is a sign of trans fats and yoyu want to try and avoid those as much as possible. Recommendation number six, again, getting away from the actual foods themselves and on to exercise. Now, exercise is one of those things where you have people out there that do it every single day and they’ve dedicated their whole lives to it, they really love it.
It’s the main thing that they do, and that’s wonderful.
Then, there’s the rest of us. Exercising is maybe a little more difficult. Maybe you don’t have time or you don’t really know where to go or what to do. You don’t have the motivation to go to the gym, or whatever. Exercising sort of poses this issue, but it’s really really important and we need to try doing it as much as possible and on a regular basis. Now something as small as going on a twenty minute walk around the block, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. All of these little things our body will appreciate even if we don’t necessarily feel or sense that we’re doing something really huge, it really is those little things that count.
Now research has shown that a minimum of thirty minutes to one hour of exercise a day is a general guideline to get the minimum benefit of working out and exercising, but for some people that is not always logical. Again, we come back to just do what you can, whether you just got your own home practice of stretching or crunches, doing yoga, going for walks in the evenings, things like that.
All of that will contribute to your health, not only making you more healthy but increasing and improving your emotional state, your happiness, and all that good stuff.
I’ve talked in previous videos about sunlight, how sun imparts its energies to plants and then the plants impart that energy to us. Another really important aspect of the sun is vitamin D. We get vitamin D from other nutritional sources. YOu can also supplement with vitamin D, but vitamin D from the sun is really really important and you want to try to get vitamin D from the sun every day. It’s important to realize that when you’re wearing sunscreen, your vitamin D absorption is going to be affected, so depending on your lifestyle you can adjust your use of sunscreen in that way.
Now if you’re somebody who works out in the sun every single day, sunscreen is going to be very important. But, if your sun exposure is pretty minimal you might want to question your use of sunscreen or investigate a little bit further because you want to make sure that you’re getting fifteen to twenty minutes of good, direct sunlight each day, and I think I heard a general rule of thumb that it take fifteen minutes to tan and twenty minutes to burn, that’s kind of maybe a threshold for some people, but if you can get yourself fifteen to twenty minutes of sunlight a day without sunscreen that’s a really good guideline for helping your emotional and physical health.
That brings us to our last recommendation which is to be sensible about listening to your body. Use moderation. Certain things you want to listen to your body about. If you feel thirsty dring water. YOur body isn’t thirsting for cola. Your body is thirsting for water. If you feel a genuine feeling of thirst you’re not going to quench it with a sports drink or a soda or anything like that.
You want to quench it with water. Headaches, as well, are also a sign of dehydration. WHenever I feel a headache coming on or the onset of a headache, I will just chug down a couple glasses of water and kind of try to relax and take some deep breaths, all that good stuff, to see if that quenches the dehydration and maybe cure the headache.
Listening to your body also involves listening to it and knowing when you’re hungry and when you’re full and starting to become maybe a little more in tune with recognizing when you’re craving food because you’re really really hungry or when you’re just craving a snack because you want to eat or because you’re bored. Again, I talked a little earlier about when we condition ourselves to eat when we’re watching tv or eat when we’re studying or while we’re doing other things, but that sometimes those things alone will cause us to want to eat food even if we’re not hungry.
The reason this recommendation is “be sensible about listening to your body” and not just “listen to your body” is because we want to recognize that the food industry has thrown in a couple of different tricks of the trade to actually make us crave certain foods or grow addictions to certain foods and certain food chemicals because for them it really comes down to the bottom line: Money.
They want to market to us, they want us to buy it. You know, things that we see the most advertisements for aren’t always the most healthy things, but these food companies have learned what they can put in the foods to make us want more of them, to make us feel satisfied by them, because they want us to keep eating.
For our health they don’t want us to keep eating but for their pocket book they do.
So, sometimes if we feel really strongly that we’re craving something, if we investigate it a little bit more or maybe try to satisfy it more with something more direct, so if you’re craving sugar eat a fruit, if you’re craving a drink, drink water, things like that, we can maybe side swipe these chemical addictions or cravings that we’re feeling and really get to the heart of the matter which is the food itself. Thank you so much for tuning into Simple Science. I encourage you to stay posted with more of our videos. I will be going into more detail about each of our seven topics as well as other topics of health and nutrition, emotions and physical fitness, all the things that contribute to the way that we feel on an everyday basis and the way that we approach our lives and our lifestyles.
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