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Incorporating a healthier way of life might be a road less traveled for many people. This can take a substantial amount of time and commitment. Traveling this road is not for the faint of heart. So, buckle up. I’m going to redirect your mindset.
- Preparing the Pathway for a Healthier Lifestyle
- Did you know that it only takes about three weeks to form a habit? If this is true, then how hard can it be to start living your best life? Let’s relax, take a deep breath, and let’s hit the reset button. I am going to share a few tips on living a healthy lifestyle. What you CAN accomplish in the next few weeks, is not as difficult as you might imagine. Preparation is key.
Excessive Intake of Salt/Sugar can Result in Adverse Conditions
Excessive sodium intake is a major concern across the gender, race and health continuum. Although our bodies need a certain amount of salt to keep it running at optimum levels, salt in excess is a health hazard. Too much salt can lead to adverse health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and other health-related issues. Here are a few tips on living a healthy lifestyle.
How to Reduce the Intake of Salt:
*Eat more fruits and vegetables
*Use more herbs and spices to season food
*Avoid products with MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
*Read labels- purchase foods with low-sodium or no added salt
*Use Mrs. Dash
*Use Coconut Aminos for flavor
Healthier Alternative for Salt
A healthier alternative in place of salt would be the incorporation of herbs and spices, salsa, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice or try one of my all-time favorites, Mrs. Dash. One more tip on living a healthy lifestyle– always keep an eye out for the hidden salt gremlins.
How to Reduce the Consumption of Sugar
Although our bodies require us to have a certain amount of sugar, to fuel us with energy, an excessive amount can be counterproductive. Too much of it can contribute to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Sugar can also cause tooth decay.
Added sugars can be found in sodas, sweets and processed foods. Healthier alternatives include fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, Chobani, baked fruit (topped with cool whip) or dark chocolate (70%cocoa).
Promoting Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being
Implementing a healthy diet packed with wholesome fruits and vegetables is one of the best things anyone could do for themselves, for their family and for society, in general. When you think of the billions of dollars being forked out for the medically challenged populations, it begs the big question, why? A lot of these questions have to do with lifestyle.
Food is just one element to consider when you want to transition to a life free of worry and care. Emotional and spiritual well-being are just as important. Emotional stability is all about how we think and feel. It is our innate ability to cope with uncertain life events and being able to discern the emotional state of others. It is also our ability to manage stress when we are under pressure.
Lifestyle factors such as work, diet, drugs/alcohol and excessive amounts of stress, can greatly impact our emotional health.
The 5 Characteristics of Emotional Health:
>Self-Awareness. Knowing how your behavior affects others
>Emotional Agility-Emotional Intelligence
>Living a purposeful life
>Ability to manage stress levels
There are Two Major Types of Meditation for Spiritual Health
Spiritual health is connecting the dots between your spirit, mind and body. It also integrates all dimensions of your physical, emotional, mental and social health. Spirituality has very little to do with organized religion. It is the way to find meaning, hope and inner peace in your life.
Relaxation and Meditation are becoming more mainstream as a way to find your center and space of serenity and peace. Many workplaces of today are including meditation rooms as a part of the employment metric.
Meditation is the normal process of focusing your mind, producing positive energy that has the ability to replace negativity. It is known to be one of the best forms of stress release. If you have never experienced this amazing natural sedative, you are missing out. You will experience inner peace, stress reduction, better sleep and studies show that it can help in pain management.
One of the nice things about meditation is that it is very versatile. It can be done anywhere, anytime, with very little equipment; indoors or out and it doesn’t take up too much of your time. Also, you can complete a meditation session in 10-20 minutes. The ball is in your court.
There are Two Types of Meditation:
- Concentration on a single object, thought, sound or visualization.
- Emphasizes ignoring all distractions
- Focused breathing, mantra or a calming bell sound
- Encourages wider awareness of environment
- Keeping train of thought open
- Sense of self
- Becoming aware of suppressed thoughts, feelings or impulses.
- Includes mindfulness meditation
- You monitor everything that causes sensory input
Agave, Monk Fruit and Stevia
Swapping out the bad stuff with wholesome foods can not only reduce your sugar and salt intake, but it can also, simultaneously, reduce your total consumption of sugar and salt, and can supply you with an increase of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
At the top of my list for other healthier substitutes for sugar include Agave, Monk Fruit and Stevia. These can all be found in your local whole foods store. Blue berries, apples, bananas, mangoes, will all sing your praises when to stock them into your grocery basket.
Avoid All Processed Foods
Please avoid all processed foods like they are the plague. These are products to mark off your list-pastries, cookies, candy, granola bars, protein bars and dried fruit.
Did you know that granola bars and dried fruit contain the same amount of sugar as a snicker bar? Think about this when you start craving for something sweet.
Beware of the Hidden Ingredients in Smoothies
Surprisingly, smoothies (my bad) and other fruit drinks can harbor an overload of hidden sugar. This can rapidly lead to weight gain. When I worked as a restaurant manager in my early twenties, there was a Burger King a few blocks away. Almost every day I’d stop by there to get an Ultimate burger and a strawberry smoothie.
Can you imagine what I was doing to my waist and my overall health. My weight zoomed up the scale real fast. In 20/20 hindsight, I can see how I was also putting my emotional, spiritual and mental health at risk. I’m so glad that I have changed from my ways.
A much better alternative would be a KACHAVA smoothie.
If you want more health-related content, please leave me your comments. I’ll be more than glad to accommodate you and help you on your transition to an amazing top-of-the-world lifestyle.
To your success!