Let's face it, as we age our body changes and begins to break down. It's even more important to focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet than ever. The needs of the body are much different than they were in the days of our youth. We are no longer growing upward, but outward, in a sense.
Aging causes the metabolism to slow, the muscles to deteriorate and even the digestive system to change. As you get older, it’s imperative to take these factors into account when it comes to your diet.
You don’t have to be a statistic in the world of aging and give in to the middle-age spread. You can be someone who takes responsibility for the changing state of your body and take positive actions to create a different result.
I know change is hard, but it’s the only thing that keeps us from staying stagnant. Change challenges us and makes us stronger people. Changing your diet is a huge part of this. If you want to feel young and live a vibrant life, the food you put in your mouth matters almost more than anything else (except exercise, of course.)
You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t know where to start,” and “what does healthy, balanced eating even mean?” Well, I am here to tell you my friend.
Eating a healthy balanced diet doesn’t have to be difficult. By staying away from processed foods, or as I like to say, anything that comes in a bag, box or can with more than 3 ingredients, and adding more whole foods into your diet like, fresh vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins your body will respond quickly and gratuitously.
The more we eat foods with high nutrient density, the better and more vital we will feel. The body wants to be in balance, and be healthy, but unfortunately the food, or non-foods we put into it don’t always support it in getting there. It's almost like those foods dumb-us-down in a way and put us out of touch with how it truly feels to be energetic and thriving.
Another incredible thing about the body is that it will never lie to you. If you are feeling icky, sick and run down, it’s because you are not treating your body right and it’s talking to you and giving you feedback. It’s time to make a change.
So, here are my Top Ten Tips on how to incorporate more healthy foods into your life for vitality, youthfulness and energy:
1. Replace unhealthy fats with healthier ones such as seeds, nuts, avocados, olives, olive oil and coconut oil. Healthy fats aid digestion and help to keep you satisfied longer.
2. Swap white rice, white bread and potatoes for brown rice, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, red-skinned potatoes or vitamin rich yams.
3. Fill your plate at least half full with veggies that are fresh and lightly steamed or sautéed.
4. Savor your food. Slow down when you eat. Taste each bite. This will help your digestion, and prevent overeating which can tax the digestive system and age the body
5. Eat calcium rich leafy greens at least 3x per week such as kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and spinach. This will ensure that your bones stay strong.
6. Be creative with your food. Find fun recipes that are healthy and pack a nutrient-dense punch. Check out The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook for some easy, plant-based goodness.
7. Drink plenty of pure, filtered water. At least 1/2 oz per every pound of body-weight. Staying hydrated is key in keeping our metabolism firing and energy up.
8. Eat only lean proteins that are palm-sized, such as wild-caught fish, free-range chicken or grass fed beef or bison.
9. Eat a raw, leafy green salad everyday to give your body plenty of fiber and roughage. This helps keep things moving right along, if you know what I mean.
10. Eat fruit instead of processed, sugar-laden pastries, cookies or candies. Fruit has natural sugar and fiber, so you will feel satisfied and still be able to have sweetness in your life as well as getting all the important nutrients.
The bottom line is: Food is Health and Exercise is Fitness. You want both. Eating healthy and moving your body is the key to a long, vital life. You also want to be sure you are taking care of your emotional life as well and thinking positive, happy thoughts. Help others, be of service, make human connections and see what changes happen in your life.