Healthy Habits: Small Changes With Big Impacts
Small Changes, Big Impacts
By Jillian Holper CHt
Just a few small changes can impact our lives, significantly. Hypnotherapy helps a great deal with blocks, triggers and motivations - but ultimately you will be the one that will need to actually make the change (cue Michael Jackson song, “Make A Change”). Ultimately we are all a work in progress and hopefully we continue to improve our health and wellbeing as we acquire more knowledge. That being said, even if you simply stop at these tips you will notice the difference – and your body will thank you!
There are many reasons smoothies are such a great option for health and weight management. They are a nutrient dense and delicious way to aide in weight loss, improve digestion and immune function, help to detoxify your body, reduce cravings, as well as provide us with a nice energy boost! I don’t know about you but all this was enough to sell me!
Some things you’ll want to consider when making smoothies is adding in what it is that you are missing most, or that you are in need of most, in your daily life. For the majority of us that is a variety of vegetables. According to WebMD, most Americans are deficient in at least 7 key nutrients. To combat this you’ll want to make sure to add more veggies than fruits – I try to do 1-2 tasty fruits and 3-4 veggies. When selecting fruits and veggies it is a good idea to give your body a variety. If you always eat spinach then add some kale to the smoothie this week, and maybe some bok choy next week. Of course fresh, local ingredients are always best, but ice or a frozen fruit can help to make a favorable consistency for a smoothie. Here are some helpful rules-of-thumb to follow when making Healthy Smoothies:
BASE (1 part): Pineapple, bananas, mango, berries, carrots, etc.
LIQUID (1 part): Water, coconut water, nut milk, fresh juice, etc.
TEXTURE/COLOR (1 part): Spinach, ice, frozen fruit, nut butter, etc.
POWDER: Wholefood based protein powders are a great addition to smoothies. Not necessary, but beneficial.
EXTRAS: Ginger, bee pollen, spices, seeds, super foods, herbs, maca, etc.
Dirty Dozen & Clean 15
The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agriculture subsidies, public lands and corporate accountability, publishes a list each year that contains the 12 most pesticide-toxic fruits and vegetables, and the 15 most clean fruits and vegetables. This is updated each year and ranks pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables. The guide is based on results of more than 35,200 samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug.
If you are someone that is able and willing to purchase all organic and local produce all the time, that is the best option of course. For a great many Americans however, our resources do not always allow for that. These lists are a good way to limit our exposure to the potentially detrimental toxins in pesticides, based on our budgets. For instance, if things are tight you may want to make the commitment to only pay close attention to the “Dirty Dozen” list. On the other hand, during times that you have a little more wiggle room you may want to commit to purchase mostly organic produce, with the exception on what is on the "Clean 15" list. You can find the most recent list by clicking on the hyperlinks or below at:
Wonders Of Water
Are you drinking enough water? The old rule-of-thumb was to drink 64 ounces per day of water. This was not taking into account different body sizes, of course. According to the vast majority of health experts these days the optimal way to gauge what your water consumption should be is by dividing your body weight in half, and drinking that many ounces in water. If you take medications or are pregnant you may want to increase your intake but just a little more.
Did you know that not all water is created equal? At least not this day in age it isn’t. A lot of our water is depleted of its natural trace minerals - which help our cells to absorb the water and, in turn, keep us hydrated. Furthermore some filtration processes filter out the waters nutrients along with the pollutants. The best source of water you can get is natural spring water that is bottled at the source (otherwise it likely underwent a filtration process that stripped most the trace minerals).
The number 1 water habit I recommend my clients to add to their daily habits is drinking at least 8-16 ounces of water each morning (preferably room temperature). It is best if you do so 30 minutes prior to ingesting anything. Doing so kick starts the metabolism, hydrates, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even help you eat less. If you can add some lemon to your water - even better! Also, drinking at least 8 oz of water about 30 minutes prior to any meal provides similar benefits and will help aide digestion. Another great benefit of water it its natural ability to help balance our Ph levels, providing a more alkaline environment for our bodies (thereby providing an enormous host of benefits discussed below). More water for me please!
Importance Of Alkalinity
Chances are if you don’t know much about alkalinity, you’ve at least
heard it mentioned recently. A quick search on google will yield page after page of scientific studies done involving the balance of Ph in the human body and its effects on health (over the last decade in particular). You can hardly read a health blog or article without hearing mention of the importance of having an alkaline body - and for good reason! But what exactly is alkalinity in terms of the human body?
A pH of 0 is totally acidic (like battery acid), while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline – which isn’t necessarily great (drain-o, for instance, is at a 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. The human body is most functional around 7 - 7.4 to be exact. Unfortunately the vast majority of Americans are at lower levels, therefore making our bodies too acidic. What is the importance of having an alkaline body you ask. A better question would be what doesn’t it effect?! But due to the fact I am simply writing an article for reference (and not a book) I will keep it to what I find to be most important.
What I find most shocking is that it has been proven that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Now, I am not saying being too acidic causes cancer, but being alkaline certainly kills cancer cells. This being said the benefits of being alkaline extend far beyond this. When our bodies are acidic, it is basically the foundation to allow nearly all disease and degeneration to take place! Yes, you read correctly, the vast majority of disease and degeneration cannot take place in an alkaline environment! Certainly there are many other factors to keeping your body healthy but working to keep an alkaline environment for your body can change things significantly!
The question is how do create an alkaline environment in our bodies?
It was Hippocrates who once said “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Although there are so many areas this applies to, this is one that it is quite important. Without the proper foods or with too much of improper foods you simply won’t be able to achieve alkalinity. The Alkaline foods graphic (from AlkaMIND) below is a great reference for acidic and alkaline foods (click on the graphic to link directly to it). The main thing to know is that sugary foods/drinks and flour are VERY acidic in our bodies. Most, but not all vegetables are alkaline, particularly leafy
greens. If you aren’t a huge fan of eating veggies then smoothies are a great way to help achieve alkalinity. Another option that can help is getting a higher alkaline water (if possible a spring water that is naturally more alkaline). A trip to the health food store will yield plenty of options for both. Add some lemon for an extra alkalinity boost!
To sum things up if we can simply add in a daily healthy smoothie, shop for produce according the the "Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen", drink plenty of water and be mindful of our bodies alkalinity - our health and wellbeing can improve significantly for the better. All-in-all it comes down to, if we eat healthy and drink plenty of water our bodies will better have the framework to support our wellbeing. ![endif]--
© Jillian Duley Holper 2017