Our blog today is inspired by two things a) I don't feel super healthy today, and b) I like health. I grew up in a SUPER healthy household. My dad's mom used to tell my parents that if they didn't let me have *some* candy, I'd turn 18 and live off of it entirely. Yeah. That's exactly what happened. However, I've spent a lot of time returning to my roots, which is a healthy lifestyle. My dad has always had a really great intuition about what is good for human beings. I remember him ranting about the dangers of various dietary disasters long before it was recognized by the FDA. He's right to be health conscious, though. We only get one body. I remember watching a documentary about the decline of real, actual food in America. One of the contributors said, "Our bodies are like a building. How can we expect to make a building that will last for 100 years if we don't use good materials." I like that. It really spoke to me. So, obviously 'la vie' has to include health editorials now and then. I have some things that I'll do entire posts about (activated charcoal, for example), but today we're going to start with my top 5 health tips. Are you ready? Let's go.
1. Don't drink your calories.
I have never, ever understood the deal with pop. Stop drinking it for a few months and then try it again... it will burn the whole way down. That right there should tell us something- what we consume shouldn't burn! I'm sure we realize in general how bad pop is for us, but other drinks aren't that great either... juice is FULL of sugar. Water is the single best drink you can put in your system. Our bodies are comprised mostly of water, and we need to replenish it to get the toxins out and keep our system happy. If the health of your body doesn't really speak to you, consider how you feel about food. Think about it: you only get so many calories per day... wouldn't you rather eat them than drink them? Drink more water and less of the other stuff! As a bonus, drinking more water will curb your cravings for food. Often times when we think we're hungry, our body is actually thirsty. If we make sure that we're drinking enough water (I've read varying accounts from 64 oz/day to one oz/lb of weight you are), we'll find ourselves less hungry. ** If you hate water, try making your own flavored versions. Get a glass pitcher, fill it with water and then add slices of lemons, oranges, cucumbers or strawberries. It's delicious. Keep a pitcher always full in the fridge. Also, if you need help getting off pop, try mixing soda water with fruit juice, half and half.
2. Embrace honey.
I love honey. I know that seems strange since honey is sugar, but my favorite uses for honey aren't of the edible variety. Try an oatmeal honey mask- this is good for ANY skin type! Honey is naturally an antiseptic and it's also very moisturizing. Your skin will glow. I haven't suffered from seasonal allergies much myself, but I've always heard that relief can be found by eating 1 teaspoon of LOCAL honey each day. The honey contains the local pollens that cause your allergic reactions and forces your body to fight them off, making you more resistant. Here is another blog with 20 unusual uses for honey, though I don't endorse them all.
3. Hot lemon water, daily.
Lemons are another of nature's wonders. They naturally detox the body (I've heard they're good for cancer patients who are going through chemo) and make it more alkaline. Do a quick google search about being alkaline and you'll see that it's important for the body to be balanced. Every day, I squeeze half of a lemon into a glass of semi-hot water and drink it. It makes a huge difference in my skin. In fact, I got out of the habit of drinking in daily in the last few weeks and have immediately noticed a difference. I'm right back on track now! You can use the peel for so many things after you squeeze the juice out. You can rub it over your face to get rid of scars (from acne or the sun or even age spots) since it's a natural and effective bleach. You can slice it and throw it in your garbage disposal to make it smell better. You can add some salt and scrub copper cookware to restore it's shine. Lemons are awesome. For more benefits, visit this site. I also recommend googling it, because you'll find a wealth of knowledge.
4. Consider the source.
Think about what goes in or on your body. I read once that women put 500 chemicals on their bodies each day. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and what comes into contact with your skin is absorbed by your body and into your bloodstream. Try to use natural products and makeup where you're able to, you want to really cut down on the amount of chemicals you slather yourself in. And remember- just because something is natural doesn't mean it's good for you. Hemlock and arsenic are natural. Also, American is eating less food and more "edible food particles" all the time. Watch the documentary Food Matters (free on Netflix!) or read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. It's incredible how many things we eat every day that aren't food. Try to cut back on processed food and eat more natural, raw foods. Take a look at the ingredients in what you buy... make sure they're actually food. This goes back to the idea of our bodies as a building- we want our building to last a long time, and to be in very good condition during it's later years. You can do that by putting in the proper materials, natural food. Michael Pollan has a great rule that is easy to remember for those of us who struggle with what is good to eat, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." The idea is that we need to a) eat food- not processed junk that doesn't even contain real food (some of the "fat free" products on the market are mostly chemicals), b) not too much- don't overstuff yourself, eat the proper amount of calories for your weight, and c) mostly plants- make sure you eat mostly plants (fruits, veggies, grains) and limit your intake of meat, dairy, sugar and chemicals. As Americans we tend to flip our pyramid- though I think we no longer use a food pyramid. Weird.
5. Mind over matter.
Your mindset will determine much of your health, just talk to a hypochondriac. Live life with a postive outlook, become a person who looks for the good in the world, and is solution oriented, instead of being someone who dwells in the bad. Try to start each day by listing 5 (different) things that you are grateful for. When things go wrong, try to remember the things you listed and thank God for those. I had my own reminder of this yesterday... it will really improve your well-being.
That's it for today! I've got just 2 hours to clean the house and get dressed before heading back into work. Have a great day and stay tuned! I know we've been down on crafts lately, I'm having a hard time with the lack of sewing machine. Hopefully I find the missing piece soon!