I am a very strong proponent of living a healthy lifestyle for numerous reasons. Among them:
1. Healthy lifestyle habits help you feel and look your best.
2. Living a healthy lifestyle may help protect you from chronic health issues including obesity, heart disease and cancer.
3. A healthy lifestyle also benefits the environment.
Here are my top tips for a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat a whole foods nutrient-dense diet that is high in fruits and vegetables (with as much of it being local/organic as possible). Limit coffee and soda- drink lots of pure water and other healthy drinks instead. Limit alcohol and sugar.
- Incorporate healthy exercise habits into your life. Find what works for you, do it consistently, and you’ll reap the many benefits exercise has to offer.
- Take good care of your health (including your teeth). Avoid smoking and drink only in moderation. Learn about natural medicine so you can approach health issues in a holistic way.
- Use all natural healthy body care products, or make your own so you can avoid putting potentially toxic chemicals on your body.
- Take steps to ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep.
- Manage your stress. It is hard to have a truly healthy lifestyle if your life is very stressful. There are many effective ways to manage stress, from adequate rest and relaxation to meditation to sports/exercise to gardening to fun with family, friends and pets, etc. Find what works for you and make time for it on a regular basis.
- Live green. A truly healthy lifestyle enhances not just personal health, but the wellness of the planet as a whole!
Healthy weight loss means using a holistic approach to take off the pounds. If losing weight is one of your goals, a healthy weight loss plan is a great way to go.
First and foremost, you need to make sure your diet is focused on whole, real healthy foods. Next, make sure exercise is a part of your life- it is hard to lose and maintain weight without exercise.
But what if you eat what you think is a pretty good diet and you work out regularly, but you’re still unhappy with your body? If you have other health issues going on, you may need to put your desire to lose weight on hold for a while. Be patient as your body heals.
If you are generally in good health and you are frustrated with your weight, though, you probably need to focus on balancing your blood sugar and improving your metabolism as addressing these issues helps most people achieve healthy weight loss naturally.
These healthy weight loss guidelines below were developed for my patients back when I used to run a natural weight loss program. Following these guidelines can help tremendously, so if you are serious about losing weight the healthy way, please give them a try.
- Eat breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up. If you exercise in the morning you can eat after that, but try not to wait longer than 1 hour after waking to eat. Do not eat breakfast later then 10 o’clock. Avoid waiting until brunch to eat- this is just too long for your body to go without food.
- Eat 3-4 nutrient-dense, balanced meals per day (or eat 5-6 true “mini-meals”). A balanced meal is one which contains vegetables (ideally one would eat equal amounts of raw, cooked, and cultured veggies- a serving is about the size of your open hand), high quality protein (a serving is about the size of your palm), high quality starch/carbohydrate (a serving is about the size of your fist), and high quality fat.
- Properly timed healthy snacks are an important part of the healthy weight loss guidelines. In the morning, 2 hours after breakfast, eat a small snack. If you still have not had lunch two hours after this, have another small snack. (Ex. If you have breakfast at 8, have a snack at 10 and 12, and then have lunch at 1; or, have breakfast at 8, a snack at 10 and lunch at 12- in other words, do not go more than 2 hours without eating in the a.m.!
- Three hours after lunch, have another snack. Three hours after this, if you have not had dinner yet, have yet another recommended snack. (Ex. If lunch was at 1, have a snack at 4 and dinner at 6 or have a snack at 4, 7 and dinner at 8). Remember that raw vegetables make the best snacks when you are trying to lose weight.
- Do not eat in the hours after dinner. You may have unsweetened herbal tea if you like.
- Completely avoid alcohol and sugar for the first 7 days. You may indulge moderately in these (once to twice weekly) after the first week. Have only as much as you need to feel satisfied. Do not overdue the alcohol or sugar or you will sabotage your health and weight loss efforts.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners completely. Stevia and a very small amount of raw honey are ok.
- Cod liver oil to provide 10,000 iu of vitamin A should be taken once daily, preferably in the morning with breakfast. 1 tsp. of high vitamin cod liver oil provides this amount (available from LiveSuperFoods.com).
- Coconut oil at a dose of 1-3 Tb. three times daily can help improve thyroid function and optimize metabolism. This may be appropriate for you.
- Exercise- a good balance of aerobic activity, strength/resistance training, and stretching is optimal. Alternate days of doing aerobic activity with strength training so that you are exercising 30 minutes-1 hour 4-5 times a week, if possible. Do not exercise more than 5 days a week as your body needs time to repair, though stretching can be done daily if desired. Be careful not to overdo exercise if you have been sedentary for some time- this can cause more harm than good.
If you have are not losing weight after following these weight loss guidelines for several weeks, you should know that sometimes your metabolism needs to adjust before weight loss can occur.
If, however, you sense that something else is going on, you may want to consider that you have underlying food allergies (also known as food sensitivities, candida yeast overgrowth , hypothyroidism (poor thyroid function), adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, or another obstacle to weight loss.
Eating a balanced healthy diet with specific attention to my weight loss guidelines will improve all of these problems, but it may take some time.
It may be best if you seek individual guidance so that you can get appropriate testing, a more personalized diet plan, and possibly use some supplements for nutritional support.
I suggest you seek out a natural medicine practitioner who specializes in weight loss for the best results.
The raw food diet (aka living raw food diet) is becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious individuals. Many celebrities follow this diet and attribute their good health and enviable physiques to eating this way.
Those who follow the raw food diet do so because raw foods contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes (enzymes aid digestion and nutrient absorption and are not, for the most part, present in cooked foods). Eating a raw food diet can be an excellent strategy for losing weight, reducing symptoms of acute or chronic illness, and gaining energy. That being said, my reason for writing this raw food diet review is to state that I do not believe following a 100% raw food diet long-term is a good plan for everyone.
Most “raw foodists” follow a raw food vegan diet, prefering to eat no animal foods and to eat only foods that are raw/living/never cooked over 115-120°F. (altering foods by culturing/fermented and very low heat “cooking” in a dehydrator set at this temperature is therefore ok).
Because more and more people are interested in raw foods, the availability of items that make following the raw food diet enjoyable is constantly expanding; most natural food stores carry a variety of raw energy bars, protein powders, crackers, cookies, and cereals, as well as supplements designed to meet the needs of those who are raw vegans. My only problem with it is that there are a few raw food diet dangers; unless you are very careful, if you eat this way long-term, you are possibly at risk of developing serious nutritional deficiencies.
Some people who say they “eat raw” are not vegan, though; they eat some raw milk and other raw dairy products, raw free-range eggs, as well as some raw fish or low-temperature cooked wild grass-fed meat. The purpose of eating like this is to stick with the high enzymatic content raw diet for the most part, but to take care of vitamin and mineral needs that are potentially not met when following a vegan diet (ex. vitamin B12 and vitamin D). I personally would not go completely raw vegan- I would want to cover my nutritional bases and include small amounts of these types of animal foods in my diet. Some people refer to this type of diet as “high raw”- meaning a high/mostly, but not exclusively, raw diet, and I give eating this way a raw food diet review “thumbs up”.
While I do not think the raw food diet is for everyone, I think it is definitely worth trying on some level to see how your body responds. For many individuals, eating raw is the key to looking and feeling great.
Even if you have no interest in ever being any type of raw foodist, though, it is definitely desirable to increase the amount of raw food in your diet. Raw fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients and fiber than their cooked counterparts and help to promote health in numerous ways. Sprouted nut/seeds and grains are very healthy, as well.
I personally eat lots and lots of raw fruits and veggies, as well as live fermented foods and beverages and soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains (but I do eat cooked foods, too).
I try to eat mainly raw foods for 2-3 weeks every spring as part of a cleanse/detox that leaves me feeling healthy and refreshed.