Strategies to de-age, improve energy
By Wendy M. Henrichs
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
Your diet, or what you eat, makes up 80 percent of how you look on the outside, how your body functions on the inside, and how you feel. You may have heard the term clean eating or eating clean. What does it really mean, and why would I want to do it? Clean eating over time will whittle your waistline, improve digestion, give you an abundance of energy, improve your memory and cognitive function, and make you look years younger. These are great reasons to consider eating a clean diet. Below are the basic guidelines for eating a clean diet. Try them for 30 days and see the improvement in how you feel and look.
I suggest taking a before and after picture so that you really can see the difference.
Eat an abundance of organic plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Eating a wide variety of these foods ensures we get adequate fiber and phytonutrients. The fiber in these foods helps to fill you up and feel less hungry. Insoluble fiber found in bran and outer coat of vegetables, helps to sweep out debris from our intestines and allows the food to move along. Soluble fiber in foods like oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas and some fruits and vegetables slow down digestion allowing for nutrients to be absorbed from your gut. It also helps trap toxins so you can excrete them. Fiber provides food for the healthy bacteria in our digestive systems.
When you eat a clean, organic diet you are eliminating a large source of toxicity and increasing the overall nutrient content. This also helps increase your liver’s ability to eliminate toxins that are already there. Consume 30 grams or more of dietary fiber each day. Choose organic as much as possible as non-organic produce, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are often treated with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. These chemicals cause damage to your cells over time and alter the expression of DNA. This can lead to an increase in cellular aging, nutrients in these foods along with improved digestive function will give your energy a boost.
Avoid all refined food and food with added sugar. Added sugar contributes a significant number of calories in the American diet. It is estimated that the average American consumes 28 teaspoons of added sugars every day. Sugars promote inflammation and accelerated aging via insulin and cortisol. Sugar and refined products cause damage deep within the cells. This is mainly through refined grains, desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sports/energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, fruit drinks and flavored milk. The increase in consumption of added sugar and sweeteners has led to an increased incidence of Type II diabetes in younger people as well as a foundation for obesity and the development of heart disease. Eliminating added sugars and refined foods will whittle your waistline and make you look younger.
Combine lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables or fruit with every meal and snack. Protein not only helps support muscle growth and maintain your lean muscle mass, but it also is necessary to repair cells, make new cells, and stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, and will help control hunger. Choose grass-fed and free-range animals and poultry or wild-caught fish. These clean proteins are not only lower in toxins, but higher in omega-3 fatty acids than the protein from corn-fed and caged animals and poultry. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can get adequate protein from legumes, nuts, and some high protein grains. Good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter and avocado oil provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and nervous system tissue. They are found in wild caught fish, grass fed and wild game, and free range (roaming the barnyard) poultry and leafy green vegetables. Eating omega 3 fats will decrease inflammation. Inflammation robs us of energy and causes pain.
Here are some examples to get you started:
• Four ounces grilled salmon, two cups steamed vegetables drizzled with avocado oil and half a baked sweet potato.
• Four ounces grilled chicken, two cups steamed vegetables drizzled with grass fed butter and half cup brown rice.
• One cup quinoa, two cups mixed vegetables sautéed in olive or coconut oil.
• Two hardboiled eggs and a handful of raw vegetables.
• Two tablespoons hummus and a handful of raw vegetables.
• Two tablespoons natural nut butter and an apple.
• 12 raw unsalted almonds and fruit
Drink plenty of filtered water. Water is an essential nutrient that aids in moving toxins out of our body. Water is also used in most every cellular function and a lack of water will cause you to feel fatigued and foggy. Start drinking water upon rising and sip throughout the day. Drink one to two eight-ounce glasses about an hour before your meal. Omit water with your meal and for about an hour after you eat to optimize your digestion. Work towards half of your bodyweight in ounces every day, more if you are exercising. Consuming enough water daily will improve your concentration and memory, increase your energy, help with weight control, and make your skin glow.
These strategies are a foolproof formula to feeling and looking great. Make your 30-day commitment to more energy, better mental focus and concentration, a smaller waistline, and glowing skin.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.