I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist which may lead you to believe that I’m hyper focused on diet, but I’m not. Your health and wellness as you live your one life is actually an imperfect balance between healthy eating, exercise, adequate rest and good stress management. Anyone of these in the absence of the others topples your attempts to live your one life to its fullest.
The desire to fuel you body needs to transcend beyond not only bringing enjoyment to your tastebuds but nourishment to the cells that create your singular person. They are in a constant state of turnover and attack by our environment so who will nourish them if not you? Make healthy eating a habit not a diet. Make water your primary beverage of choice, preferably from the tap so as not to contribute to the landfills that create pollution triggering free radicals that damage our body’s cells. Choose a steady stream of balanced energy over those that peak and valley. No meal skipping or over snacking. Create a balanced plate whereby fruits and vegetables comprise half your plate, proteins are lean and include a healthy mix of plant based such as beans, lentils, seeds and nuts. Let whole grain pasta, breads and cereals provide the reinforcement along with low fat dairy and probiotic rich yogurt.
View exercise as a means to maintain your health rather than your weight. It keeps your heart and lungs in shape and pumping strong. Exercise has so many benefits beyond the scale including keeping blood vessels flexible like a new rubber band, raising your protective HDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, enhancing blood sugar management and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases such as heart, diabetes and cancer. Exercise helps to keep us both limber and stronger as we age, independent and our minds mentally intact. When we exercise regularly, we create a halo effect as we are more apt to eat healthier, sleep better and have a happier mental outlook.
Rest is when our body repairs itself. The American Academy of Sleep recommends that the average adult needs seven hours or more of sleep each night. In the absence of adequate sleep accident rates, your risk for diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, depression and your ability to function well escalates in direct relationship to the hours lacking. Interestingly enough, too much sleep has the same negative effects on your health. Don’t shortcut your body on this necessary time needed to rebuild cells, consolidate memories and correct hormone balances such as those that regulate your appetite. Decisions become easier, your mood is more balanced, weight, blood sugar and even blood pressure are better controlled with a good nights rest.
Stress it’s there every single day. Learning to manage it so that it doesn’t place undue wear and tear on your body is a healthy step towards successfully adulting. Left unmanaged, stress increases fatigue, reduces your ability to concentrate, ages your body and harms vital organs. Decrease your risk of stress by connecting more with family members, colleagues and friends. Build strong, real world relationships, absent of technology as a good means to buffer stress. Getting a good nights rest is crucial but hard to achieve if nicotine, alcohol, excessive use or poorly timed caffeine interferes. Seeing the light of day, getting fresh air, taking deep breaths, getting plenty of exercise and enjoying a relaxing hobby will also help you naturally detox from stress.
So there you have it from the gut of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, it’s not all about the food. Creating the proper balance is imperfect and stones may topple but that’s part of the challenge in living your one life well, right?
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness