Daily Tips From Your Acupuncturist (part 6)
A review of what we’re trying to do: There are several very simple practices that, when committed to, can drastically improve a persons’ health, quality of life, and even help to alleviate symptoms. The catch is, they have to be done regularly!
Just Eat REAL Food
So, you want to eat better, but where the heck do you start?? Your doctor says one thing, your friend who just lost a bunch of weight says another, this guru, that guru, the list goes on and on, and no one seems to agree! How do you know what’s right, and more importantly, what’s right for YOU. Well, unfortunately, that is not an easy question to answer because nutrition, digestion, and metabolism are complex and have a lot to do with genetics and epigenetics (how your genes change and respond based on your lifestyle and environment), BUT there is definitely a great place to start that EVERYONE can benefit from, and that is: JUST EAT REAL FOOD. This is something I’m pretty sure all of us “health experts” and even your doctor can agree on.
So what does that mean? It means cook your food. Buy ingredients that are used to make a meal, instead of buying something in a package. It’s shopping the perimeter of the market and avoiding the center. It’s eating foods that aren’t pre-processed. It’s simplifying.
I could tell you to eat only organic, local, grass-fed, pastured, etc. etc. etc. and I wouldn’t be wrong, those things are great! But they can also be very confusing and overwhelming! If you first, just try to eliminate the sugar laden overly processed foods, that are full of chemicals and bad fats, you’re going to make a huge difference! Why do a lot of people who go “gluten free” lose weight and start to feel better? Most of the time, it’s NOT because they have a problem with gluten… it’s that instead of choosing crackers, breads, etc. they are choosing better, more “whole” and nutrient dense foods. So that’s where I recommend people start. Try to reach for some fresh veggies, or even cheese (if you tolerate dairy well), fruit, meats, nuts, etc. instead of chips, crackers, and other processed snacks. Even things like granola bars tend to be laden in extra sugars and junk. Try to make as much of your own food as possible and eat mostly things that aren’t from a package!
Food BONUS tip: Practice conscious eating!
Sit down at the dinner table. Shut off the TV. Leave your phone on your desk and eat lunch outside. These are examples of conscious eating. When you eat while distracted by the TV or internet, or when you eat on the go and in your car, you aren’t paying attention to your eating and chances are you will eat too fast and too much. When you sit and take some time to smell, taste, chew, and enjoy your food, you will feel full faster, and digest better!