Friday, July 6, 2012

On a healthy lifestyle

Breakfast: mini everything bagel with butter, grapes, and limeade with a splash of pomegranate juice.

Did you know? Back when bagels were first invented, they were the size of today's mini-bagels. And have you ever wondered why juice is so many calories? Well, take a look at vintage juice glasses; they're meant to hold three ounces, not eight. Humans, in America especially, have super-sized everything, from foods to houses to people themselves!

This super-sized mentality leads to unhealthfulness in a plethora of ways. Portions are enormous; you're only supposed to ingest three ounces of red meat a day, and yet most restaurants sell ten- or twelve-ounce steaks and burgers. People looking to lose weight often don't realize that it's portion size, not the type of food they're eating, that's doing the most damage, and start eating processed diet foods that actually slow down the fat-burning process. Those taking the exercise route of weight-loss tend to over-exert themselves or even exercise to the point of unhealthfulness (yes, it is possible to have too much muscle). And let's not forget the legions of individuals who yearn for a healthier lifestyle, but are overwhelmed by what seems to be a ton of work to get there.

Let me tell you: being healthy is simple. You don't have to exercise three hours a day. You don't have to eat only vegetables and protein bars. It's quite easy, really. There are a few basic rules: stay away from processed foods, savor each bite, and get up on your feet as much as possible.

The key to nutrition is to eat real foods. If you can't pronounce something on the ingredients list, put it back on the shelf. Our body is not meant to process chemicals and synthetic sweeteners and lab-made fat substitutions. Take a look at the ingredients list before you toss that package of ramen or low-fat cookies in the cart. It may boast "100 calories!" or "Low-fat" or "Now with 75% less sugar!!", but you'd be better off eating a 400-calorie, fresh-baked all-natural muffin than eating those "healthy" snacks. So if you want a cookie, consider baking them yourself instead of buying processed Chips-Ahoy. It'll probably taste a lot better, anyway.

Humans have adopted to a sedentary lifestyle. The majority of adults wake up, sit in their car on the way to work, sit at their desk all day, and sit in their car on the way back, anxious to get home and--guess what?--sit down on the couch and relax. Pause. Rewind. What?
Even if you work a desk-job, you can incorporate a bit of movement into your day by parking your car far away, taking the stairs, even just taking a few short strolls around the office. It'll most likely even increase your productivity and put you in a better mood!  Exercise doesn't have to mean a grueling ab workout or a gym membership. This morning, I went for a jog around the neighborhood, and spent ten minutes jogging and the other ten walking. Even if you take a short walk every day, you'd be in a lot better shape than if you didn't! 

So try it out. Ignore the super-sized foods and the super-sized ads pushing them on you. Eat fruit. Walk around a bit. If you go out to eat and have a big meal, take half of it home and have it for lunch the next day. Don't wolf your food down, but enjoy every bite. Instead of spending your days off lazing about, work on a project around the house or go for a hike. It's not difficult to live a healthy lifestyle, and once you start, you won't go back!

1 comment:

  1. This is such amazing advice! Thank you for this, Nadine!

    <3 Sam