In my work as a nutrition therapist, I typically see one of two types of clients: those who are ill with multiple chronic diseases and desperate to get better; or those who feel sluggish and frustrated all the time and just want their lives back. It may sound simplistic, but the solution is almost always the same: eat real food and make some positive lifestyle changes. Yes, specialized supplements are often needed to kickstart detoxification and gut repair, but the foundation is always the same. Food alone can’t heal everything, but you can’t heal anything without it! I spend a lot of time educating people on actions that will help them regain their health and vitality, but what if we took actions to prevent disease and vigorously maintain wellness instead?
I hope the first of my "checklists to health & vitality" will serve you and inspire you to take small actions toward vitality in your own life.
10 Steps to Health & Vitality Through Food
- Avoid overeating, not only does it tend to make us feel negatively about ourselves, it also raises insulin levels and wreaks havoc on our hormones.
- Avoid sugar and white flour as much as possible – both feed cancer cells and cause systemic inflammation, breakouts, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease (plus a host of other chronic illnesses).
- Aim for three cups of veggies/leafy greens and one cup of low-glycemic fruit per day – the phytonutrients will fight disease, clear your skin and make you feel full faster. (Choose organic when possible to decrease your body’s toxic burden).
- Cook with foods rich in dietary antioxidants like garlic, ginger, turmeric, basil, oregano and cilantro – these are anti-inflammatory cancer fighters and add so much flavor to a meal.
- Consume plenty of fiber daily – soluble fiber (legumes, flax) acts like a sponge to absorb toxins; insoluble fiber (vegetables and fruits with skins on) acts like a brush to scour waste along the intestinal walls. Both help pull toxins from the body so they don't store in our skin and other tissues.
- Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily to flush out your organ systems and keep your body detoxing.
- Eat 5-7 servings of cruciferous veggies per week (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) – these are filled with fiber and phytonutrients to aid the body’s detoxification and immune systems (if you have thyroid issues, be sure to lightly cook them before consuming).
- Drink herbal teas daily. Green tea has anti-cancer benefits and decaffeinated herbal teas provide micronutrients and tasty hydration.
- Batch cook 1-2 times a week. Sundays are great for making a big batch of your favorite protein, chopping veggies and cooking a pot of quinoa. Taking that hour to prepare once or twice a week will seriously decrease stress levels and you’ll make better food choices all week.
- Find 21 days each year to do a whole body detox program. Detoxification is more important now than any other time in human history. Not only will you boost your liver and kidney function to reduce your body's toxic load, you’ll also have more beautiful skin, sleep better and have much more energy during the day. (If a detox program interests you, contact me! I’m in the midst of creating a beautifully holistic program that I can’t wait to share.)
What health/nutrition/skin topics would you like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter, where I'll be answering your questions!
To your good health!
Misty, NTP + BLOOM Founder