That Saying: “You are what you eat.”
What we eat and drink directly affects our bodies, state of consciousness, and overall wellness. For instance, I once saw a bumper sticker, “Give your kid candy, support your local dentist.” People with food allergies live with a needed awareness of what they eat. All of us need to be aware of what our general diet is. The emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables is also well noted. The negative effects of sugar, many sugar substitutes, trans fats, too much salt, and alcohol are also fairly well documented. There is plenty of information about good nutrition so I am not going to do what a qualified nutritionist can do for you. This section is to address what may get in the way of your getting good nutrition; and also, some important supplements that do not get enough attention. So what inhibits good nutrition?
“I do not have time and/or energy.”
Some adults barely have time for a cup of coffee before taking care of all that needs attention before arriving to work — including commuting time. Adults with children face even a greater challenge during school days. Arriving home after a work day may have such a level of fatigue that healthy meal preparation is not as much as an option as grabbing a microwave meal, or processed food. Theses circumstances exist. Here are a few suggestions:
a crock pot/slow cooker can allow you to prepare a healthy meal the night before, and then place the ingredients in the refrigerator. In the morning, add the ingredients to your slow cooker, set to low, and let it slowly cook the hours you are away. You come home to the wonderful smells of a cooked meal.
On the weekends, cook enough healthy meals that give you “just heat” meals through at least half of a work week. This can work well.
Instant Pots (be sure you carefully read instructions for sealing and releasing the steam) take more time when arriving home; however, they are amazing in how easily and quickly you can prepare an excellent tasting and nutritious meal.
As regards energy. Take up as a creative part of your life learning how to cook healthy meals. (Beware, there are great tasting dishes that are very fattening with little nutrition.) Become a Instant Pot expert. Enjoy the creativity of cooking those healthy meals on the weekends, and then having them for dinners during the week. How creative can you become in slow cooker meals? There are great choices for you.
“With the stress in my life I turn to comfort foods and alcohol.”
If you are not familiar with the phrase “comfort food” do some research. You can eat a healthy meal, but then consume comfort foods to “feel better.” The same goes for consuming more than a very moderate amount of alcohol. (I look forward to the time when television and movies show someone in stress who, instead of grabbing a bottle of alcohol, sits back and relaxes their minds, or who puts on comfortable clothing and does light stretching.) Comfort foods and alcohol not only undermine your nutrition but also are very fattening. This affects your body-image, self-image, and overall wellness. Learning how to manage and find ways to reduce stress may also help you to avoid comfort foods and the misuse of alcohol.
So What About Supplements
Your personal physician can look at your lab reports after blood draws. This can provide a reliable indication if certain supplements are needed. You can also check to see if certain foods could provide you with what those supplemental needs, which when possible is often the better choice than tablets, capsules, etc. Two supplements that are really important to include in your nutrition are Omega 3s, and hyaluronic acid.
“Omega 3s,” (treat yourself to reading ALL the benefits of Omega 3s) are very, very important. They are not stored in your body so you need as close to a daily intake of them as possible. The only foods that are best known for providing them are fish or GROUND flaxseed (Flaxseeds have a very hard shell and will pass right through your digestive system. However, that does not stop companies from touting their flaxseed enhanced food provides you Omega 3s), or chia seed, ground is optimum. People often use their coffee grinder to grind up a couple of days worth of flaxseed (you need 1-2 Tablespoons per day), and pour it on their breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods. Grinding your flaxseed, but remember it is only viable for a few days, is probably best if you have time. A lot of fish are now contaminated, and or expensive, so compared to the price of flaxseed, flaxseed is more economical. However, you have to grind the flaxseed, which takes time. The other option is finding Omega 3 supplement capsules, that are fairly pure in Omega 3s. There are good supplements out there, and not so good. A little research will be worth it.
Hyaluronic acid is a unique supplement that benefits many aspects of physical systems, but especially your joints, skin, nails, and eyes (Please research this supplement, the information will let you know how important this supplement is. You cannot find them in food per se, but there are excellent over the counter supplements. I will keep this updated, but for now the best company I have found for these is hyalogic. The Synovial Seven liquid drops, and the pure facial serum are excellent (apply a vitamin c moisturizer with the serum and get facial skin benefits.)
A Good Supplement for Fatigue
A Vitamin B12 complex supplement will help with reducing fatigue. I knew a person who kept the drops in her desk drawer at work. In the afternoon, she would use the drops as an “energy pick-me-up.” Taking them first thing in the morning is a good way to start your day. And, having a bottle at work might not be a bad idea either. This supplement is water-soluble, which means you do not have to worry about taking too much, like others. (Research any supplement before taking).
Choosing a Healthy Snack Bar
I will keep this updated, but for now the very best snack bar is “Zing.” Several nutritionists developed this product in response to providing a healthy snack bar. Food companies’ marketing is impressive, but reading ingredients is still the best measure for choice. The Zing nutritionists have set a high standard.
Each person is unique in their food preferences. The nutritional advice is:
Track which foods provide the best nutrition for your taste.
Avoid all fast-diets. The only way to reduce fat LONG TERM is to slowly change your food choices, and eating habits.
Avoid the habit of eating a large meal and then going to bed shortly thereafter. Your digestion may suffer.
Discuss with your physician your blood work to see if it shows a nutritional lack somewhere.
Saving some money to see a nutritionist is a very good use of your money. You only may need one or two visits to get a really personalized nutrition guide. And, since what you eat affects your entire wellness, this is an investment with huge returns.
No matter what, add Omega 3s, and hyaluronic acid in some form. Add the Vitamin B12 complex if you suffer from ongoing fatigue.
As with exercise and rest, a little attention can provide significant benefits.