in our 8 Weeks journey to achieving your 2020 vision for better health. For those reading for the first time and wondering what all the hoopla's about, we, as a community, have been working our way through a three-phase program for improving health, losing weight and creating lifestyle habits that will last. As we finish up week five and head into week six, I wanted to share a few of my favourite food swaps, address the importance of staying hydrated and look at what we're flushing (or not) down the toilet.
Food plays a huge role in almost every part of our lives. Aside from the obvious need to eat to survive, food brings people together. Celebrations, holidays, births, deaths, cultural festivals, traditions, even just having a friend drop in for tea, in every country around the world food is a big part of every occasion. It's everywhere. And because food shows up in almost every area of our lives, learning to partake, enjoy and indulge healthfully is essential to our longevity.
Often times, those looking to lose weight and improve health think in terms of all they have to give up. Especially up when it comes to food. But it really doesn't have to be this way at all. Instead, I prefer to shift the focus to education, showing people how they can eat the foods they love in a way that stabilizes blood sugar, putting the body in a position to release stored fat. Combine this with swapping out harmful ingredients for healthier options means they can enjoy food in whatever situation they find themselves in, guilt free and in a way that's serving their body.
I really do love chocolate. And so do a lot of my clients and I'm sure many of you reading this do as well. Would you believe I often indulge in brownies and chocolate cupcakes? True story. It's not the cupcake that's the problem, it's what's in it that makes the difference. For example, swapping wheat flour for organic, non-gmo sprouted spelt, coconut, almond, quinoa, arrowroot or cassava flour; replacing sugar with stevia, monk fruit, pureed date, applesauce, mashed banana, or sweet potato; and switching from vegetable oils (safflower, sunflower, canola, corn etc.) and/or margarine (Becel, “I can't believe it's not butter”, etc.) to avocado, olive and coconut oils, not only increases nutrient value and decreases inflammation, but food tastes just as good, if not better. I often share baked goods with clients to show that eating healthy not only doesn't have to taste bad, it can be downright delicious. If you want to give healthy brownies or cupcakes a try, you can find the recipe in my “8 Weeks is All it Takes!” group on Facebook.
A few other swaps I recommend are; soda pop in favour of carbonated water where you add your own fresh lemon, lime or berries – the amount of sugar and toxins you'll save your body from is astounding; coffee for herbal tea – coffee tends to remove liquids from the body, whereas naturally caffeine-free options hydrate; sauces and sour cream for homemade hummus and guacamole – dairy tends to bloat and is inflammatory, and ready-made sauces are filled with chemicals and petroleum products. Ew. There are literally hundreds of swaps you can do to make a difference, but you get the idea.
Water. I can't stress enough how important it is to drink throughout the day and keep the body hydrated. Ladies, we need to be consuming two to three litres per day and gents, you should be chugging back three to four litres. If not, those otherwise plump healthy cells that make up our body and brain stop looking like grapes, and start looking more like raisins. Trust me, you wanna be grape. Seriously though, every function in every one of our body's systems, organs and in our brain, require water to make it happen. If you're constantly running a quart low, don't be surprised if you're constipated, have difficulty sleeping, low energy, difficulty concentrating and focusing, suffer from depression, mood swings, headaches or muscle cramps. So drink up. And yes, you will make more trips to the bathroom. That's a good thing because water flushes out fat, bloat, waste and toxins. Which brings us to my last point, just how often are you flushing?
Elimination is super important, but not often talked about. For some reason we get really uncomfortable with bathroom talk. Especially if things haven't really been going with the flow so to speak. Bottom line, the number of meals you eat should be the same as the number of times you eliminate. Using the larger button on those water-saving toilets. Going number two. Pooping. If you're eating three meals per day, you should also be pooping three times per day. Every time we eat, the body uses the nutrients and sends the waste down for elimination. But if it's not being eliminated, I hate to say it, but you just might be full of s#!t. Literally. Over time, toxins will make their way into the rest of your body, causing a whole host of issues you don't want.
Start today. I invite you to include more fresh, whole foods in your celebrations. Swap out the chemically-laden, inflammatory nasties for nutrient dense ingredients. Drink water. Drink more water. And make regular deposits at the loo nearest you. You'll be amazed how good you feel.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.