I have decided as we are getting closer to the festive season I would ask Joyce of Eatlivelovefood to write a guest post to help us through this period. Joyce is a Nutritional Therapist and in this post she is highlighting the importance of a health check up and gives us tips for how we can make this time a bit healthier while still having fun.
I have just come back from an appointment at my ‘organic dentist’. I chose them largely because they don’t use fluoride, but they also have similar values.
Now, if you’re like me, and a lot of other people, you go to the dentist/hygienist every 6 months for a check up and a clean. Why? To prevent tooth decay, pain and gum disease. You make changes to your cleaning regime to help lower the risks.
As a nutritional therapist, I understand the importance of dental health, however, it’s not the only part of our bodies that need attention. Especially as the weather changes, a lot of my clients find what their body needs changes too. Are you gearing up for the holidays and thinking about how to feed yourself and your family well, but not put on the winter weight?
We tend to service our cars regularly to prevent inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs. We install anti-virus software on our computers to ensure we can keep working, but why not do this sort of a check on our bodies?
What is less obvious, but EQUALLY true, is that maintaining a healthy weight helps prevent diabetes. Eating enough protein helps maintain a healthy mood. You should avoid bread and pasta if you are intolerant to gluten.
We all struggle to ‘do the right thing’ for our bodies and the holidays make it more complicated. You may feel you have no time, it’s raining, you’re too stressed or it’s hereditary… so why bother? Just give in and treat yourself…right?
My concern is that we are caught up in short-term thinking, even though we’re here for the long-term. The average life expectancy in the Netherlands is 81.4 years. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time active, energetic and healthy?
My grandmother lived until she was 97 and, until she was 91, she was living on her own and had very few health problems. She lived an active, hardworking life with wholesome food.
As Adelle Davis, a famous nutritionist once said, “As I see it, every day you do one of two things; build health or produce disease in yourself.”
So, let’s look to those great examples in our lives, like my grandmother and Adelle Davis, let’s apply what we already use with our dentist, our computers and our cars and give ourselves a Winter Health Check.
Make an appointment with yourself for a health check this week, and again in 3 months. Make sure you’re doing these things to improve your health and happiness this winter and over the holidays, or just choose one to focus on:
- Be sure to stay hydrated to keep your skin healthy and your mood up, despite the short days. Focus on herbal teas or hot water and lemon and lots of warming soups
- Avoid the winter blues by investing in a blue or white SAD light (http://www.sad.org.uk/buying-a-sad-light/)
- Fill your plate at meal times with lots of colourful vegetables FIRST so you get lots of vitamins and minerals to ward off colds. Ginger, turmeric, lemons and garlic have great anti-inflammatory or anti-bacterial properties and yellow and red beets and carrots are now in season.
- Sprouted beans, lentils and chickpeas are a great way to get compact nutrients into you; sprinkled on salads or soups or blended into smoothies. You can grow sprouts at home really easily.
- Include more healthy fats such as coconut oil or butter for cooking (don’t let it smoke or it has damaging effects on your cells) and seed oils for after the heat is turned off…you may find you no longer crave so many stodgy fried or heavy ‘winter foods’ as before.
- Snack on nuts and seeds (nut roast anyone?), veggies and hummous, boiled eggs or smoothies for even energy throughout the day and to avoid frequent colds and flus.
- Most importantly, eat until you are no longer hungry…not until you are full. Do you know the difference? Before the holidays start, give it a go. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat. Notice when you’re not HUNGRY any longer, even if you haven’t eaten as much as you normally would. Have you been overeating?
If you find you struggle to make change on your own, or need specific advice, then contact a professional in the new year to help point you in the right direction.
So what are you going to do today…build health or produce disease? Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Trained in the UK, Joyce Bergsma offers private consultations, seminars in corporate spaces and is obsessed about giving fermentation workshops. She specialises in mental health and how nutrient deficiencies influence our mood. Her successful workshops or 30 minute Nutrition Guidance consultations are the perfect introduction to changing your ingrained habits.
Contact us for more information at 0630 554 729.
Author: Lorna Wilson
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