3 Healthy Tips That Won’t Cost You a Dime
12th of July 2016
Strolling through the aisles of the grocery store labels and branding, words leap out at me: All Natural, Gluten-Free, No Sugar Added, Grass-Fed, Vegetarian Fed, Vegan, Dairy-Free, No Antibiotics or Hormones ever… For the average person trying to find the best choice it can be overwhelming. I maneuver my cart between other shoppers who are studying the ingredient decks trying to decide which cereal is the healthiest. The big food companies have gotten pretty savvy at hiding sugar, corn and soy ingredients with fancy new names. And that’s just the products! Every person you talk to has a different idea about the kind of foods you should eat (or not eat) to stay healthy. In a 2012 study, 52% of Americans (that were polled) believed doing their taxes was easier than figuring out how to eat healthy. Luckily, there are a few things you can do no matter what your food preferences are that won’t cost you anything!
Drink more water
Water is the number one nutritional deficiency in America. The body’s needs and uses for water are many and continuous. Did you know humans can survive 3 weeks without food, but only 3 days without water! We need water to lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, moisten air pathways for easier breathing, deliver oxygen to every cell, absorb shock to the organs and joins, transport nutrients, remove wastes and toxins and to empower the body’s natural healing process.
Luckily, we can pull some water from the food we eat because many of us are only drinking coffee, tea, soda and juice. Maybe a glass of milk or a sports drink thrown in there occasionally. When we over consume diuretic beverages we tell our body to get rid of water and minerals. Want to know what some early signs of dehydration are? Fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression, cravings, cramps and headaches. More severe signs can show as heartburn, joint and back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, constipation, and colitis.
Every person is different and has individual nutritional needs, so here’s an easy way to calculate your unique target for daily water intake: Half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you are drinking any kind of diuretic (caffeinated drinks, soda, alcohol or juice) you will add 1½ of that drink to your total. So if you weigh 100 lbs you want to make sure you’re getting about 50oz of water every day. If you have an 8oz cup of coffee in the morning add 12oz of water to your 50oz.
“The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture.” ― Michael Pollan
Sit Down & Eat
20% of all meals in America are eaten in a car. That doesn’t sound like a lot written that way, how about when you say 1 in 5 meals are eaten in a car? Add to that more than half of us skip breakfast at least once a week, and 33% of the time it’s in front of the TV. Think back to yesterday. Did you eat 3 meals? How many of them were at a table? How many times did you eat standing up in the kitchen?
Studies have shown that we tend to overeat when we are distracted, which can lead to weight gain. In addition, we are doing our digestive system a huge disservice by not relaxing and concentrating on our food. Digestion begins in the brain with the first whiff or sometimes even the first sight of food. Our brain signals our salivary glands to start secreting saliva, a critical component to breaking down carbohydrates for digestion. Then once our food has reached our stomach other processes kick into gear for protein digestion. If everything goes well fats are emulsified in the small intestine.
Digestion is a north to south process and if there’s a kink at the top it effects digestion all the way to the bottom. Just like when the garden hose gets a kink and the water can’t make it through to the end. When we take the time to sit down at a table and focus on our food we are clearing the way for good digestion. Which leads to getting more nutrients from our food.
Chew Your Food
This is the Robin to tip 2’s Batman… Chewing your food 20-30 times per bite is a lot easier when you are focusing on your meal. Sitting in a car or in front of the TV leads to bigger bites chewed and swallowed hastily. For carbohydrates digestion actually begins in the mouth with the saliva beginning the breakdown. When we swallow too soon our stomach and small intestines have more work to do, and it’s work they aren’t especially equipped to handle. It’s like asking your doctor a question about a cavity; he might know something about it, but the dentist is going to know exactly what to do.
Taking the time to chew your food also means you will give your stomach time to tell your brain when it’s full. Limiting the amount of over eating you may be doing may even SAVE you money!
Whether you just want to build better habits, feel better or lose weight these 3 diet hacks can be used by anyone at any age to start living healthier.
Note: The information found in this blog post and on this website is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness, nor act as a substitute for medical treatment or advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before implementing any dietary and/or lifestyle modifications.
Brynn D’Avello is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and owns Thyme To Turnip Nutrition in Claremont, CA. Brynn’s passion is working with families to build healthy foundations. She helps couples prepare their bodies for conception, works with parents to support healthy pregnancies, and nourishing their babies and children. Brynn started her nutrition journey with her son’s diagnosis on the Autism spectrum in 2011, and has learned how important food is to maintaining optimal health not just for their son with Autism, but the other 5 family members as well. She understands how daunting it can seem to switch to a nutrient-dense diet in today’s busy world of the working family.