Nutrition: how to keep it simple

Doctors To YouDWC feature, health, WellnessLeave a Comment

The official month set aside to observe our nutrition may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to give our bodies our undivided attention throughout the year.

Sure, New Year’s resolutions help to get us in the goal-making mood with hopes of a “summer body,” but life eventually gets in the way and we find ourselves right back where we started in 12 months.

But don’t fret! DTY is here to help you. Of course, our Digital Wellness Center is always a good place to start. We have videos, articles, and all kinds of tips to keep you nutritionally sound all year round. But with part of the year already behind us, we figured you could use a quick refresher course on how you can keep your mind and body in top shape.

We have three—JUST THREE—universal (albeit, simple) tips that can apply to everyone, whether you’re trying a specialized eating style, looking to bulk up or slim down, or if you simply want to be around for the long haul.




The official month set aside to observe our nutrition may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to give our bodies our undivided attention throughout the year.

Sure, New Year’s resolutions help to get us in the goal-making mood with hopes of a “summer body,” but life eventually gets in the way and we find ourselves right back where we started in 12 months.

But don’t fret! DTY is here to help you. Of course, our Digital Wellness Center is always a good place to start. We have videos, articles, and all kinds of tips to keep you nutritionally sound all year round. But with part of the year already behind us, we figured you could use a quick refresher course on how you can keep your mind and body in top shape.

We have three—JUST THREE—universal (albeit, simple) tips that apply to everyone, whether you’re trying a specialized eating style, looking to bulk up or slim down, or if you simply want to be around for the long haul.




1. Eat consciously

Yeah, we’re starting out with a very broad statement, but the reason is because that’d be silly for us to tell you what to eat or when to eat, but we can tell how to eat.

So what does this mean? Well, it means you should put some thought into your food, which means avoiding convenience foods like packaged and processed meals.

Our advice is to always try to consume whole foods as close to nature as possible. These foods seldom have a nutrition label on them in the grocery store, but if they do, you should at least be able to recognize or pronounce all of the ingredients.


Image

We can’t tell you exactly what to eat because healthy foods come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, which means that if you’re vegan, your plate will look one way, but if you’re Paleo, it’ll look another. And if you’re following a Keto or gluten approach? Well, then you’ll have polar opposite things on your grill or in your oven each night.

But again, we talk about all of these specialized approaches in order to help you stay on the right track nutritionally speaking.

  • Keep your plate colorful
  • Avoid too much salt or too much sugar
  • Stay away from trans fats and fast food
  • Keep it as simple as possible, but keep the flavor with herbs, spices is the best way to go

We also can’t tell you whento eat. The proverbial “they” always say to eat breakfast. But what if you’re following an approach like intermittent fasting that calls for morning eating? Or a schedule that has you cutting off your meals right after lunch? Some folks even survive (and thrive) on just one meal a day!


See? There are too many variables, but fasting has so many benefits that we can’t in good conscience tell you when you should eat.

But whatever approach you take, we just hope that you are vigilant with your food intake, which means that if you don’t know whether something is good or bad for you, chances are you should skip it until you do know. Better to be safe than sorry.


Image

2. Make physical activity part of your life

We always say that bodies are meant to move! Working up a good sweat has its benefits, no matter what approach you decide to take—weight lifting, yoga, cardio…

A while back, we explored the pros and cons of walking and running to see which one was better. We compared the benefits for overall health, time spent, weight, injuries, your goals, and we concluded that, although both are great, “The Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology study revealed that people who walked regularly were healthier overall than those who run regularly.

The study suggests that risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, all were significantly lower in walkers, compared to runners.”

The takeaway is this: just move. Walk, run, skip, hop, it doesn’t matter. Don’t get hung up on the time of day, just move your body for 30 minutes a day.

    1. Eat consciously

    Yeah, we’re starting out with a very broad statement, but the reason is because that’d be silly for us to tell you what to eat or when to eat, but we can tell how to eat.

    So what does this mean? Well, it means you should put some thought into your food, which means avoiding convenience foods like packaged and processed meals.

    Our advice is to always try to consume whole foods as close to nature as possible. These foods seldom have a nutrition label on them in the grocery store, but if they do, you should at least be able to recognize or pronounce all of the ingredients.


    Image

    We can’t tell you exactly what to eat because healthy foods come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, which means that if you’re vegan, your plate will look one way, but if you’re Paleo, it’ll look another. And if you’re following a Keto or gluten approach? Well, then you’ll have polar opposite things on your grill or in your oven each night.

    But again, we talk about all of these specialized approaches in order to help you stay on the right track nutritionally speaking.

    • Keep your plate colorful
    • Avoid too much salt or too much sugar
    • Stay away from trans fats and fast food
    • Keep it as simple as possible, but keep the flavor with herbs, spices is the best way to go

    We also can’t tell you whento eat. The proverbial “they” always say to eat breakfast. But what if you’re following an approach like intermittent fasting that calls for morning eating? Or a schedule that has you cutting off your meals right after lunch? Some folks even survive (and thrive) on just one meal a day!


    See? There are too many variables, but fasting has so many benefits that we can’t in good conscience tell you when you should eat.

    But whatever approach you take, we just hope that you are vigilant with your food intake, which means that if you don’t know whether something is good or bad for you, chances are you should skip it until you do know. Better to be safe than sorry.


    Image

    2. Make physical activity part of your life

    We always say that bodies are meant to move! Working up a good sweat has its benefits, no matter what approach you decide to take—weight lifting, yoga, cardio…

    A while back, we explored the pros and cons of walking and running to see which one was better. We compared the benefits for overall health, time spent, weight, injuries, your goals, and we concluded that, although both are great, “The Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology study revealed that people who walked regularly were healthier overall than those who run regularly.

    The study suggests that risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, all were significantly lower in walkers, compared to runners.”

    The takeaway is this: just move. Walk, run, skip, hop, it doesn’t matter. Don’t get hung up on the time of day, just move your body for 30 minutes a day.


      Image

      3. Get sleep

      Sleep is arguably the most vital aspect of our day, which is why over our lifetime we will spend 1/3 of our time catching proverbial Zs.

      Falling and/or staying asleep can be tricky, and pills and medications can be scary, but there are natural methods like foods and supplements that can help you.

      Melatonin controls our circadian rhythm, which is to say our waking and sleeping cycles–the internal clock in our body. Naturally, at night (when it’s dark), we produce more melatonin, and in the day (when it’s light), less is needed, so we naturally produce less.

      According to Sleep.org: “Foods such as tomatoes, walnuts, olives, rice, barley, strawberries, [and] cherries… contain melatonin. When your body absorbs melatonin from these foods, you may begin to feel calm and sleepy.”

      There’s also Valerian root, chamomile, bananas, almonds, and kava, all of which we detail in our Top 6 Sleep Helpers post.



      Image

      3. Get sleep

      Sleep is arguably the most vital aspect of our day, which is why over our lifetime we will spend 1/3 of our time catching proverbial Zs.

      Falling and/or staying asleep can be tricky, and pills and medications can be scary, but there are natural methods like foods and supplements that can help you.

      Melatonin controls our circadian rhythm, which is to say our waking and sleeping cycles–the internal clock in our body. Naturally, at night (when it’s dark), we produce more melatonin, and in the day (when it’s light), less is needed, so we naturally produce less.

      According to Sleep.org: “Foods such as tomatoes, walnuts, olives, rice, barley, strawberries, [and] cherries… contain melatonin. When your body absorbs melatonin from these foods, you may begin to feel calm and sleepy.”

      There’s also Valerian root, chamomile, bananas, almonds, and kava, all of which we detail in our Top 6 Sleep Helpers post.



      That’s it. Those are our tips: eat consciously, move often, and sleep well. Super simple, right?

      Of course, there are so many other things you can, and should, do to keep your overall nutrition in mind. In fact, that’s the whole reason why National Nutrition Month started in the first place.

      Back in ’73, “National Nutrition Week was enthusiastically embraced by American Dietetic Association (ADA) members as an opportunity to promote the profession as well as to serve as a vehicle for delivering nutrition education messages to the public.”

      These messages took into account school menus, educational flyers, PSAs… pretty much anything the government could do to help educate you about how to prevent illness and promote wellness. The goal was to have you invest in yourself.

      Today, there are countless resources to help you stay on track. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Their website, eatright.org, is the place to go online for insight into official research, education, and advocacy in our nation’s health, providing tips to sticking to a budget, suggesting portion sizes and variety, and info for women, men, children, and the elderly to stay fit and healthy.

      Whatever resource you use, just remember that it doesn't have to be difficult: eat whole foods, move your body, and get good sleep.




      That’s it. Those are our tips: eat consciously, move often, and sleep well. Super simple, right?

      Of course, there are so many other things you can, and should, do to keep your overall nutrition in mind. In fact, that’s the whole reason why National Nutrition Month started in the first place.

      Back in ’73, “National Nutrition Week was enthusiastically embraced by American Dietetic Association (ADA) members as an opportunity to promote the profession as well as to serve as a vehicle for delivering nutrition education messages to the public.”

      These messages took into account school menus, educational flyers, PSAs… pretty much anything the government could do to help educate you about how to prevent illness and promote wellness. The goal was to have you invest in yourself.

      Today, there are countless resources to help you stay on track. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Their website, eatright.org, is the place to go online for insight into official research, education, and advocacy in our nation’s health, providing tips to sticking to a budget, suggesting portion sizes and variety, and info for women, men, children, and the elderly to stay fit and healthy.

      Whatever resource you use, just remember that it doesn't have to be difficult: eat whole foods, move your body, and get good sleep.

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