Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Reflections: Back to Basics

It’s Friday Reflection time and today’s topic is something that I get asked quite frequently so I thought I would dedicate some time to it.

I want to speak today on the basics of a healthy lifestyle and how simplicity is almost always the answer. So many people ask me what diet I follow, what I eat to maintain my health, or what they should eat to loose weight.

First off, I want to stress this point. I DO NOT NOR WILL I EVER CONSIDER MYSELF ON A DIET. I hate that word because, to me, a diet means restricting oneself for a certain period of time in order to obtain temporary results. Yes, it is possible to loose a few pounds (or many pounds) by following a certain food regime and we all know, there are hundreds of plans to choose from. You can take pills, avoid carbs, eat every 2 hours, eat ever 6 hours, eat bigger meals, eat smaller meals, drink your meals, or basically live a miserable life by only eating “diet” crap food. So you do this diet of choice for a few days, months or even years and you loose some weight and then what? Answer me this, is it truly logical to believe that we as humans are able to austerely restrict ourselves in a controlled system every single day for the rest of our lives?
In case you haven’t figured it out, the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why? Because life is not absolute; it changes, we change, our bodies change and we have to be adaptive in order to survive.

So when people ask me what they should eat all I want to tell them is “you already know the answer to that, you just don’t know how to believe it.” Think about it. We were designed with the intent to be healthy beings and we all start off fresh. We know what is good for us (the apple over the doughnut or the water over the beer) and we ultimately do not need anyone telling us what is good or bad, the thing that most people need help with is actually making the right choice. When you were a child, you knew that doing your homework and studying for that big math test would help you obtain a better grade right? But whether or not you did it is what resulted in the outcome. It’s the same idea with your health.

I am not a doctor or a nutritionist nor do I have any unveiling secrets to reveal, I only know what works for me and I can only stand on the fundamentals. The basics truths to wellness are really the only constants that everyone can live by. Everything else is a matter of figuring out your own body, mind and spirit and deciding what is truly best for your own well being.

So here are my fundamental commandments to a healthy lifestyle….

1. Eat breakfast: This
is such a no-brainer! Without getting into all of the details, trust me,
just do it because it’s too essential for your health not to!

2. Know your body: This one takes some
time because it requires you to pay attention to things such as your hunger, how
certain fooods make you feel, and how your body reacts to them. (It’s different for

3. Eat a variety: There are crucial nutrients (go
back to the old school pyramid) that we need every day and for everyone the
amounts vary. Find out what you need and make it a point to include these
into your every day intake.

4. Exercise: This doesn’t mean you
have to be a marathon runner or a body builder, just keep your heart pumping and
your blood flowing.

5. Never ever vow to change anything that you can’t do
for the rest of your life:
Start small. Make simple
changes that you know you can do and overtime, it will become easier to
incorporate more and more. Don’t ever tell yourself that you will never
eat a piece of cake for as long as you live. One, you will always want to
eat that cake that you can’t have and two give me one good reason why your life
would be better off without it?

So in all, the answer is simplicity. Simple truths, simple changes and simple steps and once you get past the lie that you don’t know how to do it but rather you don’t want to do it, you will realize that being healthy is not temporary, difficult or a strain. It’s actually a God given intent and, simply put, the way it is supposed to be.

To see the USDA's recommonded dietary guidelines visit


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