Spring is here! It is going to be 62 degrees in Chicagoland today! Time to crack the windows and dust off the patio furniture. Today I am going to even sit outside and try to enjoy real vitamin D from the sun instead of a pill.  Spring is also about renewal. The plants and trees are starting to regenerate and some of us are starting to spring clean. It is also a great time to make some lasting changes to our health and diet. After all, summer is coming.

This morning I juiced – with my vitamix, I blended 1 carrot, a handful of grapes, a half of beet, a handful of spinach,  1 kale leaf, an apple and frozen blueberries, strawberries and peaches. I am slurping it down as I type. This will be my breakfast this Sunday morning.

Below is a great list of healthy tips for wellness. I swear by these rules and I promise if you follow this list well into summer you will be a changed person. Spring is a great time to start some new regiments

Here are ten steps to eating healthier:

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less fried and processed foods: Research shows that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables provides many benefits, including protection against cancer, heart disease, and the effects of aging. We all live busy lives, but try to limit fast food which includes processed and fried foods all of which contain preservatives and words we can’t pronounce.
  2. Eat more “Super Foods” like salmon, walnuts and even dark chocolate. Also blueberries and any vegetable that is bright in color like red bell peppers and tomatoes. Also, excellent are dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli all of which are rich in antioxidants and can help fight free-radicals in the blood stream.
  3. Add a multi-vitamin to your daily diet. Whole Food supplements are the best but also the most expensive. We can’t always eat well, but adding a multi-vitamin to your diet acts as checks in balance system when you’re on the go or can’t afford healthier food on a regular basis.
  4. Snack smart – go for nuts and dried fruit over chips and candy bars.
  5. Super size, need not apply – Limit your portions at all meals. Americans especially, over eat which leads to weight gain and even obesity.  Slow your intake and don’t eat a large portion if you are not very hungry. Learn to eat about ¾ of your meal and wait five minutes. You will find there is a delayed response from the stomach telling the brain you are full. Doing this will ensure you do not leave the dinner table with that uncomfortable full feeling.
  6. Shop smart: Try and side step the snack isle and don’t buy food you know is unhealthy. Sugar drinks and pop should be treats not a daily practice.
  7. Curb your sugar intake: Try to limit how much refined sugar you eat — not only is it high in calories, but it’s also almost devoid of nutrients. Why risk gaining unnecessary weight from foods with little or no nutritional value?  Read labels and avoid foods high in sugar and excessive carbohydrates. Stay away from “high fructose corn sugar” as well.
  8. Go natural and organic: Choosing organic food means you’ll be eating foods that were cultivated without pesticides or hormones, which have been proven to be toxic in the human diet, and are often linked with cancer. It is difficult and expensive to go completely organic, but even a few changes will help. For example, if you eat eggs on a regular basis, buy the organic cage free variation. Any small changes to your diet will help!
  9. Drink water: Our bodies are made up of mostly water and drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day is important for hydration and flushing out your organs and cells.
  10. Juice before dinner. Fill up with antioxidants and fiber so there is less room to fill up with empty calories.

Happy Spring!

John C. Bader

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