What I love about my job and what I feel is my strength as a chiropractor for the past 30+ years, is that I always look for solutions. Not to just help your back or neck pain, but solutions to help you avoid future episodes of pain and improve your overall health and vitality.
One of the biggest, and yet overlooked solutions to improved health is a change in diet. I know, this is often a touchy subject. We all like to eat what we like to eat. The most common initial response to a discussion on diet is, don’t ask me to give up _____. You fill in the blank. When it comes to making these kind of tough, life-changing choices, our decision really comes down to two things…
Do I love my current diet?
Do I want to feel better, move better and think better?
I made my decision when I found it difficult to get up off the floor. I didn’t like this, I knew I needed to make a change, but more importantly, I wanted to change.
You have to want it!
I know life is filled with stress and sometimes it seems easier to just give up. You may not want to live forever, but how about being as healthy, vibrant and as pain-free as possible for the time we are allotted?
I know life is short and you want to enjoy your life today. How we feel is a direct reflection of our lifestyle. It’s all about balance and quality of life.
How do I know what will work for me?
No question, there IS a lot of information out there about health and wellness, but there is a way to distill it down to what works the best, and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next choice.
What I have noticed that works for most people is not rocket-science. Inherently, most of us know what to do. We just need encouragement to more consistently follow the plan. Through my personal experience and in working with patients, the following basic strategies work:
- Drink more water. With few exceptions, I have not come across too many people that drink an adequate amount of water. What’s adequate? One ounce for every two pounds of body weight. Yes, that’s a lot of water, and you can obviously get away with less. By the way, water is water; coffee, wine, beer, soda and energy drinks are not a substitute. Try drinking more water for three weeks.
- Avoid processed food. If it comes in a box or a can, it is processed. Read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce a word, it is probably made in a chemistry lab and not good for you. You can obviously get away with consuming it, but at what cost? Try limiting your processed foods for three weeks.
- Avoid eating fast-food. Not typically the best quality food and loaded with chemicals. Try giving it up for three weeks.
- Limit sugar consumption. Read the labels and look at sugar content. Let me go on the record saying that sugar kills. It is everywhere and is a big part of why I recommend not eating processed foods. Many people consume three days’ worth of sugar at breakfast. Fruit Loops and soda in the morning is not the breakfast of champions. Try giving it up for three weeks.
- Limit Carbohydrates. Understand that a form of sugar we should seriously limit is carbohydrates as in: bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. If one of your objectives is to lose weight, this is a biggie. Try it for three weeks and see how you feel.
- Substitute fat in your diet for carbohydrates. This was the strategy I used to drop 90 pounds in 5 months a few years ago. At every meal, I considered ways to limit carbs and increase fat. And, I am not necessarily talking about animal fat, although it is a source of fat. Instead of large quantities of animal fat, I used copious amounts of olive oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil. Other sources of fat are avocados, eggs, and nuts. Try it for three weeks.
- Move your body. Do some kind of activity to move your joints and work your muscles every day. Certainly, there are those who cannot move, but please, as much as possible, do not allow your current physical condition to hold you back. You can move your body even if you are confined to a chair. Let us know if you need help with this.
- Reduce free radicals. Free radicals occur in our body from toxins, stress, and our diets, even a good one. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which damages and destroys cells. Oxidative stress is like rust for our insides. It is a major component of the aging process and is responsible for many disease processes like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Watch this video and let us know if you would like more information.
- Get adjusted regularly. Studies have shown that those who include regular chiropractic care in their health and wellness plan experience better health, are more active, take fewer medications, and spend less time in the hospital.
Keep in mind that the healthiest among us are not necessarily those who live in the gym and eat tofu-burgers for lunch. We can enjoy a healthy and vibrant life with an occasional slice of pizza. However, pizza and other sugary treats should be just that, a treat that we indulge in on an infrequent basis. Not every night as a reward for making it through another day. How rewarding and satisfying would that slice of pizza or that loaded burger be if you sat down to enjoy it once a month instead woofing it down on a daily basis?
Solutions for Better Health, Naturally!
Peter A Holst, DC