New Year, New You!

Happy Holidays everyone! We at NutsForLife hope you have been enjoying an amazing holiday with your friends and family. With Christmas officially over and the New Year fast upon us, we thought it would be good timing to do a New Year’s Resolution post. I think all of us, either formally or subconsciously, make New Year’s resolutions. At the top of everyone’s New Year’s Resolution list always seems to be to cut back on junk food or eat healthier or get more exercise or all of the above. But let’s just be honest for a minute.  How many times has “getting healthy” been at the top of your list, only to fall off the bandwagon around February or March? Ultimately, it is not the resolution that is the problem, but the approach people take to solving this problem. And we would love to help you realize that there is an approach that will work to help you achieve your healthy lifestyle New Year’s Resolution goals. So the question is, are you ready to try something different and achieve actual results?

Waking up to a new year, a new you

The key is to stop dieting and start focusing on healthy eating. A diet cannot be sustained for any length of time and it always feels like you are missing out on delicious food. Instead, why not change the kind of food you are eating? This way, you will still get to enjoy delicious tasting meals while fueling your body with the necessary nutrients to sustain you and help your body function better. Your body is a machine that requires the proper fuel to run (healthy, nutrient dense foods) and regular maintenance (an active lifestyle). If you work to fuel your body with nutrients rather than clog it up with food it can barely recognize or process, you will see how amazing your body is and how awesome it can function.

Have you looked around a grocery store lately? The type of food we consume on a regular basis has drastically changed over the past 30-40 years. It seems like every couple years, a frozen-food aisle gets added. Gone are the days of fresh-packed lunches; now everything comes in pre-packaged containers and cups. Instead of looking for reduced fat and 0% sugar items, we should be looking for fresh ingredients that don’t contain chemical preservatives and additives. If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend you watch “Fed Up” as part of your New Year’s Resolution. This documentary looks at the obesity epidemic currently facing our society and the negative and damaging impacts of over consumption of sugar on our bodies.

Back to your New Year’s Resolution to get healthy. Below are some of the things you may want to focus on to achieve your healthy goals for the year (and years to come!). Try a different approach and be amazed with the results.

change your path

Here are some things you might want to consider eliminating / changing:

  • Read the “About Us” section of our website to learn about our background and philosophy. This will give you a general overview of what we are all about.
  • Knowledge is power; the more you know the more you will be able to make informed decisions about what you want to put into your body. As a start, the following websites have some great information: joyoushealth.com, Kriscarr.com, Meghantelpner.com, Foodmatters.tv, Hungryforchange.tv, and EWG.org. If documentaries are more your fancy, the following flics are just fantastic: Hungry For Change, Fed Up, Food Matters, and Food Inc.
  • Cut out processed sugar and sugar-free substitutes. You are likely addicted to sugar and don’t even know it. Know that this is challenging at first, but that the cravings will subside and you will start to feel better.
  • Reduce or eliminate your intake of processed wheat/gluten.* (*This does not mean replacing everything with gluten-free substitutes. Read the labels – if there are ingredients you cannot pronounce, do not consider this an acceptable alternative).
  • Give your digestive track a break; eliminate processed and grocery store meats. Can’t imagine giving up meat? Start with reducing your meat intake and then substituting for organic, grass fed beef, chicken and fresh (not farmed) fish.
  • Along the same lines, give your body a break from dairy. Cow’s milk is the perfect drink, if you’re a baby cow! Humans are the only species to continue consuming milk products into adulthood, and the only species to consume the milk of another animal. It’s no wonder that our bodies need to work extra hard to digest dairy, so try eliminating it for a while and see how you feel. Are you a cheese addict? Then try substituting with goat cheese (in moderation) which is easier for your body to digest. (Goat cheese comes in amazing varieties including goat cheese feta and goat cheese mozzarella to meet all your cheesiness needs)
  • Give up your coffee addiction. Slowly cut back on your morning/afternoon coffee and substitute with water consumption. Your body is 70% water so give it what it needs. (You may notice headaches and irritability as you are cutting back on coffee and sugar. Take it slow; your body will adjust over time)
  • It is not just the foods we consume that matter. What we put on our body is just as important as what we put into our body. Check out our link to the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep cosmetic database here. You will be shocked at the toxicity of many of the health products you use on a regular basis including make-up, shampoos, body lotions, dish soap, household cleaners, etc. As you use up an old item, replace with a healthier version (check its toxicity rating first to be sure it is a good alternative).

you

Here are some ideas of things that you can add into your lifestyle

  • Do eat delicious food! If you are trying to get healthy but are eating gross food, you will never maintain the lifestyle. Check out our awesome recipes here and keep checking back as we post new meal ideas often.
  • Choose organic whenever you can – in most cases it really is worth spending a little extra to know you are getting chemical- and GMO-free food that is actually higher in nutritional content as well! Check out this post for more information and for tips that can save you money.
  • Do eat tons of fresh vegetables and fruit. Add veggies and fruit to every meal and snack.
  • Do eat lots of organic nuts, seeds and beans (watch out for BPA in canned foods and switch to dry beans – check out this post for more information)
  • Give whole grain brown rice, quinoa or millet a try.
  • Buy and eat fresh food. Will it expire within a week or two? Good! Check out this post for helpful tips to navigate a modern grocery store and tips to make the best purchasing decisions for you and your family.
  • Exercise regularly. This is a given but is quite challenging. I can admit that this is one of the toughest things for me to do as I am not motivated to exercise every day. Again, you have to get creative. Try out a new activity. Katie and I became addicted to yoga. Try out a yoga or Pilates or martial arts class. Does it get you moving, sweating, feeling good? Keep at it!
  • Add variety to your week. Do a day or two of walking or running, mixed in with some yoga.
  • As Canadians, we must brave the winter months that are upon us. Try cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, downhill skiing or simply sliding. (I assure you, running up that hill over and over again is a workout!)
  • Remember that standing is better than sitting, walking is better than standing and running is better than walking.

The list sounds long and there is so much more we could share, but the idea is not to overwhelm you! We need to start thinking about our health differently than diets or reduced fat and sugar-free items. In the words of Hippocrates “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”. Invest in your health now to prevent disease later.

Rather than cutting things out, we like to think of it as adding in the good stuff. And the more good stuff you add in, the less space there will be for the bad stuff. Eventually, the good stuff will start to take over and the bad stuff will be a distant memory.

The results will be slow at first, but consistent. Think less about your weight from the start and more about your energy levels. As you are eliminating sugar, coffee, and gluten, you may find yourself irritable. But after 2 weeks, do you still feel the same? Within a month I personally noticed my waist line trimming down (pick one pair of pants to use as your control :)) and my energy levels increasing. And now when I consume processed sugar or foods with chemical additives, it hits me almost immediately and drains my energy and makes me feel terrible. Given the choice, I prefer to feel good.

Remember, every person’s body is different. I personally have more difficulty processing gluten, while Katie doesn’t experience the same side-effects I do. Stop and listen to your body for a change. Let it decide what works and what doesn’t. But more importantly, let this be the year that you realize your healthy lifestyle resolution and affect positive change in your life for years to come. You are worth it, and you owe it to yourself to live the best life possible.

From Saxon and Katie at NutsForLife, we wish you a year of health and happiness in 2015!

start now

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