Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
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“Every second we choose to nourish ourselves in a way that supports or depletes our lives, and to think and speak about other people in a way that is honoring or dishonoring. What choice are you going to make today.” - Gregg Braden, Author of The Divine Matrix
Since the basic ten are a little long, I’m sending the first 5 now and will send 6 through 10 in the next newsletter. Enjoy!
Basic Ten for Optimal Health
These ten tips will provide better digestion and thus better health no matter what your diet is. They may look simple at first, and you may have seen some of them before, but I assure you they are very important in terms of improving your health. As you read along please think about each of them in reference to your own habits and then try implementing them if even for a week or so to see if you notice a difference.
1) Chew your food thoroughly. 2500 years ago Confucius offered the healthful advice of chewing each mouthful 50 times. Now I realize that 50 may be a stretch for most of us, but what if you were to be mindful of chewing each bite until it was completely liquefied, say 25 to 30 chews, and see if that didn’t create better digestion for you. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “drink your food and chew your liquids”. The reason this is so important is for the obvious reason that we have no teeth in our stomach, and that enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach only act on tiny particles in their liquid state. Anything undigested gives us no nutritional benefit for the effort, puts additional burden on the digestive system to eliminate this undigested and now rotting matter, can cause gas, and over time will deteriorate the quality of our health.
2) Allow ample time between meals for the stomach to empty before adding more food. In our society today we eat at the drop of a hat. We see food and automatically think we should be eating. This probably is an instinctive reflex from times gone by when our ancestors didn’t always know when the next meal might be, so when they came upon food they would eat. This survival mechanism does not serve us today in a world where there is food available 24/7 just about everywhere around us. Read more on this in the book, The Pleasure Trap, by Lisle and Goldhammer.
Eating meals on top of meals is a very unhealthful practice because it does not allow for complete digestion of the food from either meal. Many times this behavior will cause gas and or bloating, puts a burden on the digestive system to eliminate partially digested and decaying matter, and ultimately cause damage to our health. So the food we’re eating, even health giving food, can actually being doing harm instead of fostering good health.
It’s recommend to wait at least 4 hours between meals, unless the first meal was a fruit only meal, then time will vary depending on the type of fruit and quantity eaten. The best method is to not eat by the clock, but to actually feel that your stomach is empty and that you are truly hungry. Usually this takes between 5 to 7 hours, once again depending on what was eaten prior.
3) Take your last meal as early in the evening as you can, and don’t eat again before bed. This will improve your sleep, your energy level the next day, and create a healthy appetite for breakfast the next morning. This means no desert, an unhealthy custom started by the wealthy years ago, that is a prime example of tip #2, eating meals on top of meals. Aside from those negative effects, having a belly full of food during the evening and night as we sleep is extremely hard on all aspects of our health. It not only creates daytime fatigue and lack of true hunger in the morning, but is devastating to our good health. Sleep is for recovery and regeneration from the day’s activities so we may be alert and fully functional the next day. If we are laying in bed with a full belly these critical nighttime functions are not being carried out as designed, so that both our short and long term health is negatively affected. Some people thrive on a daily diet of only 2 meals, with the second one taken early to mid afternoon, just another version of taking your last meal as early in the evening as you can.
4) Breakfast is an important meal, so eat a healthy breakfast that will carry you until your lunchtime meal. If a low calorically dense meal is taken early enough the evening before, a healthy appetite will be present in the morning. Lunch is also very important; it will provide calories and nutrition to carry you until your last meal of the day. So once again, eat a healthy lunch, to the point of being satiated, but not full. The first two meals of the day should provide the bulk of your calories because during the day is when you need the energy they provide. Your last meal should be less calorically dense, because your body’s requirements are different in the evening. Less calorically dense foods contain more water and are lower in fat, with the added bonus of being high in fiber. So vegetables and salads would be a great evening meal, and if you did decide to add some starch or animal protein take small portions after the veggies and salad have been eaten. And remember one tablespoon of salad dressing is typically 180 calories so be mindful of its use. It would be easy to turn a healthy meal into an unhealthy meal with a tip of the wrist.
5) Eat until satiated but not full. This principle is very important in terms of digestive health and performance. If we overburden the digestive system digestion will be delayed and incomplete, once again resulting in decayed food matter in the system. If adhering to the principle above of ‘drinking our food’ we’ll be better able to determine when we are satiated and not go beyond to the point of full, or worse yet “stuffed”. It takes approx 15 minutes for the brain to receive the message from the stomach that it is approaching fullness, so this principle may take a little time to become adjusted to, but as we improve digestion and begin to listen to our bodies and their responses to the food we eat, knowing how much food is appropriate at each meal will become second nature. Digesting food is actually very stressful and demanding on our bodies, we use an incredible amount of our daily energy to digest the food we eat, so by not over eating we can lighten that burden and reap the rewards in greater energy and health.
More information on these principles can be found within the pages of the website. http://www.raw-foods-diet-center.com/
"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a habit." -Aristotle 384-322 BC, Greek Philosopher and Scientist
As if there weren't already enough good reasons to eat leafy green vegetables, here's another surprising one. The vitamin K found in veggies such as broccoli, kale, and spinach may help prevent and reverse unsightly varicose veins, according to a study from the University of Nantes in France. -The Health Sciences Institute Date: Jan 14, 2009
If you would like to share one of your favorite original raw food recipes please send one in and yours could be selected for the next newsletter. I value your opinion so please feel free to send your comments or questions to email@example.com
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I’m not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else’s body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what’s best for us.
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