As a nutrition coach, I am constantly bombarded with questions about supplements, powders, goos, sports drinks, fad diets etc. The cold hard truth I seem to be delivering a lot lately is that we need to change our focus.
The analogy that I give when trying to help individuals change their focus is this... you are in your front yard mowing the lawn while your house is burning to the ground in the background and you don't seem to be noticing. This is what we are doing when we are more concerned about which multivitamin to take as opposed to reducing trips to Chic-Fil-A, eating less potato chips and not starting the day off with a big bowl of cereal. When we are stressed to the max, consuming too much sugar and letting work creep into our exercise time... bad news, a multivitamin is not going to save you.
For those of you that might be guilty of being too worried about the length of your grass, here are a few things to shift your focus towards that will make a more profound impact on your health.
Reduce your sugar intake. I know I might sound like a soap box with this one, but sugar is incredibly inflammatory and we now know that 80% of disease is caused by inflammation. The average American consumes 90g of added sugar daily! Compare this to the World Health Organization's recommendation of no more than 25g per day and we aren't doing so hot. Work to keep your daily added sugar consumption below this recommendation.
Drink more water. Your body is composed of 60% water... not soda, juice, sparking water, Caprisun etc. WATER. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water daily. This means if you weigh 150lbs, you should be consuming at least 75oz of water daily. Once you've hit your water intake for the day, feel free to enjoy a La Croix or kombucha!
Change your cooking oils. Go ahead and do your body a favor and chuck the vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil and corn oil that might be lurking in your pantry. Opt for natural oils that don't cause inflammation such as, coconut oil, avocado oil (great for baking because it is flavorless), olive oil or walnut oil instead.
Eat more plants. At a minimum, half of your diet should come from plants... fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and healthy oils. If you struggle with this currently, start small. Try to get one additional serving of plants each day next week and go from there!
Go outside. We spend too much of our days in a temperature controlled environment, sitting down, looking at screens. Go outside. Walk on the earth. Soak up the sunshine. Exercise your distance vision by looking further than 12" in front of your face.
Use less plastic. Not only is using less plastic food for the environment, it is critical for your health. Invest in a quality set of glass pyrex tupperware containers, a few good stainless steel pots and pans, some bamboo cooking utensils and you are good to go!
Sleep 7-8 hours a night in a DARK, cold room with phones on airplane mode. As Neuroscientist, Dr. Matthew Walker states, "sleep is the elixir of life." Sleep is where we process the day, store memories, let our immune system do its most diligent work and just give the body an overall reset. Our sleep can be disrupted by even the smallest of lights (think the power button on your TV or green dot on your smoke detector). Use some black electrical tape to black out even the smallest of lights and invest in some black out curtains. Take it one step further but turning down the thermostat at night. Our body temperature needs to drop 1-2 degrees for the best sleep. Lastly, if you're like me and you sleep with your phone 12" from your head because it is your alarm clock, turn it on airplane mode! This will save you from the EMF emitted by your phone while you're trying to sleep all night long.
Once you've got the majority of these things in check, we can then talk about your lawn. As always, let us know how we can help you with your wellness journey. Don't ever hesitate to reach out with questions!