Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Here’s a little more on making good healthy eating habits for 2015.

Tom Rath wrote a brilliant book called ‘Eat, Move, Sleep’. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder which shuts off a powerful tumour suppressor gene which leads to rampant cancer growth throughout the body. If the tumours were discovered early they were less likely to spread and kill him. He had tumours on his kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas, spine and brain. Each year he would watch and wait to see if the tumours were large enough to require surgery. In most cases, they were not.

So instead of just waiting around each year for the latest scans and examinations he spent time learning about how he could improve his chances of living a long and healthy life. He made positive changes to his diet, his movement patterns and his sleeping habits. He acted as if his life depended on each decision and habit. Because it did.

Now for most of us we don’t have the threat of tumours or disease just around the corner. But small or inconsequential moments accumulate rapidly.

  • When good daily decisions outweigh your poor ones your chances of growing old in better health improve. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are mostly preventable. Yet they kill 9 out of 10 people.
  • Ever felt impatient that a diet isn’t working? Bounce from diet to diet? The body takes a long time to react to dietary changes – usually a year or more.

Here are some practical tips for making those healthy habit changes in 2015:

  • Buy a good water bottle. BPA free, something you are happy to carry around with you every day! Fill it up!
  • Eat living food – Ask yourself the question – is it alive? Was it once alive? Do the main ingredients come from something that was once alive? The total intake of fruits and vegetables is a good predictor of overall happiness.
  • Product placement – marketers use it to their advantage at grocery stores. We can in our own home. Make the best choices the first things you see – in the fridge, pantry and on the kitchen bench.
  • Carry some healthy snacks. The hungrier you are the harder it is to resist unhealthy food. Your blood sugar levels drop when you are hungry which makes those calorie rich and sugar dense foods really appealing. Try and maintain normal blood sugar levels throughout the day by eating small and regular meals. There are no bonuses for skipping meals. Often start the meal with the wrong foods when you are hungry also.
  • Learn to read ingredient lists on labels – ingredients are in order from highest portion to lowest portion.
  • Variety & balance – Who has eaten the same thing for breakfast everyday last week? Mix it up!
  • Grow your own vegetables, fruit and herbs. Every little bit counts. Ie tomatoes on a balcony, a box of mushrooms, a few herbs.
  • Reduce your consumption of pasta, rice, bread and chips. Substitute your fries for vegetables. Make the decision when ordering rather than relying on will power when they are sitting on your plate.

Article written by Dr Melanie Woollam (Osteopath)

References: Rath, T. Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes. (2013).