Health Extremes??

How healthy do i have to be?

This post is part informative/part gripe session!!  The one thing that aggravates me more than anything is people who criticize a healthy diet!! Someone PLEASE tell me since when is eating a diet of natural, organic, unprocessed foods (whether vegan, veg, omnivore or carnivore) considered weird and odd yet eating highly processed, chemically laden boxed & canned foods that don’t even exist in nature normal? I take a LOT of criticism for the way I eat – even those that consider themselves to be “healthy” feel that for them it would be extreme. However – what exactly is extreme? Is it My fondness for green juices or the fact that I refuse to eat “fake foods” aka things that don’t exist in nature or their natural state i.e. bread, pastas, cereals etc (the natural form would be wheat berries, wheat grass and grains). Sadly I find it’s more the latter – I’m not normal because I eat natural foods?? You know what I find ODD – those people that eat processed foods and think they’re eating healthy or the ones that count calories or even worse the ones that refuse to eat a potato fearing it’s a carb and therefore is an evil that will make them gain weight!!!  And dont even get me started on the bagel eaters, fast food goers or those that think a healthy lunch is a salad consisting of fatty creamy dressing over a few pieces of iceberg lettuce loaded with deli meats, mayo smothered tuna or canned veggies. Anyone who knows me well knows my utter obsession with potatoes (dare I say the white ones!) I love starches and eat them frequently – all varieties of potatoes, winter squashes, beets,  carrots and even some grains – brown rice, buckwheat, millet AND none of these make me gain weight or feel sluggish! I see NOTHING extreme about what I consume. I feel light, vibrant, full of energy and personally have been told I have a “glow” about me – how many “mainstream” eaters can confess to that? I follow an organic unprocessed diet – sometimes raw vegan, sometimes not; I enjoy every food that I eat; I don’t shun fat, carbs or sweets, nor do I count calories (p.s. I find all of that completely and totally unnecessary if you’re eating the right foods in the right combinations)
The one question I hear more and more frequently is how healthy do I need to be to reap rewards? Its typically assumed that to lead a healthy, “cleansing” lifestyle one must go to extremes, to deprive themselves of delicious, comforting food and to subsist on tasteless boring fare.  This is far from the truth! Everyone has different goals in mind, some want to lose weight, increase energy, prevent disease while others are on a path, they’re the ones fighting disease, the ones who have committed to a life long habit of only choosing nourishment that will allow them achieve a vibrant life – through clear thinking and a healthy body from the inside out.
The first group of people usually don’t have to go too far in order to reach their goals – a few tweaks here and there, however, its the latter group that tend to go gung ho initially and find themselves feeling soo extraordinary that they commit to live this way indefinitely.  I fall into the second group – yup the ol gung hoer’s BUT let me let you in on a secret, even if I didn’t “have” to live this way, I still would simply because it makes me feel fabulous!  I know what you are probably thinking – what exactly is this mystical “way of life, way of eating” that will give me vibrant energy, effortless weight loss, clear thinking, beautiful skin.  Its a few simple steps and it really is all up to YOU – how VIBRANT do you want to be? I’ll give you my personal example (remember, I’m considered somewhat of an extremist by some!)  – what don’t I eat – in a nutshell – processed foods and  being I have a natural tendency towards vegetarian diet, I avoid meats & dairy – but that doesn’t mean I totally shun fish, seafood and some delicious raw cheeses from time to time(easier to digest over pasteurized) and What I do eat – LOTS of veggies (remember there are THOUSANDS of different vegetables in the world vs only a handful of varieties of meat) tons of greens, nuts, seeds, occasional fish/seafood, grains, superfoods – basically if its natural (i.e. found in nature) I’m eating it.  Not extremely extreme is it?  I certainly don’t think so, especially when I eat the foods I love and am reaping a multitude of rewards. As you  read this you may be thinking “nope, I can’t do that” WELL, you don’t necessarily have to – remember I AM the “extreme” example.  Being I feel each individual is just that – individual, everyone had different needs; even two people with the same goal will reach it on a different path. Vibrancy is right around the corner for you; Its not difficult to achieve –  its knowing what to cut out and what to bring in – can it be any more simple?  Subtract the things that will weigh you down, add the things that will give you that pure vibrancy we all seek and covet.  My first, most important, “holy grail” of all suggestions is to stop eating processed foods – so if it comes in a box, bag, can or form unrecognizable in nature cut back or even better yet cut it out completely. This step alone will work wonders

Natural Beauty

Do you want to look and feel good? Well, here’s how you can do so the natural way:

 1. Ditch the “Toxic Offenders”
Come on, you know what’s really good for you and what’s downright awful. But did you know the no- so-good stuff will dramatically affect your appearance? It does! It goes without saying that a diet full of fruits & vegetables will add vibrancy to your skin. However, if you continue to eat the “toxic offenders,” you’ll never see full results. For the most even, toned, glowing and luminous skin (free of dry patches, uneven skin tone and puffiness), eliminate the following:
Wheat containing products, especially processed foods.
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
2. Get some sunshine, but not too much
Sunlight is HEALING! It has numerous benefits besides being a great non-supplemental source ofVitamin D. Check out the below on all the reasons you should sun yourself (in moderation of course!).
  • Improves liver function. Sunlight aids the liver in toxin removal and a body free of toxins will not suffer premature aging.
  • Balances hormones. Anyone with hormonal imbalances can attest to changes in their skin.
  • Encourages circulation and stimulates the amount of red blood cells in the body, increasing the amount of oxygen.
  • Adds a nice, healthy glow. Overly pale skin is typically associated with being ill or old.
3. Consume Enzyme Rich foods
Each one of us has a certain amount of enzymes. They are in essence the spark plugs of our body: the more we have, the better, and the less we have—not so good! The older we get, the less enzymes we have. What is open to debate is whether or not enzymes affect the aging process and how. What has been proven is that those eating an enzyme rich diet tend to delay the again process substantially. Eating foods devoid of enzymes forces our body to dip into our enzymes stores, and once the reserve is depleted, it can’t be refilled. By choosing naturally enzyme rich foods we eliminate the process and therefore delay aging. While all fruits and veggies are an excellent source of enzymes, for best results eat the following foods that are especially super high in enzymes:
  • Cultured veggies
  • Sprouts
  • Banana, papaya & pineapple
  • Avocados
4. Let the Lymph Flow
The lymphatic system is the body’s pump that clears out toxins. A clogged lymph equals a toxic body and everyone knows that a toxic body will suffer from bad skin tone, acne, rashes and premature aging! Here are some surefire ways to get the lymph flowing:
  • Dry skin brushing daily. Not only will this move the lymph but it also enhances circulation (and a great side effect of that is healthy and glowing skin) and combats dry skin.
  • Jump on a rebounder. THE exercise that stimulates and clears the lymphatic system.  Many report an extraordinary “side effect” of rebounding as TIGHTENED FACIAL SKIN!
  • Hot water and lemon. This age old remedy is making a big comeback. Drinking this daily tonic will cleanse your lymph AND stimulate digestion.
5. Go Au Natural
Clean up your skincare! Many commercial/drugstore and department store products contain chemical ingredients that may make big promises but can hardly deliver. Toxic chemicals such as petroleum & glycerin actually clog the skin.  Some products with added so-called vitamins actually use chemical vitamins. Why put fake vitamins on your skin if you don’t put them in your body? Chemicals and toxins from these products absorb into the bloodstream only adding to the body’s toxic load that we are trying to reduce! A body free of toxins doesn’t need fancy anti-aging products or concealers. Some great all natural skincare products to try are:
  • Coconut oil. The wonder oil with a zillion benefits. Use as a deep conditioner, makeup/eye makeup remover, all over moisturizer – even as a deodorant!
  • Grapeseed oil. High in antioxidants and rich in vitamins. Tones and tightens skin. Makes a great all over body oil for warm weather.
  • Baking Soda. For home and personal use. Great as a toothpaste, deodorant, hair clarifier, “shampoo” and face scrub.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude
You may be asking, “REALLY? That’s the best you can offer?” I’ll shout a resounding YES! We all have those people in our lives that are all about doom and gloom: Negative Nellies, Debbie Downers, Sad Sam’s. Do they look young and vibrant to you? In life, sometimes stress is inevitable and wreaks havoc on our appearance. I’m sure you’ve seen someone after a loss; whether it’s a job, a relationship or a sought after dream, the stress of a significant loss is usually written all over our faces. Stress is a powerful thing. However, sometimes people just get into a rut over not-so-major events and soon their attitude just turns for the worst and they see negativity in everything. That stress and negativity will wear a person down and age them very quickly. Put everything into perspective and if you’re healthy, have friends and family that care about you and a job (whether you like it or hate it, if you have one you’re lucky!), put a smile on your face and consider yourself blessed.