When considering a healthy lifestyle, Nutrition is a major component. I always coach my clients to consider the importance of what they leave out. What we leave out is just as important as what we put in. Processed foods are not food! Leave them out! We are already faced with environmental toxins that we take into our lungs and skin and should be extremely mindful to leave the processed products out of our mouth and body. Processed foods cause havoc to the digestive system, cells, and are a major factor in degenerative and chronic diseases.
When choosing food and body care products for your body get as close to Nature as possible. Ideally, grow your own. But, I get it we all don’t live in Hawaii. When choosing foods, and body care products, always read the labels, and if there are long lists of ingredients you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize, do not eat it, or use it. Even foods that are labeled as vegan, organic, nonGMO often have toxic preservatives and fillers. Watch out. We can save money and our environment by getting juicers, Vitamix, food processors, dehydrators, home gardens, etc. and prep food for our schedules, families, and communities at home. There is so much environmental waste through food packaging. If you do have to get a juice or smoothie at a local grocery store, it is better to purchase products that are stored in glass. Nothing in a can! Canned fruits, veggies, tomato sauces, soups, etc. are processed. Go as fresh and live as possible! With organic fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, there are no labels. That’s because they are food. Real food.
Sleep is a huge factor for optimal health and we should plan our eating to achieve ideal sleep. When we eat late at night or right before laying down we traumatize our digestive systems. Most of our health and aging problems root from the upper GI tract. When food is consumed late at night, is highly processed, or stays too long in the upper GI tract, it WILL cause problems. No matter what we eat it will not digest properly and will ferment. This produces gas and acid and will disable the ability to get oxygen efficiently to the lungs causing sleep issues, inflammation, and cellular dysfunction. It is ideal to stop consuming food 3 hours before lying the body down to ensure food has moved through the Upper GI tract. When the body sleeps this is when cells repair and regenerate. If consuming a 100% plant based diet the body will require less sleep, because the cells are not getting damaged. Ideal hours for cell repair are between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
Each part of the world, country, state, town has a Climate and that climate creates different living situations and needs. Eating for your Climate can support optimal health. For example, eating mostly fruits is going to be a lot easier in Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florida, and California. When living in areas with strong seasonal climates, for instance Colorado, it is important to increase caloric intake and fats, perhaps adding some cooked foods, to assist the body’s optimal functioning. The body uses a lot of energy to keep itself warm and requires more nutrition to stay warm. There will be more weight loss and potentially dangerous weight loss in colder climates if you do not up your fat and caloric intake during colder months. As a raw vegan, I eat cooked foods (quinoa, grains, soups, and extra fats) in the Winter months. My Winter months ratio tends to average 60-100% raw vegan. Yet as the Spring and Summer months warm the climate and offer more fresh organic produce I tend to stick to 100% live foods and juices. When I am 100% live foods I do not over heat in the warmer climate as live foods are very cooling. This is why I do slightly heat my foods when the temperatures average 0-30 degrees. There is a lot of research and health studies on this topic about people living longer when they eat the foods that are local to where they live. This may also have a lot to do with the above statement of the importance of leaving processed foods out.
It is best for our digestion to eat our food with the sunlight. When the sun is out in Daylight our metabolisms are activated. When the sun goes down and we are in night hours our metabolisms slow down. This is why if you wake early in the morning before the sunrise it is best for your health and longevity to wait to break your night time fast, ie. breakfast. Adding some movement like walking, yoga, and gentle stretches will activate the metabolism in the morning. Simple exercise is good to do before breakfast. It is optimal for our health to be fasting in the night hours when the sun is down and the moon is up. This is when the body automatically goes into a repair mode. With our modern technology metabolism and circadian rhythms are challenged. When we go from daylight to darkness the eyes dilate and send messages to the optic nerve to communicate with the brain and then signal the hypothalamus gland to slow down the metabolism. The metabolism is not at its peak when the sun goes down. If you are really hungry and having a hard time getting to sleep drink water or a veggie juice to see if that helps before introducing solid food.
To recap important practices for optimal health and anti aging; leave out processed food, eat as close to Nature as possible, modify diet for Climate, eat when the sun is out, and stop eating when the sun goes down.
Eat to Live and Let Live,