You know how when you’re sitting on a 3-legged stool you can shorten up one of the legs (A LOT) and still sit on the stool? Whip one leg away, however, and you’ll fall right over!
Not to toot my own horn, but I literally may be the only health & wellness professional (at least in the tri-state area but perhaps anywhere) who takes a 3-pronged approach to coaching clients because it seems clear to me that optimum health can only be achieved by moving well, eating well, and off-loading your stress.
But today I want to talk about just the nutrition and stress-reduction legs of the stool.
Ever stop to think there are no such things as PROTEINetarianism or a FATetarianism? Perhaps the reason we have a name for Vegetarianism is because the only major food group we simply can’t live without is vegetables?!
I teach all different aspects of a healthy human diet. That being said, it’s true that I happen to believe a Paleo approach is the easiest SUSTAINABLE way to improve your health** but if I were to boil all that I teach down to only one thing I wish to impart to everyone I’ve ever coached it would be this:
EAT MORE VEGETABLES (because EVERY major world health organization - including THE World Health Organization - now claims we should be eating 9-13 servings of fresh whole produce EVERY DAY just to MAINTAIN our health.)
In fact there’s actually a growing body of evidence to suggest that consuming MORE than the daily recommendation of vegetables and fruits improves health WITHOUT LIMIT…in other words, THE MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS YOU EAT, THE HEALTHIER YOU WILL BE!!!
Let’s face it, eating more fresh veggies and fruits just makes sense on every level…I could easily go on and on about all the scientifically-proven reasons why you should, but I’ll just end the discussion quickly with this thought: no one EVER got sick or fat by eating too many carrots, right? And by filling your plate primarily with veggies you’ll also be
· eating less calories
· feeling full faster
· consuming LOTS more vitamins and minerals
· while potentially ELIMINATING the need for synthetic fiber, vitamin, mineral, and enzyme/probiotic supplements altogether!
The importance of relaxation, on the other hand…now that’s a subject that still gets poo-pooed by mainstream medicine more often than not…WOW :o(
This issue goes right to the heart of why I teach T’ai Chi Chih (moving meditation)…it’s been both my own personal experience (plus my experience with umpteen clients) that you can exercise and eat right till you turn blue in the face but unless you find a way to off-load your stress you can still kiss your health goodbye!
In fact for many medical conditions it often comes down to 2 choices: medication or meditation. (And it doesn't always matter what style of meditation you practice either…a recent study @ Stanford University proved that ALL meditation lights up areas of the brain - even areas we don't typically use - like a Christmas tree!)
Of course T'ai Chi Chih is certainly not the ONLY way to meditate but it’s definitely the EASIEST way (and that might make it the BEST way!)
So let’s say you’re suddenly very interested in eating lots more veggies and learning T’ai Chi Chih but don’t know where to start. NO PROBLEM!
STEP 1: sign up for my next Smoothie 101 workshop (I’ll show you just one more tool in the toolbox for finding creative YUMMY ways to fit as many servings of whole healthy produce into your life on a daily basis!)
STEP 2: sign up for one of my next T’ai Chi Chih classes (and don’t worry if you’re not sure T’ai Chi Chih is for you…click here to watch a couple of short videos and you’ll see for yourself why T’ai Chi Chih is often called joy through movement!)
**Although a VEGAN diet has been proven time and time again to be the BEST way to improve your health, I happen to think it’s a very difficult lifestyle for most people to sustain (especially in this country where we have a perfect storm of completely unique stressors but that’s a whole other conversation!)
Jessica Lewis, CPT, CNC
HCC Lifestyle Coach