Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wellness Challenge: feeding the machine

Today is week three in the Wellness Challenge. Last week, I talked about the H2O factor and the importance of water in our daily lives.

I labeled today's post "feeding the machine" because of something I once heard that totally changed my perspective on food. A few years ago, I heard someone say that the body is like a furnace that needs fuel to function properly. When I heard that, I got a very vivid mental picture of shoveling coal into a furnace.

Our bodies are such an intricate design that needs a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function. Imagine throwing a bunch of garbage in a coal furnace or pouring just any kind of liquid into your car gas tank. The results would definitely not be the same as putting in the proper materials. The same goes with our bodies. They respond to what they have/have not been fueled with. Moreover, our bodies NEED fuel to function. In the same way that a car will stall when out of gas, our bodies will not run when not properly fueled or deprived of what it needs to run. We cannot deprive our bodies of essential nutrients. Starvation and extreme dieting can be detrimental to our health.

Naturally, as human beings, our tendency is to very much dislike any restrictions put on us. Therefore, when it comes to eating, I like to think of adding to rather than taking away.

When we fuel our bodies with real and whole foods that are full of vitamins and minerals, we feel energetic vibrant and alive. When we shovel in large amounts of sugar, caffeine, fat and processed foods, we feel lethargic and bloated. I don't know about you, but as a mother of four children under the age of five, I need some serious energy! They keep me hopping day and night. : )

If a healthy eating lifestyle is a new concept or endeavor for you, here are some tips to take baby steps in properly fueling your "furnace" and adding good things to your body. Remember, small changes can make big differences.
  • Think colors! Add a variety of colorful fruits and veggies daily.
  • Eat lean proteins like chicken breast and tuna instead of red meat.
  • Be creative. There are so many healthy and real foods out there. Try new things like different nuts and beans, new fruits or veggies, fish, etc. Ever tried hummus? Greek yogart? Tofu?
  • Don't forget about the H2O factor!
I hope this perspective helps you as much as it has helped me to develop a long-term healthy eating lifestyle, rather than a short-term diet.

What are some ways you fuel your "furnace"? We would love to hear some tips on healthy eating.

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