15 Healthy Habits for Life

  1. Drink lots of spring or filtered water. Tap water has chlorine or chloramines (chlorine plus ammonia), both of which kill the good bugs in your guts, and it might also contain an industrial waste product peddled as good for you: fluoride. Both affect the thyroid. How much do you need: divide your weight in pounds by 2 to get ounces. For example, if you weight 160 pounds: 160/2 = 80 ounces.
  2. Never skip a meal. Think 3 mini-meals and 3 maxi-snacks to keep your blood sugar and insulin in check.
  3. In a hurry? Keep low-carb whey or rice protein powder on hand to mix into a fast “shake.” Eat a small handful of raw mixed nuts and some veggie sticks and you have a healthy snack or mini-meal.
  4. Go green…tea that is. Green or white tea has multiple benefits (backed by 500+ studies and counting), including boosting metabolism, cancer prevention, bone and tooth protection, improvement of blood flow around the heart, lowering of cholesterol and a whole lot more.
  5. Size does matter, especially with portions. A serving of protein is the size of 1½ decks of cards…not the size of a dinner plate. A serving of vegetables is 3.5 oz. A serving of fruit is ½ cup or the size of a small fist.
  6. Eat a rainbow of produce every day. Think of a quart milk container. That is how much (really, the minimum) of how many non-starch veggies you should eat every day (excluding lettuce). For lettuce 2 cups loose = 1 serving.
  7. Corn and soy in the US have been so genetically modified they are best not eaten.
  8. When eating out: 1) ask for extra veggies to replace the potatoes or rice. 2) say “no thank you” to the server who brings a basket of tempting bread to your table. 3) before you start in on the plate-size piece of meat, cut off a sensible portion to eat and set the rest aside to bring home.
  9. Everyone (with few exceptions) needs omega 3 essential fatty acids. Since mercury and PCB contamination is so prevalent in fish, it is best to use molecularly distilled fish or cod liver oil or capsules. This boosts serotonin, a mood-enhancing brain chemical. People who eat at least one fatty fish meal a week are significantly less prone to violence and anger, mood disorders like depression, post-partum depression, and cancer.
  10. Spice up your life…literally! Practically every herb and spice that’s been studied has some health benefit because they are loaded with antioxidants that keep diseases in check.
  11. Never eat in front of the TV. It encourages mindless eating so you don’t pay attention to what you eat, plus it bombards you with messages to downgrade your food to fast, unhealthy junk food (what I call food-like substances).
  12. Get rid of your corn, safflower, and sunflower oil. They promote inflammation. Buy the best organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed 100% olive oil you can afford.
  13. Get your vitamin D tested twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. Aim for 35-50 ng/dL.
  14. Do take time off for stress management. Vacations, mini-vacations, 15-minute strolls. Just get away. This helps you work smarter, not harder.
  15. Check in with your nutritionist regularly!

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