Saturday, January 22, 2011

Step by Step

When deciding to improve one's health, making all necessary changes at once can result in frustration. If you try to stop eating all the bad things / start eating all the good ones / taking all the supplements / starting the workouts / etc... at once, chances are you will give up thinking it's too complicated, simply too much.

The best way to approach this is by taking baby steps, following the tried and true "one thing at a time". Going forward I will list the key items and new habits I adopted at each step of my journey, in hopes of keeping you motivated if you decide to take the leap.

Some of these you already know, but bare with me people, we're talking baby steps here (I'm telling you, I was at teeny-mini-baby step #1 back then):

from the UltraSimple diet:
+ DRINK WATER:
Note that I am not specifying how much, just get into the habit of drinking SOME. These days I chug at least 3 liters a day, depending if I'm working out or not... back in those days I wasn't drinking ANY!!! well, a glass or two a day, maaaaaybe... that's crazy! AND I know several people that barely drink any water at all! I even know a woman that HATES it... it may simply be that you don't pay attention to this or it's not a priority, but it is one of the single most important things you can do for your well being.
* Beginner:  Start with a glass as soon as you wake up, and one with each meal throughout the day just to get into the habit. Easy breezy.
** Intermediate: Drink one glass every hour (while you're awake obviously), on the hour. You'll be peeing like crazy, but that's a good thing, your cleansing your body. You will pee less as your body get's used to the amount (promise).
*** Advanced: Go for 3 liters a day, your cells will be hydrated and your skin will glow. It also boosts your metabolism.

+ EAT VEGETABLES:
it doesn't matter how many or what, just include SOME into your diet (same as with the water, veggies were not a must-have for me back in those days). The more of them raw or juiced, the better, since the enzymes and nutrients are intact (I will be getting deeper into the subject in upcoming posts). And no, french fries do not count as a vegetable...
* Beginner: have a small leafy green salad with your lunch or dinner every day. This will get you into the habit of making them part of your daily diet.
** Intermediate: have a leafy green salad before lunch / dinner, have some steamed or lightly sauteed veggies with your meals, and a green juice once or twice a week. You will be getting more vitamins and nutrients, as well as fiber and enzymes.
*** Advanced: have a green juice for breakfast every day (if you can), and make leafy greens and vegetables the majority of your diet.

+ TAKE A MULTI VITAMIN:
the book recommended a bunch of supplements, which I did take during the program and ended up overwhelming me... so if you are not taking any supplements I would just advice to start with a complete multi vitamin formula. Take it at the same time every day, with either breakfast or before going to bed. A good multi is essential, since chances are you are not getting the nutrients you need from diet alone.

That's all for today, I hope this is helpful.
Paola

P.S: If at any point you have any questions, please leave me a comment or email me and I will happily answer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UltraSimple


Back to where I left off...


After refusing to accept what doctors were telling me (that everything was fine), and not feeling like I was getting back to "normal" any time soon, I started researching like a madwoman. My first stop was the internet, Google being my best friend.

I looked up everything regarding hormones, bloating, fatigue, metabolism. Useful information finally popped up when I looked up all of these words together, and inter-met Dr. Mark Hyman.

Dr. Hyman is a pioneer in integrative medicine,  focusing on the body's natural ability to cleanse and heal itself through the power of foods and phytonutrients... at that time I had NO CLUE what any of this meant, but what appealed to me was the title of one of his books: "The UltraSimple Diet: kick start your metabolism and safely lose up to 10 pounds in 7 days", I mean, come on! doesn't that sound great?! talk about a quick fix! After all, I am the woman that inserted a plastic ring into her vagina without asking any questions...

In this very tiny book (which was also a plus), he guides you through a one week plan, where you include nutrient rich foods into your diet, exclude non-beneficial ones, and gives you an intro to cleansing and detoxification. The plan needs some minor preparation, it's short and it's easy to follow. Dr. Hyman briefly explains how food, digestion and overall health are connected.

I dove right in! This man and this little book opened my eyes to a whole new world. I mean, we all know that eating crap makes you feel bad, but I never knew to what extent food was related to the state of your health. I followed the plan to a T ad immediately saw changes. The words "holistic" and "whole foods" were now part of my vocabulary, I wanted to know more, I wanted to know everything.

My journey had just begun, my search got deeper and deeper, but I noticed that the results weren't as consistent. There was "something" still wrong in me, I hadn't lost all the weight and saw some of the symptoms coming back. I realized there was still a lot to be learned and to be resolved, I needed something more drastic. This was merely the first step.

See you soon!
Paola