Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy, Healthy 2018!

Hello, Veggie Pharmers!  I hope you all are well.  I just read a nice little article over at MedicalXpress that I found extremely helpful.  As we head into 2018, please keep in mind that it's the simple changes that make the biggest differences in our lives.

Six Steps to a Healthier You

1. Keep a personal health calendar.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
3. Cook at home rather than eat out.
4. Support healthy gut bacteria.
5. Don't underestimate the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes.
6. Don't neglect your sinus passages.


Keeping a calendar is a very valuable tool for personal accountability in exercising, eating, or remembering birthdays. It's empowering to mark off days when you eat according to plan, eventually seeing more good days than bad in a month.  FitDay.com has several free food logs that can be used to track your eating, but anyone with a smartphone has innumerable apps for that.  If you want to go old-school, like me, just use a cheap wall calendar to track your weight, miles run, and important dates, like when you planted tomatoes.

Eat. More. Fruits. And. Vegetables.  'Nuff said.

Eating out is probably the cause of most of the civilized world's health woes. A Big Mac, fries, and Diet Coke is not a meal. Olive Garden does not care that you eat healthy foods. If you must eat out, get a giant salad with salad dressing on the side. Don't feel compelled to use the salad dressing at all...most likely it's crap, anyway.  Most anything besides raw veggies in a restaurant will be served in a way that's adulterated with unhealthy cooking oils, unneeded salt/sugar, and just too damn much food for a single meal.

Supporting a healthy gut bacteria is now easier than ever since the world has discovered resistant starch. A spoonful or two of raw potato starch is all it takes, folks. Cooking and cooling your starchy foods helps, as does eating lots of fruits and vegetables.  If you eat a big serving of beans a couple times a week, your gut will thank you.  If you are looking to lose weight, the potato hack is the gut friendliest diet ever devised. It makes me very happy to read articles every day about ways to create a healthy gut, and most of these articles include mention of resistant starch, fiber, or prebiotics found in real foods. Big Pharma probably has a hit out on me, lol.

A healthy lifestyle does not require much effort. Get to bed earlier, stop smoking, don't drink too much.  Exercise, walk, get out in nature.  Remove stress from your life as best you can.  Start eating better.  Lose weight.  Be happy.  Sadly, most people reside at the other end of the spectrum...stress filled days, late nights, and bad food.  No exercise and more time on the couch than in the yard.

#6 surprised me a bit, and I must admit I do neglect my sinuses. Back when I was obese and unhealthy, I had terrible sinus infections 2-3 times a year...the kind where you cannot believe that so much snot can be produced in a human head.  I'd go through 2 boxes of Kleenex in a day, and sleep was out of the question. I became addicted to nasal decongestant sprays (yes, you can become addicted!). Somewhere around 2010, I started eating better and sought out more natural ways to keep healthy.  I discovered neti pots and started irrigating my sinuses when I'd get a sinus infection.  But within about a year, I stopped getting nasal infections altogether and haven't had to use a neti pot, nasal sprays, or boxes of Kleenex in 6 or 7 years.  Perhaps my oil-pulling regimen also keeps my sinuses clean?

Anybody else have any good tips to share? Did you all see Wild Cucumber's latest post?  Sometimes you just need a good slap.

Happy New Year!
Tim