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Lifestyle Starts With Nutrition Plan

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

We are always reminded to drink more water. Because the body is 75% water, this makes sense that water should be constantly replenished. You might say that water is crucial to our survival.

Many of us are confused by how much water we should be drinking; we are always told to drink more. So, how much is more? What is the correct amount for your body? Much depends on your size. A smaller person will need proportionately less water than a larger person. It also depends on your level of physical activity, the climate in which you live and your diet.

Another consideration is the type of water you need to consume. Bottled water has become one of the most popular beverages in our country. We tend to drink water flown in from foreign countries, thinking that this water must be better than our own. It has been shown that tap water is actually better than bottled water in most cases. Because most tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, and sometimes lead it is recommended that it be filtered.

Finally, timing is important in water consumption. After waking up in the morning, it’s a good idea to drink one or two glasses of water immediately to hydrate the body. Because we do not want to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it is recommended that a large amount of water should not be consumed just before bedtime.

Remember to look at your whole day’s intake when deciding how much water you need. Certain foods are more water-dense than others. For example, cooked grains are two parts water, one part grain. Vegetables also have high water content. Steaming or boiling vegetables, as opposed to frying or baking them, further increases their water content.

Most people spend a great deal of their time in a state of dehydration. This leads to needlessly suffering from low energy, cravings and other symptoms. Fortunately, they could feel much better by merely drinking more water!

Cook More; Eat Out Less

Spending more time learning to cook and plan simple meals will help you get all the nutrients you need as well as release you from dependency on restaurant food, fast food and other processed foods. You will eat differently when you are feeding yourself than when you are out and about. We all know restaurant food is usually very salty and highly flavored, as it is designed to be a taste sensation. The portions are usually very large, more than enough for the average person. By buying and preparing you own food, you eat in accordance with you body’s actual needs and you are less likely to overeat or consume excess salt and flavoring.

Cooking delicious, satisfying meals in a brief period of time is a skill worth learning. It is not difficult, but you must be willing to take the time and practice. For many people the task of cooking seems overwhelming. They are at first confused as to how to plan this task around a busy schedule. Once you have learned, though, you will be making meals in less time than ordering out.

Vegetables, How Sweet You Are!

Almost all of us, at some time, crave sweets. Instead of depending on processed sugar, you can add more naturally sweet flavor to you daily diet and dramatically reduce sweet cravings. Certain vegetables have a deep, sweet flavor when cooked; like corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squash (butternut, buttercup, hubbard and kabocha), sweet potatoes and yams. There are also some other vegetables, though not sweet themselves provide the same benefits. These include red radishes, green cabbage, red cabbage, and burdock. They sooth the internal organs of the body and energize the mind. Because many of these vegetables are root vegetables, they are energetically grounding, helping to balance out the spacey feeling you may experience after eating other sweets.

Another way to incorporate sweet vegetables into your daily diet includes eating raw carrots, baking sweet potato fries roasting squash, making soup with corn and onions or boiling beets to put on top of your salad.

Don’t Ignore Your Leafy Vegetables

If vegetables are the scarcest food in some diets, the leafy vegetables are lacking most of all. Learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health. Greens help build our internal rain forest and strengthen our circulatory and respiratory systems. The color green is associated with spring, a time of renewal, refreshment and vital energy.

Some of the benefits gained from eating dark leafy greens are:

Blood purification, Cancer prevention, Improved circulation, Subtle, light and flexible energy, Lifted spirit, elimination of depression, Promotion of healthy intestinal flora, Improved liver, gallbladder and kidney function, Clearing of congestion, especially in lungs and reduction of mucus.

Leafy vegetables do not only apply to lettuce as most people envision. You can choose from a variety of greens. Broccoli is very popular and can give you a strong, grounded energy. Once you understand the benefits of the leafy benefactors you will want to try such greens as bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, rabe, dandelion and other leafy greens. One word of warning, do not eat too much Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens as they are high in oxalic acid, which depletes calcium from your bones and teeth. To balance out the impact of the oxalic acid, cook these vegetables with something rich like tofu, seeds, nuts, beans, butter, animal products or oil.

Get into the habit of adding these green vegetables to your diet as often as possible. Nourishing yourself with greens will naturally crowd out foods that make you sick. I guarantee if you try these greens for a month or two you will feel better and have more energy then before.