Is that healthy? Geez, I don’t know. That’s usually my answer to the aforementioned question. What is healthy anyway? Is it being 5’8 and only tipping the scale at 100 pounds to avoid the newly dreaded thigh gap? We get all sorts of mixed messages about what is good and healthy for us. Protein shakes, Greek yogurt, BACON, and whole wheat Cheerios (sounds disgusting, but slightly better than the chocolate version). All of these sorts are part of someone’s healthy diet. Someone else’s consists of free range eggs and homemade sauerkraut. Seriously, who am I to judge? Actually, scratch that. I can judge all I want. I am working to be an educated consumer and cook. I read books and scientific studies, listen to pod casts, and have the ability to fact check outrageous nutrition claims in my pocket! Literally.
It is actually easier to pick out what is not healthy. It is not healthy to sit all day….even if you go to the gym on the way home from work. Seriously, your cross fit workout doesn’t cancel your 8 hours of meetings. And sadly, you can exercise too much. Yup, it’s true. Honor your rest day(s). It is not healthy to slam soda (diet or otherwise) or coffee all day long. Besides you won’t need those afternoon pick me ups if you get a proper night’s sleep. It is also unhealthy to drink water from your toilet. I thought I would throw that in there to see if you were actually reading. What else? It is unhealthy to eat too much as well as too little. If you don’t know what that means there is an app for that or an online program where you can track your daily food intake. That way you don’t have to remember anything. You can see your deficiencies right there on the screen. Currently, I see that I am miserable at consuming enough protein and calcium. Now that I know I can fix the problem; pass the spinach please. It is also unhealthy to eat foods that make you sick. Take this for what it’s worth. Some people don’t tolerate dairy, but then cram down the ice cream. For others it’s gluten. If it makes you feel sick when you eat it, then don’t do it. If you got sick every time you ate sushi at a certain restaurant but kept doing it, then I would think you were crazy too.
When it comes to what is healthy this is where the water muddies. Movement is healthy. The type that you do depends on you and what you want to achieve. What do you plan on using your body for? And for how long? Do you want 6 pack abs? You’d better cut out the Girl Scout cookies (and most other carbs for that matter). Do you want to run a half marathon? Better get off the couch and train. Do you want to be able to touch your toes if you are lucky enough to be able to live until the age of 90? Maybe you should try some yoga. But in general get up and move. Have a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take a walk, heck take two. Get some sleep. Drink water. It’s good for you for your skin and hair and nails and brain. It makes up most of your body. Eat food. You remember food, right? That stuff that grows in gardens and spoils if it isn’t consumed rather than sitting on a shelf until 2080. If you need a refresher here is a good one http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/six-rules-for-eating-wisely/. I have yet to see a cookie in a garden. If you figure out how to grow a cookie garden then give me a shout. My paradise includes such a garden. Get 7-9 hours of sleep says the National sleep foundation ( here’s a chart with breakdowns for all age groups http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0%2C1/). I promise your body will thank you. Set an alarm to go to bed without your tech tucked in with you.
There are many different diets and philosophies for being well. In the past year I’ve spent a majority of my time eating Paleo about 80% of the time. I have found that when I concentrate on real whole foods and macro nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats instead of fillers (like that giant hunk of bread) that I feel fueled and able to accomplish my goals. I’ve also used the https://www.myfitnesspal.com app. Seriously, there is a feeling of defeat when reporting to my phone that I ate a sleeve of thin mints and I watching the numbers quickly spin out of control. It doesn’t take much snacking to sabotage a good day of fitness. You don’t need to get all hung up on calories either, if you focus on nutrients you will be just fine. Find an eating plan that works for you a. Only raw foods before dinner? A flexitarian? Whatever. It’s what you eat, not a religion.