Food processing isn’t always a bad thing: Cooking and preparing raw ingredients at home is also processing them. But the word “processed” is almost always reserved for commercial foods, usually packaged. Highly processed foods are industrially formulated mixtures that are no longer recognizable as their original plant or animal sources—everything from hot dogs and margarine to ice cream, candy, and many packaged snack foods. Such foods, which supply more than half the daily calories in most U.S. households, lack key nutrients and fiber and are high in sugars and sodium.
I’ve been to very few countries, although I’ve traveled within the states quite a bit. Iceland is a dream trip come true, but wasn’t necessarily on my bucket list. Mostly because I’ve never really made that list … At least not such a venturous one. My list was comprised of solid basics: become a nurse, buy a house, get a job, marry happily ever after. Three out of Four – near perfection, right?
Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. The cornerstone of a healthy diet pattern should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
Why she cleansed When her Bikram yoga instructor began touting detox diets, VandeKerkhof was pregnant with her first child, and the idea resonated. "I started to think a lot about toxins," she tells SELF. "Everything you eat transfers to your baby." After weaning her second child, she was bloated, tired, and anxious, and she finally gave the trend a try, spending $300 for a 28-day Arise & Shine colon-cleanse program. "For three weeks, you eat only raw foods, then for one week you have only juice or water," she says.
Proponents of detox diets often recommend cleansing several times a year to improve your health and prevent disease. When repeating your detox, try integrating different eating patterns and actions than you did on your last diet. Testing out new wellness strategies during your seven-day detox diet can give you powerful clues on how to achieve optimal health all year round.
In 1989, I began my sophomore year at Baylor University. My best friend, Kevin, had been hired to be a resident assistant (RA) in the dorms that year and had left our shared state of South Carolina a few weeks prior to attend RA camp and receive his training for the job. I soon followed, arriving at school a week before classes began, so that I could settle into my dorm room early and hang out with my friend.
Happy New Year, you! Now that the champagne has gone flat and the Christmas tree is off to be mulched, it’s time to turn your thoughts to the months ahead. 2017 was a pustule of a year, politically and personally; the general anxiety around the degradation of American democracy made it hard to get much done. That’s O.K., though, because you’ve made new resolutions for 2018, and the first one is not to make resolutions. Instead, you’re going to “set goals,” in the terminology of the productivity guru Tim Ferriss—preferably ones that are measurable and have timelines, so you can keep track of your success. Apps like Lifetick or Joe’s Goals will help by keeping you organized and allowing you to share your progress on social media; a little gloating does wonders for self-motivation (unless, of course, one of your goals is to spend less time on social media). Once your goals are in place, it might be smart to design a methodology that will encourage you to accomplish them. Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit,” recommends a three-step self-conditioning process. You want to get to the gym more? Pick a cue (sneakers by the door); choose a reward that will motivate you to act on it (a piece of chocolate); execute. Bravo! You are now Pavlov and his dog.
How is that possible? Because what makes you sick can make you fat, and what makes you fat can make you sick. It’s all connected. You know when your computer freezes up? What do you do? You reboot. Well, the 10-Day Detox can do the same thing for your metabolism — by following my diet and lifestyle practices, we can reset your metabolism to factory settings. You can lose weight without going hungry, and possibly even clear up a whole list of health symptoms. And all it takes is 10 days.
All it takes is 15 minutes of mindful meditation to achieve this habit. Sit quietly and be present. Don’t think about the past or the future. Don’t dwell on things or worry, just be in the moment. Sit silently with your eyes closed and listen to the sounds around you. Feel the air moving in and out of your lungs, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, the coolness of the breeze moving across the room, and so on. Just be present. That’s all it takes.
“The human body is about 60 percent water, and your body needs to be continually hydrated throughout the day in order to optimally function,” explains Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. “In addition to drinking H20 and water-rich, low-calorie beverages like tea, you can also prioritize eating foods that are full of water — including fruits, veggies, broth-based soups and even oatmeal. These foods are also full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will benefit your body. In the summer, I love blending fruit into a breakfast smoothie and grilling peaches for dessert,” she says.
Brushing & flossing might not seem like a must-have health habit, but it is. There are so many health benefits associated with brushing and flossing every single day. They help to stave off gum disease, which, if left untreated, can result in even more serious illnesses such as heart disease, erectile dysfunction in men, and delayed conception in women.
Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.
There are a myriad of ways to practice self-care and show compassion and love to yourself. Any action or endeavor that feels soothing, relaxing, enriching, and joyful will fit the bill. What does self-care mean for you? What have you done to put yourself first so you can be more available for others and energized for your work and other obligations?
One of the best ways to achieve this is through imagery. Pictures are most certainly worth a thousand words, and by hanging those photos somewhere you’ll see daily, you can help to inspire and motivate you towards your dreams. We all get a little bit frustrated time to time, but if you spend 15 to 20 minutes each on inspirational input, you’ll see enormous results.
While your cells constantly detoxify, consider doing a more formal detox as a spring (or fall) full-body cleanse. These plans, which typically last two to three weeks, include all the essentials to help your liver and other organs optimally detoxify, including protein, nutrients, and a detox-minded eating plan. Our Detox System provides all the nutrient support you need to keep your natural cellular and body detoxification in peak, all in one convenient package.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
You don't have to hunt and skin your supper, but if your chicken has been molded into a nugget, who knows what you're really chewing. And when you choose meat that's been processed into sausage, strips or slices, you're downing sodium and preservatives instead of healthy nutrients, says Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the nutritional sciences program at the University of Washington at Seattle. Stick to unfussed-with cuts straight from the butcher.
Researchers say that couples who spend time alone together at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to report “being happy” in their marriages. And get this: They’re also 3.5 times more “sexually satisfied” than couples who don’t make time for each other. So take a hint from happy couples and grab dinner or hit the gym with your sweetie at least once a week.
I have a new piece of advice for personal trainers working with new clients trying to lose fat: Walk with him or her out to the parking lot and look in the backseat of their car. Nearly universally, the backseat is a mess. Fast food bags, clothes, crap, and God knows what cover most of the seating area. If the backseat is cluttered, the car is cluttered, and this person's life is cluttered. And the car smells of old McDonald's French fries. You know that smell.
When you sit down to a meal, try to savor every bite. Especially the first few, because those are the bites you're going to enjoy most. "There is a toning down of taste buds after the first few bites," says Linda Bacon, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at City College of San Francisco. That's not the only reason to take it slow while eating. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize your stomach is full. If you're throwing back food like there's no tomorrow, odds are you're going to accidentally eat past the full and wind up totally stuffed.
So many things can be improved by having a clean work or living space. Just ten minutes a day can make a lot of difference in a room, no matter what that room might be. Even if the area is a disaster, doing little bits will make an impact over the coming days. Plus, it will improve your mood to be somewhere tidy, as clutter can really mess with your thinking and emotions.
Many people are drawn to cleanses to reset their GI system, but there’s no evidence that the cleanses and detoxes you typically read about have any benefit. Instead of trying to flush out toxins, take measures to boost your gut health so it can do its job well. “A healthy gut is important for almost every aspect of wellness — from boosting your mood to helping you sleep, from weight management to preventing chronic diseases, the list goes on and on. To reboot your diet and reset your gut, remember to eat the three P's: prunes, pulses and pears,” says Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, nutrition and healthy cooking expert.
The big question that Brinkmann addresses in “Stand Firm” is speed. The pace of life is accelerating, he says. We succumb to fleeting trends in food, fashion, and health. Technology has eroded the boundary between work and private life; we are expected to be constantly on call, to do more, “do it better and do it for longer, with scant regard for the content or the meaning of what we are doing.” Like Storr, Brinkmann condemns self-improvement as both a symptom and a tool of a relentless economy. But where Storr sees a health crisis, Brinkmann sees a spiritual one. His rhetoric is that of a prophet counselling against false idols. “In our secular world, we no longer see eternal paradise as a carrot at the end of the stick of life, but try to cram as much as possible into our relatively short time on the planet instead,” he writes. “If you stand still while everyone else is moving forwards, you fall behind. Doing so these days is tantamount to going backwards.”
Similarly, podcasts are a great on-the-go news source. And a lot of the time they’re just what you need to unwind without completely wasting away in front of the TV (not that I have anything against relaxing that way). I’m a big fan of tackling one podcast during my commute—half of it on the way to work, half on the way back, and the stories always bring out some real emotions. (For reference, my favorites are This American Life and You’re the Expert.)