Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Natural diet and lifestyle tips to improve health and wellness

Dr. Arianna Staruch, ND, Academic Dean of the American College, led a talk called "Diet and Lifestyle Choices for Health" at the ACHS campus on Monday, July 13. From 6-7 p.m., Dr. Staruch talked about important holistic nutrition concepts, including food as fuel, and answered questions from the audience about how to incorporate holistic nutrition into our everyday lifestyle.

The complete lecture will be available on the ACHS YouTube channel soon, ACHStv. In the meantime, here are some highlights from Dr. Staruch's lecture:

Live your life as if your health depends on it…because it does! Making healthy lifestyle choices is a conscious act. That means, everyone is responsible for the choices they make: health does not happen automatically or because someone else wants you to make changes. We make healthy choices when good health is something we want and value.

How, then, do we promote good health once we recognize it as a priority?

1. Food provides energy for performing the activities of life.

Eating is not just something you do when you're hungry. Food fuels out bodies, because within the food itself (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) are the components our bodies use to generate energy, to grow and repair, and to fight invaders like toxins.

2. Balance your plate.

Finding a healthy balance of food (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) may be easier than you think. Split your plate into three sections. Then, fill half your plate with vegetables and salad; fill one-quarter of your plate with your protein (poultry, fish, beans, etc.); and fill the rest of your plate with whole grains (barley, pasta, etc.). Limit how much oil or salad dressing you use, which will help keep calories within limit.

3. Eat frequently.

Skipping meals can lead to increased production of hormones that cause muscle loss. Eat frequently. Three small meals and 2-3 snacks daily are recommended. To maintain stable blood sugar, which helps your body to regularly burn fuel throughout the day, you add a quality protein powder to your diet to achieve your "eat frequently" goal and to increase quality nutrient intake while decreasing calorie intake.

4. Know your calories.

Less activity means less calories burned. Excess calories are stored as fat. So remember, weight loss is the result of consuming less calories than you use.

5. Healthy tips for snacks.
  • Tofu pate available pre-made
  • Hummus
  • Home-made salsa or pesto
  • Healthy dippers: rye crackers, pita bread cut into four slices, and raw vegetables
  • Rye crackers with nut butter
  • Whole fruit
  • Protein shake or bar
  • 1 1/2c berries with 4 oz plain yogurt
  • One slice of baked tofu
  • Two string cheeses
6. Healthy tips for breakfast.
  • The most important meal of the day
  • Eat protein within one hour of waking
  • Breakfast sets up your blood sugar control or lack of control for the day!
  • Eat half your protein for breakfast, and eat one-quarter with lunch and one-quarter with dinner (daily requirements of protein are 50-70 g)
7. Healthy tips for lunch (beyond the sandwich).
  • Vegetables at every meal in order to get your daily serving
  • Don’t forget the protein
  • Small amount of grains as crackers or cooked grains
  • One-bowl meals like soups and stews
8. Healthy tips for dinner.
  • Eating a large meal late at night is not good
  • It is better to have a larger lunch and then a light dinner
  • Reverse your typical lunch and dinner recipes
  • Consider a tofu or egg scramble for dinner with a salad
9. Exercise prolongs life. How?
  • Exercise improves mood
  • Achieves calorie balance
  • Promotes sustainable weight loss
  • Strengthens heart and blood vessels
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases risk for chronic conditions
>> For more information about the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and holistic health and nutrition classes, visit www.achs.edu

>> Click here to request more information from the American College

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