Simple Starting Steps

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In this busy, complicated world it can be tough to know where to begin when venturing out on a journey towards health. To live a Healthy Simple Life, we need to keep it simple and take small steps every day to promote health and help support our bodies from the inside out.

Here are my top 5 simple starting steps you can implement no matter where you are in your journey to wellness:

1) Remove processed foods. I’m referring to foods that have been chemically processed and made from refined ingredients. Highly processed foods usually contain preservatives, artificial colors and/or artificial flavoring which can set us up for cravings, stomach aches and physical and mental fatigue. Think about it like this: if you don’t have the ingredients in your kitchen, and if you couldn’t fathom how it is possibly created (think Cool Whip vs. real whipped cream), then it’s probably a processed food. Processed foods are generally high in carbohydrates AND trans fats. We know trans fats are very inflammatory and that it’s always best to keep it simple. So gety our carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits. Processed foods will never be able to compete with the nutrients we receive from whole foods. Strive to eat like your great grandparents by staying away from packaged and processed foods because real food always wins.

2) Eat PFC every 3. Remember the “Three-Three” Rule which is the key to balanced blood sugar levels. To stabilize blood sugar levels, strive to eat protein, fat and carbs (PFC) every three hours (four hours MAX!) to keep blood sugar levels balanced. The underlying key to consistent energy levels, positive moods, improved mental clarity, supported metabolism, decreased sugar cravings and avoiding that “hangry” feeling is blood sugar regulation. All which can be easily accomplished by following the simple PFC every 3 mantra.

3) Heal the gut no matter what. The gut is an essential starting point for achieving optimal health and preventing disease. Gut health doesn’t just refer to the unmentionable symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating, oh my!) people usually relate to their intestinal tract. The gut is where your immune function begins! It’s where your food is broken down, digested and absorbed. It’s where your metabolism starts! It is the cornerstone for optimal health. Gut health is associated with every other system, process, organ and cell in your body! Regardless of where you are in your journey to health, it all comes down to gut health. To learn more about gut health and what you can do to support yours, read this post and this post.

4) Make sleep a priority. Over half of adults struggle with insomnia, and the average American gets less than seven hours of sleep per night, when most of us need eight or more! Sleep is connected to how we eat, what we eat and how we feel. It may seem obvious that sleep plays a huge role in your energy level and immunity (ever notice that you are more likely to get sick, when you’ve been run down and lack sleep?), but did you realize that sleep is connected to your appetite, metabolism, cravings and weight? Sleep controls the hormones which control our appetite (leptin and ghrelin), and our hormones which control whether we are burning OR storing fat (glucagon and insulin). Besides, who hasn’t reached for an extra mocha, bag of chips or candy bar when staying up later than usual or trying to push through that mid-afternoon lull after a crappy night’s sleep? Sleep is the time for your body to build, regenerate, repair and reset. Aim for eight hours of sleep every night and if you’re having trouble, try a magnesium or myocalmsupplement.

5) Manage your stress. Many people brush over the importance of stress management, which is unfortunate because stress affects all aspects of your health. Nearly every nutrient your body has stored can be depleted by stress. Stress can significantly affect digestion and gut health by suppressing stomach acid, weakening the gut lining, and harming good bacteria, thus compromising immunity.

We believe ALL aspects of health are important, and take great pride in helping you achieve success in every area of your life, not just one of them. What makes the approach of my team so unique is our devotion to working with clients by looking at the “big picture” and incorporating many aspects that apply to achieve optimal results. We love helping clients figure how to feel amazing, overcome health hurdles and learn to live a balanced life. So contact our team if you’re ready to get started!

About Cassie Bjork, RD

Cassie is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian, Nutrition and Fitness Expert and health coach, who is passionate about exposing people to healthy nutrition with real food. Cassie focuses on debunking rumors, diet myths and fads and teaches how to eat healthy by breaking down research-based material into practical forms that can be implemented into any lifestyle.

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Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet.