Everyone wants to be healthy. We try to eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep. But sometimes, especially if you have a diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic illness, there are some mistakes that we can be making, even though we think we are doing everything right. There is so much confusing information out there as well, and so many health coaches claiming they have a great program to follow, that we are left overwhelmed and perplexed.
So, lets go through some of these common mistakes that you could be making.
You are eating well, but not eating right
You are eating really well…. all the good stuff, yogurt, whole grains, oats and brown rice instead of potatoes and pasta. The only problem is you still feel achy, bloated, gassy, head-achy and blah. The problem may be that while you are eating well, you are not eating right for what your body needs. A lot of us seem to develop food intolerances as we get older, and you may know that somethings make you feel gross when you eat them, such as when you eat bread, you get bloated. I made this mistake myself. A few years ago I was feeling really bad, and so I started to really eat lots of yogurt and whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice and quinoa along with lots of vegetables. I started to actually feel worse than before. It wasn’t until I took the food that I seemed to be intolerant to out of my diet, did I start to feel better. Some of the common foods that you may want to eliminate to see if you feel better are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Nightshades – onion, potato, peppers, tomatoes
- Citrus Fruits
Over reliance on supplements for nutrition.
We seem to have an obsession with taking supplements. Ideally you will be getting all of your nutrition from healthy food. You can not fix a poor diet by taking a multi vitamin in the morning. Your Dr. can do blood work to see if you are actually deficient in some of the major vitamins and minerals. You may need supplementation to get your levels up and help solve a problem….but do not think that by taking your vitamins you eliminate the need for a diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, quality meat and healthy fat.
Protein powder obsession
Ok I know this is a touchy topic. But we need nutrition from real food. Read the side of your can of protein powder. Especially all those yummy flavoured ones. There is not much real food in them and a lot of things that our body does not need or know how to metabolize. Your body is meant to chew, and digest or break down food in your stomach for it to properly be metabolised. ( read below about stomach acids) I also know that a lot of people use them for ‘on the go’ meals. This brings up a whole other issue of taking the proper time to nourish your body. I know everyone is busy. I know this. But there has to be a better way….and it includes real food.
Low Stomach Acid
Lately it seems like everyone is conditioned to believe that we need antacids to calm down indigestion and acid reflux. Some people are eating Tums like candy, while others are one some of the various antacid prescriptions. This is not a cure for what is causing the condition in the first place. Actually as we age our stomachs do not produce as much stomach acid as it used to and we do not have too much acid as we are lead to believe.
This stomach acid is essential for breaking down proteins into essential amino acids, for stimulating the pancreas and small intestines to produce digestive enzymes and bile necessary to break down foods, and lastly to kill bacteria and pathogens that are in our food. Because of this, you can become malnourished (you are just not making use of the food you are eating) anemic and even suffer from adrenal fatigue as your body tries to steal essential minerals from anywhere it can in the body, your cortisol levels rise, as your body thinks you are starving.
Some symptoms you may experience with low stomach acid may include bloating, belching, and farting immediately after meals along with…
- Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
- Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
- Undigested food in stools
- Rectal itching
- Chronic Candida
- Hair loss in women
- Multiple food allergies
- Iron deficiency
- Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
- Chronic fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue
- Dry skin
- Various autoimmune diseases
You can easily increase your stomach acid with a simple drink of 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water with some lemon about 20 minutes before meals. I won’t lie, it is not super pleasant at first. But I have learned that it is not to bad. (I also find that when I do this consistently my sugar cravings easily just disappear. If you are a regular reader here, you know I have a ridiculous sweet tooth!) You can also purchase digestive enzymes at you local health store.
To Much Sugar
We all know that we are eating to much sugar. So we try and cut back, but your really do need to read labels. Even so called healthy food can be loaded with sugar. Read the labels on your healthy vegan protein bars. I almost bet there are several forms of ‘organic sugar, cane sugar, rice syrup, honey, fructose or agave syrup”….it is all sugar. One way to help eliminate this is to eat as much real food as possible. Cut back on processed food and processed sugar. Opt for pure unpasteurized honey or pure maple syrup as you wean yourself off processed sugar if you must indulge. Sugar is silently killing us, and is the cause of one of the number one diseases that we are suffering from… obesity and diabetes along with other illnesses such as fatty liver disease, candida, inflammation, and mineral depletion.
Ignoring our Emotional or Mental Health
We will never be truly healthy physically if we are tormented by unresolved anger or sadness. Our body can not be healthy if you are stressed out, unhappy, or running ourselves ragged. If you speak meanly to yourself, your physical body will respond with illness. More and more studies are linking depression to poor gut health, therefore achieving a real state of health can be a vicious cycle with poor gut health causing depression, and depression contributing to poor physical health. Our mental and emotional health and our thought process is critical in healing our physical body.
I did write a post about it here just last month for Bells Lets Talk Day, with some things you can do to ensure proper mental and emotional health. Our emotional health like physical health is something that we must work on daily and make it a lifestyle. If your need help, be sure to get some.
I hope that this inspires you to maybe look at some of the things in your life that if some changes were made, would have you feeling so much more vibrant and alive. There is always room for a few tweaks, and even small changes can make a big difference.
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Until next time….stay healthy!