Food: Small steps to better health
Gadgetitis has struck again. I bought a juicer.
While this affliction normally hits me at a weak moment, usually during a late night info show, I did put a little more thought into this purchase. I’ve been enjoying the healthful benefits of smoothies, so I figured producing some concentrated nutrients in juice form would boost up my goal of adding more fruits and veggies to my diet.
I have to admit though, this goal of trying to eat healthier has put me on an ever widening arc of a learning curve over the last few months. Many times I feel like a college freshman entering an advanced rocket science course.
That’s OK though, I really do like to gain new knowledge, especially when it pertains to my health. But through all the research, all the Googling and website reading, I have gleaned three specific tenets that I’m keeping in mind during this journey that is proving to be quite a ride.
One interesting quote that has stuck in my head is that in a lot of instances medicine is food and food is medicine. From my own personal perspective this is proving true. Since adding more healthful food into my diet I have found that I really do feel better. Headaches are few and far between now and what I thought were normal aches and pains are diminishing. I’m also finding that adding more movement to my daily routine is something I look forward to instead of dreading.
Another article I read has me really thinking. It pertained to the fact that a lot of what we need to stay healthy and happy is available thanks to Mother Nature.
Take for instance herbs and spices. I’ve always considered these additions more or less food flavorings, but in reality these plant derivatives can actually deliver some pretty amazing health benefits.
A good example is cinnamon. For me this delicious spice has always been a simple brown powder to sprinkle on a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of toast to enhance flavor but according to the Library of Medicine it actually has some pretty powerful health benefits too. It can improve glucose and lipid levels and it can even benefit in fighting bacterial and fungal diseases.
My curiosity has me researching all sorts of different herbs that I can actually grow in my own backyard. If I make a cup of tea from some home grown rose hips or even a dandelion plant I’m boosting my immune system with Vitamin C. There are herbs that can help digestion, help skin glow and aid in a multitude of other health boosting benefits.
Of course, I am in no way advocating chucking traditional medical practices however, there’s nothing wrong with taking your health into your own hands which leads me to my third tenet…keep an open mind.
There have been many instances in the past where someone has told me about the benefit of eating a certain food or adding, what I thought at the time, was some outlandish practice to my routine.
A polite smile and a glazed over expression is what I delivered to these suggestions but no more.
Yes, you do have use common sense and some digression when researching different aspects of natural health especially with the plethora of information on the Internet . But the important thing is not to close your mind to these ways of thinking and really do push your curiosity button into performing some research before totally poo-pooing an idea or practice.
I would respectfully challenge anyone to spend 10 minutes a day looking up the benefits of say, Yoga or aroma therapy or essential oils. Investigate why organic foods are gaining such popularity or even something as simple as a different way to prepare a favorite dish. Take one small step and try an unfamiliar herb or vegetable. Add a few more fruits to your diet or explore the benefits of meditation or olive oil. These little steps can add up to some bigger healthful benefits but more importantly your mind will be more open to different possibilities when it comes to living healthier.
And if you are still skeptical or don’t know quite where to start I will put out one challenge to you. Do a little research on the importance of your digestive health. That subject alone will open doors I promise you will never shut again.
This week I’ve included a recipe that was included in a book that came with my juicer. While it is filled with all sorts of concoctions to juice together there is also a section on preparing healthy meals. I love roasted vegetables and this particular recipe is becoming a favorite.
I have to say though I am really enjoying my journey to better health. I know I have a lot to learn and try, but that’s just fine with me. My steps of change have been small, but they are taking me on a journey I never thought was possible.
Honey Glazed Veggies
1 red onion
6 baby tomatoes
3 large carrots
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 sweet potatoes
1 lemon, juiced
3 Tbs. raw honey
ground pepper to taste
seas salt to taste
½ cup mixed raw nuts
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Clean and cut up vegetables into chunks. Place in a bowl. Mix the lemon and honey and drizzle over vegetables mixing thoroughly. Place glazed vegetable on a big roasting tray and cover with foil. Cook for one hour then uncover and cook for another 15 minutes to crisp the veggies. Sprinkle with nuts.