We definitely fall under the holistic category when it comes to health. I have four children, all of which are extremely healthy. In fact, just last year, I discovered at a routine visit to the pediatrician that we were three years behind for my two oldest girls well-checks! I thought the schedule was 5 years old, 7 years old, 10, etc. Because they never go to the doctor it was never caught. Anyway we immediately scheduled them for their well-checks or maintenance checks because these are so important for documenting growth. And checking for eyesight issues, in this case, since we discovered that my oldest daughter might need glasses.
People are always surprised to hear how healthy we are as a family. My husband is 40 and to look at him he looks like he is in his 20's. Don't get me wrong, he works at it, eats all the right things, exercises, it takes commitment, but in his eyes it is worth it to maintain a healthy lifestyle and he has often said his goal is not to be on blood pressure medication or cholesterol lowering meds, or anything like that in later life. Good goal if you ask me. Meds shorten your life span. I still have the same body I had in my 20's - even after 4 kids. We only go to the doctor for check-ups.
I believe it is because of our lifestyle. No, we are not hardcore exercise freaks who mountain-bike trails every weekend. No, we don't workout 7 days a week at a gym or with home equipment for that matter. No, you couldn't describe us as "outdoorsy types". People would not describe us as exercise monsters who think only about being healthy.
But we are healthy.
And you could be too with a few adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. Nothing major, just tweak things a bit.
Get rid of processed food - if it has more than 6 ingredients in it - don't eat it. If it has anything that you cannot pronounce or don't know what it is - don't eat it.
Drink tea - Nothings pains me more that to see these people walking around with bottle Lipton Green tea. They think it is the green tea that all the doctors are talking about. Read the label - it is garbage. The tea they are talking about is hot tea. Of all kinds. Try to drink at least one cup a day. Sweeten it with honey not sugar. Add a bit of no fat milk to it.
Garlic - step up garlic consumption. Not only is it good for your heart but it is a natural anti-coagulant so it thins the blood and prevents clotting and it has the equivalent of antibiotic properties. Good preventative measures for heart attack and stroke. If you love garlic, roast a bulb in the oven for 40 minutes and squeeze it out onto a piece of toasted bread once a day. The act of roasting it cuts the sharpness of the flavor and sweetens it. Cut the top off, drizzle with olive oil, and cover with aluminum foil and throw into the oven. If you hate garlic, too bad, take some in a capsule form or try to add it to whatever you can that can mask it somewhat - turkey meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, etc. You must factor this into your diet somehow, someway.
Ginger - This is still used medicinally by Chinese practitioners. I have used ginger treatment for all sorts of things because of its anti-inflammatory properties. You could use this as a preventative treatment for inflammatory issues like arthritis or even artery inflammation. Mind you this is not for the faint of heart - this tea has a menthol sort of taste to it but you get used to it.
Grind up 1 TBSP ginger root into 8 oz. boiling water. Turn off heat and steep 3 minutes. Strain into mug and sweeten with honey and lemon and a bit of milk would be nice.
Drink this once a day to keep inflammation in your arteries down and to prevent clotting which leads to stroke and heart attacks. I am a big believer in ginger tea and have converted many. When people mention that their back back is unbearable or one lady who could not heal from stomach surgery I tell them about this remedy. most will only try it when they have tried everything else and it hasn't worked. Try it because you want to and because it will extend your life.
Sweets - only one per day. Whatever you want that is not processed but only once per day. When I say sweets I am talking about things that are good for you like home-made cookies beefed up with flax seed and bran and some chocolate chips. Eat only unprocessed sweets.
Flax Seed - must have in your diet. Both ground meal and whole. The oil in the flax "greases" up your arteries and cleans them out so to speak as well as cleaning out your bowels. Dump flax into anything you can. Hide it in spaghetti, yogurt, stir fry, anything because once this seed actually elevated your HDL which is your good cholesterol and gives you a preventative measure. My HDL is actually 25 points higher than the normal range so they add that back to my numbers to lower my actual number of my LDL. It is considered a preventative so they give you credit for it.
Grape Juice - solid no additives, no preservatives, straight up grape juice. One cup per day with breakfast. Obviously you have heard about grape juice and its antioxidant properties. It also lowers cholesterol. I put my father on a regimen of 1 cup grape juice, handful of almonds, and flax seed and his cholesterol went down 30 points.
Nuts - specifically walnuts or almonds. Only a handful as these are high in fat, good fat, but fat nonetheless.
Olive Oil - use only this oil for cooking. If you decide to fry something which you should not be doing very often, use canola oil as olive oil is not a high heat oil.
Ditch Fried Food - no explanation here. Eat it in moderation, like once a month.
That's it. I guarantee you will see a change in your health, weight and activity level if you just change these few things. Not a major change, just a minimal one with big payoffs.
The beautiful thing about tweaking your diet in this way is that the weight falls off of you. Once you stop eating garbage your body becomes more efficient and uses what it needs and what you provide it. You are not giving it "extra stuff" that it doesn't know what to do with so it stores it in your arteries or your hips. I have never been on a diet and neither has my husband. We have not cut out sugar nor do we eat everything or even half of our things low-fat. We use real butter. We drink no-fat milk.
I am still in a size 4 a 5'9" at age 37 and my husband is a 33 waist at 6' at age 40. We are lean and have low body fat. Not because we exercise all the time and deprive ourselves of food but because we have utilized the things that come from the earth in raw form since we believe that this is what was created for the body to utilize. Everything that you could need is on the earth naturally. Partially hydrogenated oil is man made and gunks up the machine that is your body. Fruits and vegetables and legumes and nuts make your body run like a well-oiled machine.
It goes without saying that this will save you on health care costs in the future.
Stop shortening you life span.