What Happens When You Start Eating Healthy?

Similar to what happens when you stop smoking, the moment you start eating healthy, nourishing foods, your body starts healing.  Here is a snapshot of what starts happening:

  1. Within 20 minutes - You start healing your gut. On average your gut bacteria start to divide and so what you eat either feeds or starves your gut.
  2. Better Brain Function within a few hours - Ever eaten something that had a lot of sugar and you get that brain fog feeling?  Proof that what you eat can negatively affect your brain by causing inflammation. 
  3. Hormones Start Stabilizing withing 72 hours - Within just 3 days of not eating processed foods and eating a balanced healthy whole food diet, hormones such as cortisol and insulin start to normalize.  
  4. Productivity Increases withing 2 weeks - Once adapting to a nutritious way of eating your energy can increase by 20% according to the World Health Organization.
  5. Your Skin will Look Better - If you have a skin condition or acne, you should start to see an improvement within a month of making healthier food choices.
  6. Thyroid Function Improves - According to Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD your estrogen and thyroid levels can get back on track after just six weeks.
  7. Aging Slows! -  Your telomeres which are part of your DNA which scientists are responsible for aging are shortned with poor health choices.  However withing 5 years of eating consistently healthy they have been shown to lengthen.
  8. Effortless Weight Management - Choosing to eat healthy on a daily basis by eating lots of fruits and vegetables has been shown to make it easier to manage ones weight.
To read more in depth go to Mind, Body, Green.

Integrative Nutrition

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Do You Know What's in Your Food?

How often do you read the label of the food items that you buy?  Even if something is supposed to be "Natural" or Organic, it is a good idea to read the label.  Many times you will discover that the second or third ingredient is sugar or high fructose corn syrup which can spike insulin levels and lead to health issues. 

Other hidden ingredients can be things like Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which is a preservative or flavor enhancer used in many food products. Some say MSG is perfectly good for you and others say to steer clear of it because many people have bad reactions to it like headaches, sweating, facial pressure, chest pain, nausea, bloating, asthma, etc. It can be found in many foods under other names such as monopotassium glutamate, yeast nutrient, soy protein isolate, carrageenan, whey protein, and many more names to hide it.

If something is low in sugar then there can be added salt to compensate for the lack of sugar.  Also, look at the servings per container.  If something has 620 mg of sodium but contains 2 servings, then you may be consuming 1240 mg if you eat the whole item.

So what can you do about this?  Look for packaged foods that have only a few ingredients listed; a package of organic, frozen corn most likely will only list "corn" as its ingredients.  Remember that the first ingredient is the majority of what is in the item and the last ingredient is the least amount in the item.  Another even better way to have a greater idea of what is in your food is to buy whole, organic, fruits and vegetables, or  organic, grass fed meats or wild caught salmon or cod.   

So the next time you go grocery shopping take a moment to read everything you buy during this trip to give you a better idea of the things you are buying.  You might be surprised and find out that you are consuming more sugar or other ingredient that you didn't know you were consuming.


Are We Sitting Too Much?

The average American sits for more that 6 hours a day. Studies show this can lead to endothelial dysfunction meaning that the arteries in our bodies start to deteriorate just like when you don't use your muscles, they start to atrophy. After just one hour of sitting, blood starts to pool and blood flow starts to stagnate. Working out is beneficial but hasn't shown to make a difference if you sit all day. So what you can you do about this especially if you sit all day for your job?

  1. Get a standing or treadmill desk. If your work can't accommodate one, then see item #4.
  2. Take breaks often by doing as little as just standing for one minute.
  3. Get up and go talk to someone instead of sending an email.
  4. If your job won't allow you to take breaks since you might be driving then there is another option that may help. Eat foods with turmeric or take curcumin supplements on a daily basis.
  5. And eating turmeric rich foods and exercise doubles the benefit.

So remember, our bodies are made to move. Find an excuse to get up and move more this month of January and throughout the year. Your body will thank you!

(Resource: Turmeric Curcumin vs. Exercise for Artery Function, Michael Greger)


“Are your personal food preferences worth more than life itself? - Dr. John McDougal”

I love this quote because it makes you think about what you are putting into your body. Is that cheese cake, donut or processed bagel worth 5 minutes of pleasure knowing that it can be doing damage to your body? Even if you don't realize it, unhealthy foods can be causing inflammation which ultimately can lead to chronic health conditions.