Eat, Drink and be Merry

I have always been a strong believer in eating as healthy as possible, as long as I do not have to give up chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake and chocolate truffles. Although I do not eat meat seven days a week, I certainly have no intention of switching out my BBQ for a salad maker. I have always believed that moderation is the key, along with keeping an eye on calories, sugars and salt intake.

Fortunately I have been at my current weight since the late nineties and am quite pleased with my ability to get around with no effort. Last week I was invited to a luncheon where the guest speaker, a wellness coach, gave a very interesting presentation on what to eat to stay relatively healthy.

What I enjoyed about Dwayne Thomas’ presentation was that he did not promote eating salads three times a day, seven days a week, nor did he push ‘no more ice cream’.

What Dwayne did, was to explain the benefits of certain eating habits and lifestyles. Many of us have a good idea of what we are supposed to do, but few of us follow the right path. Drifting is OK, as long as drifting is all you do, but make your way back onto the right track regularly.

A great deal of Dwayne’s information is derived from Pamela Popper, an internationally renowned nutritionist and Executive Director of Wellness Forum Health, with a. Ph.D. behind her name. Most of the information is divided into the right diet and the right lifestyle. Diet is extremely important, and I believe we all know this. When putting things between your lips keep a few things in mind. Is the water you are drinking clean? In other words, do you know and trust the source. Your body gets enough impurities on its own, without adding bacteria to your drinking water, especially since you swig 7 or 8 glasses a day.

Another major factor in balanced eating is breakfast. Eat a healthy one every day, don't go without, and don’t eat bacon, eggs, sausages, white toast and a few muffins every morning.

One thing I have lately become much more aware of, is reading labels on products. Some of the stuff in foods is unbelievable. Know how much salt you need and how much is in the foods you eat. Too much salt is a major contributor to heart related illness, too much fat will clog your arteries and too much sugar makes you gain weight.

The ingredients themselves are also important and believe it or not, are listed by quantity. In soft drinks, sugar is the number one ingredient. What does that tell you? Sure, if you really need a pop, get one, but don’t drink 5 liters a day (or even one, for that matter).

Oils are simply bad for you. Canola Oil is the worst. Fiber, on the other hand is great, as long as you don’t have any dietary restrictions. Try and reduce processed foods. They are not very healthy and contain lots of big, long words that are not good for you. I am cutting back eating my fried blood pudding and smoked eel.

You can still eat cake and ice cream, but limit it to one piece at a time and try not to eat it every night. For me, who has absolutely no will power, I just don’t keep it in the house. Sure, I resort to stealing chocolate chips from the baking cupboard every now and again, but for some reason they have become harder to find in our house.

From a lifestyle perspective, exercise is important. My Apple watch seems to take a genuine interest in my health by yelling at me when I should stand, breathe, walk, etc,. They say 10,000 steps a day should be a target, but that is equal to nine kilometres. Do you know how far that is? I usually get between 6,000 and 10,000, and the most I have done is 22,000 (which almost did me in). I am not an expert but it seems to me that if you do more today than you did yesterday you’re on the right track.

Sleep is another biggie. Your body repairs itself when you hit the pillow. Try and get 7 or 8 hours a night unless you're under forty, when you probably need more. It's also the quality of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping don’t watch a stressful film just before your bedtime, and answering emails just as you are about to hit the pillow will keep you up for hours.

I keep getting told not to stress, but I honestly don’t know how you can avoid it. Breathe deeply and don’t bite off more than you can chew, I guess… unless it’s celery.

If you would like to contact Dwayne Thomas, he can be reached at dwaynethomascoaching.com

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