Sunday, June 7, 2015

Simple Sunday: Back to Basics

So I have been receiving much interest from you guys
and I am so happy that a lot of you are in a healthy journey like me
or would want to start one!

I started slow and I advise the same way.
I just started with smoothies every morning
and gradually added something here and there.

My initial goal was only to make sure that
I have fluid intake of at least 10 cups (2,400 ml)
and hit my minimum 5 A Day.

"It is recommended that women consume 2.7 liters (91 oz) daily
and men consume 3.7 liters (125 oz)
through various beverages (80%)
or in food (20%).
Active individuals need even more, particularly if they’re exercising in hot
weather. This is especially important during the 24 hours prior to vigorous exercise."
-American Council for Exercise
as recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

We should not wait to get thirsty to drink
as thirst is a signal that your body is on the way to dehydration.

For more information, visit Fit Facts, Healthy Hydration from the American Council on Fitness.

Tip: Set a small but realistic goal.
It might sound ridiculous
but I got used to counting my intake in sticks!
That started when I was working.
Being a nurse,
you get so busy and even forgot when you last drank or peed!
So I suggest you do tracking to monitor your progress.
You'll find what works best for you.

Having lived in the concrete jungle of New York City,
where everything is so busy & fast paced,
I honestly never tracked my 5 A Day.
Juggling between a full-time job, part-time grad school and social activities,
I just never had the time to even think of my 5 A Day.
And also because I was trying to gain weight,
I ate everything & anything that was out there.
I can't undo the past but I can start now.
And the keyword is NOW.

So what is 5 A Day?
5 A DAY is based on advice from the World Health Organization,
which recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day
to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

To read more about 5 A Day,
click here from National Health Service (NHS) UK.
And for USA's 5 to 9 a Day, click here.


I spoke to a couple of nutritionists here in London
and they suggested 8 a day.

But if you don't even meet your 5 A Day,
that should be your initial goal.

Eating 5 types of vegetables & fruits does NOT mean you hit your 5 A Day.
The keyword is portion or serving.
More often than not, the packagings has the serving size of everything you buy in the UK/US.
Please follow accordingly.

Next,
if you have read my previous blogposts,
you will realize that I sometimes say, "I recommend organic".
I know it is not easily accessible and more expensive
but---
"Pesticides are toxic by design. They are created expressly to kill living organisms -- insects, plants and fungi that are considered “pests.” Many pesticides pose health dangers to people. These risks have been confirmed by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.
As acknowledged by U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including:
brain and nervous system toxicity
cancer
hormone disruption
skin, eye and lung irritation."


Here is the Shopper's Guide to Pesticide in Produce

You can print it out and put it in your wallet or kitchen counter.

What is Dirty Dozen?
Each of these foods tested positive a number of different pesticide residues
and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items.

What is Clean Fifteen?
Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods,
and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides on them.

But if you don't have organic ones,
that should NOT stop you from eating them.
That has never been the Shopper’s Guide™ message.
They definitely recommend eating produce from the Dirty Dozen™ list
rather than foods or snacks that are not as healthful,
such as fat-, sugar- or additive-laden processed products.
And with the Shopper’s Guide™,
you can have all the benefits of eating more produce while reducing your exposure to pesticides.

I have also been reading labels of everything I buy,
the lesser or no preservatives,
the better.

If you want to learn more, click here.

Ok so now,
you know the basics.

Let us start something simple:

 Simple Banana & Spinach Smoothie
from Deliciously Ella



Ingredients:
1 banana
big handful of spinach
2 Medjool dates (optional, natural sweetener)
1 heaped tsp almond butter (or your butter of choice, or optional)
1/2 cup cold water or almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

Directions:
Mix altogether in the blender until smooth.
If you like it more runnier, add more water/milk.
*I used 1 cup of almond milk.
*I didn't add Medjool dates for the other half.

I hope this post will help you out as you start your own health journey.
Feel free to ask some questions
or share your own journey.


Love,
@princessweetah


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