The most general, most unspecific, ambiguous word I know is “healthy”. We know it means “wellness” but, as far as the means to get to healthy, we have so many discrepancies…it’s hard to know what to do.
I kind of wish we’d throw the word out of our vocabulary except we, myself included, would have a hard time with that.
I’m not that sure what works for one works for all.
There are people who eat Paleo diets which consists of foods only our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate like meat, fowl, fish, nuts, fruit and veggies. And many of them are trim, energetic, and free of disease.
Some of those people might assume that including meat is the best thing for everyone. Yet, what about those who totally thrive on a vegetarian diet?
It had never occurred to me until recently, that what is one man’s food is another’s poison. Did you know they’ve done studies on indigenous people and found that when they strayed from their original and longstanding diets, they suffered health problems and body deformations, including crooked teeth? Isn’t this what we find amongst ourselves? That some of us do better with certain foods than others? So is it in our genes? Hmm…maybe that’s why two people on the same diet can have very inconsistent results?
Then there is the subject of exercise and what is appropriate for us. Some people say marathon runners hurt their heart organ and their knees. But, so many of those extreme athletes live long, active lives. Maybe some can be marathoners and some can’t?
I’m a naturally good sprinter and was often one of the first placed to bat in softball because even though I could never hit the ball hard, the coach counted on me to steal a base with every pitch. However, I have never had the cardiovascular endurance for a long distance run (even after many months of trying).
How come I feel energized after a salad with chicken and blah after a steak? Over time I’ve come to the conclusion I should use my body to guide me to what is right for me.
A great tip that works well is to remember that after a meal (assuming blood sugars are in range) we should feel more energy, not less. We eat food for fuel. If you are sleepy after lunch, take a look at what you ate and try something different the next day. Keep experimenting until you hit the right combinations of foods which leave you feeling wonderful after meals. You shouldn’t feel like you need a siesta. Unless you ate a big turkey meal or something… Honestly, this is difficult to do for diabetics, considering post meal blood sugars can make us feel lethargic and therefore unaware of how a certain food makes us feel. It’s worth a try, though!
I do this with exercise, too. I never run more than three miles at a time because it doesn’t feel right. It never did, even before diabetes when I was really young, super thin, and athletic. I feel great with short bursts of sprinting, dance, yoga, pilates, and weight lifting, though. When I do run, I jog 2.5 minutes and sprint 2.5 minutes and continue alternating back and forth.
Here is what I’m thinking to focus on lately when it comes to food and exercise:
I’ll exercise in the way my body will allow me to (meaning taking in consideration various pains) and do what feels good and gives me energy, rather than what takes it away).
I’ll eat as many whole organic foods as possible. I’ll make sure to eat plenty of veggies (focusing on the green ones more than the sweet ones). I’ll eat my Ezekial bread because it always makes me feel good. I’ll eat chicken. I’ll eat nuts in moderation (a tough one!). And I’ll have legumes in small portions because even though they make me feel energetic, they are a little trickier to cover with insulin do to their slow moving carbohydrates.
I’ll try to stick to the above regardless of what weight loss or “health” fads come my way because the above plan is based on pretty good medical evidence that it’s “healthy” and my body confirms it.
What’s your body telling you it wants every day?
(Don’t say “sugar” unless you’re talking about treating a low)
(I know…I was tempted, too)