Honestly I am not sure if I have ever met anyone that didn’t struggle with unhealthy food choices or a desire to eat healthier fare.
With the standard principle for weight loss of focusing 80 per cent on your diet and 20 per cent on exercise, it seems to me there is no point in pounding out hours at the gym or at a yoga class if you are not willing to look at the food that flows into your mouth.
I sat down with Indigo Lounge Wellness Centre’s in-house expert for a conversation on this very topic. Tamara Balazs is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist that specializes in healthy weight-loss management. Her program is called “Food Flow.”
Kelly Spencer – Happy Healthy YOU
A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!
Why is it important to have a healthy diet?
“Eating is something we literally must do every day, multiple times a day, and so what we choose to put in our body is extremely important. Our body is in a constant state of flux – cells die every day and need to be rebuilt every day, along with the thousands of other processes it is constantly doing. When cells rebuild, they use the materials that they find in the body, most of which comes from the food you eat. It’s so important to eat healthy so that our cells have the proper materials needed to rebuild, function and sustain a well-functioning body. This ensures you feel great and energetic and at your best every day.”
What does it impact in our health when and what parts of the body does unhealthy eating effect?
“There are health consequences to carrying extra weight and it can be hard on your body at a cellular level. Extra weight creates inflammation in the body. Inflammation leads to oxidative stress and free radicals, which lead to cellular damage. If cellular damage builds up, it leads to organ damage and health conditions. Obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, Alzheimer’s, fatigue, depression and some types of cancer. Fat cells are not dormant, they are constantly driving growth and secreting hormones into the body. We are starting to understand now that the whole “eat less” and “move more” advice to lose weight DOES NOT work. This advice has led to so much disappointment and feelings of failure for people.”
Why don’t fad diets work?
“Fad diets, especially ones that restrict calories, can have lasting harmful effects on the body. Say you go on a fad diet and lose weight, but then you go off the diet and back to how you used to eat, you will likely gain back the weight and usually more! You’ve thrown your resting metabolism out of whack by going hungry on the diet. Newer fad diets may not restrict calories, but they can be hard to stick to on a long-term basis. We want the quick-fix, but truly the healthiest and longest lasting diets are those that aren’t actually diets but lifestyle changes.”
Why is healthy weight important?
“Healthy weight, and especially low belly weight, is important for the optimal functioning of your cells. Carrying extra weight puts strain on your liver, heart, circulatory and digestive systems and all your cells must work harder to perform the same tasks. When you carry extra weight, you are also at greater risk for some diseases.”
Why is eating non-processed, organic, homemade food important?
“We’ve been eating processed foods for so long now and we are finally seeing that there’s major health implications. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is what the human body wants and craves. Humans have survived for many, many years eating food like this because it’s what our bodies need to thrive. Processed foods aren’t innocent – they do quite a lot of damage inside our bodies. There may be a time and a place for some processed food in your life, but the majority of your diet should be homemade foods. And choosing organic as much as you can is also really important. We deal with a lot of environmental toxins in today’s world and so if you can reduce the toxins you ingest by choosing organic food, you will be making a big step in helping your body function the way it wants to. And you will also be supporting less pesticides and chemicals going into the environment when you choose organic.”
How does one achieve lifestyle change?
“Lifestyle change takes time and intention and some inspiration thrown in. Usually you start with a reason or inspiration to make the change, then get a plan laid out, and then daily intentions to follow through with the plan. Habits don’t take nearly as long to change as we think. You start changing habits, spending time on these changes, and eventually it builds into a lifestyle change.”
Why is accountability important?
“We live in a culture that doesn’t always support a lifestyle change to healthier eating – we are fast-paced, we are busy, fast food is cheap and easy and tastes good in the moment. It’s hard to make a lasting change without help, without support and without accountability. These things keep you on track as you deal with the daily influx of temptations. What you will find though, as you change your eating habits, the fast food and processed food you used to like, won’t taste the same and won’t have the same appeal. You will also notice how it feels in your body. Accountability is important starting out, but then the new habits and lifestyle will carry you forward.”
What are the benefits of healthy eating in children?
“Our children are growing up in a much, much different world than the one we grew up in, which makes the importance of really healthy food paramount. Their bodies and minds are dealing with more toxins than we had to deal with, more chemicals, more additives. Healthy eating while children are growing is really important as it builds the foundation of their body. We want kids to have a healthy relationship to food – to know what the healthy foods are and what they taste like but to also have treats and to enjoy them when it’s appropriate.”
What are benefits of cooking healthy meals with your children?
“We may not have grown up spending time cooking with our parents. We may lack cooking skills and knowledge of what choices we should make. If we start to get back into the kitchen with our children, we aren’t just providing our bodies with healthy food, we’re taking back our power and passing on knowledge to the next generation. Cooking is powerful because it strengthens our connection to the earth and it shows us that we don’t have to rely on anyone else, including food companies, for our sustenance. Kids are also more likely to try new things and eat healthier choices when they have been involved in the process. We want our kids to be strong and healthy and empowered and cooking with them is such an amazing way to achieve this.”
If you would like to speak with Tamara about your individual or family’s Food Flow or to book a consultation for meal plan, recipes and support, please call 519-688-1188. Tamara also offers adult and child cooking classes. http://indigolounge.ca/healing/holistic-nutritionist/
Big Blessings for this new year. I hope 2019 is your happiest and healthiest year yet!
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