Remember, the key to a successful anti-aging program is applying the simple basics. Proper nutrition is simple, do not make it over complicated. It's easy to eat in a way that is nourishing and renewing and that starts in the mind! When it comes to eating and receiving the anti-aging properties of food, a strong digestive system must be in order. We cannot reverse the aging process if we are not digesting the nutrients in the healthy foods we are eating. Therefore, a bit of attention must be given to the mind when considering a new anti-aging protocol.
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. In order to optimally digest the foods we’re consuming we must also learn to master a few simple practices that are commonly overlooked when adopting a new health regime. It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of information that is nutrition that we forget the simplest aspects of successful dieting. The key again is simplicity. Below are five basic principles to keep in mind, literally, when approaching your nutritional anti-aging regime.
- Eat only when you are truly hungry; stop eating once you are physically satisfied. This requires a sense of keen awareness. Before eating, asking yourself “Am I truly hungry, or am I just bored?” Often we eat out of boredom and other emotional reasons. If you ask yourself this question, you will always get an honest response. If the answer is no, try going for a walk or working on a project you’ve been putting off. If the answer is yes, remain just as aware while you’re eating to know once you have truly eaten enough and eat no more.
- “Drink your food, chew your liquids.” This is a phrase coined by HHP Paul Chek. In simple terms, make sure you eat slowly enough to break down all of your food and likewise allow your saliva to mix with any liquids you are consuming. This ensures proper digestion. Not only will salivary digestive enzymes mix with the food in your mouth, but the act of chewing itself releases bile, stomach acids, and other digestive enzymes to help you properly digest your foods once in the stomach.
- Don’t put the next bite in your mouth until you have swallowed the first one. This is simple stuff and it is all an act of staying aware of your eating habits. More times than not we rush to eat our food out of need for stimulation instead of reaping the nutritional benefits in each bite. Slow down, enjoy your food, and savor the flavors!
- Don’t eat the next meal until the previous meal has fully digested. When we continue to graze throughout the day we place a heavy burden on the digestive system to constantly work. Digestion requires the most energy out of any activity within the body and health is, to put it simply, energy. The more energy we have, the more youthful we will be internally and externally! We all know what our faces look like after a night of no sleep, and it’s not pretty. Placing too much burden on the digestive system can cause the same reaction. This again is a simple task. A tip here would be to make sure you are satisfied after leaving a meal so you are not tempted to go back a half hour later for more and disrupt the digestive process. This would include eating a fully balanced meal of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates each time you eat. A second tip would be the concept of “light to heavy.” Start your morning off with lighter, easy-to-digest meals like soups, smoothies, and raw vegetable juices. These are quick to digest and by the time lunch rolls around your digestive system will be ready for its next meal.
- Eat Balanced Meals in Every Meal. A balanced meal will include a variety of fresh and organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sensible amounts of healthy fats. Learning to pair certain food combinations that work well with your body will take experimentation. However, it will be worth it. The goal is to get proportioned amounts of carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits), fats (coconut, avocado, unrefined nut/seed oils), and proteins (whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds) to leave you nutritionally and chemically satisfied. Ratios will differ per person just as certain parings of foods may work better than others. A balanced plate may look something like 70% non-starchy vegetables, 20% protein, and 10% fat. For more information on creating your unique balance of fat/protein/carbohydrates you can look into experimenting with Metabolic Typing.