101 Ways to Live Well: Tips 10-12

Nourishing Homemade Bone Broth

You can make delicious and healthful food at home!
(Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

10. Take a healthful eating cooking class. Would you eat well if you could make healthful food taste irresistible? Eating healthfully can be easily a matter of cooking skills. Trust me; food that is good for you can taste good! A class may help you think outside the box and add new, tasty, healthful recipes to your repertoire.

I recently invited my patients and team to a cooking class with Health Supportive Chef Sue Stimpson. Her story is inspiring: she climbed the corporate ladder until being diagnosed with cancer. In the fight to survive, she completely made-over her lifestyle. After successfully beating cancer, she tried to reenter the corporate world but found it impossible to continue, knowing all that she had learned about health. She went back to school to became a personal chef. Chef Stimpson now owns “From the Heart Healthy Healing Foods, LLC” which promotes healing for those recovering from or dealing with serious health issues, or people with food allergies through healthful, delicious meals which she lovingly prepares for her clients. Her recipes are wonderful! I definitely recommend her if you are in the area.

There are chefs all around the country who specialize in healthful cooking, and grocery stores such as “Whole Foods Market” run healthful cooking classes. Find a class that you find interesting and go for it; you may find a new talent!

11. Be a “fair-weather” vegetarian. I have found that many of my U.S. born-and-raised clients do not consider a meal a true “meal” unless meat is included–our government even fosters this mindset by separating “protein” from all plant foods its new food pyramid replacement, “MyPlate“. Check out our post on protein for more information.

I understand that everyone is an individual and requires a unique lifestyle that suits his or her needs; still, many are overdoing it on animal protein. Why not try a few vegetarian or vegan days during the week? You will have more energy because your body will not spend extra energy digesting meat and animal products. It will also be easy on your pocket-book as well as the environment. I recommend reading the chapter on  protein in the book Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe. Forgoing meat for a few days (or, as a baby step, a few meals) during the week will also encourage the incorporation of a variety of foods–which is always healthier in the long run.

Lunge with Bicep Curl 2

You don’t have to life heavy weights to get results; start small and be consistent. (Photo credit: Scott & White Healthcare)

12. Lift weights. At my Chiropractic practice, I give my patients a series of exercises with light weights to do at home to help with recovery and maintenance. These exercises help to balance out and strengthen their bodies so that they may maintain proper alignment. Do not neglect your muscles!

Regular weight-bearing exercise decreases the ratio of body fat to muscle–known as “percent body fat”. Track your percent body fat; this number is more important than weight. You can be “overweight” with a small percent body fat and be completely healthy, but a high percent body fat–even at a low weight–called “Skinny Fat”, means high risk of disease. The American Council on Exercise reports ideal percent body fat for fit adult men is 14-17% and for fit adult women is 21-24%. Average to overweight percent body fat is 25-31% for women and 18-24% for men. Anything above 31% for women and 24% for men is obese.

I tell patients, who seek to lose weight, to begin stretching and doing a variety of exercises–including cardiovascular AND weight-bearing exercises. After a few weeks of dedication, they find themselves smaller and stronger overall–even if the number on the regular scale didn’t change very much. When we check their body fat percentages, we almost always find they decreased; and my clients find they are happy with how their body works and looks–regardless of what the scale says–because they are healthy, revitalized, confident, and strong at a lower body fat percentage.

This tip applies to BOTH genders. I find some of my female clients shirk away from weights for fear of “bulking up”; this fear is unnecessary and dangerous. It can even fuel a reluctance to exercise in new, challenging ways when challenging the body through exercise is precisely what improves fitness! Women especially need to be doing weight-bearing exercise; it has been shown to improve bone density. We will talk about Osteopenia the precursor to Osteoporsis in a future post.

Have you attended an amazing cooking class? Please pass on the name! Have you experimented with vegetarianism? Do you have any wonderful resources or recipes to share? I  would love to hear about them! What do you think of weight-lifting? What are your favorite weight-bearing exercises? Please share and let’s work towards a healthful, strong, and balanced life together!

More Percent Body Fat information:

http://www.healthchecksystems.com/bodyfat.htm

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to comment or email drclaps@clapschiropractic.com.

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~ by danclaps on September 18, 2012.

18 Responses to “101 Ways to Live Well: Tips 10-12”

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    • Better information is slowly but steadily getting out there, but right now one still really has to look for it. I’m trying to do the little bit that I can to change that–and to encourage others to actively learn on their own. I’m glad you found more on this! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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    • Thank you very much! This Live Well From the Inside Out is still fairly new, we started in May 2012. I’m glad you enjoy it; we are looking forward to many more future posts.

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