ENJOYING A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE

Time for another of those well-worn clichés which also happens to be eternally true!
We are what we eat…

Our human body is the chosen vehicle we use to travel around this bluey green planet of ours. It is a bit of a no brainer then to take the best possible care of it and give our body the best chance to serve us well until the time to leave.
This section is written from the perspective of more than three decades of direct experience thinking and researching how what I eat affects me; plus, a whole lot of networking with other more qualified dietary experts than myself.
It makes sense that the fewer stresses we put on our physical body and digestive system, by choosing carefully what is taken into it, the easier time it is going to have.
Personally, I have found over the course of the last couple of decades that my own body reacts better to mostly unprocessed food. The more natural my chosen food stuff is, the smaller the list of ingredients listed on any kind of label gracing the packaging, the healthier and happier my body is.
Eating food free from artificial colours, flavour enhancers, e-numbers and preservatives means our digestive system is going to have an easier time coping with it.
Further along the same principal - artificial sugars or indeed too many natural yet highly refined sugars are asking a lot from our bodies to absorb and process these alien intruders that have only really become a part of our daily diet to the extent they are today in the last fifty years or so.
Over-burdening our body and this applies equally to even the healthiest food or drink if we over eat, is putting unnecessary stresses and burdens on our finely tuned digestive system.
Take on heavy fuel - chances are you’re going to get heavy!
I am vegan, occasionally raw vegan (which is eating only uncooked fruits/nuts) and have found it works wonderfully well for me, although I equally accept this lifestyle choice may be considered a little too extreme for some. I have weighed seventy-two kilos, give or take a kilo, for the last two decades and my general health is excellent. I never over-eat; having partaken of a reasonable lunch, I follow it later with a light evening meal. If I snack at all it is going to be on fruit or nuts. I drink plenty of water (but not too much) and get plenty of exercise. If I can’t get out and take a walk (my favourite form of exercise) I enjoy a swim, I also ensure that I take the time to have a 15-20-minute work-out with weights at home every day.

VITAMINS
We all have easy access to just about every and any type of possible vitamin, mineral or supplement conceived of or imagined. All we need to do is hit the high street or click a mouse. Yet how many of these vits do we genuinely need to be taking and how many are simply passing through our bodies serving little useful purpose?
During the last twenty years or so I confess, as a health aware vegan, I must have sampled at one time or another pretty much all the myriad of different vitamin and mineral concoctions; the promised goal being to replace the essential elements vegans apparently miss out on through avoiding meat, dairy and fish. Last year deciding it was about time I truly found out where my body was in terms of vits, off I went to my chosen health professional for a complete medical. The pleasing reality was I lacked only a little vitamin B2, she recommended I take this short term in the form of a high potency supplement and add extra almonds, mushrooms and sesame seeds into my diet for the long-term fix.
The message here is vits are easily obtainable and we can all self-diagnose. If you do genuinely feel you could use some extra vitamins over and above your usual diet, take the time to go and get checked out by a health professional. That way you are going to ensure you are supplementing with something you need short term. Look at what can be added into your diet for the long-term fix.
If you are veggie or vegan, it is almost mandatory to have your B vits checked periodically as a matter of course and for peace of mind. A nicely balanced diet might well leave further supplementation obsolete. The other point to bear in mind here is that our needs are more than likely going to be entirely different during the summer months as opposed to winter; again, if your instinct is suggesting you would benefit from supplementation, a visit to your GP or choice of healthcare professional allows you to know for sure. Facts when it comes to our wellbeing are always preferable to guesswork.

JUICE
Five a day have become the watchwords when it comes to our intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is a generally recognised standard in order to maintain a natural balance in our diet, although more is always preferable to less and why reach only the bare minimum recommended amount?
Juicing fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent way of increasing our valuable intake of their beneficial vits and minerals. Pre-packed cartons we can pick up from the supermarket are okay, if there is no other option. To truly get a good balance of nutrients, juicing for ourselves is the way to go. Perfectly serviceable juicers have dropped in price recently, becoming accessible for most budgets and the wonderful thing about juicing for ourselves is we don’t need to add extra preservatives or any of the other stuff commercially produced juice often contains.
For more information about starting out with juicing combinations I recommend the book Juicing for Health by Caroline Wheater or something similar. Or finding a juicing website you can trust the validity of information from.

ORGANIC
There’s organic produced food and then there is ethically produced organic food.
Some of the animal waste based organic fertilizers, such as chicken pellet manure, commercially used by growers and directly available to us via garden stores, has been produced as a by-product of factory farming in one form or another. This might be okay for many people; however, with the broader picture of ethics taken into consideration, feeding our plants with the by-product of a brutally “efficient” system of farming can hardly help us to grow happy botanical specimens.
The same applies with pesticides; rather than drenching our food in chemicals, there are more natural ways of doing things. Permaculture is one example, the planting of sympathetic plants to protect one another from likely pests. Using essential oils such as citronella as a repellent to avoid crops being eaten by insects or lavender to discourage weeds are becoming more widespread. There is a wealth of reliable information on the internet from organizations such as the Organic Consumers Networks which exist in one form or another in most countries.
If you are buying most of your foodstuffs in from grocery stores, a little investigation into where their products come from and how they are grown can pay dividends. Alternatively, growing your own fruit and vegetables puts you in control of what products go onto them and happily there is a wealth of ethical organic options out there, either for fertilizing or pest control. We are what we eat…

www.alivetothrive.co.uk

Author's Bio: 

Dean Fraser is a writer, speaker and leader in creating positive mindsets within businesses or for individuals. He has been speaking to leaders in local government and industry, in tandem with private consultations, for over thirty years.

Having spent his time in the corporate world, achieving unprecedented million pound results, then running his own multiple businesses, he knows precisely what makes for a successful (and often more usefully unsuccessful) mindset.

Qualified initially as a Body Language Psychologist, Dean is on the register of Associated Stress Consultants and has evolved cutting-edge mindfulness techniques which offer lasting results.

Each year Dean reaches over fifteen million people through his talks, magazine articles globally, audio and paper books and his syndicated radio show.