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A healthy diet is a healthy you!

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A healthy diet is a healthy you!

I am frequently asked about what vitamins to take, which supplements are important, what can be skipped, etc. I suggest to people to take a simple multivitamin and usually a fish oil supplement (Omega 3-6-9). My true feelings (which is also the mantra that my brother lives by, who happens to be in amazing shape) is that you shouldn't need to take vitamins in pill form because you should be getting all of that good stuff through your diet!! I know, people always say that they don't have time, or how is it possible to get all of your fruits and veggies in one day? It's actually pretty simple, you just need to plan ahead. For example, if you wake up 10 minutes earlier in the morning, you can make your own smoothie that is completely fresh and a well balanced meal that will keep your body happy, healthy, and satisfied until your next meal. All you need is a blender, oatmeal, flax seed (ground or whole)(I use raw) milk, either fresh OJ or an orange/tangerine/etc, and whichever fruits suit your fancy. I buy flash frozen organic fruit during the winter and during warmer times I go to farmers markets buy local fruit, spend some time cutting it up and then I put it in the freezer so that it stays fresh and I can just throw it into the blender in the morning and be done with it! I feel totally satiated with a yummy healthy start to the day, and it is light but keeps me full until my next meal. That gets in all of my fruit for the day right there (and fiber and Omegas from oatmeal and flax and some protein from the milk)!!

For the rest of the day, I try to pair my proteins with Veggies. For example, I am a big lover of sandwiches (gotta have my sammie) and I know that they aren't the "healthiest" choice (mostly because I love mayonnaise), so I use whole grain bread (actually flax bread- I am a little flax obsessed) and I have turkey and pack it full of veggies: baby spinach, sprouts, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and celery. I like to eat snacks that consist of veggies with protein, like baby carrots/celery and organic peanut butter, or just grab a handful of sugar snap peas. With dinner, I make a protein and have two side veggies....unless it is a night where all I want is pizza or a bowl of cereal (I'm not going lie, those nights happen to everyone)!! Just mix up your veggies, get green leafy veg whenever you can (spinach, Kale, brussel sprouts) and make your plate as colorful as possible (with veg!)

I'm not telling you guys to mimic what I eat (I clearly am not someone that is preaching to do what I do because as I am saying this my brain is thinking that all I want for lunch is licorice!) but I am just trying to show that you can work full time, have outside interests from work, and still eat a healthy diet. PeaPod is my friend, any grocery food delivery place will work, but plan your weekday dinners ahead of time, not only do you make healthier meals (you don't grab crap to munch on whilst looking through the fridge and pantry looking what to make) but it also saves you money. I tend to make things that I can have leftovers. In the warmer weather, walkable farmers markets are where my pooches and I shop, so that we can buy organic and local AND get some exercise and fresh air all at the same time.

I know I'm not telling you anything new, or that you don't already know, but I think it makes an impact when you think about either taking a daily pill, then eating not so good stuff because you think it legitimizes eating a muffin for breakfast (which, PS is just cake for breakfast) versus actually eating really good stuff for your body, ditching the pill, and your body will feel so much better! It feels good to make healthy choices, and it is hard during the winter when we are covered under sweaters and it is cold and all we want to do is cuddle under blankets, keep warm, and eat comfort foods, but with spring here, and (hopefully) warm weather around the corner, I think that we should all try to make those take out food nights less frequent and our healthy days as the norm!

Don't do this because you want to lose weight, that isn't my goal here; just be healthier because you want to and because it will have such long lasting impacts on your body and your health. No one thinks about the impact our lifestyles have on our bodies, and what effects will occur in the next ten years, but as someone who sees it daily...I want you all to not regret the healthy, or lack thereof, choices you have made.

So, join me in eating healthier, cutting down on cheat days, and feeling better about our food choices!

Yours in good health!



At March 31, 2010 at 9:08 AM , Blogger Asher and Malachi said...

Even though I know you personally...I must say your comments are not only sound but brilliant. I hope that you receive a following of inspired healthy eaters!

At March 31, 2010 at 9:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those who are reading this Nurse B... you probably should mention when eating the all natural organic peanutbutter, that one should refridgerate once opened... I love that stuff, but funny enough, people I know are always complaining that said peanut butter is always too runny for their "taste".. To which I respond,"Well have you put it in the refridgerator, then take it out and put it on toasted bread... because thats bloody delicious!! Not only does it warm to the bread immediately but you are now enjoying the full flavor that is the All Natural PB&J goodness" To which they respond... Oh yeah

At March 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM , Blogger Nurse Bridgid said...

Thank you Asher and Malachi!! I am hoping that people tune whenever they can to get tips on being healthier day to day so that it becomes habit in all aspects of their lives :)

At March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM , Blogger Nurse Bridgid said...

And Chris...I knew that the day I introduced you to organic peanut butter was a day that changed your life :)

At March 31, 2010 at 1:26 PM , Blogger jonathan stimac mendelsohn said...

Great post Brigid. My wife and I recently joined a CSA (community supported agriculture), and we received a wonderful box of fresh produce each week. It is delivered to our door, and after price comparison research, it is cheaper than buying organic produce at our local grocer. So, it is cheaper, easy for a busy schedule, and you get all kinds of interesting fruits and vegetables to work with. You are also supporting local agricultural farms that grow without synthetic pesticides and fertilizer, so less nitrogen runoff into our rivers, and better nutrient values in our foods! Eating local and organic is important not just for our environment and community, but also for nutrition! Some farms also deliver organic and pastured animal products, or you can purchase at a farmer's market. Animal meats in conventional factory farms are fed growth hormones and antibiotics. In addition to environmental and ethical concerns, new evidence shows how sick livestock really is when slaughtered. Being fed corn and soy high in Omega 6, they become sick, and the high Omega 6 content is translated to our bodies, leading to chronic inflammation. Recent cardiovascular research shows a significant percentage of heart attacks occur in people without plaque disease, but with elevated inflammatory markers. Bottom line: our populations consumes way too much Omega 6, found in processed foods, and in animal meats fed processed foods. So, stop buying anything with a long list of ingredients, and support your local organic farmer. It will help the soil, air, water, community, and your body! Thanks again Nurse Brigid.

At March 31, 2010 at 4:17 PM , Blogger Nurse Bridgid said...

I share the same thoughts Jon. I actually had a similar service when I lived in the UK (where every farm around Edinburgh was completely organic...produce/meat/dairy farms) and I paid 5GBP and every thursday a sack of veg was left on my doorstep in a bag that we reused weekly. I got all of these strange vegetable that I had never heard of, but I found amazing recipes for these veggies and it was always an adventure (good or bad).

As far as meat goes, I buy all my meat at local grass fed farms. It is more expensive, but after watching Food Inc, and reading the studies that you referred to, it is way worth it for my health!

Thanks for reading and letting me know your thoughts!!



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