Eat This for Optimal Health, Breathless Sex and a Long Life:
Food substitutes to help you get on your way to better health & wellness
HELP! Not another article about what to eat to be healthy and live a long and sexy life. Yet, here you are so you must be looking for answers. That’s what I have… the most current thinking on what you should and should not eat to reach those goals of optimal health, breathless sex and a long life.
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” Lots of wisdom here, Ant. Or is it Anthe? Either way, eating correctly is not as difficult as it may seem.
It’s confusing out there in diet land. UGH. I used that dirty, filthy word. DIEt. See? DIEt. C’mon, you see it now, right? DIEts not only do you wrong, but to those of us who work with weight management issues daily, DIEt = weight gain. That’s right. Weight gain. So don’t be silly and go on a DIEt.
Did you know that the average food market in your neighborhood confuses you with 40,000 food offerings, most of which are highly processed, highly advertised and highly unhealthy foods?
Further, here are just some of the common DIEts that are out there that promise nirvana:
Low carb-high protein
Low fat-vegetarian and traditional Asian
The most current collective wisdom of top-notch health gurus (such as my friend and colleague David Katz, M.D., head of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center at their School of Public Health) suggests that optimal eating means eating true food: minimally processed foods that are as close to nature as possible and that are largely plant-based.
Want to hear that again burrito toting, pizza loving, donut stuffing, potato chip eaters and ice-cream noshers? You should instead be eating plant-based, minimally processed foods as close to their natural state as possible.
Here’s the real skinny on simple, optimal, eating:
1. “In = out.” If you are at your preferred, healthy weight, calories in match calories out. Count honestly.
2. Only put into your holy temple what you know makes it more attractive and healthy. Need premium fuel to run that fancy “car” of yours? Fuel up daily on veggies, fruits, fiber, raw nuts (walnuts) and seeds, beans, oats, legumes and at least eat a few ounces of fish a few times a week. Load up on antioxidants any way you can: red grapes, watermelon, blueberries, cherries… ahhhh you’ll be speeding down the Autobahn with a huge smile on your face. And don’t forget those bioflavonoids for sexual health: citrus fruits, whole grains, celery, parsley and herbs.
3. Stay away from low octane fuel if you drive a Maserati. You know what I mean, right? Would you really shove french fries and doughnuts down the fuel tank of your Ferrari? Those heavily processed foods and animal products won’t get you around a race track. Sure wine is great, but only about five ounces per day is what great usually means. Don’t forget to sweeten it all up with an ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week (ok, ok, maybe more than a few days a week).
4. Like breakdowns? 80 percent from carbs, 10 percent from fat and another 10 percent from protein ought to keep you smiling and healthy (yes, even in the bedroom) if you are getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily and do moderate to vigorous strength training three times a week. If you’re not exercising or exercising less than the recommended amount, 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrates, ten to 35 percent from protein, and since your body does need some fat, your daily intake should account for 20 to 35 percent of your calories.
5. Want to ensure your optimal sex life isn’t compromised by what you eat before bedtime? Bananas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, even celery will all help you get your feel good on.
6. Purity and perfection are not healthy goals. A choice day once in a while, what some unfortunately and mistakenly call “cheat days,” won’t derail you from your overall goal of optimal health and wellness. You’ll want to stay as close to purity as possible, however, if you have a life-threatening illness such as cancer or cardiac disease.
Mark Twain summed it all up: “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
Change your thinking about what you don’t want, don’t like and would rather not do and you’ve got it made. Need some help? These eye-opening questions may be what you need to get you on the path to optimal eating:
1. What do I want to be different in my current eating habits?
2. What would I need to do to improve in the way I eat?
3. What barriers are truly in my way to eat an optimal diet?
4. What support do I have in my life to eat more optimally?
If you can answer these questions, you’ll have an honest starting point and it will be clearer to you what changes need to be made to eat for optimal health. Remember the ultimate goal: a largely plant-based diet of minimally processed foods that are as close to nature as possible and regular exercise. Any steps you can take toward this goal will have good effects on your health.