Where to begin…

For people looking to be healthier but not knowing where to start, it can be quite frustrating. There are so many conflicting publications online it can be almost impossible to know what to believe. When you think you’re doing well and helping your body, to only discover later on that what you read was incorrect and you’ve been adding to your problems.

I appreciate not everyone has the time or money to invest in a nutrition plan or a nutrition coach, but that shouldn’t mean your health has to suffer as a result. So where do you begin? Here are some tips on where I feel you’re best to start;

Keep your body alkaline

Disease can only form in an acidic environment. If you consume alkaline foods, your body will slowly begin to take on a naturally alkaline state, which is how it should naturally be on the pH scale. This includes consuming water with fresh lemon or lime throughout the day and eating lots of salad and vegetables with every meal. You’re best to avoid highly acidic foods which will disrupt your efforts, which include coffee, alcohol, bread, refined sugar and processed food.

Have a breakfast smoothie

You’ve been asleep for 8+ hours, you ate a good few hours before bed time and so what has happened is you’ve effectively gone through a fast. The best way to start your day is with an array of nutrients. Not only is this easy for you digest and quick and easy first thing in the morning, but you will be full of energy, give your body the best start to the day and already have ticked off a lot of your daily vitamin requirements.

I make a smoothie with some of the following ingredients for optimum health;

Beetroot, ginger, lemon (including rind), spinach, parsley, basil, carrot, apple, avocado, coconut oil, chai seeds, flax seeds, wheatgrass powder, chlorella powder, turmeric, cinnamon powder, garlic, celery, cucumber and aloe vera juice.

Invest in a quality water filter

Whilst we all know drinking water is good for us, do we consider the source of our water? The trouble with tap water is that it’s treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill any bacteria and microorganisms.

Here’s a list of just a few of the chemicals:

  • Liquified chlorine
  • Fluorosilicic acid
  • Aluminium sulphate
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Sodium silicofluoride

Not only that but tap water travels through the pipes under our homes, which could be eroding or made with lead, which contributes to heavy metal poisoning. Studies have shown the chemicals in dishwater tablets have made their way into our water supply, as well as oestrogen from millions of women on the contraceptive pill.

Fluoride is added to 10% of the UK’s water supply and has been linked to hypothyroidism (a disease of the thyroid gland). As a result, fluoride has been banned from all other European countries in the water supply, except us.

Decrease your gluten intake

Unfortunately because gluten is very cheap, it’s added to a variety of products and replaces certain ingredients which are usually more expensive but better for our health. For example, bread is now made with more gluten than ever before as it’s cheaper to produce this way. Interestingly more and more people are choosing not to consume bread because it leaves them feeling bloated, lethargic and noticing digestive problems.

Gluten is extremely difficult for the body to digest. It is such a thick and sticky substance, that it sticks to the lining of our gut and embeds itself in our villi which line our small intestine. Over time this slowly causes damage to our gut and can lead to leaky gut syndrome, whereby food particles then escape into the bloodstream. This leads to a whole host of diseases. Gluten can take years to fully leave your system once you’ve stopped eating it, so even following a gluten-free diet can mean a long time before you finally start seeing results.

Find cow’s milk alternatives

Dairy has its place in our diets, but the misconception has been that people are beginning to blame ALL dairy , when in actual fact it’s only cow’s products which are causing people problems. How so? Cow’s are kept in horrid conditions, tightly confined and packed in together, stimulated repeatedly in order to produce milk. These conditions lead to diseases so the cows are pumped with steroids and antibiotics. This repeated stimulation through artificial hormones gets passed on into the milk, along with these antibiotics in the cow’s system. When we consume these our good gut bacteria is destroyed which reduces our immune system’s ability to fight infections and diseases.

I use goat’s milk as the demand is not so high, meaning the process described above is not required. I also use coconut and almond milk.

And lastly…

Take a probiotic

I really can’t stress enough just how important this one is. This is the equivalent of feeding your immune system, each tablet giving it more strength. We continually destroy our gut health when we consume refined foods, processed meat, sugar and alcohol, and destroy large batches of good bacteria when we take antibiotics, steroids and other prescription drugs. Therefore it is paramount that we look to replace those lost in order to keep ourselves free from disease.

You should be looking for high quality probiotics which include a variety of bacteria strains and exceed 20 billion in dosage measures. To get you started, I recommend Biokult from http://www.red23.co.uk. However, it is important to change these on a monthly basis in order to consume different strains and different quantities.