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New Beginnings: The Kitchen Transition – Part 3

 
For many people the concept of “eating healthy” means sticking to a temporary diet for a short period of time. But when you truly understand what it means to eat healthy, you realize this is not just something cool to do for a little while and then quit–it’s something you need to do everyday. Eating healthy is a way of life. For most people this transition can be a little overwhelming at first. Many people are so afraid to change, they never do. Others make changes, but easily give up and go back to their old ways. Some jump in head first and change everything, but have no idea where to go from there. Sure, when it comes right down to it, most people want to be healthier, but just don’t really know how to make it happen.
If you want to be healthy, it makes sense to stop doing things that make you unhealthy!
 
Pick a day for your kitchen makeover. Get out a big trash can and then open up the refrigerator and all your cupboards. Now you are ready to begin!
 
Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeine addiction is a serious problem for many people, even those who are health-conscious. But no matter how good your diet may be, that innocent little cup of coffee in the morning can wreak havoc on your health for the rest of the day. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands, leading eventually to adrenal exhaustion and symptoms like fatigue, lack of physical endurance and stamina, impaired ability to deal with stress, depressed immune system, allergic reactions, weight gain, low blood pressure, dizziness and lightheadedness or blacking out when standing up. Caffeine also stimulates the liver to release more sugar in the blood stream and further stresses the body’s delicate sugar-regulating mechanism. Besides creating major hormonal imbalances in the body, caffeine also impairs calcium absorption. This is a major concern for children who consume a lot of soft drinks while their bones are still developing.
 
Trash It: So if you still haven’t kicked your caffeine habit, there’s no better time than now! Simply get rid of all caffeinated coffee and tea (and soft drinks, if you haven’t done so yet).
 
But it may not be so simple if you’re seriously addicted to caffeine. You may actually need a little time to wean off of it. But you can do it, in fact, you need to if you want to achieve your true health potential. So, start by cutting your caffeine intake in half, do that for one week, and then cut it in half again, and continue until you are no longer consuming caffeine. This will probably require you to make huge changes in your lifestyle, both at home, at work and even in your car.
 
It’s important to understand why you liked caffeine so much in the first place. If you’re like most caffeine addicts, chances are you rely on caffeine to pick you up when your energy starts to fizzle out. This can be resolved by eating balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Eating protein-based meals with natural carbohydrates and plenty of good fats will keep your blood sugar stable and reduce your cravings for both sugar and caffeine. Also, it is important to get enough rest at night, which is sometimes easier said than done. But, if you plan ahead and use your time more wisely during the day, you will most likely be able to squeeze some more, well deserved time into your sleep schedule! Finally, if you are feeling sleepy in the afternoon, there is nothing wrong with dozing off for ten minutes or so–a short nap can be extremely refreshing.
 
Stash It: The best way to kick a bad habit is to replace it with a better one! Don’t just stop drinking caffeinated beverages, start drinking healthier beverages- and there’s nothing better than water! ! Not drinking enough water can lead to symptoms like: dizziness, feeling lightheaded, nausea, stomach ache, muscle cramping, confusion, headache, and fatigue. Ideally, we should all drink ½ our body weight in ounces of water each day. So if you weigh 150 lbs. you should drink 75 oz. of water everyday, and even more if you are physically active. That may sound like a lot of water, but your body really needs it. We all understand the importance of taking a shower. Well drinking water is like an internal bath that bathes every single cell in the body. Without enough water it would be difficult for the body to eliminate waste- kinda like flushing a toilet without any water in it! Now that’s something to think about!
The cleanest water available is filtered through reverse osmosis (R/O). Serious water drinkers should consider investing in an R/O unit that can be installed under the kitchen sink (whole house units are available as well). If clean, refreshing, tasteless water is a little boring for you, try adding some fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, or try adding a few drops of essential oils (cinnamon, tangerine, peppermint, etc.). You can also spice up your water with many varieties of naturally “un”caffeinated herbal teas. There are many types of flavored water available at the store, however, almost all of them contain sugar in one form or another. Fruit infused water without added sugar, is available at most natural food stores. But remember, when it comes right down to it, there is no substitute for good, clean water.
 
Commercial Salt
The salt that you find in table salt and most processed foods is sodium chloride. Salt in this form has been processed at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure and removes vital minerals from the salt. Table salt also contains additives, anticaking agents, and even sugar. Excess salt consumption is associated with high blood pressure, fluid retention, heart and kidney disease.
 
Trash It: Dump out your salt shaker and toss out all other packaged or processed foods with a high sodium content. This should be pretty easy for most people.
 
Stash it: We have been told for years to avoid salt, but following this advice can lead to even more problems. We are all salty on the inside–our blood, sweat, tears, and even our urine–it’s all salty. It’s important to replenish the salt in our body, using the right salt is what makes all the difference in the world. The best way to put salt back into your body is to use Celtic sea salt. This high quality salt contains over 80 balanced minerals from the sea. Celtic sea salt is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance and utilization in the body. It also normalizes blood pressure, enhances digestion, and nourishes the adrenal glands. Celtic sea salt is available at many natural food stores.
 
 
 
Article adapted from Weston Price.

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