“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” -Mohandas Gandhi
Gratitude is so important for your mental and spiritual wellbeing, whatever your circumstances may be. So today and everyday, please always remember that you have so much to be thankful for. In any moment of stress or when you have a lot on your plate, just take a step back, breathe, and give thanks!
When you think of the soles of tennis shoes, yoga mats, and pleather (fake leather ;)), you may not think of bread. But think again. The tongue twisting chemical, azodiacarbonamide, is used in some breads as a “dough conditioner” to make bread nice and fluffy or in the case of yoga mats, nice and cushiony. As a result of blogger, Vani Hari, and over 58,000 who brought light to the issue through a petition, Subway has vowed to remove the chemical from its breads.
The main goal of the Gain Great Health site is to assist you in taking back control of your health. So, what is health and what exactly needs to be re-claimed? Health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmary as defined by the World Health Organization, but health rather lies on a continuum between poor and great. Where you lie on this continuum is dictated by the choices that you make most of the time (this is where moderation comes in—stay tuned…). I had a delicious slice of sweet potato pie today with lunch and enjoyed every bite of it, but this doesn’t mean I will enjoy it again tomorrow.
Your health is impacted by three inter-related and oftentimes blurred factors: physical, mental, and spiritual. The diagram below depicts this relationship, along with the factors that influence them.
These include physical activity, diet, relationships, environment, genetics, and devotional practice (i.e., prayer, meditation). Although we are all dealt our own genetic deck of cards (aka your DNA), we have control over the foods we eat, the movements we make, the relationships we have, and to some extent our environment.
For some, it’s motivating to count calories and how much you’re burning in exercise, etc., serving as a tangible day-to-day goal of achievement. If this is motivating for you, great, but don’t set unrealistic, 1200-calorie goals and put yourself down if you don’t meet them. Meanwhile, others may feel overwhelmed with the whole idea of counting every morsel that they consume. This sentiment is likewise understandable. The bottom line is to certainly do what works for you, but if you find you’ve “yo-yo’ed” back and forth from calorie-counting to carb-counting to no avail, perhaps you should shift your perception away from how much you’re eating to what you’re eating.
SCIENCE GEEK ALERT: As previously mentioned, I am alarming you before I get into the nitty gritty of nutrition!
Food can be considered an environmental factor to which our bodies adapt for optimal function. In fact, the relatively new fields of nutrigenomics and epigenetics aim to explore how foods and the environment (respectively) influence genetic expression and what are known as genetic polymorphisms. Genetic polymorphisms are differences in the genetic code among a given species giving rise to different characteristics. In our case, examples include blood type and skin complexion caused by differences in melanin production.