The New Year is getting closer, and I hope you have started thinking about how you plan to make it your best, healthiest year yet. It is so important as a human being to be striving for improvements in every area of life. This includes health as most of you know. I am going to talk about some ways I am optimizing my health for the New Year — many of these changes I have already started to implement.
Believe it or not, I do have some eating habits I am not fond of such as eating over half a jar of organic peanut butter in one sitting(usually with organic carrots or organic celery). That is almost two thousand calories. As you know from my previous writings, I do believe not every calorie affects the body the same way, but two thousand at one time is going to make you put on excess body fat. So here are a few of the changes I am making and why.
Less caffeine – I started to make this one (less coffee), but I do not believe coffee is bad for you, especially if it is organic. Coffee does get sprayed with a lot of toxic stuff so organic is worth the cost when it comes to coffee in my humble opinion.
The main reason less caffeine came to my attention is I noticed in the morning after my second or third cup of Mount Hagen Organic freeze-dried coffee that my right eyelid would start to twitch and also it seemed like my ability to focus mentally would decline. Caffeine does get metabolized by everyone differently. Some are fast metabolizers, and others are slow metabolizers. I happen to be a slow metabolizer. Also, the reduction in caffeine may be easier on my adrenals as a side benefit. You can learn more about how you metabolize caffeine and much much more by taking a 23AndMe DNA test.
This got me thinking that maybe I am getting too much caffeine. Now I drink one cup of caffeinated Mount Hagen freeze-dried instant in the morning, and the rest is Mount Hagen decaffeinated, and I do not get that annoying eye twitch or the decline in my mental status. Mount Hagen also makes travel packets for when you are on the go. I am not kidding you Mount Hagen coffee is so good I can drink it black and still enjoy it. Go check it out.
Fewer nuts and nut butter – I am a HUGE fan of nuts and nut butter, but I believe they are one of the reasons I still have some fat around my mid-section. Sometimes I eat too many calories, nuts and nut butters are the culprits for me. So, I will be pulling back on the number of nuts I eat to create a small calorie deficit in my diet. Calories are not everything like conventional wisdom likes for you to believe, but in my opinion, they do matter no matter if they are from goods fats or birthday cake icing.
More Intermittent fasting – If you are not familiar with intermittent fasting let me explain what It is briefly. You increase the window during the day in which you do not eat. You may fast for sixteen hours of the day and eat during the other eight hours of the day. This is difficult to do if you have a high carbohydrate diet but much easier to do if you have a lot of fat in your diet. The fat keeps you satiated and your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. That is why I am a big advocate of eating a lot of healthy fats in your diet.
Intermittent fasting allows your body to have a break from the digestion process for sixteen hours of the day in my case. You could also do 14 and 10 hours, or even 12 and 12. Whatever you can tolerate. It does take some discipline and habit changing, but you can work your way up to what you are comfortable with. My goal is to fast for 16 hours and eat all my meals for the day during an 8-hour window of time.
More salads – This one is a personal preference for me. My salads allow me to get a variety of colorful vegetables and some fermented foods such as Eden’s organic sauerkraut. Also, salads do not require me to use the microwave at work since I can put meat on there cold. I also do not feel heavy after eating a salad like I do some other meals and it keeps my calorie count in check as well.
Remember, not all calories are the same, but they do matter. In other words, if it takes 2500 calories a day to maintain my metabolism, if I eat 4000 calories of vegetables, meat, and good fats then I am going to gain body fat. I will gain more body fat and feel like crap if it that 4000 calories were processed high-carbohydrate foods such as birthday cake. Just wanted to make that clear. What you eat does affect how you feel and how your body responds to calories.
Salads are a good way for me to keep my carbohydrate intake low and stay in ketosis if I want to. I do have to put Annie’s honey mustard on my salad. This seems to be a great product, but the trick is how much do I need to use since it is sweetened with honey. I play with the amount of mustard based on what I want my carbohydrate amount to be.
More exercise – Mainly I have not been consistent on my weight lifting. My goal is to stay consistent on weight lifting three days a week, walking on my days off from work, and sprinting at least once a week. I like to stay reasonably strong since it can be advantageous for many situations. Also, I believe everyone can benefit from some strength training. When we get old, and we cannot do what we could when we were younger it is not because we are older it is because we stopped doing the activities we did when we were younger. Therefore, your body says I do not need to maintain a certain level of fitness because my body never needs to perform this activity anymore.
Of course, age does matter, but it is not the limiting factor. Some people like to throw their hands up in the air and say I cannot do anything about my fitness level because I am getting older is just not true.
Eggs and brazil nuts for snacks - I am doing this to keep my testosterone levels up so I can better contribute to my wife and I am having our second child. Also, this allows me to keep my calories counts down. You may ask, Brian I thought you were doing fewer nuts. I am, and honestly, I do not like Brazil nuts that much and this allows me to only eat a few at a time which is what you should be doing with nuts. Not half the bag when I am eating Now brand organic cashews.
By the way, more eggs will not raise your cholesterol level. If anything, they will make it better. Eating cholesterol and cholesterol being in your arteries has been debunked by research many times over. So, don’t continue to believe that conventional lie.
Loading up my FSA – FSA is a health saving account for federal employees. I wrote about this in a previous article. Not only does it allow me to save money on my taxes, but it frees me up to spend money on preventative health such as lab draws, follow-ups with my naturopath, massage therapy, acupuncture, and much more instead of worrying about the cost. When I want to do one of these things I feel more freed up to spend the money on my health because I decided on how much I wanted to spend before the year started. I am maxing out my FSA at 2700 this year which is taken slowly out of my paycheck throughout the entire year. It is great in my opinion. I highly recommend it if you are a nurse and not currently using your employer’s version of a health savings account.
Using my toaster oven instead of the microwave – I have known for a while that microwaving food does cause damage to the nutrients and antioxidants in food, especially vegetables. So, I finally started using our Cuisinart toaster oven which has a steam function on it so the food will not dry out — most meals that would take a minute to heat up I can heat them with the oven in five to ten minutes.
Making this change a reality in my life has been a matter of becoming more patient and hearing it for the hundredth time from influencers whom I follow and trust. I am finally making this change a reality.
Don’t get me wrong; I am still keeping my microwave since it is built into the cabinets and it helps with selling the house. I will need it for guest as well, but eventually, it will be a great storage cabinet, probably for tea.
Using coconut cream for my coffee – It has been a real challenge for me to switch from dairy cream to coconut cream for my coffee. The key for me has been to blend it with a small blender and add a little stevia to it. This allows me to get my MCTs through the coconut cream. Here is what I recommend you use.
Dairy does not seem to bother me like it does Bethany. Although I think it does bother me at a certain level, it is just not enough to be symptomatic for me. Humans are not meant to consume another animal’s milk if you know what I mean. Right now, my dairy consumption is down to Kerry gold butter (which I will probably never give up), and organic cheese. The cheese is going to be hard one, I still have not decided on this one yet, but I will let you know how I handle that one.
There you have it, at least nine ways I am changing my diet to optimize my health for the new year. I am sure there are more than this, but this is what I could think of off the top of my head. I am always experimenting and trying to improve my health through nutrition. I will keep you informed as I try new things and the reasons for doing so.
I would like to hear how you are optimizing your health in the New Year. Share with me what you are doing or plan on doing so I can learn from you and others can as well. I hope you are having a great December and keeping the stress down in your life. Until next time, stay healthy.