With March being National Nutrition Month, we wanted to shed some light on how vitally important nutrition and our digestive function is to our overall health and well-being.
The digestive system is a complex series of functions which breaks down and converts food into the nutrients and building blocks we need in order to move, think, breath and function. In addition, digestion is also shown to influence mood, sleep, systemic inflammation, and autoimmunity. What we eat consistently over time is also shown to contribute to development of illness and various conditions or disease states such as Type II Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular disease. With the vast majority of the most accessible food being unhealthy (ie. deep fried, processed, refined, high in sugar, chemical additives, etc) it is so important to be conscious of what we put in our bodies. We should constantly be aware of what we eat and think of how we can fuel our bodies to perform better.
Instead of emphasis on fad diets or extreme cleanses, the clinicians here at The Centre for Fitness Health and Performance steer their patients toward nutrition-based health initiatives that are healthy, sustainable and centered around the patient - taking into consideration the specific needs and goals of the individual.
Read some of the healthy eating tips below. If you feel inspired to improve your nutrition habits, the best first step is to come for an assessment with one of our therapists. With proper support and resources, our team will give you the boost you need to reach your health goals.
Get to know your individual needs
Become more aware of how your body reacts to different foods. People react differently to certain foods such as foods which are highly acidic, high in sugar, wheat-based, soy or meat products. Identify if you have any food sensitivities and notice what foods your body reacts well to. Adjust specific food requirements based on your individual goals, taking into account your activity levels and metabolic demands. Be sure to balance your diet with lots of vegetables and the right amount of healthy fats, protein and whole grains.
Equip yourself with the right skills and know-how.
Although time can be a major constraint, developing a passion for preparing your own healthy food is the best way to ensure you eat well. With homemade food, you are in control of the freshness, type and quality of ingredients; you can be sure there aren’t any chemical additives or hidden harmful ingredients. We encourage you to get motivated towards healthy eating and enjoy the process of experimentation. Acquire and document healthy, delicious recipes and enjoy the experimentation and learning process involved in preparing food. The more you develop interest and learn about healthy eating, the more your behaviours and habits around eating will improve - Knowledge is power!
Form a healthy relationship with your eating habits
A healthy diet involves discipline at times but too much discipline can also be harmful. Make specific, attainable goals and treat yourself (wisely) for sticking to it. Focus on how you can eat well on a consistent basis rather than the off/on mindset. Try following a 80:20 rule - eating clean, healthy food 80% of the time and treating yourself to indulge in your favourite treats 20% of the time. It’s so important to have the right amount of discipline while also fostering a positive connection with your food. Eating should be a delicious experience we look forward to everyday, so be sure to enjoy every bite!