In the era of Google where we can find all the information we need to become a healthier person, it should be pretty easy to know what we might be doing wrong that is affecting our health, performance and even sleep. We know excess of sugar is bad, smoking can kill you and that a sedentary lifestyle can be pretty damaging, yet you still find yourself making up millions of excuses to not go exercising, to not quit smoking and to eat that whole cake from your birthday that nobody ate just because "I can't let this go to waste". We all know what's good for us and what is bad. The problem is that there are tons of misinformation out there, there's always a new diet coming, a new detoxing tea that promises miracles, we get overwhelmed, frustrated, we don't really have much guidance, we give up.
This is why we asked Health Coach Natalie Caetano (who's also a Pharmacist):
What are 10 things you can do to improve your health
1. You need to find the best diet that fits you better and that you can sustain for longer.
Most people keep trying new diets to lose that annoying muffin top, but after a little while in that certain diet they just give up because it is too hard, or they simply stop dieting once they reach their goal and go back to their old habits. The key is to change your lifestyle and be consistent with your diet, whatever it is. We will always break our diet for that amazing birthday cake, but after the cake is over, just go back to your diet.
"The key is to change your lifestyle and be consistent with your diet, whatever it is".
2. No matter which diet you do, eat your veggies!!
Vegetables are so important for our bodies! They have fibers and lots of nutrients that help us have that glow in our skin, have healthy nails and hair, a very healthy gut, sharp mind, great energy and awesome sleep.
3. Eat enough protein daily
Our bodies need protein to build tissues/muscles/organs throughout our bodies. For an average adult person is recommended to eat about 1g of protein per kg of body weight. If you weigh 60 kg, then you would need 60gr of protein daily. If you are 45+ or 10-18 years I would recommend 1.2-1.5g of protein per kg of body weight. And If you exercise 5-6x per week I would recommend 1.5-1.8g/kg.
4. Eat fat
Eating fat will NOT make you fat. Our bodies need fat to build tissues and for energy. Did you know that about 60-80% of our brain is made of fat? Also, we need fat for a healthy hormone balance. Some of our sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone) need fat to be produced (they are made of cholesterol, yes, cholesterol!!) and work efficiently. But we need to consume healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts butter, coconut, olives, nuts, avocado, real cheese (NOT highly processed cheese) and real butter. Real cheese and butter only have a few ingredients: milk, butterfat, salt, bacteria (for cheese).
5. Sleep well and enough every night
Make sure you are getting enough sleep every night. People usually feel rested after 6-8h of sleep. You need to find what is the best for you. We need to sleep to restore our energy levels, produce and balance our hormones and rest our mind. If you are working out and want to see some gains, definitely go to bed no later than 10-10:30pm, that is when our growth hormone will start working to build our muscles. If you are having a hard time sleeping well talk to your coach or practitioner and ask for help. Maybe something else is going on and you may need external help such as herbs and natural supplements.
6. Exercise frequently
We all need to exercise this machine that carries us around all the time. But we need to exercise for health and not just to get fit. Getting fit is a consequence of a healthy lifestyle. Practice some type of physical activity, anything...just go for it! Your heart, brain, bones, muscles and skin will thank you for that later in life.
7. Avoid Sugar
Do I need to tell you to stay away from sugar? We all know that sugar won’t do any good for you. Does it taste good? YES! But does it do any good for you? NO! Over the time, consumption of sugar will only harm you. We all eat sugar sometimes. But save it for ‘sometimes/occasional/special moments with friends & family’ and not for your everyday life. Sugar is like cigarettes. Is smoking good for you? Is it going to harm your eventually? Think about that..
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is so important for our bodies. Its supports our bones, muscles, mood, gut, energy, brain, skin, mental clarity, teeth, hairs, nails, sleep, immune system… EVERYTHING!!! Make sure you get your 10-20min sun exposure (without sunscreen) during the summer. And during fall/winter, supplement with vitamin D. Talk to you coach/doctor/pharmacist about the best vitamin D for you.
9. Probiotics & Prebiotics
Just like vitamin D, probiotics are also very important for a healthy gut. Probiotics support digestive health, promote regular bowel movement, boost your immune system and inhibit the proliferation of bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are good bacteria and prebiotics are food for the good bacteria. Make sure you are getting enough of them as frequently as possible. For probiotics: Kombucha drink, Kefir yogurt or milk, capsules of supplements. For the supplements, try and get one that has at least 5 strains (i.eLactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum) with at least 8-10 billion bacteria. For prebiotics: gum arabica, gum acacia, garlic, onions, asparagus, chicory. I recommend 6-12g of prebiotics per day for a healthy gut.
10. Love yourself
Love yourself no matter what. Love who you are, who you became. Admire what you do and be proud of yourself and where you have got. Be proud of what you accomplished. There is only one of you in this whole planet. Love what you see in the mirror. Caring and loving yourself will make a whole big difference in your life. Your self-stem will bring you to places and give you courage to cross your barriers and achieve your goals and dreams. Don’t let anyone bring you down, not even yourself.
Anyone who is struggling to get healthier might want to consider hiring a Health Coach.
* Natalie Caetano is a scientific researcher with a background in pharmaceuticals, human health nutrition and nanotechnology. She has a Master of Science degree from Brock University focusing on human health and is very passionate in the areas of human health and wellness, nutrition, industrial and commercial pharmaceutical applications and research.