health & happiness

we're a healthier family & we're always on the look out for healthier ways to be healthier. i must say that it has been quite the journey from my single days when my diet consisted mainly of shreddies & white bread to now sprinkling chia seeds on greek goat yogurt. but i think sometimes i can cling to a sort of false sense of comfort, thinking i've arrived because i made a few positive changes a few years ago & stuck to it. i always want to be committed to continual growth in every area of my life, including my health. little changes all the time are always more sustainable than huge overhauls. and so every so often, i like to shake things up with a new recipe book or diet tweak. i am always culling the internet for new research & evidence behind differing theories. and there are a lot of differing theories out there. i've read that {raw} cow's milk is one of the most nutritious things you can put in your body & then read the complete opposite in a study that likened cow's milk affect on health to cigarettes. it can be a confusing world of information out there. so you really need to know your stuff. go with the greater body of evidence & most of all, go with the evidence proved by very your own home.

i came across these 'truths about food & diet' that helped me keep it simple yet focussed. it's always nice to know why we do what we do. i've clipped these to our family planner in the kitchen, just so i can keep the goal right in front of me while i'm preparing meals. this lovely lady, who gathered these nifty truths, has been such a source of encouragement & education to my family & my recipe book {her recipes seriously must take up over half of my recipe collector}. find the original post here.
1.  Eating a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods is key. Too much of anything can be a bad thing.  Our bodies need a balance of nutrients to grow, thrive, and be well.  You can’t even pinpoint exactly how much you need of each nutrient because it could be different for every individual.  The only way to get the ideal balance of nutrients is to eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis.  If you are eating too much of any one thing, even if that one thing is “healthy”, you could be hurting your body.
2.  What we eat has power to make us well or make us sick.  I wholeheartedly believe that nutrition does matter.  It goes beyond maintaining a healthy weight.  What we eat can truly affect our health, both short term and long term.  Overall, I actually think nutrition plays a stronger role than genes do in our health because I think nutrition can turn on or off certain genetic tendencies.
3.  The bulk of our diet should be made up of plant-based foods. The reason I think this is simple.  If you are going to get the wide spectrum of nutrients you need, you have to eat a lot of plant-based foods, specifically a lot of vegetables.  There are nutrients, important nutrients, you can get from animal foods.  I think eating them is fine, nutritionally speaking.  But if they make up the bulk (more than half) of your diet, you don’t have enough room in the rest of what you’re eating to get all the nutrients you need.
4.  No matter what diet you follow, make sure you’re eating whole, unprocessed foods. Whether you eat vegan or paleo or somewhere in between, most of what you’re eating should not be packaged, processed foods.  If I were to give one piece of advice to someone  looking to improve their health, it would be to cut out processed foods & refined sugars.
5.  Nutrition is highly individualized. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet.  One person may thrive on a vegan diet, while the next person’s health may suffer.  A certain individual may need more fat and less protein than the next.  This is why you need to be careful and never assume that what “works” for one person will “work” for you.    source: happyhealthymama.com

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