How To Become Healthy

There are three areas of health that affect us the most.

    1. Body health
    2. Cardiovascular health
    3. Mental health

One – Body Health

Here are the real reasons our body struggles to stay healthy … and why we gain weight.

We are the only living animal that has the choice of what we eat. 

Other than domesticated animals which are forced to eat food provided by humans, all other animals still eat foods mother nature intended them to eat.

And humans are the only living thing intelligent enough to learn how to process food for a supposedly better taste, for convenience and to extend its shelf life.

Think about this very seriously …

The first reason we consume unhealthy foods is through …

… HABITS …,

habits formed by our parents before they knew these types of foods were discovered to be harmful.

We all know once a habit is formed, it is extremely hard to break, so the cycle goes on and the habits are passed to the next generation. And, the thinking is, it’s only food and not as bad as taking drugs or smoking cigarettes.

The majority of the population consume the foods below without even second guessing what’s really in them and without wondering about the long-term health repercussions. 

  • Foods full of artificial preservatives 
  • Consuming the flesh of animals fed foods filled with preservatives, antibiotics and hormones to make them grow faster
  • Foods with additives to make them taste better – sugar, excess salt, flavours, etc

It is widely reported consuming these types of foods are proven to be bad for your health.

If we know deep down they are bad, why do we still eat them without question? 

It’s because the food companies aggressively sell to us every single day without any health body restrictions.

We have become …

… BRAIN WASHED …

into thinking these foods must be ok.

Or to put it more bluntly, we are lied to on a daily basis by the food manufacturers and their regulatory health bodies all for the power of the dollar at any cost. 

The next reason we choose not to get healthy is the main reason we are stuck eating unhealthy choices.

It’s one word, and that’s …

… WILLPOWER …

We don’t have the willpower because our brain is designed to seek pleasure.

It’s called the PLEASURE TRAP and it’s virtually impossible to break free of once caught in its grasp.

The pleasure trap is why drugs, sex, alcohol and FOOD are such big problems. They, and many other addictions are designed to give us pleasure, and once we get caught up in the addiction, our need for pleasure over-rides our common sense.

We have all know preservatives and many additives such as sugar in foods are bad for us, but we choose to ignore this, because the foods containing these poisons taste so good. 

And we want things to taste good because it brings us pleasure. Even to the detriment of our future health.

Think about it …

  • Disease
  • Weight problems
  • Lack of energy
  • Heart attack and strokes
  • Blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fogginess
  • Dental distress

Need I go on?

The problems above are mostly related to man-made processed food products.

The answer to living a healthy life, and in many cases assisting in the regression and even elimination of existing conditions, is simple.

So simple, yet so important … 

In fact, write it down and stick it on your fridge or at the top of your next shopping list.

If it comes from mother nature, EAT IT!

veggies garden

If it is made by man, DON’T TOUCH IT!

It’s as simple as that. When deciding what to eat, use that as your guideline.

Next comes which diet to follow …

  • Paleo
  • Weight Watchers
  • Vegetarian
  • Keto
  • Low-Carb
  • Hi-Protein
  • Plant-Based

And the list goes on. 

You don’t need to worry about any of that, the best diet to follow is called the flexitarian diet.

The flexitarian diet simply means eating Mother Nature’s food.

As said before, if it comes from Mother Nature, eat it, and if it doesn’t, don’t.

WARNING: Just because at one stage it was grown and comes from a can or bottle, does not mean it is good to eat. Man has probably added preservatives to extend its shelf life.

Make sure it is fresh.

Eat natural foods such as …

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Wild caught fatty fish and seafood – 1 to 3 servings per week
  • Organic lean meats – once per week 
  • Nuts, seeds and wholegrains
  • Natural unprocessed oils  

Avoid …

  • Genetically modified foods (GMO)
  • Soy products
  • All sugar-based products
  • Farmed fish
  • Grain fed livestock and poultry
  • Processed oils and products containing processed oils
  • Fruit juices 
  • Any and all types of processed foods
  • Store bought dressings, spreads and sauces
  • Empty carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, plain pasta and cereals unless wholegrain with zero additives

IMPORTANT: Learn to read food labels before purchasing.

read labels

Don’t buy foods containing, preservatives (normally written on the label as a 2- or 3-digit number), additives, sugar, excess salt, flavours and if it looks like the box it comes in, avoid it.

* Grain fed livestock, poultry and farmed fish are fed foods containing preservatives, antibiotics and hormones. By eating these meats, we end up consuming some of the same poisonous additives.

Even free-range chickens promoted as being healthier, might be free of their cages, but they still get fed the same food as their unfortunate cage kept counterparts.    

Eggs, milk and other dairy products should be organic to avoid passed on additives.

Conflicting information ahead …

The Paleo or Keto diet (same thing, different name) promote the eating of organic animal meats and animal fats. I seriously looked into these diets as I used to love eating meat. 

Here’s the conflicting part, they promote animal fats are good for healthy brain function in which I agree, but what they don’t mention is the harm it is doing to your cardiovascular system or colon health.

Keep this in mind, the next time you bite into a delicious tasting steak. 

The good thing about the flexitarian diet is, it allows you to eat your favourite foods.

The flexitarian diet is predominantly about eating vegetables, but also allows you to every now and then, be flexible with some of your old favourite foods. Honestly, unless you have decided to go full vegan or follow a plant-based diet, the new name for vegetarian, give the flexitarian diet a try.

flexitarian dietAfter all, life doesn’t have to be completely rigid, it should also include the joy of having an ice cream every now and again if you want it. Remember all things in moderation though. 

If you still don’t believe me, take a look at our closest living relative in the Congo. At a 98.7% DNA match to humans, the Bonobo’s diet is largely vegetarian, but occasionally eat small mammals. 

This is the flexitarian diet the way mother nature designed it.  

If you love a good steak, make it organic, don’t eat the whole cow in one sitting (try a smaller portion) and only have it once a week instead of every night. Your colon will thank you for it.

If you like chocolate, change to 70% dark instead of full cream milk. Dark chocolate is healthier for you and only 2 squares a day.   

If you like ice cream as I do, have a scoop or two once a month instead of for dessert every night.

Or make your own healthy delicious version. 

Try this instead …

For 1 person

  • 1 square grated 70% chocolate
  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • A dash of organic vanilla essence 
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

Blend until smooth, add some berries, sit back and enjoy.bowl of ice cream

The key to all foods, is MODERATION.

And, that means meal portion size as well.

Honestly, what’s the point of restricting ourselves so much, we are not allowed a few simple pleasures every now and then. After all, we are pleasure seekers.

And that’s the key, every now and then. This way we still get to enjoy our favourites, and get to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

The added benefit to the flexitarian diet is when we do have the occasional treat, it tastes so much better.

The proof is in the testing …

In order to test my theory’s and for research’s sake, or maybe it was a moment of weakness after a very bad day, I, on separate occasions, would eat way too much store-bought ice cream (a tub) or have too much meat in one sitting. 

The next morning, I would be lethargic, felt like a bloated cow and vowed once again, never again. The odd thing was, prior to my healthy diet, I ate this way all the time. I didn’t notice these uncomfortable feelings the next day. I thought it was just normal to feel tired.

My body naturally knew what was good for it, and what wasn’t. I now know what I should be eating in abundance and what I should eat in moderation. 

Many people relate going on a diet as a weight loss strategy. A diet is a more a way of eating and living than a weight loss strategy. Often the bi product of this new way of eating, can be the benefit of weight loss. 

Give the flexitarian diet a go and you will be surprised how much you enjoy it, and how much better your body will feel. 

It is the best of all diets.

The key to what to buy and what not to, is by following the lists above on your next shopping trip. Do some research on some healthy meal recipes, make sure they fit your tick list above and get started. 

Body health is not just about the foods we consume, it is also about getting our body moving. 

Humans were not designed to sit for long periods at a work desk or on the couch watching TV or playing video games. We were designed to move.

Too much sitting around and our muscles will start to waste away.

But, more on this below in the next section …

Two – Cardiovascular Health or Fitness

cardiovascular running

As teased in the body health section above, we need to get our body moving at least 3 to 4 times per week.

Cardiovascular fitness benefits us by …

  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Increased heart muscle strength
  • Improving confidence
  • Reducing stress
  • Better sleep
  • Increases blood circulation

Cardio for some is a dreaded word and for others, a way of life they can’t do without. 

Either way you view cardio training, it is essential for a healthy body and healthy mind.

Cardio is any movement that lifts the heart rate and gets the blood flowing throughout the body. This increased blood flow transports oxygen which in order helps the brain, organs, cells and many other body parts including skin stay healthy.    

Cardio can be as simple as a fast-paced walk, riding a bike, jogging, pushing weights and swimming. Even walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift helps. Anything you can think of that lifts the heart rate, is beneficial.

Make sure you include some form of physical exercise several times per week to keep the body moving.

Ensure you check with your doctor before undertaking and training regime.

Three – Mental Health

spa relaxing

When was the last time you took time out just for you?

Mental health often gets neglected, but is just as important to you overall well-being as exercise and eating healthy foods..

  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Quiet time alone with a cup of tea
  • Romantic dates
  • Reading
  • Nature walks
  • Weekend get-a-ways
  • Holidays
  • Even going to the movies alone

Ensure from time to time you take time out to recharge your batteries and sanity. 

If we allow ourselves to get run down emotionally, everything else we do gets affected, and pretty soon everything seems a burden and patience starts to fray.

Do yourself a favour, take some time out before you need to, and recharge.

In summary: Only you can decide when it’s time to make some changes. In saying that, what’s stopping from getting started right now. 

There is no time like the present.  

Take some tips from above, start slow, but get started.

Lastly, and before we sign off …

Something to seriously ask yourself …

  1. Can you accept your health staying the same as it is now?
  2. Can you afford physically your health staying the same?
  3. If things don’t change, how will that affect your future and your happiness?
  4. Is improving your health an urgent priority for you?
  5. Are you willing to make a steadfast commitment to create a new exciting future?

If you answered yes to the last 2 questions and are serious about improving your life, here’s how we can help you …

We wish you success on your new health journey.

Let us know how you go.

XTL

Your Partner in Inspired Living

Becoming healthy is just one way towards living a Better Life.

Here are some other ways to create more balance in your life …

  1. Financial
  2. Relationships
  3. Security
  4. Happiness
  5. Goals
  6. Weight Loss
  7. Home
  8. Career
  9. Life purpose
  10. Mindset
  11. Love
  12. Some or all the above

Click on the next life aspect above for the aspect you would like to improve.

Do you want more?

Subscribe to our weekly article, they’re a great read.

So, what’s XTL Extreme Living all about and what’s in it for you?

In short, XTL is designed to assist you in your journey to living your best life.

A life filled with health, vitality, challenge and meaning.

The long version …

It’s not about how to be the best as that invokes competition and pressure. You can save being the best for the sporting field. Learning to live your best life is simpler than that, and far less stressful. It’s all about striving daily to be the best you can.

It’s about learning from past slip-up’s, hurtful situations and wrong doings. It’s about being able to let the past be the past, allowing self-forgiveness and forgiveness for others. And only by doing this, will it enable you to be free to focus on areas you want to improve without any past baggage.

After all, you are only here for a short time, don’t waste it regretting past actions or results, or by living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by habit, convention or let other’s viewpoint or agenda sway your thinking into squashing your inner voice.

Deep down, you already know what you want.

Have the wisdom to follow your heart and let intuition be your personal guide in designing your own spectacular life. And most important, have the courage to chase your dreams and live life on your terms, as everything else is minor and quickly fades in comparison.

Sounds good doesn’t it, but how do you do this?

Easier said than done if you don’t know your reason why, but when you do, everything falls into place like magic.