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The Benefits Of Mindful Eating

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Learning to eat mindfully carries with it many benefits that are both obvious and not so obvious. The main thing is that by being more mindful about your eating, you’re going to build better relationships, enjoy food more, and even lose some weight. Let’s look at the many benefits of mindful eating.

Better Relationships

This is especially true for people who have experienced eating disorders. Sometimes food issues can cause relationship problems. However, when you focus on mindful eating, you will build stronger relationships because of the time spent together doing something as important to life as eating. 

Less Stress

Less Stress Equals a Peace of Mind
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It’s downright stressful to be worried about food constantly. The diet industries and media have made it really difficult to know what is right and wrong about nutrition. In the process, we forget to listen to what our bodies were telling us. Getting back to the body will reduce your stress exponentially. 

More Enjoyment

Eating mindfully will bring back your joy surrounding food. Let’s face it; food is supposed to be enjoyed. It should not be the minefield that it is for many people. There is room for all types of food in almost every diet.

Better Digestion

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Being mindful about your food intake is going to improve your digestive abilities. The main reason is that you’re not going to overeat, and you’re going to avoid junk food in large quantities. Over time, your digestion is going to work better due to eating regularly and eating real food over fast food.

Reduced Calorie Consumption

When you eat mindfully, you’ll be able to tell when your tummy is getting full. You’ll naturally consume fewer calories because you know that if you are truly hungry later (and you know what that means for you), you can always eat more. Because of this, you aren’t tempted to pack it in just because it’s mealtime.

Lose Weight

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Eating fewer calories leads to weight loss. It really is that simple. Eat fewer calories than you need and you will lose weight. While you don’t really need to count calories, it helps some people in the beginning to ensure they are getting enough nutrition. 

Avoid Binge Eating

When you enjoy every single bite, you cannot eat fast. When you smell the food, and truly let the food stay in your mouth long enough to taste all the different components, you will not be able to binge because you’re going to eat more slowly and get full eating less food. This is because it takes time for the mind to signal to the rest of the body that it’s full. 

Fewer Food Cravings

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When you are eating mindfully, you can eat whatever you want; if you’re being mindful about balancing your nutrition, you won’t have food cravings as often. You are avoiding getting too hungry and you’re avoiding getting too full, but you’re not avoiding eating flavorful things that you love.

The benefits of mindful eating are many. You probably have a few that aren’t included in this list. If you’ve been eating more mindfully, what benefits are you experiencing in your daily life? Are you noticing any truth to all the listed benefits above? 

The Difference Between Mindful Eating and Mindless Eating.

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To better understand how you can incorporate mindful eating into your life, take the time to consider the difference between mindful and mindless eating. When you know the difference, you can practice mindfulness during eating more consciously.

Mindful Eating Means:

* Recognizing Nurturing Opportunities Surrounding Food – Humans like to interact, with food being the center of attention. This is a normal thing; after all, eating is a very pleasurable experience. It does more than just provide nutrition and life – which is everything; it provides pleasure and joy too. 

* Understanding the Difference between the Different Kinds of Hunger – When you are eating mindfully, you don’t place meaning on hunger that doesn’t exist. You also don’t think being hungry is a bad thing. You can analyze your feelings and choose how to deal with them.

* Not Judging Food Likes and Dislikes Harshly – When you eat mindfully, not only do you not place judgment on what you choose to eat, you don’t do it to others (like your kids) either. There are plenty of choices one can make with food, so there is no reason to eat things you dislike. 

* Knowing What Being Satiated Means and What It Feels Like – As a mindful eater, you can look at your feelings surrounding hunger and satisfaction. You can look non-judgmentally at your situation and decide if you’ve had enough because you know you can have more.

* Practicing Being in the Moment – As a mindful eater, one of the ways you accomplish it is by living in the moment. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to do or eat tonight, you’re enjoying what you’re doing or eating now.

Mindless Eating Means:

You Don’t Want Mindless Eating as Your Enemy!
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* Seeing Food as an Obstacle to Overcome – Many people using traditional dieting programs focus more on scarcity so that food becomes something you have to overcome instead of enjoying. Instead of going to your mom’s for Sunday dinner, you may worry about seeing that apple pie that Granny made.

* Not Even Remembering What You Ate Last – When you are not paying attention to what you eat, the quality tends to be so low that you cannot even remember what you last ate. When you are eating mindfully, you can remember it because it was delicious.

* Having No Idea If You’re Being Nourished by Your Food or Not – It doesn’t even matter what diet program you try; they are focused on finding ways to get low-calorie food into you without any concern of nutrition (much less flavor). 

* Eating by the Clock instead of Your Hunger Signals – When you are eating mindlessly often, you eat just because it’s time. The clock says it’s time, so you mindlessly go through the motions without much interest or joy.

Hopefully, these ideas help you understand the difference between mindful and mindless eating. When you are eating mindfully, you can let go and enjoy whatever you choose to eat. You can eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied. You can choose from a wide variety of food and never eat something you dislike. 

There’s A Bit of Mindful Eating and Mindless Eating In All Of Us.
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How to Eat Something Mindfully

Mindful Eating Diagram
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One of the reasons so many people are overweight is that people tend to eat mindlessly. In other words, they do not think about what they are eating, when they are eating, or why they are eating – much less how. 

Eating mindfully requires planning and thought. The great thing is that when you do it, you tend to eat higher-quality food that contains more nutrients, but less of it, so you consume fewer calories and end up losing weight or maintaining weight loss. 

Let’s look at some of the best tips on how to eat mindfully.

* Eat Only When Hungry – This seems simple enough, but we’ve been trained since birth to eat during meal times. Meal times are arbitrary times that are designed for people who had to go work in the plant or the office and could only eat at these certain times. However, if you plan to eat only when truly hungry, you’ll be a lot more mindful about your meals.

* Make Eating an Event – Even if you eat in the living room around the coffee table, you can make eating an event by always planning what you’ll eat, where you’ll eat it, and how you’ll eat it. Plus, you should know why you are eating something too. It tastes good is a fine reason. 

* Plan Your Meals – Take the time to plan healthy and good-tasting meals that you know you can prepare easily. If you can’t take the time to do that and can afford it, hire a personal chef or sign up for one of the meal plan boxes that have either done all the prep work or that allow you to just heat it up. Don’t put roadblocks in your way.

Add Fruits and Vegetables To Your Meal Planner
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* Set the Table – Put some flowers on the table, your nice plates, and add some ambiance to your meals. It doesn’t take long to just add a few little touches to make the meal feel special. After all, it is special to be able to eat so well. 

* Turn Off Distractions – When you eat a fine meal, you don’t want to be distracted by television and other outside influences. Instead, try turning on some good music low enough that conversation will not be stopped. 

* Prepare Only the Best Food – Don’t pick food that just stops hunger. It should taste delicious and be healthy. Most people think this is impossible but it’s not. Good food tastes good and yours should be no different.

Plan Only The Best Foods For Your Meal Photo from Google

* Enjoy the Food – Don’t bother preparing food that you don’t like. You want to take the time to enjoy every single bite. Notice the way it looks, the vibrant colors. Notice the way it smells, the fragrant spices. Notice how it feels in your mouth; the texture is divine. The more you can enjoy all those aspects, the better.

* Eat and Chew Slowly – When you are eating, don’t rush through your meals. Instead, enjoy each bite on its own and chew and eat slowly. It should take you at least 20 to 30 minutes to eat a normal meal. 

If you want to practice mindful eating, start with trying to eat only when you are truly hungry, then eating high-quality food to curb the hunger. As you move along making eating a real event, you’ll find that you truly enjoy mindful eating more than thoughtlessly shoving tasteless fast food in your mouth. 

Tips to Eating Mindfully
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How to Tell That You Are Genuinely Hungry

Your entire life you’ve likely been told to deny the natural signs your body gives you when it is hungry. Therefore, until you have retrained your body, you may have to really consider whether you are genuinely hungry or if it’s something else.  

There are seven types of hunger that have been identified. Let’s go over each type and talk a bit about how you can ensure you feed that hunger without going overboard. 

1. Eye Hunger 

Eye’s of Hunger
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When you see good food, your eyes can see something they like so much that your eyes cause your brain to signal to your stomach that you need more food. The problem is, sometimes it’s just your eyes and you’re not really in need of food. You’ve heard the saying, “My eyes were bigger than my stomach.” This fits here. When we first see food, that’s how we decide what we want and how much we want.

2. Nose Hunger

Know how you can start out walking around the mall and not feel hunger but within a few moments of the sights and smells you’re suddenly craving a Cinnabon? To feed this hunger, fix fragrant foods. You can also add essential oils to your day to feed this type of hunger.

3. Mouth Hunger

If you look at good food and your mouth waters, it’s a sign that you may be hungry. What makes your mouth happy is usually a good combination of fat, salt, and sugar. Instant food manufacturers and restaurants know exactly how to do this. You can do it too but on a smaller scale to avoid overeating. Make all your food taste good, and you’ll satisfy this type of hunger.

4. Stomach Hunger

Even sometimes when you feel your tummy growl, it’s not really hunger. If your body is used to a certain schedule, you’ll notice that it gets hungry on that schedule. This is proof that stomach hunger alone is not enough to truly mean real hunger. In this case, it’s important to look back at what you have consumed thus far, when you plan to have your next meal, and then decide whether to go ahead and eat or to wait. Stomach hunger alone is not enough to give you the go-ahead to eat. 

5. Cellular Hunger

If Your Hungry, Eat Healthy
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The last time your body really knew real hunger, you were probably an infant. Your body was great at signaling when it needed food, water, or something else. After spending years ignoring it, the body starts sending mixed signals. It may think it’s hungry when it’s thirsty. The best thing to do is again, look at what you’ve had to eat thus far, when your next planned meal is, and address whether you’re hydrating enough. If you are truly hungry due to a need, eat something healthy.

6. Mind Hunger

This happens when the clock strikes noon and you haven’t eaten lunch yet, even though you just ate breakfast at 10 am. When you go through life, you’re stuck on the clock of the world and not your real internal clock. In fact, your internal clock has no idea what is going on. Because of this, again, if you feel hungry during a time when something has influenced it like a clock, a commercial, or a thought, think about what you have eaten when the next meal is planned, and how much you’ve drunk.

7. Heart Hunger

Emotional Eating Due To Heart Hunger Photo from Google

This is a special type of hunger that you should fill occasionally. It’s all about the feelings about the food you have from growing up. Mom’s apple pie, Granny’s roast beef – whatever it is that brings these wonderful thoughts to your mind, emotional eating happens due to heart hunger. If you are experiencing this, go ahead and enjoy if it’s the right time – for example, Christmas – but the rest of the time focus on what you really need, which is a connection with friends and family.

None of these types of hunger are inherently wrong. When you totally understand the different types of hunger, you can ensure that the food you eat, and the way that you eat it, fulfills these cues and ends unneeded hunger signs. After all, eventually your body will trust you again.

Signs That You Are Hungry
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How What You Eat Helps or Hurts Your Mental Health

What You Eat Help’s or Hurt Your Mental Health
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When it comes to diet and mental health, the saying, “You are what you eat,” takes on a whole new meaning. The physiological link between nutrition and mental well-being has been demonstrated in multiple studies, and doctors and mental health professionals alike may not often prescribe dietary changes to treat a variety of mood disorders including depression. 

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Diet and Mental Health

Fruit’s and Vegetables For Your Diet and Mental Health
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When you think of a well-balanced diet, what comes to mind? Fruits and vegetables are important, but so are healthy fats, protein, fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals. 

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. Packed with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and healthy fats, many people turn to this diet in order to improve their personal nutrition and well-being. 

A 2006 study by researchers at the Department of Clinical Sciences at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain found that the Mediterranean diet reduced symptoms of depression in both men and women. 

Mediterranean Diet Reduce Depression In Women and Men
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Carbohydrates, often considered the bane of any dieter’s existence, can actually increase serotonin, the “feel good” hormone that people with depression have less of. The key to good mental health and diet lies in the origin of carbs. High sugar, refined fats and processed foods do not provide the same type of healthy carbohydrates found in whole grains. 

How Food Affects Your Brain

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In nutritional psychiatry, there’s a concept called the gut-brain axis that examines the relationship between microbiomes in the gut and psychological symptoms. The brain is always communicating with the body, and research has demonstrated a strong connection between the brain’s relationship with the immune system, gastrointestinal system and mental health. 

A variety of psychological and neurological disorders have been studied in relation to bidirectional brain-gut-microbiome (BGM) interactions, including autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and depression.

Simply put, your brain communicates with your gut all day through small cells called neurons. There are around 100 million neurons in the brain and, surprisingly, around 500 million in the gut. It’s no wonder that these neurons are always sending messages to one another.

With an imbalanced diet, the bacteria in the gut can be thrown off and cause a variety of mental health issues. Changing your diet, therefore altering your gut’s microbiomes, can have a direct impact on how you think and feel.

Eating Right to Feel Good

Eating Right Makes Your Mental Health Feel Good
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You can’t cure depression, anxiety or any other mental health problem with a diet change, but eating nutritious and balanced meals does have a direct impact on the severity of symptoms. Dr. Eva Selhub of Harvard Medical School compares the brain to a car and food to fuel. You can keep it running with “low quality” gas, but the less-than-premium fuel ultimately takes a toll on the overall function and capability of the car. 

Lower levels of insulin, vitamin deficiencies and fewer antioxidants can lead to greater levels of stress, physical ailments and cell damage, all of which impact how you think and feel. 

By paying close attention to your diet and always striving to eat healthily, you can prioritize your mental health and physical well-being. 

Food Sensitivities and Your Health

Food Allergies and Your Health
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Unlike food allergies, such as an allergy to peanuts or shellfish, food sensitivity reactions are rarely extreme or life threatening. However, food sensitivities are more common than most people realize and can subtly affect health as well as mood. While food sensitivities are often undiagnosed, there is a growing awareness of this issue as well as ways to detect food sensitivities.

Food Allergy VS Food Tolerance
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Food Allergy, Food Intolerance or Food Sensitivity?

While similar, there are distinct differences between food allergies, a food intolerance and a food sensitivity. Let’s explore the differences.

Food allergies are an immune response, that trigger a histamine reaction within the body. Food allergies can have extreme reactions, such as hives, or worse, anaphylaxis shock. A reaction to a food allergy is generally immediate and extreme, often requiring medical attention.

Food intolerances occur when the body lacks the enzyme necessary to digest a certain food. Consequently, there is an uncomfortable digestive reaction. An example would be lactose intolerance. Those with lactose intolerance have insufficient amounts of the lactase enzyme necessary to digest milk sugar. Food intolerances are genetic and often run in families.

A food sensitivity on the other hand, is harder to pin down. In contrast to a food allergy, the reaction to a food sensitivity can be delayed for days after eating the triggering food. Also, unlike a food intolerance, the cause of the reaction is unknown. However, some suspect IgG antibodies are reactive to certain foods. Consequently, those with food sensitivities may never know what’s causing their symptoms, because of the delayed and often vague reaction.

What If You Suspect You Have a Food Sensitivity?

First, keep a record of all the foods you eat, along with when your symptoms occur. Do this for several weeks. Next, begin an elimination diet. This involves eliminating foods one at a time for two weeks or longer. When you are symptom free for the ensuing weeks, you know you have pin pointed a trigger food.

Living with Food Sensitivities

Food additives, pesticide and herbicide in foods
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Fortunately, by eliminating the foods which trigger your symptoms, you can eliminate your symptoms within weeks. It’s also advisable to eat organic as much as possible. Food additives, pesticide and herbicide residues are ubiquitous in common foods and can also be the source of food sensitivities. While it may be difficult to eliminate some foods completely, cutting back on certain foods will cut down on your symptoms and discomfort. Living with food sensitivities involves finding a balance to minimize your symptoms as well as maintaining a healthy diet.

How to Protect Your Skin in Your 20s

Tips On How to Take Care of Your Skin in Your Twenties
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For most people, their skin will never look better than when they are in their 20s. For others, it will never look worse. How your skin looks at the age you’re in really depends on your genetics and many other factors, but it can also be affected by using the wrong products or using the right products wrongly. Let’s explore. 

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Always Protect Yourself While In The Sun Photo from Google

Protect Yourself From The Sun

Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are all important tools to help you protect your skin from the sun. While a little sun exposure each day, up to 30 minutes each day, is healthy, overexposing is not. You’ll want to ensure that you use sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to help protect your skin from the sun to keep it healthy. 

Treat Acne Properly

If you have acne, the best treatment is to seek medical advice. Some people have acne due to hormonal imbalances, others have it due to genetics, others still due to an allergic reaction to things like dairy. The main thing to know is that if you have acne, you don’t want to touch your acne and cause further infection and scaring by picking at your skin. Find a professional who uses the most natural methods and stick to that. 

Avoid Using Too Many Products

There Are A lot of Additives In Different Products That You Should Avoid.
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Many people get a little crazy with the products, piling them on and ending up causing themselves issues. All you really need is gentle soap for washing, a microfiber washcloth /towel for wiping and drying, and a skin type appropriate moisturizer with sunscreen. For makeup, less is more too, but you can use a lot if you make sure it doesn’t have a lot of additives. 

Remove Makeup Before Bed

No matter how natural your makeup is, washing your face before bed is an essential beauty regime that will really make a huge difference. Wash off not just the day’s makeup but also the germs and oils that can cause acne and dullness. Add a night-time moisturizer, and your skin will work hard to repair itself while you sleep.

Get an Annual Skin Cancer Check

Annual Skin Cancer Check
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Everyone is at risk of skin cancer, no matter what shade of skin you have. Getting an annual skin cancer check is one of the ways that you can reduce your risk of dying from highly treatable skin cancers. Most of the time, a simple procedure that takes less than 10 minutes can remove problem spots before they get serious.

Stay Hydrated and Eat Right

Like most things health-related, you cannot beat eating right and hydration for helping to maintain and even improve your health. 

Eating a diet that is high in plant nutrition is essential for healthy skin and eyes. Drinking enough water is also essential. Did you know that most people are dehydrated right now and don’t know it? Try focusing on drinking a minimum of 64 ounces to one gallon (depending on your height and weight) of water a day for 30 days. Take pictures. You’ll become a believer. 

Do Not Tan

Group of Women Sun Tanning on A Beach Photo from Google

No amount of tanning is protective or good for you. Not in the sun and not in a tanning bed. If you’re going to be outside more than 30 minutes at a time, you should use sunscreen, reapply often, and get in the shade if you can. Your skin may turn darker just due to the normal time you spend in the sun, but you don’t want to purposely lay out and try to get a tan. It’s not worth the risk.

Clean Your Makeup Applicators and Brushes

You may be surprised at how damaging your makeup applicators and brushes can be to your skin. You can cause a terrible infection that looks like acne but is a really nasty infection. Clean your brushes regularly with a good cleaner recommended for your type of applicators and brushes, and let them dry. 

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Get 7 to 9 Hour’s of Beauty Sleep
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Not much can improve your skin as much as sleep. Sleeping enough each night gives your body time to perform repairs that only happen while you’re asleep. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night helps cut down on sagging skin, dark circles, and dullness. Imagine that – you can look many years younger just from sleeping? It’s true.

You really don’t have to do much to keep your skin looking amazing and feeling amazing. Remember, less is more. Wash your skin gently, moisturize, eat right, and watch the sun exposure, and your skin will look its best all the time now and later. 

Fast Weight Loss Is Possible But Dont Overdo It

Fast Weight Loss Is Possible But Can’t Over Do It
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If you want to achieve fast weight loss, one of the best methods is to go on a detox. It is best to pick a time when you are not busy with work or a home situation as you are unlikely to feel great in the first couple of days. Your body will be releasing the build up of toxins and headaches with nausea are not uncommon.

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So how does a detox diet work?  The principle is that we consume a lot of toxins daily either via our food or our environment. Our liver has to work very hard to eliminate these toxins and failure to do so will lead to weight gain.

When you are on a detox diet you are severely limited in what you can eat. Your main diet will consist of fruit and vegetables. You will also be allowed to eat brown rice, lentils, unsalted nuts and other grains such as quinoa. You should drink only water or lemon juice but are allowed limited quantities of unsweetened fruit juices.

People who go on a detox diet usually report that in addition to losing weight, they get clearer skin and have more energy.  Detox diets are not suitable for those with a medical condition unless advised by a doctor and pregnant woman should avoid them. Some people experience quite unpleasant side effect at first. Supporters of the detox plan will say this is because their bodies were really toxic.

Juice Diet For Fast Weight Loss
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If you cannot stomach a detox plan you can also try a juice diet for fast weight loss. As the name suggests, you do not eat any whole foods but rely solely on vegetable and fruit juices. You should purchase a juicer as otherwise the cost of obtaining these freshly prepared drinks can be prohibitive. A juice diet is a short term solution but over the long term could cause tooth decay and other health problems.

You can lose weight by following a sensible eating plan. Keep a food diary and see where the extra calories are sneaking into your diet. Then eliminate these foods. You will be surprised at how much progress you can make once you start. Exercise should be part of any weight loss plan. Not only will it help you tone up but you will feel much better. Exercising helps to increase your energy levels and is a great stress reducer. But most people fail to put a new exercise program in place as they aim too high. Try a little exercise every day rather than promising to become a gym fanatic.

Try eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if they are causing bloating. Stomach bloating can cause you to look much fatter than you actually are. Foods that often cause problems include wheat and dairy. If you do plan on eliminating dairy from your diet, make sure that you increase your intake of calcium from other sources.

Stomach Bloating Can Cause You To Look Fatter Than Normal
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Fast weight loss can be achieved but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your overall health.

Eating Better to Manage Chronic Illness

Health Foods To Manage Chronic Illnesses Photo from Google

Your overall health, mood, and energy levels are affected by your diet, and that is doubly true if you have a chronic illness. The food you eat has a real effect on how well you are able to function on a daily basis, and in some cases, a healthy diet can even help to slow down the progression of a disease. If you are chronically ill, think of a good diet as medicine, not just sustenance. Here are five things you can do to make sure your diet is boosting your overall health and wellness. 

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Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Plant Based Veggie Meal
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You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan for your diet to be healthy. However, it’s a good idea to fill the majority of your plate with plant-based foods rather than meat, dairy, or eggs. Plant-based foods tend to be nutrient-dense but low in calories, which means they nourish you and fill you up while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are some staples of a healthy plant-based diet.

Avoid Sugar, Alcohol, Sugar and Caffeine

When you live with a chronic illness, it’s important to avoid substances that have a high likelihood of throwing your body’s internal balance out of whack. Sugar, alcohol, and caffeine are three of the main things that can make your symptoms flare up when you’re sick. Stay away from these substances (or cut way back on your intake) to sleep better, keep your blood sugar stable, and avoid mood swings. 

Increase Your of Healthy Fats

Healthy Foods, Healthy Fats
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Dietary fat isn’t an enemy — in fact, it’s essential to have some fat in your diet for good health. But the type of fat you eat matters, so choose carefully. “Bad” fats include trans fats and hydrogenated oils, which are found in many processed and fried foods. Saturated fat, which is found in many animal foods, isn’t as bad as trans fat, but it should still be consumed in small quantities. Unsaturated fats, like vegetable oils and fatty fish, are the healthiest to consume regularly.

Choose Your Meats Carefully

Red meat, such as beef and pork, contains a lot of saturated fat, so it’s best to eat it sparingly or not at all. Leaner meats like chicken and fish are a healthier source of protein. 

Listen to Your Body

It Pays To Listen To Your Body
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Everyone’s body is a little bit different. You may not have all the same nutritional needs as someone else with a chronic illness. While it’s a good idea to follow the general guidelines of healthy eating, you should also talk to your doctor about which foods and supplements are most beneficial for you. It’s also important to get into the habit of listening to your body and noticing how certain foods make you feel. If you notice that certain foods make your symptoms flare up (or leave you feeling great), you can adjust your diet accordingly. Keeping a food journal can help you track how particular foods affect your health and well-being. 

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