Even if you’re healthy and fit, the holidays should come with a signpost: Unwanted Pounds May Lie Ahead. Here’s how to avoid that fate while still having fun.
In the third installment of our series on Type II Diabetes, Sully discusses the power of diet and exercise for metabolic disease and why there is no one-size-fits-all lifestyle prescription for diabetes.
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Diet culture is toxic, haven’t you heard?
For many, the impetus behind the anti-diet culture movement is all about putting an end to fat-shaming and our unhealthy obsession with losing weight.
While this is a noble cause, it’s not what this piece is about. Because the truth is, 50 percent of my clients have expressed to me a desire to lose weight—mostly for health, emotional, and aesthetic reasons. I’d like to help them reach their goals.
I truly believe the diet culture is hurting our chances of achieving long-term body composition changes, and more importantly, improved health. Be it the latest 7-day cleanse that promises to fix your gut or speed up your metabolism, or the popular 6-week or 30-day diet challenge of the year, more often than not we find ourselves back to the drawing board the moment the short-term diet or challenge is over.
So if diets don’t work, what does?
Build the Right Habits
I’m a big fan of Precision Nutrition’s principles, hence why I’m currently going through their Level 1 coaching course.
At the heart of it, success comes not from following an exact plan that leaves you feeling guilty when you fall off course, but from taking every imperfect day as it comes, by making as many right choices as you can along the way—but also knowing you’re going to make mistakes, too. Success comes from working on your nutrition by constantly striving to build better habits.
I know that sounds like just more fluffy rhetoric, so here are three small, practical things you can do RIGHT now—like today—to lay the foundation to see results.
They might seem insignificant on their own, but if you keep building on them, and adding more small actions each week and each month, I guarantee you’ll gain more than embarking on those quarterly turmeric cleanses.
1. The Five-Minute Action
This is sort of like the concept of compound interest: Over time, it adds up!
Choose one, small, emotionally and mentally manageable change you’re willing to make today.
I interviewed a Precision Nutrition client a while back who lost 100lb over the course of a year. The first five-minute action she committed was taking the stairs at work. Literally, she just started walking three flights of stairs. This small step was the starting point for what became a huge and lasting change.
Maybe for you, it’s cutting sugar from your coffee or committing to eating vegetables with every meal. Keep the action small and manageable, and once it feels normal, add in a new five-minute action.
2. Chew Your Food
It’s possible you have never considered this one, but chewing your food more thoroughly could be the answer to your digestion issues—bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation—and may help you lose weight. And it may also help your habit of eating too much.
Well, digestion starts in the mouth. Salivary amylase breaks down starch, and the more you chew, the more your food gets exposed to this enzyme, which kickstarts the digestion problem. Also, when you break your food down into smaller pieces from chewing it more—aim for 30 chews per bite—it’s then more manageable for your body to process, and also helps you absorb more nutrients. This goes a long way in helping your metabolism becomes more efficient.
This Chinese study found that chewing more led to weight loss and an increase in energy.
The study looked at 30 young men, 14 of whom were obese and 16 were considered skinny. The first observation the researchers made was that the obese men tended to ingest their food faster and chewed it less than the skinny men.
After this was noted, the obese men were fed a high carbohydrate meal and asked to chew their food either 15 or 40 times per bite. The researchers found when they chewed more, they actually ingested 12 percent fewer calories.
The researchers believe chewing more leads to lower levels of the hormone ghrelin and higher levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone called cholecystokinin. Together, these hormones tell the brain when to start and stop eating. So basically, chewing more creates a hormonal response in your body that stops you from eating when you’re full, helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
So, chew more. And start at dinner tonight.
3. Failure As Feedback
One of the biggest reasons I have seen clients fall off the healthy eating horse is because they’re discouraged because they failed.
But as my good friend Jennifer Broxterman, a registered dietician and the owner of NutritionRx, explains, it comes down to changing the way you think about failure.
“Failure should be seen as feedback, not as a result,” Broxterman said. She encourages her clients to view feedback like data points a scientist would use to figure something out. And to view it with a mixture of curiosity, compassion and radical honesty.
“Let’s be curious, kind, and truly honest about what pushed you off your course,” she explained.
When you change the way you think about failure, and when you view it as an opportunity to change something in the future, rather than an outcome that causes you pain in the present, you’ll be able to embrace the course—bumpy as it may be—to long-term change.
4. Bonus Tip: Be Patient
As the cliché goes, change doesn’t happen overnight. (And it doesn’t come from a 6-week diet.)
But change can start to happen right now in three simple steps:
- Pick a small, manageable five-minute action and turn it into a habit. Repeat.
- Chew your food 30 times a bite.
- If you mess up, chill out. Be kind. Be compassionate. Figure out what threw you off. And then continue.
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Whether you’re currently overweight, living with a debilitating disease or find yourself feeling less energized as the days go on, now might be a good time to reevaluate your current lifestyle habits. Do you eat whatever you want, neglect to exercise and sleep only a few hours each night? The choices you make on a daily basis impact the way your body works, which can ultimately influence how you age.
If you’re ready to make a big change in your life, it starts with taking small steps. You can’t just flip your lifestyle around in a day; it’s going to take lots of discipline and learning to create the new, healthy life you want to live.
Choosing to follow the Hallelujah Diet is one of the most important decisions you can make, giving your body the ultimate fuel provided by God. Eating an abundance of primarily raw, plant-based options can detox your system, boost your immunity, enhance weight loss and reduce your risk for developing chronic conditions and illness later in life. But before you follow us on the path to better health, you have to take small steps in your personal journey.
Here are a few tips for transitioning to the Hallelujah Diet lifestyle:
Reprogram your Mindset
Starting your journey on the Hallelujah Diet is all about mind over matter. You’ve been eating whatever you wanted for years, and now you need to train your brain to accept your new diet. Constantly remind yourself that the difference in eating patterns is for the good, and be willing to open your eyes to new information about transforming to a plant-based lifestyle. There are many life-changing books out there that will convince you that you made the right decision.
Make Use of Available Resources
If you know you want to make the dietary changes, but you’re really not sure where to get started, just refer to all of our free resources. First, subscribe to our daily blog articles for insight on plant-based eating and lifestyle changes. Then, look through our database of past blog articles and other informational resources that can guide you on your path to better living. You can also refer to our Get Started Guide, the perfect tool for all Hallelujah Diet beginners. It’s a predetermined meal plan that helps you fit the diet into your life with ease, providing examples of replacements to recreate some of your favorite foods in healthier versions.
Juicing is another simple step you can take on your wellness journey, especially if you’re not used to eating raw fruits and vegetables every day. Juicing your produce is the greatest way to absorb its maximum vitamins and nutrients, and it’s so easy to do! You can blend a mixture of your favorite fruits and vegetables to create a unique concoction, or you can refer to some of our favorite juice recipes for reference.
Test Our Recipes
Beyond our juice and smoothie concoctions, we have an abundance of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert recipes to look through! The idea of making all of your meals from plant-based sources can seem difficult at first, but you’ll be surprised by how much versatility this lifestyle offers in the kitchen. You can browse through our database of delicious recipes or purchase some of the cookbooks written by our health experts and followers! Once you get a better grasp on the fundamental elements of the diet, you can experiment in the kitchen. Soon enough, you’ll have an abundance of plant-based recipes of your own that you can prepare on a whim.
Try Meal Planning
Remember: There will be days of weakness, when you want to go back to your old ways of eating, and you can’t beat yourself up for it. It’s inevitable. To ensure you don’t feel tempted to head to the drive-thru window one last time, prepare your meals in advance. Take one day to get a week’s worth of lunches and dinners ready, and seal them in the refrigerator. With a fridge full of delicious, fresh and plant-based options ready to eat, you won’t have the heart to let the foods go to waste.
For more tips on healthy living and following the Hallelujah Diet, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!
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People use dozens of excuses for not eating healthy. Some blame it on their co-workers who bring free unhealthy lunches to work every day, while others claim that fruits and vegetables don’t last long enough in the refrigerator before spoiling. Another common complaint is price: “Buying healthy options is just too expensive.”
But making smarter food choices doesn’t have to be so costly. In fact, you can save a lot of money by taking this nutritious route because you won’t be buying meat or dairy products anymore. If you’re still worried about embarking on your new-and-improved regimen because of the price, don’t worry. Here are a few tips for following a plant-based diet on a budget:
1. Go Easy on the Superfoods
Goji berries, chia seeds, açai berries, quinoa and other options often referred to as “superfoods” can be more expensive than your average produce. To ensure you don’t overspend every time you go to the grocery store, don’t buy these foods so often. A variety of basic fruits and vegetables can provide the vital nutrients you need to thrive. Treat yourself to the superfoods every once in a while instead.
2. Buy in Bulk
When it comes to organic whole grains, spices, nuts and seeds, don’t settle for the small package at the local grocer. Instead, head to the wholesale store, and buy these items in bulk. When purchased in mass quantities, these food products are cheaper. Plus, they don’t expire fast, so you won’t have to worry about them spoiling like you would if you bought too much produce.
3. Grow Your Own Foods
It’s easy to head to the grocery store every time you need a head of lettuce for a salad or tomatoes and carrots for a soup recipe. But what if you could eliminate the time, money and effort it takes to make the purchase? Gardening is a simple way to make this happen. Growing your own produce will save you money in the long run, as well as the time and effort it takes to get to and from the grocery store. Plus, when you’re growing fruits and vegetables from the comfort of your home, you know whether they’re organic or not. Relying on the produce from the grocery store, even when it’s labeled “organic,” can sometimes be risky. Some farmers use chemicals and pesticides in their soil, which can be dangerous for you and even harbor nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
Gardening in the winter isn’t always an option – especially if the snow wreaks havoc on your part of the country – so at the very least, try growing your own spices and herbs in a temperature-controlled room inside of your home. This undertaking will save you a lot of money.
4. Be Creative in the Kitchen
Do you rush to the grocery store when you’re missing a staple ingredient that goes into most of your meals? This approach can be a waste of money if you already have a kitchen full of food! Don’t be afraid to create new dishes out of the items you already have in your refrigerator and pantry. It’s an opportunity to experiment and maybe even find your new favorite plant-based dish!
See? Following a plant-based eating regimen isn’t going to drain your bank account. You can save money in plenty of ways while making healthier lifestyle choices. If you’re looking for more information on the Hallelujah Diet, subscribe to our daily emails and look through our database of recipes for inspiration in the kitchen.
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The Standard American Diet, also referred to as SAD – talk about fitting – is unfortunately made up of the most common eating habits in the country. Instead of opting for the healthy, organic choices provided by God himself, those following SAD depend on unnatural, unhealthy processed options made with harmful ingredients that deteriorate overall health and well-being. These same individuals are not only relying on fast food for fuel, but they’re also eating substantial portion sizes that increase their risk for developing chronic conditions, wrecking their immune systems and gaining unnecessary weight.
The Truth About SAD
The Standard American Diet is comprised of a variety of elements that make it so dangerous. What’s worse, is most people following these eating habits are hurting their bodies three or more times a day, per each meal they consume. Here’s what makes the SAD so harmful:
- It’s high in animal fats.
- It’s high in saturated, hydrogenated and trans fats.
- It’s high in processed ingredients.
- It’s low in fiber.
- It’s low in complex carbohydrates.
- It’s low in natural, plant-based choices.
With these elements, Americans can’t expected to get any of the vitamins, minerals and necessary nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives.
Conditions Acquired From Following SAD
Think about America’s current health care system. So much money is spent on cancer research, treating patients and giving them prescribed medications to get better, while these sick individuals are continuing to ruin their bodies with SAD foods. If more people fueled their bodies with the natural, organic sustenance that derives from plant-based eating habits, they’d be less likely to develop:
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Negative oral conditions.
- Heart disease and stroke.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Eating disorders.
- Poor eyesight.
- Severe allergies and sinus issues.
- Digestive problems.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Certain cancers.
Sadly, the list goes on, but that should be enough proof for you to understand just how harmful America’s standard eating habits are.
Foods to Avoid
To experience maximum health and wellness, we recommend following a plant-based diet that’s rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients from the natural sustenance provided by God. Eliminating the following foods from your eating habits will reduce your risk for developing the previously mentioned conditions and diseases and improve your overall health and longevity:
1. Animal sources – Dairy products and meats have no dietary fiber. They’re also acidic and contain antibiotics, which can cause hormone imbalances. Animal fat found in meat and pasteurized milk increases blood pressure, which could increase heart attack and stroke risk.
“Sugars are known to completely compromise the immune system. “
2. Refined sugars – Sugars are known to completely compromise the immune system. They offer no nutritional benefit whatsoever as they have no enzymes, vitamins, minerals or fiber. They are extremely acidic, deplete your body’s resources and cause weight gain when consumed.
3. Refined grains – Refined grains lack the mineral-rich bran and vitamin-rich germ, reducing their nutritional content and making it easy to over consume them, causing weight gain and constipation.
Trusting in God and Following the Hallelujah Diet
At the end of the day, health is a matter of choice. Your body is going to grow and thrive successfully based on how you treat it. You’re given many choices in life, and by taking the best route you will instill your true destiny.
Deuteronomy 30:19 – “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
God has given all of us the opportunity to choose our own fate in life. When you take control of the way you eat, refusing to follow today’s common dietary habits and instead trust in Him and all He’s provided, you’re fueling your body to live your healthiest, fulfilling life. Not only will you notice your body looking and feeling better, but any physical problems you may live with will subside.
If you’re not already following the Hallelujah Diet, now’s a great time to give it a try. Dozens upon dozens of Americans have made the change in their life and noticed a significant difference, then shared their stories of restored life with us. Look through our database of testimonies for motivation and inspiration to take back control and live your life to the fullest.
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Health and wellness expert Vanessa Ascencao – a nutritional consultant – answers your critical questions about whether a plant-based diet really does increase your metabolism and help you lose weight…
So, let’s be honest: does a plant-based diet actually increase metabolism?
Plant-based diets are loaded with phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and other phytochemicals that provide the body with nourishment and, yes, help improve metabolism. At a cellular level, it increases the function of the mitochondria, known as the powerhouses of the cell.
It’s important to focus on your nutrient intake, not on calories. When you eat a natural plant-based diet with the removal of processed foods you automatically feed your cells optimum nutrients and your body will self-regulate and reach optimal weight. Eating a plethora of plant-based foods means you eat less of the bad stuff and body fat will naturally decrease.
READ MORE: 10 Ways To Make Your Switch To Veganism A Whole Lot Easier
How does increased fibre rev metabolism?
Increased fibre-rich foods in the diet such as beans, legumes, flax seeds, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and oats can help boost metabolism, improve gut health, reduce the risk of heart disease and lower inflammation – the root cause of most chronic disease today. Since the body can’t easily digest fibre, it works extra hard to try to break it down, which leads to (you guessed it) weight loss.
READ MORE: How Meal-Time Planning Can Improve Appetite And Aid Fat Burn, According To A Study
To see lasting results, in addition to increasing fibre-rich produce, you need to live a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and nutritious food. I also advocate supplementing with green tea extract, which helps to fight disease, or the plant compound berberine, which supports gut health, helps to reduce inflammation and assists in regulating metabolism.
Is plant-based protein as effective as meat protein in firing up metabolism?
Foods derived from both plants and animals can provide protein. If you like the idea of following a plant-based diet, focus on including plenty of nutrient-dense vegetables, good quality fats and less refined foods. Try to limit “meat alternatives” as many varieties are loaded with sugar, oil and excess salt, which can contribute to water retention. The less processed your diet, the better.
READ MORE: 8 Dietician-Approved Snacks That Don’t Taste Like Cardboard
What are some of the best sources of plant-based protein and fibre?
As far as protein goes, think fruit, veggies, legumes and nuts, almonds, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas and beans. To fill up on fibre, go for fruits such as berries, apples, mangos, pears, melons and oranges; leafy green veg such as broccoli, kale and carrots; nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.
READ MORE ON: Nutrition Nutrition Advice Weight Loss Weight Loss Tips
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By following a plant-based diet, you’re consuming only the natural sustenance from the earth that God intended for you all along. The nourishment you receive from organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is all your body needs to thrive, according to Genesis 1:29.
Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.”
Inspired by this idea and God’s Original Diet, our founder Rev. George Malkmus developed the Hallelujah Diet in hopes that people would stay away from the Standard American Diet and fuel their bodies back to health.
“From the time God gave Adam that original 100 percent raw, plant-based diet in Genesis 1:29, until flood waters destroyed all plant life by the great flood 1,700 years later, there is not a single recorded instance of sickness and the patriarchs lived to an average age of 912 years old,” Rev. Malkmus wrote in his book “God’s Original Diet.”
Removing processed treats, dairy products and meats from your diet will benefit your body tremendously. Here are three reasons to invest in a plant-based diet:
1. It Strengthens the Immune System
Did you know that refined sugars can completely break down the immune system? That means every time you consume an unhealthy sweet treat, you’re fueling the compromise of your internal defense mechanism. By eliminating such “foods” and relying on a plant-based diet, you’ll receive an abundance of enzymes, phytonutrients and minerals that can optimize your immune system.
2. It Can Reduce Your Chance of Developing Chronic Conditions
There’s a reason it’s called “junk food.” According to Dr. Mercola, when you consume these poor excuses for nourishment, your metabolism slows down, blood pressure levels rise and your risk for developing chronic conditions increases.
“Dairy products are filled with saturated butterfat.”
We know what you’re thinking: We know junk food is bad for us, but what’s wrong with meat and dairy products? Since when are these considered unhealthy? Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are filled with saturated butterfat. Consuming too much can lead to heart disease, diabetes and more. Additionally, animal fat found in meat products can block blood flow, leading to high blood pressure. Intake of animal protein has also been associated with a 4-fold greater risk of cancer death in middle-aged adults.
When you remove all of these harmful foods from your diet and instead rely on plant sources, you’ll eliminate your chance of developing chronic conditions. Instead, you’ll fuel a healthy, thriving body that wards away disease and illness on its own.
3. It Eliminates the Need for Most Medication
When you follow the Hallelujah Diet as taught, you obtain all of the essential nutrients and vitamins the body needs to heal itself. That eliminates the need for most medications, according to Hallelujah Diet health expert Olin Idol.
“If a person will simply follow the principles of the Hallelujah Diet, it really doesn’t matter what the underlying cause of the symptoms is,” he said. “The body, with the innate healing wisdom God has programmed within will, in most situations, carry out self-healing.”
When you take advantage of the natural offerings presented by God and stop eating the harmful products made of chemicals, you can lead a long, fulfilling life.
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JUST two diet drinks a day raises the risk of dying young by a quarter, a major study reveals.
And lovers of Diet Coke and Pepsi Max see their chances of being killed by a heart attack or stroke rocket by more than half, compared to those who avoid the stuff.
Experts said the “important” European findings – involving more than 450,000 people – were “concerning”.
They urged Brits to ditch soft drinks and switch to water.
The World Health Organisation research found the dangers from guzzling artificially sweetened pop were up to three times greater than regular sugary drinks.
Diet drinks ‘worse’
It suggests switching to sugar-free products – such as Diet Pepsi or Lucozade Zero – could be equally bad for health, if not worse.
The study was carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, which is a part of the WHO.
Lead researcher Dr Neil Murphy said: “The striking observation in our study was that we found positive associations for both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks with risk of all-cause deaths.
“It would probably be prudent to limit consumption of all soft drinks and replace with a healthier alternative, such as water.”
The take home message is drink water – certainly avoid sugar sweetened beverages and be cautious about artificially sweetened beverages
Professor Mitchell Elkind, incoming president at American Heart Association
The research tracked participants for 16 years – including Brits – and is the largest study of its kind.
It found chances of early death went up by eight per cent for those who consumed sugary drinks twice daily.
But for those glugging two glasses of diet pop each day, the risk went up by 26 per cent.
This group also saw their chance of being killed by cardiovascular disease rise by 52 per cent.
Take home message: ‘Drink water’
The damning findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, coincide with the largest gathering on heart experts in the world.
Speaking from the European Society of Cardiology congress in Paris, Professor Mitchell Elkind, incoming president of the American Heart Association urged people to ditch soft drinks.
He said: “This study is important.
“There are concerns about both sugar sweetened beverages and so-called diet beverages.
“There may be a direct impact [of diet drinks] – and other studies have suggested biological mechanisms may include an impact on insulin signalling in the liver.
“The take home message is drink water – certainly avoid sugar sweetened beverages and be cautious about artificially sweetened beverages.”
Not so sweet
Previous research suggests sweeteners may affect blood vessel health, dementia risk and also trigger weight gain.
One theory is that it affects the body’s sugar levels and key hormones, such as insulin.
But others claim unhealthy adults are more likely to turn to diet drinks, which may explain the findings.
Vegetarians and vegans 20 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke, say scientists
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Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This new research shows that people who regularly drink sweetened soft drinks have a slightly higher overall risk of dying as a result of heart and circulatory diseases.
“Where you can, stick with water and unsweetened tea or coffee, and keep soft drinks as a treat.”
Gavin Partington, Director General at British Soft Drinks Association, said: “Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet.
“According to all leading health authorities in the world, as well as Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK, low- and no-calorie sweeteners are safe.”
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Making healthy lifestyle choices is critical to treating your body right, ultimately warding off disease and promoting longevity. Certain habits, such as eating well and exercising, can also help you look and feel you best. One is more crucial than the other, however, and acts as the ultimate foundation to overall wellness: following a healthy diet. As important as exercise is for losing weight, boosting your immune system and improving your energy by following a primarily raw, plant-based diet gives your body the fuel it needs to get through a workout, while also offering more weight-loss benefits than exercise.
Exercise vs. Healthy Eating
While running on the treadmill to burn those excess calories you devoured for dinner seems like the easy way out, starting with smarter eating habits and cutting calories initially ends in better results. An analysis of 700+ weight-loss studies found the best short-term results came when participants chose to eat well, according to Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D, nutritional biochemist.
“On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. It’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off,” he told The Huffington Post.
Think about it this way: Have you ever considered how much energy you use per day while exercising? According to Dr. Mercola, working out only accounts for 10 to 30 percent of the energy your body uses in any given day. Additionally, your body’s specific metabolic rate controls how many calories you burn. On the other hand, you have control over how many calories you consume. This is what makes healthy eating more important than exercise.
When you consume a diet that’s loaded with refined sugars, saturated fats and complex carbohydrates, you’re damaging your body and counteracting the benefits of exercise. A natural, whole-foods diet can support your body and fuel it for an effective workout.
Start With a Plant-Based Diet, Followed by Physical Activity
While we understand that fueling your body with the natural sustenance of the earth comes before exercise, that doesn’t mean you should remove physical activity from your habits. As stated earlier, following a healthy diet is merely the foundation to receiving the maximum benefits of exercising. By fueling your body with a multitude of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic whole grains, you’ll receive the vital vitamins and nutrients your system needs to thrive. This ultimately promotes increased energy and a strong immune system, muscles and bones, all vital elements to a beneficial workout.
Remember: We recommend Hallelujah Diet followers stick to our primarily raw, plant-based eating regimen while supplementing with our organic products. To reach optimal wellness and promote longevity, older adults should also spend at least 150 minutes per week dedicated to aerobic activity, with two days a week focused on muscle-strengthening exercise.
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