Do you count calories? Or grams of fat per serving of whatever food you’re contemplating eating? I had completely forgotten about calories until this weekend when we threw a big party for my Mum’s birthday. The table was adorned with freshly-made canapés made up of smoked salmon blinis, mini jacket potatoes, bruschetta, chicken goujons, salmon roulades, mini-meringues and of course a huge 2-tiered chocolate cake, (none of which passed my lips of course, being a raw foodie).
I got talking with one of my Mum’s oldest friends who on peering into my own personal raw-filled fridge asked me how many calories I eat each day. “Calories?” I asked. “Err, I have no idea.” She looked at me as though I had committed the biggest sin of all not watching what I eat, not counting every morsel and worrying what hip it was going to cruelly attach itself to. This lady has gone through her life eating steamed vegetables, some fruit and little else which to me seems like such a shame. Food is to be enjoyed!
I have had my fair share of weight gains over the years – admittedly, I have never had anything major to worry about in that area but it’s all relative, right? But the one thing I have never done is count calories. What’s the point? Back in the day, if I really wanted to eat that chocolate cake, I was going to eat it regardless of the number of calories I was about to inhale so what’s the point in finding out only to then marinate in post-calorific guilt?
This got me thinking about how our diets have changed over the years and how far removed we are from where we need to be. When you have a balanced diet full of phytonutrients and enzymes, there is no need to read the back of a packet before you eat it. Largely in part because most of the food we should be eating — food that is full of life force, doesn’t come in a packet. That’s the problem. Over time, we have forgotten the importance of eating a balanced meal – and even balanced these days doesn’t really hit the spot in my opinion.
The government recommend eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day but this really just shows how dire and over-processed our diets have become. Five is what is considered manageable for the average person which only proves that we have become a nation of fast-food junkies.
The truth is that if we want to move away from the possibility of chronic disease, fatigue and depression we need to move towards an alkaline diet. Our body’s preferred pH is 7.365 but the average person’s body is drowning in a sea of acidity — from their morning coffee to their breakfast bagel to their gluten-filled lunch to their mid-afternoon chocolate fix-me-up to their overcooked enzyme-depleted chicken dinner with a side-plate of potatoes which constitutes food combining hell!
All of these quick-fix foods are acid-forming. Acidity causes inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of most, if not all chronic disease. What we should be thinking about when buying food is whether it is alkaline or acidic; whether it will nourish or neglect us, not how many calories it contains — who cares?! If you put good things into your body the calories will count themselves.
The body thrives on life force, on green foods, on a plant-based diet. There is no calorie-counting with a truly balanced diet rich in chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. All of the nutrients are delivered straight to where the body needs it, and with it, body weight tends to stabilise. And what comes with it is a more positive, clearer, lighter and brighter human being. I think we could all do with a bit of brightening up don’t you?
If you need help turning up the dimmer switch, here are a few top tips to help you transition towards a more alkaline body and diet:
1. Drink more water – Your brain consists of 76% water, your muscle 75% and your bone 25% so drink at least three litres per day to keep hydrated allowing your body to work efficiently and flush out those toxins. Begin the day with one pint of room-temperature water with a squeeze of lemon juice.
2. Get juicy – Buy a juicer and get juicing! Whether you have 1 juice a week or one juice a day, your body will thank you. It’s a fast-track way of getting much needed nutrients into the body quickly and efficiently without having to chow down on a tonne of veggies.
3. Go green – Add some gorgeous greens to your plate. By filling at least 60% of your plate with raw food such as salad, you help your body to digest the other food on the plate allowing your body to preserve its energy, helping to create health within you.
4. Relax – Stress depletes the immune system and creates an acidic environment; one more reason to chill out! Take some time out to do something you love.
5. Be kind – Dr David Hamilton, author of Why Kindness is Good for You, has actually proven that being kind to yourself and others improves your health and happiness so go and do a good deed today.
Forget the calorie counting – it’s a waste of your precious time. Your health is in your hands and it’s never too late to change. The power is yours and the time is now.
Polly Noble is a Holistic Health Coach, Raw Food Coach, author and two-time cancer survivor. She is passionate about using her experiences to empower, inspire and motivate others to create health and happiness and live a life they love. Polly provides health information, coaching services, talks and workshops and retreats.
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