While we may not be able to grab a plane and go globe hopping for our health and wellness; we can take some of the traditions from different countries and incorporate them into our lives for healthier habits!
Let's begin in the Mediterranean, with it's lovely olive trees and kitchens full of delicious healthy fats! Fish and good olive oils have been a staple in this region for eons, and rightfully so. The Mediterranean diet is known to be high in omega-3 fatty acids, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, and significantly lower in saturated fats.
The healthy fats aid in reducing inflammation ( y'all know we're all about that at LivingThruGrace!! ), and reducing other health risk factors like heart disease, cancers, and diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Moderate amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, noshing on a handful of nuts (or seeds) daily, lots of fresh veggies and fruits, as well as fish ( or taking an omega 3 fish oil supplement will serve our health up right!
Next stop India! For thousands of years healing herbs and spices have been a part of Indian food and health culture. We talk about these vibrant spices often at LivingThruGrace because they're a part of our health maintenance!
Turmeric, brown mustard, cumin, coriander, cardamon, cinnamon, red chili pepper and curry( a blend of spices) are top contender spice super stars! The American diet could use replacing a lot of the salt in out diet with many of these tasty herbs and spices. This lowering of salt benefits lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.
It can be a gastronomical road trip to experiment with new spices and herbs! A big benefit to eating and cooking with healing ingredients is that we leave less room for those processed foods!
Who wouldn't love to be in Spain to partake in those relished midday siestas? We may feel that midday napping is impossible, and for many of us, it is! LOL Napping is so good for us because they combat sleep deprivation which IS linked to many of the chronic diseases that plague us. Disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, because sleep is that important for the rejuvenation of our body on a cellular level.
If napping doesn't fit into the formula of your life, something we can all learn to do is to get more sleep at night. I'm notorious for being an extreme night owl! Going to bed early feels unnatural and freakish to me! LOL This is something that I've attempted to alter but honestly, I haven't exactly succeeded as of yet! We have a blog post up on How more sleep effects out health. Check out: Sleep for Better Respiratory Care! Found under Asthma Health & Care. I've focused on respiratory health, but sleep effects our whole body health.
The people of Poland eat most of their meals at home, and one of the main reasons is to maintain their health. Home cooked meals are better for us because WE have control of the ingredients.
Polish people use basic ingredients like veggies and fruits and whole grains to prepare their meals, which are also more affordable than processed and pre prepared foods. Try meal prepping the Polish way by making big batches of whole unprocessed ingredients to have as leftovers and to freeze for later use! Works for me! :()
This sage dietary habit hails from Japan, STOP eating BEFORE you're full.
The Japanese term, hara hachi bunme, or hara hachi bu; eating until you're 80% full is traditional dietary control that achieves good health and longevity. This sage way of eating is backed up by research, as food restriction in healthy adult have shown to benefit reductions in weight, blood cholesterol and blood pressure, which all decrease chanced of developing heart disease.
[ The more our food is whole and unprocessed, the better out body recognizes it to fuel our dietary satisfaction! ]
Learn to pay attention to the bodies cues for hunger and satiety. Eating more slowly because it takes 15-20 minutes to the brain to register tummy fullness. Eating smaller portions for snacks and meals allows us to stave off hunger lows and overeating. This lifestyle change will take some determination, discipline and practice, but they are habits that are well worth it for our whole health management!!
Off to France! The people of France do enjoy a diet rich in both monounsaturated fats through fresh fruits and veggies, spices and smaller amounts of meat; but they also enjoy rich foods that are high in saturated fats like french butter, desserts, cheeses and the lot. Known as the "French Paradox", however, in comparison to Portion Sizes in restaurants, and home cooked meals, they're dramatically smaller that those of North America! Dum de dum dum! LOL Size does matter! :()
Our last stop on our trip around the world is the Netherlands! While our American lifestyles make it more difficult to incorporate the levels of walking that happens in Europe, ( because so many of us have transportation, and our nation is set up differently), we may not hop on a bike as our main source of transportation like in the Netherlands.
Living in a place where cycling is one of the foremost sources to getting around, has its benefits fo the environment like reduced gas emissions, air pollution and traffic accidents. That being said; it doesn't stop us form getting in some bike or just moving more on our own time, any chance we can take. I'm liking more and more the ideas of the moving desk! ( the treadmill desk ). Now that the warmer months are upon us we can make the effort to get out and get moving!! Chase the kids around! Make it fun!
I hope our global trip has inspired you to adopt (if you haven't already), some of these healthy lifestyle habits into your world! Though we may live in different lands, speak different languages, we all have more in common that we realize, and one of those things is the care and management of our health and well being!
Se la vie! :()
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