The Atlantic has a fun widget in its article today about how you will die, according to statistics.
The short story is that most people die before age 100, and most of those deaths are related to nutrition to some degree: heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The link between nutrition and health is so obvious and so potent that we even have an expression for it: “You are what you eat.”
Many New Year’s Resolutions sometimes fail because people (ahem) bite off more than they can chew. What may work better for many people is to make incremental changes that snowball into something greater.
Here are some small steps you can take today to help boost your energy to take on larger steps down the road:
- Cooking for yourself rather than eating out as much (restaurants are notorious for using a lot of salt/fat/sugar to hook you);
- Eating plenty of leafy greens and fruits to keep toxins moving through your body instead of loitering in your gut, and to ensure that your body gets lots of vitamins and minerals;
- Eating less red meat, especially processed meats like deli meats, sausages, corned beef, ham, and smoked meats, which have been linked with cancer.
- If you have to eat meat, try to avoid grilled meat, because high-temperature grilling creates toxins (most obviously the bitter, carcinogenic black bits that most people try to eat around).
- Get enough sleep. Going to bed at regular times helps. So does wearing protective lenses to boost melatonin.
- Change your route to work, whether it’s taking the stairs or parking farther away from the building entrance. You will burn off only a few calories more per day, but it gets you in the habit of exercising more, which can ease your transition into more strenuous or longer activities.
- Drink more water. You don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water per day (that’s a myth), since most foods contain water. But going to the restroom even one more time per day gives your body’s cells another opportunity to get rid of toxins rather than letting them build up.
Whatever you do, remember to reward yourself from time to time. It’s perfectly fine to eat ice cream and chocolate for 5% of your diet, if you eat healthy for the other 95%.