|• Health, healing and nutrition: An important relationship||• Choosing your diet|
|• Physical activity fosters a healthy diet||• Meeting your nutritional needs|
|• What is a healthy diet?||• The bottom line|
|• What is a serving size?||• Some important principles|
|• Quick tips for healthy eating||• Applying the Food Pyramid to everyday life|
|• What about vegetarian diets?||• The shopping list: How to stock your pantry|
|• Is a vegetarian lifestyle really healthier?||• Where to shop?|
Good food will make you smile!
As with any diet, a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet should be well-planned and balanced. Keep the intake of low-nutrient-dense foods, such as sweets, fried foods and highly-processed foods, to a minimum (or eliminate them altogether). Choose whole or unrefined grains instead of refined products whenever possible to meet energy needs. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables—at least 5-10 servings per day—including a good food source of vitamin C to enhance iron absorption. Meet your protein needs by eating a variety of legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and whole grains. And incorporate spirulina into your nutritional program for vitamin B-12, or use fortified food sources.
Will you enjoy the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle? Definitely! Have fun with it. Learn how your body works and how best to take care of it. Discover new, fun ways of cooking and eating. And most of all, you will be amazed at just how good you feel! Energy, vitality, youthfullness, plus, you will maintain a svelt, trim body line.
A WORD ABOUT "ORGANIC" FOODS
Here's the deal. This world is no longer a perfect place to live. The air is tainted with noxious chemicals. The water is polluted with pesticides, fertilizer chemicals and run-off from agriculture and industry. And our food is no longer grown in soil that contains the nutrients that we require to live healthy lives. So, in this imperfect world we need to do the best we can to live healthy, vibrant lives. We can't wear gas masks to protect us from the air. But we can take measures in other areas to minimize the ill effects of the pollution around us. One of these measures is to eat only organically grown produce, where possible. Don't just throw up your hands and declare that there's nothing you can do, because there is. Organically grown foods will not be pesticide laiden, or derive their nutrients from chemical fertilizers. By choosing organic foods you are taking responsibility for your own health...you are making the effort to do your best.
WHAT ABOUT THE WATER?
Nothing's more refreshing than good, pure water.
Our water supplies are a mess, let's face it. You can hardly go a day without reading an article about the terrible condition of the water. Of course, municiple water supplies are treated, to a certain extent, to minimize the effects of bacterial contamination. But these water treatment plants are using higher and higher amounts of chlorine to combat the problem, and chlorine is not something you want to be ingesting on a regular basis. Plus, chlorine only treats one of the many serious contaminants in the water.
What can you do? The bottom line—don't drink your tap water. Even if your water source is from a well, it is not immune to the pollution problems. Either purchase a water distiller or good reverse osmosis system for your home, or purchase distilled water from your grocery store. But by all means don't stop drinking good, pure water. Remember, water should be your main source of hydration (not sodas or juice drinks), and you want to get 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Learn to shop in the produce section.
A GOOD RULE OF THUMB
In making the change from the "standard American diet" to a healthy, energy packed vegetarian lifestyle, you will also change the way you shop for groceries. Here are a few helpful pointers. First of all, spend most of your time shopping in the produce section of the store. Enjoy the beautiful variety of textures, smells and colors of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is where the real food is located--this is the garden. Next, avoid any packages of "food" that comes in a box. Why? Just read the ingredients label and you will see that these convenience "foods" are not really food at all, but are refined and processed former foods that are now mostly chemicals and additives. These pre-packaged instant meals in a box are void of any nutrients or dietary fibre, leading to a multitude of health issues. And thirdly, avoid foods that come in cans, as much as possible. When buying canned foods read the labels carefully. They usually contain high amounts of sodium (salt), sugars, flavor enhancers and preservatives. Fresh or frozen foods present a much better choice.
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Beloved, I wish above all things, that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2.
Education in the divine principles of health have never been needed more than today! There have been many wonderful advances in science and technology, but there is an alarming increase in disease and sickness due to destructive habits and the over indulgences of our society. Today, habit and appetite are at war with nature. The results are seen in most of our lives as many experience some minor or major breakdown of their health.
God's promise still stands—if we incorporate His principles of health into our lives, then none of the diseases of this world will befall us. Listed below are God's 8 Laws of Health, taken from the "owner's manual". Click on a title to learn more.