The benefits of eating healthy are so numerous that it cannot be over-emphasized. Many companies market their products as being healthy, whereas they are filled with chemicals that are toxic to our health and well being. Some people may argue that they eat healthy but you wonder if they also pay attention to other harmful toxins that get into our bodies through hair products, beauty and cosmetics. The truth is we do not know it all, we cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude of harm we need to shield ourselves from. If you’re like me then you should understand that after reading ‘Halleluyah Diet’, I had more positive questions in mind than answers.
Lacking the ability to read and practice is detrimental to our well being. It is important that we read books, articles and journals on current research about our environment and what we eat. The Guardian reports that unsafe chemicals are used in Nigerian salons. This unsafe chemicals include dyes, shampoos, nail polish, nail cleaners, and nail glues. These products contain toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate known as the ‘Toxic Trio’.The health effects include disruption of nervous, respiratory, reproductive systems and lungs, kidney damage and inflammation of the skin and eyes to both the salon workers and their customers. This product enters our body through our skin pores, seeping into our bodies thereby causing harm. The solution is to buy cosmetic products labelled ‘Three free’ which are healthier and less harmful to your body.
First, you must understand that no one is perfect. Health does not always have to do with weight. You can be slim and healthy or slim and unhealthy, fat and healthy or fat and unhealthy. People make mistakes from habit, that hot pof-pof you buy at Obalende in the morning on your way to work to the gala and coke every evening while stuck in traffic though delicious is not good for you on a regular basis. Men love bread, rice, spaghetti known as ‘sharp foods’ while ladies love ice-cream, chocolates, pizza, sharwama, cookies, like me, the list is endless. The good thing is that you can write a list of the unhealthy things you take in a week, bi-weekly and monthly. You can also write down the healthy things you take, For example; pineaapples, oranges velvet berries, mangoes grapes,other berries, cucumber, watermelon, etc. Writing what you eat gives you a clearer perspective of your habits.
Secondly, you must replace those bad habits with new ones and have a reward mentality. Let’s say, I eat ice cream every day and I replace them with apples, I should have a reward mentality that makes me eat ice cream every Saturday after a whole week of eating apples. This is crucial because I have read about a lot of diet plans and weight loss programs crashing because the old things the person used to love wasn’t included in that plan. The old pattern of unhealthy eating cannot be totally eradicated that is why some school of thought still believe moderation is key to our overall well being. It takes a while for a brain to register the new way of eating and you don’t need to be hard on yourself while trying a new diet plan in order not to get frustrated.
If you go to Shoprite every weekend, you can make a few changes. Buy wheat bread, remove butter or any type of bread spread from your family’s list, remove packaged juices from your list, buy different fruits and blend them every morning as a substitute, buy dark chocolates and no cookies. If you go to the market, buy life chicken and not frozen ones, buy fish and goat meat more, substitute fufu and garri for seed blended wheat. In general, eat more boiled food than fried food and eat in small portions.
If you can make these small changes, your overall health may not be spontaneous, but gradually you will look and feel good. Your body system will feel lighter as a result of expelling toxins. With time, you will want to make more changes till you get so good at being healthy.
Someone may ask how I know all this. Well, I read a lot of books and magazines that include some on health and overall well being. My love for biology matured into love of health topics since I am not in the medical profession. Do you know that a medical undergraduate devotes an average of only 40 hours in seven years training, on healthy eating? I know! Right?, they are mostly occupied with sickness and cure. Below are two major books on healthy living.
Halleluyah Diet by Dr. George Malkmus with Peter and Stowe Shockey
Eat This and Live by Dr. Don Colbert
Regina Alabere works with ZODML as the Web Editor and loves writing. Do you write? You can send your short stories and poems to [email protected] and get a chance to be featured on our blog.