On December 2, 2013, I will kick off the Be Well Book Club. In this book club, we will discuss various books about health, nutrition and wellness. The purpose of this club is to apply the concepts we read. After all, knowledge without action doesn’t add up to much. There will be a forum to discuss the books, as well as a forum dedicated to establishing and maintaining accountability. Plus, at least once a month a teleconference will be held to further enhance transformation.
To join the Be Well Book Club, click on this link and click “Ask to join”. Everyone is welcome.
The first book we will cover is Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. Written by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D., the book discusses a four-step method that will help us overcome negativity bias and learn from the more positive experiences in our lives, helping us become more calm, confident and content.
We all have our differences–different hair color, different eye color, different height, different bite. The one thing we all have in common is our digestive system. Though it may be a taboo, even gross, topic, the digestive system is an important aspect of our health.
Why is Digestive Health Important?
The purpose of the digestive system is to transport food through the body. Encompassing everything from the mouth to the rectum, the digestive system transports food, extracts nutrients and removes waste.
The motility of our gut often goes unnoticed until it acts up or refuses to act out. But, the digestive system does warn us first through cramps, nausea, diarrhea and the occasional bout of constipation. Bottom line: If your gut doesn’t run smoothly, neither do you. Fortunately, with a few diet tweaks, we can support our digestive health without constant vigilance. Here are a few easy ways:
Plain, old-fashion water. Though everyone seems to have a different recommendation for water we should consume, aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. You can meet some of the water recommendations through juices, decaffeinated teas, water-rich fruits, and so on. Why is water important? Water helps move food through the digestive system.
Probiotics. Another name for good bacteria, probiotics supply healthy bacteria to digestive system. Bacteria already live in our intestines. But sometimes, the healthy variety is killed or crowded out by their nemeses. When you introduce healthy bacteria into the diet, you help restore the balance as well as improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal system not to mention the immune system. Good sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir and miso.
Prebiotics. With probiotics, we introduced healthy bacteria into our system; with prebiotics, we sustain these bacteria. Probiotics feed off prebiotics, which are soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that absorbs water in the intestines. You can typically find this type of fiber in oats, apples, bananas and onions.
Foods that Aid Digestion
Mix your probiotics and prebiotics for the best punch. My favorite prebiotic + probiotic combo is a chopped apple mixed with cinnamon, honey, yogurt, and granola.
Need a bit more push to move toward your goals? Use your willpower. Here are a few quotes on willpower that will inspire you and remind you that you already possess the power to achieve your goals.
“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” ~Charles C. Noble
“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.” ~Dan Millman