This is a continuation from the previous posts Ways to Navigate Your Family Toward Wellness – Steps 1 & 2 and Further Ways To Navigate Wellness – Steps 3 & 4. In these blogs we discussed
STEP 1 – Examine the Family’s Current Health Philosophy.
STEP 2 – Move Towards STRENGTHENING Health Rather Than Looking For Alternatives For Sick Care where we discussed if we utilise naturopathy, Chinese medicine or homeopathy for example (which are wonderful resources discussed in step 3) as a therapy or treatment for an ailment or as an alternative to antibiotic, then we are acting too late.
STEP 3 – Take a Multi-faceted Allied Health Care Approach
STEP 4-Teach Your Children about Innate Intelligence
Let’s continue to look at further steps to navigate your family towards Wellness…
STEP 5-Look at Where You Currently Spend Your Money?
Sometimes when families want to strengthen their health they have concerns about whether they will be able to afford a wellness lifestyle, whether they will be able to sustain the infrastructure? When re-navigating health a crucial step is to examine where we currently spend our money, what are genuine expenses and which are unnecessary when we consider our well-being?
Take a moment to consider-can money be better spent than having it be utilised to strengthen our health?
Without good health we are unable to be of benefit to family and friends and if we are ‘poorly’ how can we possibly achieve targets at work? Our health is paramount to the success of any aspect of our lives.
Sometimes our priorities get muddled. Here are a few starting points to clarify our priorities:
– Grocery Items.
Literature indicates that it is often families who can’t really afford convenience, prepackaged snack foods that are in fact the families who buy them. These items are expensive, gimmicky and they are often void of any nutrition which means they will not satisfy your child’s hunger and they will be soon be looking for additional food to eat. Next time you are filling your shopping cart consider:
- how many cans of soft drink or bottles of cordial have you purchased?
- how many packets of lollies, biscuits, chocolates, ice-creams?
- how many packets of chips, processed cheese and crackers, mini tubs of yoghurt?
- how many magazines or packets of cigarettes have you purchased?
As parents sometimes we succumb to the pressure our children place on us when they make demands for junky, snack items. There are times when I stand in the grocery store motionless, as I hear my children beg and plead for the latest junk food (only rarely now do they try me) and as I contemplate the nasty price and nasty ingredient list on the item of demand, I collect myself and ask, “Are you serious? You want me to spend my money on these chemicals disguised as food?” I then continue in good humour so my children sense the ridiculousness of the way these “pretend foods” are marketed at kids.
-Other considerations might be:
- how much money would you spend on alcohol each week, each month?
- how much money goes to buying the latest fashion piece or accessory for ourselves or our children
- how much money would you spend on the latest toys, games, or renting DVD’s for the kids (including the fines for them being returned late!)
Obviously there are times we all indulge our children but my question is how often are we “consciously consuming or purchasing?” Next time you hand money to your child or pull money from your wallet, consider whether what you are purchasing is money well spent — is it serving to strengthen your family’s health?
Is it necessary or even a priority?
STEP 6 – Buy Quality Foods Where-ever Possible
A wholesome nutrition principle that always serves us well is to buy food that is as close to its natural state as possible. The closer the food is to its natural state, the better it is for us.
There are large numbers of processed food items that not only lack most of their original nutrients but also offer a cocktail of additives.
Here are a few basic examples of choosing foods in their natural versus alternatives:
- Choose real butter instead of margarine or ‘spreadable’ butters
- Choose organic traditional rolled oats instead of ‘quick oats’
For breakfast, choose high quality, unrefined grains over sugary, refined breakfast cereals. Try organic mueslis, rice mueslis, buck-wheat puffs, rice puffs, millet, quinoa, organic Wheat-Bix and spelt flakes.
- Enjoy fresh fish instead of fish-fingers or deep-fried fish in general.
- Freeze organic juices (diluted) rather soft drinks or high sugar ‘popper juices’
- Purchase organic or hormone-free chicken from your butcher rather than the bleached, hormone-filled, vacuum-sealed supermarket varieties or chicken nuggets.
The health benefits of purchasing foods in their natural state is also apparent when discussing fats. Todays society has an aversion to full fat products for all the wrong reasons. In most cases, ‘reduced fat’ items are far worse for us than the real thing. ‘Low-fat’ food items are generally high in carbohydrates (or sugar), artificial sugars, artificial fats and chemicals. Most health experts now recommend that we should just eat the real thing—good quality fats, in modest quantities.
Fats constitute the structural framework of our body and are extremely important for a number of reasons. Fats help repair the cells of the body, they transport vitamins, manufacture of hormones and they give us energy.
Good fats because they are “real” foods also tell us when we are full thereby helping us to eat less. In fact a little good-quality fat goes a long way! The more good quality fat found in a particular food, the longer it takes to digest and the longer we will feel full in between meals. Fats also slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream via the digestive tract, improving the glycaemic index of each meal. Good quality fats therefore help us to curb cravings for sugar, junk foods and the wrong sorts of fats.
GOOD HIGH QUALITY FATS include: cold water fish, meats and chicken(with excess fat removed), nuts, nut butters, nut oils, Seeds, Free-range organic eggs, avocado, organic butter, high quality cheese and yoghurt, oil supplements. Organic coconut oil or olive oil (for cooking) and macadamia, avocado, flaxseed and sesame oils (for dressings)
BAD FATS include: Vegetable oil (is the worst offender and is the cheapest trans fat used in most processed foods), lower quality red meats and porks (e.g., bacon, sausages), lower quality processed dairy products (e.g. processed cheeses), margarines, safflower, sunflower, canola and corn oils.