THE BLOG

Healthy Living Starts With A Balanced Diet

12/17/2014 08:25 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
Glow Cuisine via Getty Images

New year resolutions are right around the corner. I'm hoping people make decisions for the right reasons.

It's your journey, don't let someone control it. However, let experts help make it as safe and fun as possible.

When I first started driving, the fact that it could kill me was driven home. Safety was the focus of all the conversations, and reading about driving before I turned 16 and got turned loose on the streets

How does this apply to health?

I don't think we have stressed, and focused enough on how much exercise and nutrition plays a major role in our life. When you eat, it affects your health. When you exercise it effects your health. Your health is really really really, very very important.

Think of this as you eat:

1) Vitamins and minerals control every function of your body. Processed food from a box contains low levels of vitamins and minerals you can absorb.

2) Everything you put in your mouth counts as calories, and has to be processed by the body. Think of a splinter of wood in your finger. It's a foreign body, you can't absorb it. Your body reacts to that by the inflammation response, rejecting the splinter and trying to push it out of your body. In some cases, it may be absorbed, most often it's simple pushed out over time. It's the same with non-food items and preservatives. Your body doesn't recognize them as food, and they illicit a mild inflammatory response. It's best for your body to eat as real as possible.

3) Food is energy or fuel. Eat with the idea that what you put in is going to fuel your day. Bad fuel will equal problems and headaches. Same as a car. I ask people to plan their day to be healthy. Make sure you eat four or five perfect meals. Fuel your body. Then, because life is short and many of us find joy in food, have some extras. It's not ideal, and if it gets out of control it's unhealthy, but if food is a source of joy have a few treats. I realize most people are not health nuts, and really don't care about a few extra pounds. I'm not going to fight that fight OR JUDGE! I really don't think we need to concern ourselves with anyone's appearance or choices. However, I'm going to suggest that for your health, you make your base very nutritious. You can still eat a lot of delicious food. Then, once the base is set, and if you are willing to put on a few extra pounds for the sake of eating junk food, go for it. Talk with your doctor, stay in the healthy area, but know that there is room.

Health isn't that strict, some of us make it that way because we enjoy it.

Set the base with a professional dietitian, learn what you need each day to be healthy. Then after you've eaten that, if you want a chocolate bar, a pop, a bag of chips or whatever, have it. Do it judgement and worry free knowing your body has what it needs to function.

The key on this -- You need to fuel properly first.

4) Your body doesn't show negative signs right away, it hides damage until it's to late. Think of the last time you had a flu or a problem with your health. If it was viral, your body probably didn't show major signs at the first moment the virus started to beat your anti-bodies. When the war was 50/50 you probably felt fine, maybe a little tired, 60/40 your throat got a little sore, and your temperature was probably elevated but not really noticeable. Once the battle was fully in the virus's control you got sick. It's the same with heart disease, diabetes, and all the major diseases. Your job is to take care of your cells. Eat in such a way that you don't create an acidic environment, your body has the building blocks to recreate healthy cells and you are full of vitamins and minerals.

High acid has a lot of factors, overeating animal products is a major cause. I'm not saying go vegetarian, but I am saying learn serving sizes and stick to them. Give your body a chance to stay in it's optimal functioning zones. Feel free to go meatless from time to time, it does wonders for the body. Plant based proteins are just as effective as animal. Your body breaks both down to amino acids for the purposes of the body, it doesn't matter where they come from.

What I'm saying is this:

Ideally, this world would be full of health nuts who only ate perfectly healthy menus. We wouldn't touch pop, or food that was full of preservatives. However, science has made it so that a lot of foods out there affect our brain and not only taste good, but work on us on a whole other level. There is a satisfaction and from unhealthy food that is undeniable. So I realize that people will make a choice based on feeling good. My only request is that you find balance. Your gauge should be your doctor. Are you healthy? Are you energetic? Do you have early warnings of something sinister? If you can answer those all positively you are doing great, keep going no matter what some health nut body builder says. This is your life and your journey, please enjoy it, and spread love.

Food can fuel you, improve your health, and make your mood better. Your body and brain need vitamins and minerals to function. Give your body what it needs. get out and be active with walks, yoga, weight lifting, hiking, biking or whatever.

Know that with a few small changes, if your health is not where you want it to be it can change. Also, go see your Doctor, have him look a little deeper. If things need to change, start now with small additions.

Also head to Canadian Diabetes Association and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. They have tests and guides to cover your health, simply.

Check out these simple ideas from my project One Fit City with Brichwood Chevrolet




ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

32 Low Carb Foods For A Healthy Diet