Food and Energy

We all want energy. I can’t recall meeting anyone who didn’t want energy. Food is a necessary component of energy, but it can both provide and rob us of energy. Let’s take a closer look.

Calories are fuel we get from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but “empty” calories can only take us so far. Calories from food that provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber give the body energy to work, play, think, fight off disease, and build healthy cells. In addition, we need enzymes to digest and absorb these nutrients, or they don’t do us much good.

Two key points for more energy: Eat nutrient-dense foods and cultivate a healthy digestive system.

Eat twice as many nutrient-dense plant foods as animal foods. These include unprocessed whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eat them as closely to the way God created them as possible. Eat a variety of colors for a variety of nutrients.

Proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from food depends upon a healthy digestive system. Eating some raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds provides enzymes for digestion. Most cooked and processed foods contain no enzymes, so the body has to provide them via the pancreas, liver, small intestine, and salivary glands. Too much processed food, over time, can overwork these organs.

Healthy gut bacteria also plays an important role in digestion. Many factors can affect the gut microbiome and lead to digestive issues. Among those are the use of antibiotics and other medications, drinking fluoridated water, eating refined foods (sugar, flour, oils, chemical additives, etc.), artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors, MSG, genetically-modified foods, a lack of fiber, water, and nutrients that nourish healthy bacteria, and chronic stress.

Improperly digested foods and an unbalanced microbiome can lead to inflammation in the digestive tract. Chronic inflammation can contribute to a “sick” gut. A “sick” gut interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients. A lack of nutrients results in less energy.

Healthy Actions:

Chew food well to give starch-digesting enzymes in saliva time to mix with food before it’s swallowed.

Eat some raw, colorful fruits and veggies every day. Refer to the Dirty Dozen List (ewg.org) to avoid those most heavily sprayed with chemicals.

Eat a handful of raw nuts and/or seeds on most days. Add them to salads, oatmeal, or smoothies.

Eat enough fiber-rich foods to help feed the good bacteria in your gut. Drink enough water. Fiber and water work together to keep the digestive system healthy.

This is a good start! Give your digestive tract time to adjust as you begin to make changes. It may respond with some bloating and other discomforts as it starts to “clean house”. You may need to take a plant-based digestive enzyme with meals and/or a multi-strain probiotic until things settle down.

If you need a plant-based diet with meal plans, grocery shopping lists, recipes, and daily email coaching tips, check out my 6-Week Health Transformation Online Program.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Advertisements

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Mark 12:30

The Bible is the ultimate love book:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22, 23a

This kind of love requires action. Action takes energy. Energy is produced by the body, mind, and spirit. The health of one affects the other. A healthy body, mind, and spirit helps us love better.

Good works are love in action: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. Doing good works takes time, energy, and strength of body, mind, and spirit. An unhealthy lifestyle can rob us of these and leave us unmotivated (and often too sick) to serve God and others.

A healthy body, mind, and spirit happens one day at a time. Choose something you need to work on, and make a plan to focus on each action until it becomes a habit. Habits drive our behavior.

Body: Do you need to drink more water? Do you need to eat more vegetables? Do you need to get more sleep? Do you need to move more?

Mind: Do you need to pay more attention to what you put into your mouth (maybe keep a food journal)? Do you need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones? Do you need to eat more healthy fats to nourish your brain?

Spirit: Do you need to rely more on God power vs. willpower? Do your fruits of the Spirit need some work (Galatians 5:22, 23:a)? Do you need to read a Bible verse every day?

Choose something small and doable from each category to work on. It’s better to do something small over time and feel successful than to try to do too much and become overwhelmed and give up. As you feel better, you will make better decisions and feel more loving, which is the real goal!

“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love– and the greatest of these is love.” and the greatest of these is love.”   1 Corinthians 13:13

Give the gift of health! $10 off Valentine’s Day special:

6-Week Health Transformation Program

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

The Twelve Days of (a Healthy) Christmas!

For fun, I have written a “healthy” version of The Twelve Days of Christmas to help you stay healthy during Christmas and New Year celebrations!

The Twelve Days of (a Healthy) Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

a journal to write down what I eat.

On the second day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

two deep breaths and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the third day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the fourth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

four citrus fruit, three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the fifth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

five servings of veggies, four citrus fruit, three golden pears,

two deep breaths, and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the sixth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

six peaceful thoughts, five servings of veggies, four citrus fruit,

three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the seventh day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

seven hours of sleep, six peaceful thoughts, five servings of veggies,

four citrus fruit, three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the eighth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

eight cups of water, seven hours of sleep, six peaceful thoughts,

five servings of veggies, four citrus fruit, three golden pears,

two deep breaths, and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the ninth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

nine roasted nuts, eight cups of water, seven hours of sleep,

six peaceful thoughts, five servings of veggies, four citrus fruit,

three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the tenth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

ten jumping jacks, nine roasted nuts, eight cups of water,

seven hours of sleep, six peaceful thoughts, five servings of veggies,

four citrus fruit, three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

eleven grams of fiber, ten jumping jacks, nine roasted nuts,

eight cups of water, seven hours of sleep, six peaceful thoughts,

five servings of veggies,

four citrus fruit, three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me

twelve healthy menus, eleven grams of fiber, ten jumping jacks,

nine roasted nuts, eight cups of water, seven hours of sleep,

six peaceful thoughts, five servings of veggies, four citrus fruit,

three golden pears, two deep breaths,

and a journal to write down what I eat.

Click here for a free PDF version that you are free to copy and share!

Love, peace, and joy,

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease, and does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34

Holidays can bring stress–the stress of traveling, preparing our homes, shopping and cooking, financial stress, social stress, cold weather challenges, and other health stressors (sugar, lack of sleep, mental and/or emotional overwhelm, cold and flu viruses, etc.).

Holidays can also be a beautiful time of thanksgiving and reflection on all that is good! Philippians 4:8–“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Holiday health challenge: Determine that you will not allow stress to rob you of meaningful celebrations. I always tell my four grown children and their spouses that they should plan their own holiday celebrations with no pressure or stress from my husband and me to conform to our plans.

Write out your stressors and find ways to manage them that will help you experience the most joy and stay in good health.

Give the gifts of gratitude and forgiveness to yourself and others! “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. We know that doing God’s will always results in blessings. For more Bible verses about thanksgiving, check out this page on the Bible Study Tools Website.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13. We all need forgiveness, and giving it to others is the best gift and stress reliever of all! For more Bible verses about forgiveness, check out this page on the Bible Study Tools website.

Eat foods rich in beta-carotene to help keep your immune system strong. These include pumpkin, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, cranberries, and dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard and mustard greens, etc.). Basically, eat your seasonal vegetables! Just one or two servings a day can go a long way in helping you stay healthy!

Give the gift of health to yourself and others this year. My Eat to be Healthy DIY Program is less than the cost of one coaching session and is on special for only $39 through December 1. It will give you all the downloadable tools you need to start eating healthier. Here’s the link for more information: Eat to be Healthy Program.

Thanksgiving blessings,

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.