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A Beginner's Guide to Getting The Health Fundamentals Right

Today we're diving into the essentials of maintaining good health, with so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out what's truly beneficial. This episode aims to simplify things and provide you with actionable steps to improve your well-being.


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The Overload of Information

The sheer amount of health advice available can be paralysing. Even experts who have been in the field for decades sometimes feel overwhelmed by new research and evolving theories. It's essential to acknowledge that confusion is normal. My goal today is to cut through the noise and focus on the fundamentals that can make a significant difference in your health.

Mind and Body Connection

One of the first fundamentals to understand is the connection between the mind and body. This relationship is crucial because what affects one often impacts the other. For instance, the vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the human body, connects the brain and the gut, highlighting the brain-gut connection. This connection means that mental health issues can stem from gut health problems and vice versa.

Practical Tip: Pay attention to both your mental and physical health. Evaluate your relationships, work environment, and daily habits. Are they nurturing or toxic? Are you eating nutrient-dense foods or processed junk?

Nutrient Density Over Calorie Counting

Nutrient density should be your focus rather than calorie counting. Calorie counting might help with weight loss but it doesn't necessarily lead to better health. Instead, aim to consume foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

- Whole Grains: Incorporate whole grains into your diet. Swap white bread, pasta, and rice for their whole-grain counterparts. These unprocessed foods retain more nutrients and provide sustained energy.

- Avoid Processed Foods: Eliminate processed and refined foods from your diet. These include anything that doesn't come directly from nature, like pre-packaged snacks, sugary cereals, and canned sauces. Instead, choose whole foods that are closer to their natural state.

Practical Tip: Gradually reduce your intake of processed foods. Start by replacing one processed item with a whole food each week. Over time, this will become a natural part of your routine.

The Importance of Organic Foods

Organic foods are another vital aspect of a healthy diet. They are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which means they have a lower toxic load. Although organic products can be more expensive, their benefits are worth considering. For example, an organic apple is less likely to have pesticide residues compared to a conventionally grown one. Over time, reducing your exposure to these chemicals can have significant health benefits.

Practical Tip: If budget is a concern, prioritise buying organic for the "Dirty Dozen" list – those fruits and vegetables that are most likely to contain pesticide residues.

Improving your health doesn't have to be complicated. Focus on the basics, understand the mind-body connection, prioritise nutrient-dense foods, avoid processed items, and choose organic when possible. These steps can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being.

Remember, the journey to better health is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it one step at a time, and don't be too hard on yourself. Each positive change you make brings you closer to your health goals.


The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast

The Chronic Illness Coach Podcast challenges listeners to believe that all chronic illnesses can be put into remission. Alex is on a mission to engage, educate and empower those living with a chronic illness who want to change their life for the better. Join your host as she shares her journey of living with a chronic illness and invites expert guests to break down complex niches of health, science and wellness. Each episode is a lifeline for listeners, offering practical strategies, emotional support, and a sense of community. 

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