Healthy is always viewed as a good thing. But surpassing a good thing and really getting into it… what does it mean to you? The dictionary definition of health is the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor- free of disease or ailment. For some people, however, healthy is equivalent to happy. And then there is the other end of the spectrum: having a “hot” body and being super skinny. Healthy, to me, is being strong in the muscles and free of conditions that cause harm or pain to your body. I tend to be a grammatical person and abide by the dictionary, so by no means do I urge you to use my definition of healthy. I want you to find your own.
First, think: what do you do to be healthy? Spring break started and I have composed a workout schedule that I plan to do every day. I don’t eat very well, so I’m asking my family to find flexitarian food options for me to nom on- I’m a really picky eater. Whatever you do to keep yourself in good health, start with that. Sometimes, finding what healthy means to you can be hard. Here are some ways you can stay healthy without over exerting yourself or doing diets that can be harmful. You should be happy about your body and have the strength to defend yourself and do the things you want!
Eat Food with Protein- for energy and strength
Instead of just eating carbs all day, (like I do… sigh) eat food that packs protein so you can have energy throughout the day! Eat eggs- the yolk has the most protein. You can boil, scramble, fry, or do whatever you want to them to make them tasty, as long as you don’t use too much extra fat like tons of salt or a vat of oil. That would completely undermine the purpose. Meat, like chicken, pork, and steak, are also great sources of protein. I hate all of them- I’m a flexitarian, which means I allow myself to eat white meat (fish and poultry) but I rarely do. However, if you are a meat eater, these foods are great! Dairy, and nuts, like peanuts, almonds, and cashews (yummy!) also build protein, which helps you gain muscle and become strong! *flexes skimpy muscles* Well, no worries, I will keep eating protein to have energy.
Don’t Eat Before Bed- prevent fat buildup!
If you eat right before bed, you won’t have time to burn off the calories collected from your last meal. This is bad because when you arise the next morning, you’ll feel sluggish and blah. Usual dinner hours are 5-7 for my family, because we usually don’t eat at the same time every night. Find what works best for you so that you can walk around and get a bit of moving in before you catch those much-needed zzzzzz’s.
Feel Good About Your Food- keep those nutrients
Did you know that berating yourself for your food choices can actually stop the nutrients in a meal from using their full potential? For a week, I tried a “no-wheat” diet to find out what was giving me stomach aches. During one of the days, people were having a bake sale at school, and I went insane- bread is my main food source and I hadn’t had any in 24 hours. I bought baked goods, and later I felt absolutely awful. I still feel the regret now! The stress and self-deprication that I felt all during lunch stopped whatever teensy shred of nutrients in those blondies from getting to where they needed to go: and when I think about it later, that makes me feel even more awful, actually. But I know it’s okay because I’m back on wheat and feeling so much better about my food choices.
You know when you are hungry and when you’re not. Even if something tastes really good, if you’re full, you should stop eating. Generally, when you think you’re 80% full, you’re actually 100% full. Just think of how full you’d be if you thought you were 100%… and then you just ate a little more. Pretty full, right? Definitely! So make sure you listen to your body so it can tell you how much your really want. Also, the most important thing is to feel confident. If you know you will only feel confident once you have enough strength to play that sport you love, then go for it and build muscle. But there are some kinds of confident that are bad for your body. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are not healthy at all, and they if you have one, you should tell a doctor immediately. Aim for good taste in your foods- it will help you collect more antioxidants and iron.
Most importantly, being healthy means being happy with your body and your choices. You need to feel like something’s right with yourself, and then reach for your goals. Find out what you want to do to be healthy, and do it. Here at Bonsai, we are dedicated to you living better so you can become a leader of the future working to make the world a better place, and you can start by making your own personal world a healthier one. 🙂
(Facts about taste and food regret affecting nutrients come from New Moon Girls Magazine.)
Ceej, Vice President of Bonsai