Track your health and performance by using one of the increasingly cheap devices like: FitBit, Withings, Nike+ FuelBand, LifeTrack, NewBalance Life TRNr,etc. Even the most basic measurements like daily step count (pedometer), heart rate (resting vs. active), and body weight, and also more advanced functions like running distance/speed, calories consumed/expended, food groups covered/left out, cups of coffee/water/etc consumed over time, can be measured with free apps and without expensive devices and give you a decent first picture of the various components of yourhealth. Based on data from regular usage over time, you can begin to analyze what is lacking from your routine, what’s working or not, how you are performing over time. This data will help you target particular areas of your health and wellbeing for improvement, help with diagnosing disease early on, etc.
First Installment of 365 Health Tips:
1) Children and young adults need meat for its protein; older adults need meat like a heart attack.
2) Animal fats load your liver and make your skin look pretty. Cholesterol clogs your arteries and forms your hormones. Don’t chase the “good” and “bad” waterfall – live in moderation, with perspective.
3) The longest lived peoples have well-balanced diets. What do they have in common? Lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes, fish and poultry (with red meat limited), alcohol in moderation, healthy fats (like olive oil), and lots of spices and herbs instead of salt.
4) A few foods high in antioxidants: pomegranates and blueberries, red cabbage and spinach, pecans and sunflower seeds, turmeric and cinnamon. Hey – no one likes to oxidize before their time 😉
5) Georgians are famous for eating spices – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Famously long-lived, they make every meal a colorful feast of flavors, including mint, parsley, coriander, fennel, and red pepper. Healthy eaters without being shy about it, they sure have something right.
6) Sardinians often work in the field well into their eighties. The sun and mountain air don’t hurt, of course, and neither does a healthy, Mediterranean diet. Eat well and enjoy life, but don’t forget to move around, too!
7) Fish oils are tremendous for the brain, whose cells rely on the fats to maintain the integrity of their structure. Aging wears heavily on brain cells, and every bit of support helps.
8) Healthy cooking oils: olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, nut oils, canola and other vegetable oils.
9) Freeze fish before cooking to kill parasites.
10) Fruits with digestive enzymes: pineapple, papaya, all melons. After a meal, any of these are perfect to help along digestion, after a heavy (or light) meal.
11) Vitamins are absorbed better through fresh foods, not by taking pills. Do your best to get your nutritional needs through your diet, not through supplements.
12) Spices like cinnamon and are some of nature’s most potent antioxidants.
13) Strong spices help kill bacteria, usually found in hotter climates. This is why people living in hotter climates tend to have spicier foods.
14) Ginger is a potent antibacterial, as well as a delicious spice and good to calm a stomach ache.
15) Honey is one of nature’s best and strongest natural antibacterial substances. Eat a spoon today for a healthy immune system.
16) Immerse cut onions in boiling water, strain, to get rid of smell on the breath.
17) Make your own tomato sauce – canned tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions, olive oil, eTc.
18) Indians and others use dairy to cool the digestive tract after strong spices.
19) Turmeric is a very strong anti-oxidant. Rate of Alzheimer’s very low there, even with longevity.
20) Buy spices in small quantities, and fresh, if possible. They lose their potency and antioxidant quantities somewhat quickly, with oxidation.
21) Better whole root (Ginger) or clove (garlic) or bulb (onion) than granulated – always more potent and flavorful.
22) Store tomatoes, avocadoes, bananas, apples outside the fridge. They stay better and longer at room temperature, in the dark (pantry).
23) Hang bananas up on a rack, off the counter, for optimal ripening and to prevent bruising.
24) Don’t keep meat – fresh or cooked – for more than 3 days in the fridge. Cook defrosted meat within 1 day. Otherwise, risk bacterial infection.
25) Carob is a healthy alternative to caloric chocolate.
26) Use turmeric for vibrant color on rice, in place of expensive saffron.
27) Cover the bottom of your rice pan with slices of raw potato, like the Persians do. It makes for delicious “chips” with your rice.
28) Try sautéing spinach with soft cheese (paneer), chilies and turmeric. This is a Kashmiri recipe.
29) Dark chocolate better for you than milk chocolate. It’s higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar.
30) Coffee isn’t just caffeine, after all. Coffee beans have hundreds of substances, including antioxidants, and coffee consumption have been found to correlate with lower risk of diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
31) Simple Mediterranean chicken recipe: broil with red wine, herbes de provence, sea salt, ground pepper and garlic powder.
32) Great Israeli hummus recipe: ground boiled chickpeas, tehina, lemon juice, paprika, olive oil …
33) For a perfectly tart (but never sour) compliment to your basmati rice, try the Persian spice, sumac.
34) Spice up your hummus with a touch of ground horseradish, mixed in.
35) Raspberry jam isn’t just a perfect compliment to tea and crumpets. It also helps lower your fever.
36) Simple bison meatballs: ground bison, red onions, red wine, garlic, black pepper, basil, lemon juice, olive oil.
37) For a change from balsamic, try using nut vinegars from Spain. They offer a uniquely tempting addition, for something different.
38) Try an Israeli twist to your eggs: add red peppers, onions, and roasted eggplant to your eggs on the skillet (with your usual spices), and mix twice in the pan while cooking, before serving.
39) How to change up your pesto: exchange cilantro for basil, walnuts for pine nuts, parmesan for romano, leave olive oil and garlic the same.
40) Try butter on your baked salmon, instead of olive oil, for a distinctive new taste.
41) Remember: no food is always good or always bad for you. Moderation and common sense in setting limits are always good, and always, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, remember to moderate your moderation, too.
42) Great wine to pair with your holiday turkey meal: Pinot Noir. It’s very low in tannins, but is more robust than white wines.