Getting A "Bikini Body": You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat.

Sounds like a middle school taunt, doesn't it? But unlike middle school taunts, this one is true, and not actually a taunt.

Your body reflects what you put into it. This goes for food, self-talk, medication, effort...

Putting junk in your body will make your body junky. It can't function as well, and that goes for your brain, too. Without proper nourishment, you can't run your best! Tiredness, stress, acne, dry hair, irritability, aches and pains, focus, sluggishness, depression, digestive problems, reproductive problems, body composition, fitness - these are all influenced to varying degrees by the things that go in your body. 

Is it time to reevaluate your choices? How do you feel - now, yesterday, the past month, the past year? If your overwhelming response is negative, you might consider changing your eating habits, if not a few of your other habits (medications, products, drinks, fitness). 

In my own quest to solve or mitigate some of my own health problems, I've discovered a few things about nutrition and health that have made me feel incomparably better. 

1. Water. Drink it, a lot of it, half your body weight in ounces if you're inactive (if you weigh 140 lbs, drink 70 oz a day). Drink more if you're active. It helps alleviate things like digestive problems, headaches, water weight/bloating, grogginess, inopportune hunger/boredom hunger, muscle soreness. Find a water bottle that holds at least 32 oz in a pattern or color you love and take it everywhere you go.

2. Eliminating gluten. Not everyone has a gluten intolerance, but an estimated 1 in 3 people do. As soon as I cut it out of my diet, I experience relief of some of my worst symptoms within a week. I have not once turned back, and I rarely feel like I'm missing out. Instead, I've learned new ways of cooking and eating. My palate has expanded and I feel a lot freer about my food choices now. Do your research and talk to your doctor first before giving up gluten.

3. Sugar isn't great. It's addictive and worsens acne. Successfully cutting out sugar from your diet is an extreme challenge. I don't say that lightly. However, having done it for nearly a month one time, I can say that since then, it's been easier to manage cutting back on a regular basis. And boy has my skin improved. Some research suggests sugar is as addictive as cocaine... and wreaks havoc on the body - increasing inflammation, damaging organs, putting us at risk of disease and obesity... The list goes on. As always, do your own research and experiment giving it entirely for at least two weeks to understand the effect it has on your body. 

4. Eat more vegetables. More veggies = more nutrition. Vitamins, fiber, minerals and energy from vegetables are easier for your body to use. Period. You can't replace them with a pill. Pick a new veggie every time you go to the store, Google recipes, save the ones you like, scrap the ones you don't. It couldn't possibly be easier. 

5. Organic & Local. Personally speaking, the more research I do, the more I truly believe in organic, sustainable farming and harvesting practices. I'm talking about the whole system - the cow eats the grass that the chickens clean of bugs and fertilize; the pigs eat the scraps and chaff from a turned over field. It's simply better for the environment, the economy, human health and animal health. And, it really is tastier. 

My favorite sites for nutrition advice and recipes:

When you research - look for sourced articles and peer reviewed journal articles.

Please note, I am not an expert. I do not have a degree or certification in nutrition.