When you hear that something is “healthy,” what is your first impression?  Do you immediately think of it as being delicious and energizing?  Or, do you automatically think that it’s going to be boring and taste like cardboard?  Have you noticed that people often use “healthy” in a negative, accusatory tone as if eating healthy is something bad?  What if we could reframe the word “healthy” and gain a new perspective on what it actually means, such as, “This meal is….

  • …. giving my muscles what they need to be stronger
  • …..nourishing my skin with what it needs to be more vibrant
  • …..fueling my brain for better memory
  • …..feeding the good bacteria in my digestive system to strengthen my immunity and minimize illness
  • …..supplying my cells with steady energy to avoid sugar spikes and crashes
  • …..keeping my blood vessels as supple as possible to keep my blood circulating to all parts of my body
  • …..going to help me LIVE YOUNGER and have more good years

We are only responsible for our own outlook.  When I eat fresh fruit or vegetables, I actually think about all the good things the food is doing for me.  From my over thirty years at my “front row seat” in my dental office, I have observed the different lifestyle paths that people have chosen and have had the unique opportunity to see those choices play out years later.  Reframe the word “healthy” in your own life and look to the future with renewed optimism and expectation.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Ask Dr. Debbie: Here is a thought-provoking question from Kendra R:  “What do you consider to be the very first ‘Start Somewheres’ for beginning a healthy lifestyle?”  I really appreciate that question because the mountains of health information can be overwhelming.  Also, I am a firm believer that most of us do better with baby steps for sustained habit formation.  Here is a very basic list of essentials, in no specific order:

  1. Water:  Since our bodies are approximately 60 percent water, it is definitely on the essential list. Dehydration is a root cause of fatigue, hunger, headaches, dry skin, and dizziness, to name a few.  Start slowly and work up to drinking one half of your body weight in ounces of pure water every day.
  2. Movement:  Find something active that you enjoy and start doing it!  It doesn’t matter how small or brief the activity.  You will gain momentum, get stronger, and feel more energetic before you know it!
  3. Deep Breathing:  This one is a challenge for me and I still have to intentionally try to take out time to take deep, slow breaths.  Breathe in slowly for six seconds, hold it for six seconds, and then exhale slowly for ten to twelve seconds.  Deep breathing is so invigorating!
  4. Sleep:  The key here is to have a sleep strategy.  Start by deciding how much sleep you want and then turn off all technology two hours before that time to let your brain get ready to rest.  Find other sleep strategies here.     
  5. Raw Plant Food:  Whole food is always better than taking supplements, when possible, because it has much more in it than we can capture in a capsule.  Begin by eating one cup of raw vegetables and one piece of fresh fruit a day.  Then, work up from there.  My personal goal is to eat four cups of raw vegetables a day (that’s eight servings) and two cups of fresh fruit (four servings).  I don’t always make it, but I believe it’s a great way to LIVE YOUNGER.     
  6. Volunteering/Social Interaction:  This may just be the most important one!  Getting out among people with purpose decreases anxiety and depression, reduces stress and increases mental and physical fitness.  Giving is always the richest living!
  7. Sunshine/Adequate Vitamin D:  Our bodies are designed to make Vitamin D from the sun’s rays naturally.  The key is to get your level tested and maintain a healthy blood level of this essential “vitamin.” Actually a hormone, many of Vitamin D’s benefits are due to its ability to influence the expression of good genes.  So far, every person that I’ve sent to be tested has been low, including myself!  Aim for a level around 80 for optimal health.

Kale & Broccolini Salad (Honest Cooking)

What you need:

  • 1 bunch finely chopped Lacinato kale, stems removed (about 5-6 cups)
  • 8 ounces broccolini, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • Shaved parmesan for garnish

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 5-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons water

Here’s the drill:

  1. Add the kale, broccolini, almonds and apples to a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the lemon juice, tahini and salt until well combined. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.
  2. Toss salad with dressing until well coated and sprinkle salad with shaved parmesan.

My prayer today for all who read this:  “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3 John 2.

Reframe the Word Healthy

Reframe the Word Healthy