For more information on how our screenings have gone, please check out my recent post at our Wrong Way to Hope website. I’ll keep blogging about the fitness-component of our 2 month adventure here on Life to the Full. Thanks!
It’s been a beautiful, fun, and engaging trip so far as we’ve traveled around BC and dipped down across the border into Washington. I thought I would write a bit about some of my goals, namely eating (as well as) possible maintaining my fitness while on the road.
We’ve been eating relatively well on the road with very minimal (if any?) fast food stops and more fruits, as many veggies as possible (harder to get on the road without preparation) and eating not such huge meals.
While at Inspire Health, a holistic cancer care facility, we sat in on several sessions including a Nutrition Course. Although the information is more for cancer survivors, it certainly holds across the board for ANYone interested in cleaning up their nutrition and understanding how eating well helps your body, mind, and spirit function well. Prepare yourself for an overload of information (I’m blown away with how much I’ve learned and continue to learn from the cancer community, especially when looking at health and fitness from a holistic perspective):
Ten Inspiring Food Transformations!
1. Eat More Vegetables & Fruits
Fill your plate with color!
Carotene family: your oranges, yellows, & reds, which help convert food into Vitamin A in the body: carrots, beets, squash, peppers…YUM!)
Allium family: onions, garlic, leeks –> Can destroy and inhibit cancer cells from growing!
Broccoli, kale, bok choy: abundant in sulphur compounds and help our body detoxify
2. Change Your Oils!
Avoid corn, sunflower, safflower, soy, and cotton seed oils
Plant-based vegetable oils have a high amount of Omega 6s, which are essentially but promote inflammation (important for our immune system), and we generally eat too much of this in our North American diets. We need more Omega 3s (like in walnuts – shell them yourself! – and in chia seeds) to stay balanced (as they have anti-inflammatory qualities), so try changing up your oils and not just sticking with our beloved EVOO.
Sesame oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, olive oil in moderation.
3. Avoid Refined Sugars
Enjoy sugars in WHOLE foods (and local if possible!) which don’t have the refined elements there, which are the sugars that cause a spike in your blood sugar level and actually creates an environment that encourages the growth of cancer. Eating sweet foods like whole fruit and winter squash allow the sugar to release more slowly in your blood stream because you’re also ingesting fiber along with the sugar, so remember: eat the real thing!
Beware of artificial sweeteners (like Splenda!) because although they don’t have any calories in them, they mess up your digestion systems because your body doesn’t actually absorb the nutrients.
4. Eliminate Chemical Ingredients
5. Replace White with Brown
This is a switch that our culture is accepting, but it’s not just enough to go from white to brown, but to know why! Switching over one thing at a time (not too much at once!) will do wonders for your body and health.
It’s not good even if you get a 16-grain loaf of bread because the flour can be so rapidly processed that our bodies can’t get through to the nutrients. Try soaking your dough overnight to help sprout it (or buy sprouted flours or sprouted pastas) to help your body accept the nutrients. Try spelt and kamut, quinoa and millet flours as something different in baking and check out the ingredients on the back of the bag the next time you pick up a bag of white (or even whole wheat!) flour.
(Raw treats made with ground rolled oats, almonds, a bit of rice flour, almond butter, and all-natural dried cranberries – don’t be afraid to try something different!)
6. Cook Beans & Lentils
Your gut got a problem with eating beans? When prepared properly, they actually shouldn’t give you bloating and gas! If you can, try to prepare your beans and lentils ahead of time, buying them dry (in bulk – many stores have this option) and soaking them for at least 24 hours before cooking them.
7. Eat Clean Animal Foods
Grass-fed organic meat is the best, and wild versus farmed is better for fish. Beware of the “free range” and “free run” labels for chickens and eggs too (and look for vibrant yolk colors!) because this can mean they are shuffled 1/2 hour away from one pen to the next! Check out these websites for some good information: www.chickenout.ca and www.beyondfactoryfarming.org
8. Add Cancer-Fighting Superfoods & Their Extracts
- Ground flaxseeds (we can’t digest the whole seeds, so grind it up, store it in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks as it goes rancid, and enjoy 1-2 TBPS raw – not cooked or heated up – a day).
- Fish oil omega 3 fatty acids
- Garlic – anti-bacterial, viral, fungal
- Tomatoes – contain lycopenes, which helps fight prostates and other cancers.
- Tumeric – anti-inflammatory properties (and who doesn’t love a good plate of curry?! YUM!)
- Green tea – wins in all the studies for anti-cancer benefits (try organic decafs if regular green tea messes up your sleep at night or try Rooibos at night
- Milk Thistle (or silymarin) – this is an herbal plant from Roman times that helps with liver support, detox and regeneration
- Dark berries – full of antioxidants in your local berries like blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, etc!
9. Use Quality Water
10. Be Moderate, Be Happy…
Part of our happiness? Hanging out with people like this:
and by seeing places like this:
And by moving into my second goal: maintaining my fitness while on the road:
It’s been much easier for me to head over to Map My Run, enter the address we’re staying at, figuring out my mileage for that particular run, and waking up early and heading out the door. It’s been much harder to find places to do body weight workouts due to the places we’re staying and the pace of our last few days (I’m conscious of losing muscle and plan on doing lots of push ups on the ferry to Victoria later today!). Plus, I’ve been enjoying runs in BC so much with this beautiful spring weather!
Monday: a rainy 7.25 mile run in Vancouver
Tuesday: body weight workout in the church while we set up our sound system and tried it out!
Wednesday: a 5.6 mile speed play run along the road above: beautiful!
Thursday: push ups (later!) and lunges on the ferry
So far, so good! I still feel better when I get some type of movement in every day and am striving for that, especially under stressful situations and busier days. But I’m okay with an every-other-day running schedule and find that besides exercising, it really relaxes, releases, and refreshes me.
Thanks for stopping in today – I hope you learned a bit about eating well and/or were reminded of some good habits to put back into your life and that you’re eating well, moving often, and enjoying life wherever this post finds you! Again, this week has been busy and crazy and it seems like the next few weeks will allow me more time to process, exercise regularly, and write, so thanks for bearing with me in these not-so-regular posts.
I’d love to hear what you’re up to! Eat anything extra delicious and healthy lately? Had a good workout? Got any “staying fit on the road tips?” – send ‘em my way! And have a great day. Live well & be well,
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates
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