This month as been all about how to manage your health and diet with different tips, tricks, and tools. There are literally hundreds of different ways to redefine your diet and help fight off that nasty chronic pain.
From simple diet changes to smart phone applications, here is some great research and insight on how you can help create a healthier, happier you this March, and beyond.
Be aware of and fight emotional eating
Learning how to avoid stress eating is one of the first and most powerful steps to change your diet and keep with it. In our post “What’s The Connection Between Stress And Emotional Eating?” we talked a lot about how to gain awareness of this habit as well as some great ways to break it.
14 ways to a better body and fatter wallet
One of the main struggles in eating healthy is that it can be so darn expensive. It is usually cheaper and easier just to go the route of quick, processed food when you are hungry. Of course, that is also one of the worst options when you are trying to combat chronic pain. By taking a few simple steps, you can eat better and save beaucoup bucks.
Our suggested changes include:
- Simplify your meals
- Buy your food in bulk
- Prepare for the week by making some big meals to snack on throughout the week
- Have some emergency frozen foods that are still healthy, just in case
- Avoid nutrient-deficient foods
- But no really, you need to start using a crock pot
Swap the junk food to kill the cravings
Another big way to keeping to a diet is to find a healthier way to satisfy those junk food cravings we all have. Check out the “Eat This, Not That: Healthy Junk Food Swaps” post that focuses on tricking your brain into munching on a snack your body will love even more.
Don’t forget the crazy awesome new food research!
Scientists are finding out all the time just how much different foods and drinks affect our mental and physical well-being. We noted in our post:
“We live in a world that is constantly evolving. New things are discovered every day that make each of us healthier and help provide a better life in the world of food research.”
Here is a quick recap of what that research shows:
- Algae is high in protein, easy to digest, and a heart-healthy alternative with thousands of strands to choose from.
- A glass of wine can have beneficial effects on inflammation and depression-related behaviors that come from social stress.
- Eating as much as one egg a day has been shown not to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- New research shows that women who drink beer once or twice a week have a lower risk of heart attack.
- Eating leafy vegetables (like kale, collards, or mustard greens) can slow cognitive decline.
- Organic meat and milk are foods that are generally all around better than their non-organic counterparts. Although, a diet high in animal proteins isn’t the best health choice, there are other considerations to take into account when choosing the right red meat if you wish to indulge.
Sugar, sugar everywhere
Sugar is a topic that comes up a lot when dealing with your diet. It is one of the most common additives in today’s food and adds no nutrient, but tons of calories. It can also give you a great boost of energy, but is almost always followed up with a nasty sugar crash. Sugar can increase inflammation, decrease immune response, increase stress, and cause tooth decay. In short, watch out for sugar as a lot of it can sneak into your diet without even realizing it.
Speaking of which, we also took a look at energy drinks in the article “Pain Patients: How Do Energy Drinks Affect You?” If sugar wasn’t enough, these drinks are packed with caffeine which can be very problematic for those with fibromyalgia or chronic migraines. Pain is specific to the patient, but it is good know the effects and alternatives to sugar to keep your body healthy.
In a post about recent obesity initiatives, we stated that:
“Obesity is arguably the number one preventable cause of illness and death, leading to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.”
Here are a few strategies that are being developed to help our society on the whole:
- Reduce the price of healthy foods
- Schools to provide nutrition education for students and their families
- Redesign of communities that prompt more exercise and better access to healthy, fresh foods
Did these strategies make you want to know more? Check out our article “5 Findings From The Latest Obesity Research” to really learn about all the amazing new concepts scientists are discovering about obesity today.
Eating right to manage your chronic condition
This month we also went over the best ways to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and fibromyalgia with a healthier, well-crafted diet. Here are a few quick takeaways that can set you on the right track:
- Be mindful of what you eat by keeping a food diary
- Make sure you always stay hydrated
- Know that exercise and rest is almost always beneficial to your health
- Reduce your stress where you can
- Develop a strong support structure and ask for help when you need it
4 must-try gamified apps
Let’s wrap this month up by talking about all of the neat, new technology that will help us all live healthier. In our post, we covered four (out of hundreds) of available smart phone applications that can help you manage your diet as well as other parts of your life. These apps are simple, easy-to-use, and can give you the boost you need to get out of that slump and make a real change. Make sure to take a look and get going on making positive life changes today.
Which tips, tricks, or tools will you use in your life to help manage your health and chronic pain condition?