Sunday, September 30, 2012

My 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 List of Inclusion!

Healthy Weight Checklist (healthy_weight_checklist.jpg)

An amiga of mine sent me a message on Facebook asking me how she can detoxify her body. My answer was simple—it makes all the sense in the world to me. I told her about how I detoxified my body. And I want to tell you about what I eat on a daily basis that makes me feel energized, wonderful and beautiful inside and out! 

I have a balanced diet that consists on plants only, that is: unlimited vegetables, fruit, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains. If it originated from something that had a face, had a mommy and daddy and had feelings once-- I don’t eat it.

I profoundly believe that eating mainly plants you can detoxify your body. Various, consistent and current research studies show that a plant-based diet healthy weight-loss can be achieved and even disease can be reversed.

Going back to my amiga's question....I understand, however, that to her (and to many other people too) eating a plant-based diet does not sound simple or even realistic. But let me tell you it is as simple as it sounds and realistic! :D You just need to try it. Make some adjustments to the way you currently eat, develop healthier habits and you'll be on your way!

Let me stress that it’s all about what (quality) you eat —not so much about how much (quantity) you eat. By eating quality foods you can begin to worry less about how much you actually eat." It is easier said than done" you might be thinking, so let me explain further...

In trying to answer my friend’s question, I immediately I came up with a list of six things* to include in life. This list will help anyone start making the change to a healthier lifestyle. I called it my...
6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 List of Inclusion
Six.         Drink at least 6 glasses of water  (but you can always drink more!)
1 glass is equal to 8 ounces

Five.      Eat 5 servings of whole grains
One serving is…
   o   1 slice of whole wheat bread
   o   ½ cup uncooked oatmeal, brown rice (1 cup cooked)
   o   ¼ cup quinoa (1/2 cup cooked)
   o   2 -  6” corn tortillas

Four.     Eat 4 servings of legumes, seeds, and nuts
One serving of beans is 1/2 cup cooked beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, peas
  • One serving of seeds: 1 tablespoon (tbsp.) sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia, sesame
  • One serving of nuts: ¼ cup (just enough to fit on your palm, flat) almonds, walnuts, cashews
Three.   Eat 3 healthy meals a day
·       You already know this: eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day! Not skipping meals keep your body fueled and energized at all times.

If hungry between meals, eat 2 snacks in between. Your snacks should be whole pieces of fruit (easy to carry in your purse) or crunchy veggies, like carrots, celery, peppers, and cucumbers.

Two.      Eat 2 kinds of dark leafy greens
  • Spinach
  •  Kale
  • Green or red leaf lettuce (iceberg lettuce doesn’t count because it has minimal nutritional value)
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
    One.      Do one 1 of physical activity.
    •       Our bodies were made to move! The point is to break a sweat by getting your heart pumping, increasing blood flow to your organs and brain. Move those muscles and joints!
    Anything counts: dancing, walking, jogging, hiking calisthenics, resistance/weight training, stretching, yoga, you name it!

    • You don't need a gym to add more physical  activity in your day:   
      • Park farther and walk to your destination
      •  Speed walk to the supermarket/farmer’s market
      •  Ditch the elevator and go up the stairs
      •  Do push-ups, crunches, etc.  during  commercials
      • Stand up every 15 to 20 minutes (if sitting in front of a desk) and/or stretch

    You must be thinking, “What about vegetables and fruits?” We've all heard how beneficial they are with all the vitamins, mineral, phytochemicals, fiber, water, antioxidants, protein, essential fats, and other awesome properties they have. We know that we MUST eat  vegetables and fruits if we want to get healthy.
    Eat unlimited amounts of vegetables in all colors of the rainbow! Also, eat as many fruits as you’d like, but please don’t be afraid of them. The sugar in fruits is all natural, as natural as it could be. No one ever gained weight from eating fruit alone—come on! Include vegetables and fruits in your diet every day! If I could eat nothing else in life, but only one thing I would definitely go for fruit

    However, if you have diabetes, gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes then do limit eating fruit to only 2-4 servings a day. (1 serving is about the size of your palm, cupped). If you think you might have diabetes please go get screened. There are millions of people  living with diabetes yet they don’t know they have it because symptoms often go unrecognized! (You can learn about the symptoms of diabetes here).

    When we think of getting healthy we often think of things we should not be doing. We already know we should not eat refined carbohydrates or fried foods, no candy or drink soda, yet we do it anyway. By thinking of inclusion, as opposed to “exclude this and that” you will be adding not good, but GREAT stuff to your diet leaving little or no room for the bad stuff. The important thing here is start eating healthier and making better choices. Feel free to have as much of the things on the list as you'd like, but the 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 List of Inclusion should be the minimum!

    This is a journey and it takes time to adapt to a new lifestyle. It doesn’t happen magically from one day to the next. That is just not how change occurs. We need to work at it each time, every  day. It's crucial to be persistent and patient with ourselves to see those desired results.

    Know that some days will not be perfect; you will go a day or two (or even a week) when you make a poor choice(s), but don’t beat yourself up. Learn from that experience, figure out how you will tackle it next time and move forward. Keep on trying, keep going. Being persistent is key!

    Let me reiterate that we should think of  inclusion (of healthy  food), and not exclusion (of the bad stuff). This is a way of living, or as we’ve all heard before, “It’s not a diet; it’s a lifestyle.”

    Love, Joy, Peace and Health,


    *Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences about the food and fitness that have given me the best results ever! I’ve done great amounts of research on living a healthy and fit lifestyle. When it comes to your own health and fitness, do your research, be selective of the sources you choose, be critical and do what works best for you! :)



    1. I exercise 5-6 days a week for at least 1 hour. I take 1-2 days off a week to rest my body. Just get moving MOST days of the week--even if it's 15 minutes, but aim for 30. Let me know how it goes!



      P.S. "MOST days" means 4 to 5 ;)

    2. Oh, I also drink more than 1 gallon of water each day. And in case you were wondering if I go to the bathroom a lot, the answer is yes, but I love being hydrated! ;)