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Ten in 10 Challenge: A Jump Start to a Healthier You

Posted Jan 09 2010 12:00am

I’m certain that after the holidays, everyone is starting to go back to their normal eating routine and maybe even cut down on unhealthy foods and start a cleansing program. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because after eating a rich and fatty meal, you feel so heavy you want to eat lighter. No, because you have a lot of leftovers in your fridge, freezer and even your cupboards. And if you’re experiencing a very cold climate, cutting down on fat completely is big no-no.

Ten in 10 Challenge is a challenge hosted by Lori (@ Recipe Girl) encouraging food bloggers to unite together and get healthy in 2010! This challenge actually started last January 2 but it’s not yet too late for me to join this challenge for the next nine weeks.

My blog has been recognized by other people that shares healthy recipes. I would say it’s not that completely true. If you browse through my blog again, there are recipes that might not be considered healthy for other people. I even wanted to include a tiramisu post. Whether you consider a food healthy or not, we cannot ignore that it all starts with the kind of ingredients that we’re using and the way they’ve been prepared. If you’ve read my first few posts back in November 2008 and early 2009 about whole food cooking, I’ve explained why my approach to health and nutrition is very nontraditional. You wouldn’t see me holding a calculator counting calories for the day. I also won’t be able to give you how much vitamin C a red pepper has because of the different sources they came from, the nutrition of the soil, was it local or imported, the storage time and the like.

So, how do you start eating healthier for 2010?

First, start cooking and eating with real, whole foods; these are foods in their natural state without the unnecessary processing or refining. I’ve seen peeled garlic packed in Styrofoam sold at the supermarket and I could smell them from afar. I know many of us are busy but how hard it is to peel 2-3 cloves of garlic for a meal?? And I do consider that as processed. And if you look at the other aisle of your grocery stores, most of them are processed including your favorite brand of ice cream and veggie burgers.

This is the first advice I would give to myself and everyone else because it all starts with whole and real foods and no matter what you do, even if you turn the world upside down, whole foods cannot be replaced by other processed or refined foods and even functional foods. No matter how much fortification they have done to the product, real foods that are supplied by nature are your source of nutrition.

Healthy habits and goals

I don’t really write a resolution at the start of the year but it’s always good to have goals written down and then look back if you’ve made some progressed or not. And for some of you who think that I eat healthy all the time, I actually don’t. And to stay healthy, we have to look at other areas of our life because it’s not just about the food. It could also be your career, relationships, unfulfilled goals, etc that is actually making you unhealthy. It’s a packaged deal.

Here are few of my goals for this year:

Eat more vegetables, grains and legumes. I know I need to preach to myself. I haven’t been eating more of these. When cooking for my family. I’m afraid that they may not like it because they’re not comfortable with something different. It’s time to get out of that comfort zone and start cooking something they’re not familiar with. People are afraid that they’re not getting enough protein when they don’t eat animal protein. Trust me, nowadays; we’re eating too much of those.

Consume more lacto-fermented foods and prepare foods the nourishing tradition way. These foods are rich in enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. Instead of relying on supplements alone, preparing foods the old fashioned way (soaking, fermenting, etc) increases the nutritional benefits of food and it naturally helps rid unwanted chemicals and toxins from our bodies.

Sleep earlier. I haven’t been sleeping normally ever since I moved to another room which is closer to the computer. For me, discipline is the answer when it comes to using the internet.

Drink more water. When you’re in front of the computer, you forget to drink water and sometimes you actually do it later even when you remember it. To make it easier, drink 2 glasses of water with mineral drops upon waking up in the morning.

Upgrade my exercise routine. I’ve only been doing cardiovascular exercises and not even everyday. I want to challenge myself by doing pilates and yoga again. I also want to do some indoor rock climbing. I also used to take dance lessons in Vancouver and it’s another activity that is so fun to do.

Practice slow deep breathing. Shallow breathing is what I normally do and sometimes I become unaware of it. I would like to make a conscious effort to breathe with a full breath until it becomes my normal breathing.

Replace coffee with herbal tea. I try to avoid coffee because it causes me to become restless and destroys my sleeping patterns. But I still do take them whenever my brother brews some coffee at home and he would give me that wicked look tempting me to have a cup. I never lasted 21 days without taking a cup of coffee. This year is going to be a challenge.

Do dry skin brushing once a day. Brushing your whole body with a natural brush before taking a shower is a great way to invigorate your body. There are so many benefits of dry skin brushing and one of them is increased blood circulation. I did it a few times but not on a daily basis.

These are just some of my goals but they’re quite challenging enough. Although this is more of a general list, it is still great to write specifics on each goal and read them everyday.

Good luck to everyone who is doing this challenge and to all those who wants to eat healthier and get back in shape. Remember, it’s a lifestyle, not diet alone.

Have fun and stay healthy.

Love and light,

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