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No Matter How Much You Diet, It Will Never Work

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Your body is designed to make you feel and look your best and why all that Googling is a big ol’ waste!

As a borderline ‘Google-r of everything’ (“what does dreaming of a swollen left toe mean?”) I completely understand the need to look up, and educate ourselves on a diet/lifestyle that we think will be the right fit for us – but here is what 26 years of (well, 6, ‘cause up until the age of 20, I didn’t really care, but 36 sounds more dramatic) trying new diets, cleanses and workouts has taught me well and clear, and that is no diet is going to work if you think too much about it and don’t work hard enough to stick to it.

I was a vegan last year for six months where I went the whole hog and eliminated leather, wool and even occasionally poking my dogs with little sticks for fun, in the name of compassion, and I loved it. I was calm and my skin looked great, and I ate really clean. But then I needed fish and well, I slipped quite magnificently and went back to eating meat.

This year, however, I started with a less ‘i need to do this’ and more of a ‘i think this will be really good for me’ attitude and went vegetarian instead. And thankfully, I found my balance. Don’t really miss seafood or chicken anymore because as it turns out, vegetarian meals can be delightfully satisfying as well!

The thing I’ve found out is you need to get your reason right. Why do you want to go vegetarian/vegan/paleo/pescetarian, etc? Do you think it’ll make you fitter? Are you going to be able to do a new attempt at a lifestyle justice? And more importantly, are you going to be happy with your new diet?

The number of articles I read online about how veganism is bad for you or how meat eaters are doomed to the inevitability of an early death really baffles me. Why have we all forgotten how clever and ingenious our bodies are?

It’s an entire mechanism that is highly evolved (more than you will ever be anyway, filthy muggle) and will adapt to any lifestyle you offer it provided you give it it’s nutrition! Going vegan? Eat your nuts and get your omega 3’s! Going paleo? Focus on some vitamins as well.Going vegetarian? Nutella is not a legitimate snack option! (note to self.) The general idea is to eat what makes you happy to be sitting at the table at meal times and to relish your food!

So, don’t exhaust yourself (and your laptop charge) on trying to figure out if a diet is good for you because if you really want to follow it through in an educated, informed way, you will make it work by starting with just the basic first steps and gathering your ‘intermediate and expert info on the job’.

Weather on a paleo diet or vegan, learn to enjoy your food and rest will take care of itself.

I could offer you workout tips but you know, your diet is seventy percent of your workout and this article isn’t about helping you look good because if you all are reading this then it’s safe to assume you all are pretty cute anyway. Like attracts like and all that? This article is about finding peace in your choices and giving it your best.

Let this also be my personal note to all vegans/ vegetarians who judge meat eaters around them and meat eaters who badger every vegetarian they encounter with gems like “where do you get your protein from” because again, no one likes having to explain their choices (over and over and over again). And + it makes you seem stupid.

Be cool, bake cakes out of rainbows, and be fetch – (i just made that happen.)

ps- if you got that reference, you’re legit and I like you already.

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Health & Fitness

7 Immune-Boosting Foods – Experience Life

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Looking to build your immune system? Start by eating immunity-boosting foods like turmeric, sauerkraut, and medicinal mushrooms.

Healthy, balanced immune function is your best defense against any illness. One of the keys to bolstering your immune system? Nutrition.

“Diet is all-important,” says preventive-medicine specialist David Katz, MD. “You’re building white blood cells, enzymes, and antibodies every day, and the food you eat is literally the source of your construction materials.”

A single meal can alter how immune cells respond to provocation, and the effects accumulate over hours, days, and weeks, he explains. “You can do a complete 180 and optimize a badly broken immune system in as little as weeks by improving your diet, so it’s a very immediate return on investment.”

Foods that dampen the immune system include highly processed or fried foods, those high in added sugar, and nonorganic foods grown with glyphosate, the chief ingredient in Roundup, a common herbicide that has been linked to cancer.

On the flip side, foods rich in polyphenols — beneficial plant compounds found in many vegetables, fruits, and legumes — support immune function. Integrative practitioner Robert Rountree, MD notes that the Mediterranean diet (plenty of colorful vegetables, nuts, and olive oil; moderate amounts of protein; and a little red wine with dinner) provides a good general template for immune-supportive eating.

Some immune system–balancing superstars to focus on:

  1. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, including potent antioxidants called catechins that have antimicrobial properties and may help protect against influenza. It also contains quercetin, a flavonoid that Rountree calls a “time-honored immune-supportive agent.”
  2. Berries are a potent source of immune-supporting flavonoids. “When you eat berries, most of these pigment molecules go to the colon, where bacteria break them down into smaller molecules that escape and circulate in the body, exerting antiviral effects,” says David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, an exercise immunologist at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University.
  3. Turmeric gets its deep orange-yellow from curcumin, a compound that helps balance the immune system. It has a modulating effect on T cells, B cells, macrophages, and other immune cells, and can also enhance antibody response.
  4. Garlic contains sulfuric compounds with a range of antimicrobial effects, such as inhibiting the biofilm formation of bacteria. It also has natural antiviral properties and can help reduce hypertension, one of the leading risk factors for COVID-19. (For more on garlic, see “Garlic”.)
  5. Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, kiwi, and lemon deliver abundant ­vitamin C — one of the most important nutrients for the immune system, aiding in the formation of white blood cells. (For more on this essential ­nutrient, visit “What You Need to Know About Vitamin C”.)
  6. Sauerkraut and other fermented foods contain lactic-acid bacteria, which produce compounds in the gut that spur the immune system into action. And cabbage itself is another excellent source of vitamin C.
  7. Medicinal mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans, an immunomodulator that activates macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and neutrophils. “Mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, and maitake have been shown to prime immune cells in published studies,” says Rountree. He recommends both eating shiitake mushrooms and taking a mushroom extract to support the immune system.

This originally appeared as “Eat Well” in “6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System” in the January/February 2021 issue of Experience Life.


Mo Perry
is an Experience Life contributing editor.

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