Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest Post: Energy, Nutrition and Health

Today's guest post is from legendary long time commenter Molly. Molly has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about nutrition, health and exercise and graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts about healthy living with the blog community. Please enjoy and provide feedback.

One day last December, a lady stopped her cart near mine in the produce department at the grocery store and said “Can I ask you a couple of questions? You look like you know what you are doing.” I was picking out beets for vegetable broth. I smiled and said “Sure.” She told me that she had come out from Washington D.C. about five years ago to take care of her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s. She said she was taking good care of her grandmother, but hadn’t been taking very good care of herself and she was tired of being tired. She was small and thin and did indeed look tired. We talked for a while about picking out and preparing vegetables and making juices and vegetable broth. I wrote down the name and web site for the vitamin and mineral herbal concentrate that I use. She left the conversation looking happy and energetic.

On the drive home, I was thinking about how much of a difference it makes when somebody is willing to take the time to answer our questions. I could answer her questions because I’ve already been through that particular learning curve.

I think it is my mind’s job to figure out what my body needs. I decided the best approach is to give my body what it was designed to use. This means plants in the form of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and spices in as wide of a variety as possible. If they aren’t eaten raw, they are turned into juice or broth.
Besides nutrition, two other components are sleep and motion. Last December, I finally gave up caffeine. A cup of strong tea with honey has been my faithful companion in the early morning hours for decades. I was sad to see it go. I sleep better with it gone. Now, I have herbal teas in the morning. I make them myself from herbs I buy in bulk. One of my favorites is echinacea and ginger. Motion for me is running.
Last winter and this winter, I added a fourth component which is detoxification. I decided to do the detoxification programs in the winter when I’m running less because of the snow and cold. By the time spring arrives, I should be done with them for the year.

You might be wondering why I am doing all of this. Last summer, I spent a couple of months out east helping my sister. It was physically and emotionally difficult. I did succeed in accomplishing what I set out to do, but by the time I returned home, I felt like I’d been run over by a piece of heavy machinery. It is clear to me that I need to increase my energy and physical strength. I know that there will be more challenges like last summer in the future. I plan on being prepared. I’m like a squirrel hiding away nuts for the coming winter. In this case, the nuts are energy and physical strength.

What I want to give you is the knowledge that this approach to gaining energy and physical strength works! The increase in energy has been gradual. It isn’t noticeable day to day. I can tell I have more energy than a month ago. I have significantly more energy than this time last year when I started the current plan. My body feels both more alive and more relaxed. If you find yourself tired of being tired like the lady in the store, this is a place to start. Eliminate the bad (caffeine, sugar, salt, alcohol, cigarettes, man-made chemicals, and …). Increase the good (nutrition, sleep, and motion). You can do a little or you can take it as far as I have. Energy is a reflection of how well the systems of the body are working. Remove what is harming them and give them more of what they need to function and they will work better.

Do you have any tips, favorite recipes, or stories you’d like to share? Below is my recipe for vegetable broth. It is easy to make and delicious as well as being full of nutrients.

Vegetable Broth Recipe:

I use an 8 quart pot. The ingredients are 5 medium-sized beets peeled and cut into small pieces, 1 bunch of celery cut into small pieces, 6 medium-sized carrots turned into peelings, 3 large-sized onions cut into small pieces, greens, fresh basil, and the peeled cloves from 5 bulbs of garlic. I put the carrot peelings and the pieces of beets, celery, and onion in the pot first. The pot is then filled up to an inch from the rim with water. The heat goes on high until the water boils. Then, I turn it down to low and add the greens, the basil, and the peeled garlic cloves. I let it simmer for 3 hours stirring occasionally and then strain out the liquid.


What are you doing to improve your energy?

How is your nutrition and what can you do differently?

Is exercise part of your daily routine? 

Got any tips you'd like to share?
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