Before I dive into the details of balanced eating, let me share a quick snippet from my life. Yes, folks, I'm Ezekiel, a man who can devour an entire pizza while arguing how unhealthy fast food is. Irony is indeed the spice of life! But one such pizza bingeing session, coupled with a scary raise in my cholesterol level, was my wake-up call.
Now, when I say balanced eating, it doesn't automatically translate to self-inflicting, tormenting diets. It's about understanding the magical world of macronutrients and micronutrients, turning our bodies into efficient energy machines. Did you know that carbohydrates, translated in their simplest form, are sugars that provide us with immediate energy? Proteins, our body-building heroes, break down into amino acids to repair muscle and tissue. Fats are the most energy-dense - they not only give us a cosy, warm feeling on a cold, rainy Auckland morning, but also support hormone production and cell growth.
The rainbow on our plates – those colourful fruits and vegetables – are powerhouses of vitamins and minerals playing critical roles in almost all bodily functions. Vitamin A in orange coloured food for good eyesight, Vitamin D from the shy winter sun for strong bones, vitamin C from our citrus friends for boosting immunity - the list is endless. Ensuring diversity in our meals guarantees the supply of these essential heroes in our body.
My relationship with water had always been fluid, excuse the pun, until one fateful day when I almost passed out in the middle of a 10k run. Dehydration is no fun, folks. Drinking sufficient water is not only essential for maintaining bodily functions but also plays a critical role in keeping our energy levels up, believe it or not.
Water acts as a transport system in your body, carrying nutrients to the cells, flushing out toxins from your organs, and maintaining a moist environment for your ear, nose, and throat tissues. Yes, that's quite a job! And a critical aspect about water and weight loss that was a revelation for me was the thermogenic effect of water. Simply put, our body burns calories while processing water. So, the more you drink, the more you lose – that's a win-win if you ask me.
Hands up if you too have paid a fortune to a gym, only to quit after a week. Been there done that! The secret I discovered, is ensuring that physical activity becomes a part of our lifestyle, as regular as brushing our teeth or blaming the government. A mix of aerobic exercises like swimming, biking, running, dancing - any activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat - combined with strength training forms a balanced exercise regimen. Even small enhancements make a huge difference.
Ace fitness trainer, Chris Jordan, developed an intense 7-minute workout for those short on time, with 12 exercises done for 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds rest in between. Sounds doable right? Haven't tried it yet, well, it's on my to-do list. I promise!
From burning the midnight oil during uni days to countless sleepless nights working on presentations for those dreaded Monday morning meetings, sleep has been a luxury for me. Not anymore! The glory of an undisrupted 7-8 hours sleep is not just in the dark circles disappearing or in the reduced dependency on caffeine, but sleep plays a crucial role in the overall physical health. It’s involved in the healing and repairing of our heart and blood vessels, muscle recovery, balancing hormones, and even underpins the functioning of our immune system.
Insufficient sleep not only leaves us tired and moody but has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Now, that sounds scarier than the last episode of the horror series I just finished binge-watching! The trick here is having a regular sleep schedule and sticking to it as religiously as I stick to weekend dessert indulgences.
So there you have it folks. These simple tips are pretty straightforward but they can indeed make a significant improvement to your health, bit by bit, bite by bite, step by step, dream by dream. No magic potions, no overnight transformations, just common-sense backed by science. And as always, remember, the goal here is healthier living, not perfection. Until next time, kia kaha!