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Six Tips to Boost Your Health with Dr. Wendy Bazilian

The single best investment you can make to your health on a daily basis is to eat well. Eating well is about eating quality foods, in delicious combinations, on a regular basis to give you energy to run on, mental clarity to make bazilians of daily decisions, and a glow that reflects your inner beauty and overall health.

Here are my 6 simple tips to get a delicious head-start on great health this Spring and Summer – I hope to see you at Blackberry Farm in June to put these into action together at Summer Splash!

Unprocess Yourself. Focus on real foods and ingredients. The body is extremely resilient. So let’s help it out a little! When you start eating clean and paying attention to a few key areas, you can see and feel a difference in your energy and overall health within days.

Ask yourself the AND / OR question. At every meal, ask yourself: Where are the fruits AND / OR vegetables at this meal? Then make it happen. If you make it a routine, there will be few-and-far-between instances that you are truly unable to achieve this incredibly important part of mealtime. Why are they essential? To maximize your metabolism and counter the daily assaults of living: oxidation and inflammation.

Favor Flavor. More than 2,000 phytonutrients have been identified in herbs and spices. In fact, technically speaking, they are actually fruits andvegetables. Not only do they make healthy food taste great, there is growing research on the positive effects of herbs and spices on health – from helping reduce inflammation and boosting metabolism to helping increase satiety, decrease pain and digestive symptoms, and balance blood sugar. The best part though is that they help make life delicious. We’ll have a great talk during Summer Splash about the intersection between flavor and health!

We go together. Some foods are perfect pairings, not only because they taste delicious together, but because they work synergisticallyby maximizing their combined nutrients. Avocado and tomatoes (think: guacamole and salsa), olive oil and leafy greens (crunchy salads!), green tea with lemon, turmeric and black pepper, and more.

Let it rest. Want to know some other easy (and fun!) ways to maximize nutrition? There are lots of surprising and tasty ways to maximize nutrients in how we prepare foods. Did you know that you can significantly increase the phytonutrient power of garlic by chopping it and letting it rest for 10 or more minutes before cooking? Or have you heard that cooking your carrots whole might be the way to go to maximize nutrition and preserve the best flavor? And what about potatoes – are they on or off ‘the list’? (Hint: ON!) We’ll talk about why that’s true and how the temperature at which you serve those potatoes can make a difference.

Save the skipping for your feet. The evidence is stacking up that eating reasonably well-timed meals can benefit the mind and metabolism, not to mention overall nutrition. But it’s not always easy. If you want to shift the behavior of skipping breakfast or lunch, take it on with small steps. Think about easy and fast solutions, ones you can prep in advance for several days and make them grab-n-go easy.
  • Overnight oatmeal
  • Power grain bowls
  • Hearty soups with beans and vegetables
  • Perfect portable smoothies with fruits, greens and protein
  • Grown-up PB and J’s whole grain wraps and sandwiches with creamy nut butter and sliced strawberries, mango or a banana.

  • And a bonus tip: Literally save that skipping for your feet indeed, and get skipping! That means finding an exercise that you’ll actually do. Ideally, find an activity you love, even something playful and fun. For example, I like to jump rope. If you don’t love exercise, find something you’ll tolerate! The body was built to move. A long-time friend and mentor of mine, Deborah Szekely, taught me that the key behind trying a wide variety of different types of exercise isn’t just so we each find the one we love (though that would be great), rather:

    By trying out a lot of different types of exercise, you’ll find the one you’re least allergic to!

    I love that advice. We may not always like exercise, but there’s no denying its importance to achieving a well life.

    I hope to see you in June, and remember to Eat well, Move daily, Be Healthy!

    Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD is an author, educator, food enthusiast and award-winning journalist. She will be bringing her expertise in fitness and nutrition as our wellness expert for Summer Splash, June 25-28.
    Photograph provided by Pearl Preis Photography.