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Realistically Healthy

Some health coaches are super fit and personally exercise the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio and 2 days of strength training a week. Some health coaches give you a very strict diet plan, maybe even recommend a supplement or two for best results. They'll give you very direct answers for your questions, almost instantly. They are disciplined and motivated and expect the same from their clients.

I want to be very clear... I am not that kind of health coach. If you want to improve your body fat percentage from 10% to 7%, I'm not your coach. If you're wanting to run a marathon, I'm not your coach. But if you're a middle-aged mother who can't find the time to cook healthy meals for your family as you go directly from job to after school activities, I can help you. If you're a young man who doesn't know a thing about what nutrition really is and are about to move out on your own for the first time, I can help you. Maybe you were just diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, celiac, or some other illness highly affected by nutrition and are just a little lost; I can help you. I'm here to help the average person make realistically healthy choices for them and their family. I strongly believe that nutrition is about reducing health risks and the potential of extending life, and that you don't have to only eat Keto, quinoa, and kale to reap the health benefits.

Some advice that could help anyone and everyone is that if you can reduce the overall sugar, saturated fat, and salt in your diet, you will eventually see the benefit in your lab work, if not also your scale. By reducing your sugar and saturated fat intake, you will be reducing "empty calories" in your diet and making more room for foods with actual nutritional benefit. By reducing your salt intake, you lower the risk for all things heart health related. To put this all into perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that an adult male not consume more than 150 calories from added sugar in a day, and a female not to consume more than 100 calories from added sugar. AHA also recommends that if you have a diet of 2,000 calories, no more than 120 calories should come from saturated fat (that's 13 grams for those of you wondering). Finally, AHA recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day (so before you eat that Sonic hot dog with 870 mg of sodium...), while the average American consumes around 3,400 mg a day, according to the FDA. If you'd like further reasoning of why you should reduce these three elements in your diet, see my blog posts "Running on Empty" and "Salt of the Earth".

I also don't tell you how you have to achieve this. Your health is ultimately your responsibility, not mine, so it only makes sense that you will probably already know the best answer for you. Maybe you have a Starbuck's milkshake, I mean, iced coffee every morning and could switch to no whip, fat free milk, and sugar-free flavoring. Maybe that sounds like an absolute nightmare to you, so you just get a smaller size than you usually do. Both are realistically healthy options and free from judgement. Changing is difficult. Making your health a priority is a struggle when you already live in a fast-paced world where everyone wants a piece of you. Be kind to yourself. Take small steps and celebrate each one. If you fall off the wagon, listen to that self talk and make sure it's positive, because you CAN do this. You can live realistically healthy and love yourself and your body for all the amazing things you do together every day.

Eat well, my friends.

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