9 Secrets to Health
Jessica Moffitt, BS, CHES | Certified Health Education Specialist | Prospectively Healthy
The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the structure and foundation of Prospectively Healthy, and to help you understand that health is attainable for all. These 7 secrets of health are simple ways to integrate health into your life and become a stronger version of yourselves.
My name is Jessica Moffitt. My Bachelors of Science was achieved in 2016, specializing in Public Health. Then came additional courses to provide an emphasis in Physical Activity & Exercise, as well as Kinesiology. I rounded off this education base with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and received my certification as a Health Education Specialist (Read More Here). My goal is to serve as a resource for the community. And with this, to provide information to the public about health topics such as nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
I made it a goal to prove three things:
- Health is a scale. 0 is a rock that doesn’t eat or move. 100 is a unicorn we have never met. We do not need to make a drastic financial investment or change over night to be healthy. We just need to move in the direction of health, closer to 100 with each better choice we make.
- Being “Healthy” is not expensive. I spent many years in school listing to fellow classmates challenge the idea of affordability and health going together. Therefore, I do my best to keep my class prices as affordable as possible, to help as many people as possible understand that “Healthy” is affordable.
- One better choice is all it takes to head in the right direction. No matter how big or small this choice is, it is a step in the direction of health. As these steps continue, you will find yourself on a journey of health, to become a stronger version of you. There is no perfect model of health; no ideal lifestyle that works for everyone. There is You. There is Health. And there are your goals. So- set goals, achieve them, and make new ones. The sky is the limit.
After every single course I teach, and every article I write, I hope that those listening believe these are true. So, here are seven pieces of health information with a practical and financially affordable application in your life. No magic pill. No overnight transformation. And no financial burden. Just simple ways in which you can make one better choice at a time to become a stronger version of you.
#1. Support Your Mind. Have a positive outlook on health, and on your transformation.
Transtheoretical Model: The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change states that we must be ready to make a change, and that we can support that by creating a positive network around us. Create a system of support. Have someone who knows your goal and can help you mentally reach it. Remove items that can destroy your success from your home- temptations do not help. Try and find someone else who is wanting to make the same change. Accountability is key! Take a moment to think about this. To understand that we are all at different stages in life, and what we need to succeed may be different than those around us. One thing is consistent though- support yourself mentally, and you will succeed. Read more about the Transtheoretical Model Here
#2. The power of positive thoughts.
Optimistic thinking and positive thoughts does wonders for our body. Focus on the positive. Praise yourself for the good you have done working towards health and choose that as a focal point. The rest will come with time. Don’t worry about beating yourself up when you make a choice that doesn’t support your current transformation. Remember that health is a scale- we won’t get to 100 overnight. Read more about the power of positive thinking here.
#3. Chemical Love
Loving yourself is key to a healthy life. Love what you are doing and love yourself for doing it. True love released dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters in our body help relax the stress response (flight or fight), increase brain function and cognitive processes, and can help improve your memory. Read more here.
#4. Provide Your Body the Fuel it Needs to Survive
Micro-nutrient composition is just as important as adequate calories and macros.
- Fats are healthy: Fat is an essential nutrient to our body. It wraps our nerves to protect them from damage and cushions our organs. It provides fuel for energy and fuel for our brain. However, too much fats, or the wrong kinds of fats, will cause storage, weight gain, and uneven weight distribution. Avoid TRANS fats (chemically processed fats that we cannot use for energy). Go for healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and fish. Read more about carbohydrates and healthy fats here. Read more about trans fats and their effects on the body here.
- Carbohydrates are sugars, fibers, and starches. We need fiber to keep our gut healthy and happy. If you are worried about carbs, be worried about sugars instead. Know that the carbohydrates in low-starch vegetables are okay. Know that carbohydrates in fruit are different than the sugars that are added to fruit. And know that you need some- but not nearly as much as most of us consume- to be healthy.
- Proteins are necessary, but toxicity is possible. With ketogenic trends of high protein diets, and the association of muscle gain and weight loss with protein, we must be careful with our protein intake. Proteins come from lots of different sources, not just meat. Try getting protein from nuts, legumes, vegetables, and different types of meat (especially healthy fish!). The average daily requirement for a healthy adult is 0.66 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and the daily recommended intake is 0.83 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Read about necessary protein intake and tolerances here, and all about protein sources in food here.
#5. Know that things your body doesn’t need, will weigh down your systems.
The liver and kidneys filter out all the bad. If you give your body a bit of toxins periodically to filter out, it can handle it. If you do it every day all day, you will not be able to filter as adequately. This concept is simple. Just like a flour sifter can only sift so much flour at once, our liver and kidneys are the same way. If you overflow the system, it will not be efficient and filtering. Oscar Wilde once stated, “Everything in Moderation, including moderation”. You do not need to give up all desserts and comfort foods to be healthy, just as you do not need to turn into the next raw paleo master chef overnight. Work towards less toxins, and more nutrition. Your body will help you get there, if you help it in return.
Read more about how the liver and kidneys work here, and here.
#6. Know How to Turn on Satiety and Turn Off Hunger.
Satiety is when nutrients have been obtained that the body needs. Hunger is when we are deficient in a nutrient or source of fuel. Certain foods will NEVER turn off this sensation, no matter how much we eat. Understand that fluid movement is key to all systems- get your blood flowing, and keep it flowing. The combination of proper hydration and productive breathing will help keep nutrients circulating, and keep your tissues, organs, and systems healthy.
#7. Water is crucial to our body.
It is the fluid medium in and around our blood cells. It protects your organs, your spine, and your brain. Improper hydration can cause poor performance of our systems. Make sure to get an adequate amount of water each day. If you are not a fan of plain water, trying blending in fresh fruits, or use a natural water enhancer such as Stir ®. Make sure to read nutrition labels though- avoid food dyes and artificial sweeteners.
Reference the recipe cards in our gallery for some great “Treat Water” recipes.
#8. Healthy breathing
Oxygen travels through our respiratory tract to our lungs, and then into our blood stream, where it carries blood cells to provide nutrients to our body. When we are not breathing in adequate amounts of oxygen, we are not circulating nutrients in the body to our fullest capability. Though breathing is a subconscious process, work on making the best of your breathing by practicing belly breathing. Make sure to fully expand and contract the diaphragm with each breath. You can read more about proper breathing techniques here.
#9. Exercise comes in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t need a gym membership.
There are often many hidden places in which you can add a bit of exercise in to your day. The Department of Health and Human Services states we should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly, but this can be spread out throughout the week for a schedule that meets your needs
Here are some of our favorite examples:
- Park the car farther away
- Take the stairs
- Walk around during phone conversations
- Start a small garden in your yard
- Vacuum daily – yes! This is moderate 😊
Visit www.heart.org for examples of moderate exercise, and more about daily and weekly exercise requirements.
Education is power.
If you want to change something, understand what caused it. Then teach yourself how to avoid those causes, and how to reverse it. Prevention is much more powerful than treating a condition that already exists.
Let me leave you with this:
Docere means to teach. As a Health Educator, I do my best to help teach others about health, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles. I encourage you to become a lifelong learner. The information is out there, if you search for it. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. If you have something you are wanting to learn about, and would like to see it as a class, let us know. We would love to teach it. Whether it’s attending our classes in person, downloading our digital courses from our website, or spending some time at the library- educate yourselves.
Knowledge is a priceless and powerful tool. As you educate yourself, you will discover ways in which you can make one better choice at a time. One by one, these better choices will provide fuel for the next. They will make a cascade effect in your life. And they will help you become a stronger version of you.