Dr. Odom has been intrigued by functional medicine and clean living for as long as he can remember. To some degree clean living is common sense, but to another degree functional medicine and a “big picture” perspective on the intertwinings and connections of life make clean living possible.
Clean living needs to be integrated into every aspect of your life: it’s important to understand how your sleep patterns affect your food cravings; how fitness level is directly related to the level of systemic inflammation in your body; how your family history and DNA are the foundation for the hormones that float around in your body; and on the most practical level how your busy schedule affects what you eat and how you exercise.
A ton of the OHW Community has taken the Refresh Your Health Clean Eating Challenge for the month of January. We are soooo proud of y’all and we are right there with you! Way to go in cleaning up your eating, but we challenge you even further with this question:
What areas in your life besides eating can benefit from a Clean Living Perspective?
Be honest with yourself. Your self-confidence. Your relationships. Your attitude. Your work ethic. Your service to others. Your gratitude. Your priorities. Your gifts and talents. Your perseverance. Your love.
Clean eating and exercise have big impacts on your health and life but do not neglect the other areas in your life where you are cutting short, just getting by, selfishly ignoring, unnecessarily sacrificing, or just saying tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
Clean Living Tips and Truths
- Start your day with a clean breakfast, water and time to prioritize your thoughts, schedule and heart.
- Purposefully encourage someone you know and someone you do not know each day.
- A grateful heart influences words and actions. Stop for at least five minutes each day to think about the blessings you are thankful for. We live in a privileged country-if you have trouble coming up with things, people or situations to be thankful for, try resetting your attitude and perspective with the basics like clean water, grocery stores packed with food, safety to play and exercise outside, or your five senses.
- Diets fail because they’re unsustainable in the long run. Clean eating is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle and eating pattern.
- Eat foods as close to the natural state as possible.
- Limit processed food, i.e.: instant rice, potato chips, frozen meals, store-bought baked goods, packaged seasonings, sugary cereals, sodas, etc.
- Begin to incorporate clean eating principles into your eating pattern with small, daily choices.
- Swap a pre-packaged cereal bar with a piece of seasonal whole fruit and a handful of almonds.
- Rather than a lean cuisine, fill a whole grain wrap with hummus, veggies and lean meat for a satisfying, nourishing lunch.
- Cook and prepare whole foods in bulk: bake several chicken breasts at once; prep gallon size Ziploc bags with fresh veggies; roast a pan full of cauliflower, squash or sweet potato to last a few days.
- Get Fit, Not Just Active
- Regular physical activity of any kind is crucial to improve overall health, but take it a step further and aim to be fit instead of active.
- Exercise regularly with a combo of strength, cardio and flexibility. You’ll not only gain muscle and burn fat, but you’ll notice a difference in your energy and mood.
- Make sure you get in your workout. Pack your gym bag every night. Set a daily workout reminder in your phone. Download a fitness app (try Fleetly or MyFitnessPal). Find a fitness buddy.
- Find something you enjoy and push yourself. Actually sweat.
- Don’t burn out. It is better to allow days off and find a sustainable workout and schedule than to be overzealous in January and quit in February.