“Omega” seems to be a buzz word these days. Products tout, Packed with omega 3, 6, and 9s. But what does this mean for you?
In a word, inflammation. Inflammation is the chronic root of all disease, including heart disease.
Inflammation can actually be a helpful defense for the body– it acts as your body’s natural defense to bad bacteria and toxins, protecting your body and helping it heal in short instances. The problem occurs when it is chronic, i.e. when we are continually exposed to aggravation/harmful substances, including SUGAR and processed foods.
So back to these omegas. Omega 6’s, while essential for cellular function, need to be in a balance with omega 3’s. When they are out of balance, inflammation is what results.
Consumption of too many omega 6s, found in vegetable oils and processed foods, creates an imbalance in the body, contributing to inflammation.
Dr. Dwight Lundell, past Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, sites a 3:1 ratio to be healthy and balanced. The ratio for a typical American tends to run anywhere from 15:1 to 30:1. That’s a whole lot o’ omega 6’s, and a whole lot o’ resulting inflammation.
So where can these harmful omega 6’s be found? Look to your vegetable oils: soybean, canola, and sunflower oil. These oils are often used because they are cheap and can prolong shelf life, but they are a nightmare for your body.
The main takeaways:
- Focus on getting more omega 3s in your diet: fish (mackerel, cod, anchovies, salmon, herring…), chia seeds, hemp hearts, egg yolks, walnuts
- Vegetable oil is a buzzword and misleading: Steer clear of damaging vegetable oils like soybean, canola, corn, and “partially-hydrogenated” anything. Focus on healthy oils like cold-pressed coconut and olive oil.
- An imbalance of omega 6s to omega 3s contributes to inflammation: The American diet tends to be high in omega 6s, found in vegetable oils and processed foods
This month I’ve been leading a workshop tour on, 5 Key Ways to Fuel Your Body & Business in the New Year.
When we hear “new years” we can’t help but think resolutions. UGH, resolutions. Oftentimes we commit to a goal at the beginning of the year, we follow through for a day or two, or maybe a few weeks, and then what happens? Life gets busy and we fall off track, only to recommit to that same goal the following year, bracing ourselves for the inevitable cycle that ensues.
The very nature of the word re- solution emphasizes this idea of seeking out a solution over and over again, usually in the same manner, and expecting different results- curiously the definition of insanity.
If we want to make a CHANGE, then we need to CHANGE the manner in which we are attempting to achieve something. If calorie counting and dieting sounds like punishment and leaves you out to dry every year, then you need a new approach.
Here are 5 key ways to fuel your body & business in the new year that I emphasize with my clients:
- State your goals in a positive: We have a tendency to say what we DON’T want when framing goals- i.e. “I want to give up sugar!… I’m going to stop drinking!… I’m going to stop being so lazy.” The problem with this is by stating these negative statements over again we are in effect, focusing on them. Your brain doesn’t hear “give up sugar”– it just hears sugar sugar sugar sugar sugar over and over again. Think, if I gave up sugar, what will that do for me? How does that positively impact my life? What do you want? To feel more energized? To feel balanced? and why is that important to you?
- Set concrete daily intentions: A goal and an intention are different. How? A goal is a destination. Oftentimes along that journey we find that what we actually want is something completely different- then feel like a failure for not achieving something that we didn’t want in the first place. An intention is a concrete behavior you can do each day or week. For instance, drinking 32oz of water before noon each day, or meditating for 5 minutes before starting work.
- Slow Down: Did you know that the pace through which you go through life has an impact on your digestion? When we eat to quickly or eat with our stress response activated, it destroys your metabolic power, messes with your digestion, and this can translate to decreased assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Try meditating for 5 minutes before meals or in any situations you find stressful.
- Crowd in foods that you love: Many diets emphasize what NOT to eat, but this can feel like punishment and set us up for rebellion. Instead why not focus on the foods you DO love to eat? If you love to eat blueberries, eat more blueberries! If there’s a veg you don’t like- don’t force yourself to eat it! Find one you DO love and focus on that. You’ll naturally crowd out the not-so-healthy foods that are weighing you down.
- Work with an Expert: Tips are great but how many times do you learn something new, commit to a plan, and then find yourself falling off track a few weeks (or days) later. How would it feel to have someone checking in with you each week to high five you for all the things you did well, work through your challenges, and get actionable steps to take each week? That’s what I provide for my own clients: support, accountability, and the right steps in the right order.
Now is a great time to get back on track. If you’re interested in working together to make sustainable changes, fill out my intake form and I’ll be in touch to coordinate a time for a consult. We can go over your specific goals, challenges, and what working together would look like. You’ll leave feeling inspired and ready to take on the new year.
Happy New Year, indeed!