In 2023, I have big plans. I am going to be fit, healthy, and sexy.
I said it. I put it out there to you my virtual pen pals, so now I have you as my witnesses when I say – I’m ready for all of it.
Now, I didn’t say I will be starving out here or striving for an ascetic lifestyle. Al contrario! I will be exploring just about everything: food, experiences, and places that make me feel good in my skin.
Let’s look at the ‘dirty’ bunch that I’m embracing. When taken in moderation, these foods actually do wonders for your health and sense of well-being.
I’m having my morning coffee. While caffeine may cause jitters or anxiety in some people, it’s also rich in antioxidants. Over-expressing your beans result in a sour taste and can have an acidifying effect on the body. Even using a bean that doesn’t work for you can create an adrenal load that leads to nervousness, a feeling of unease, and, believe it or not, lethargy in some people. It took me a while to figure out the right mix and amount for me. It turns out that Robusto is my enemy of progress but I can handle 100% Arabica well. It is gentle, smooth, and a lot easier to digest. When you find the right blend, it can give you the spring in your step that gets you pumped and focused for the day.
I’ll nibble on my favourite chocolate, maybe broken into a trail mix or in combination with nuts. Chocolate is famous for its ability to increase the level of serotonin in the brain, which can make you feel pleasure and happiness. But did you know that dark chocolate has also been linked to lower blood pressure and improved blood flow? The flavonoids found in dark chocolate can support the health of your blood vessels, and its antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. So, while chocolate is typically associated with being high in sugar and calories, dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa can actually offer some health benefits.
Since coming out of the holiday season, I’ve been diligent about my health and I am feeling and seeing the payoff. Now, I plan to spice up my meals to accelerate the progress I have made. While the Chocolate Habanero and Carolina Reaper chilis were a touch beyond what I could bear, the regular Jalapeno and Cayenne peppers are a pleasant pick-me-up. For one, the capsaicin in chilies may help boost metabolism, increase fat burning, and help gut health with its antimicrobial properties. Chilies also help stimulate the digestive system and reduce symptoms of bloating, gas, and constipation. Plus, chili peppers increase blood flow and stimulate the release of endorphins, so you feel pleasure and excitement that much longer.
Last but not least, I’ll be sipping a glass of wine as my evening wind-down, every now and then until my beloved strawberry grapes are in season again. Red grapes and their products contain resveratrol, a polyphenol that is a natural way to pump the brakes on aging.
At EAT freedom, moderation over restriction is the name of the game and we know the power of indulging in a comfort treat at times. Sweet and spicy, naughty or nice – in 2023 I’m allowing myself to have it ALL – in moderation!