Eat within an hour after waking, eat every three hours and be done eating by 8 p.m. Pair your meals with a glass of red, and you’re on your way to living a healthier lifestyle. Be mindful, though, of the portions—including the wine.
“If you eat every three hours, your brain will think it is eating all day long. If you wait more than three-and-a-half hours between meals, your brain will begin to use your glucose, then it will begin to feed on your muscles,” said Dr. James Rouse, ND, during Healthy Options’ “Happy, Sexy and Strong” forum held at Edsa Shangri-La.
Rouse, a naturopathic physician, author, Ironman triathlete, and yoga instructor, said it is important to feed the body fiber-rich, noninflammatory antioxidants to be physically, mentally, and emotionally fit.
Wild salmon, nuts and seeds, olive oil, cruciferous veggies and dark green leafies, berries, cherries, turmeric (curry), garlic, green tea, and ginger are the top anti-inflammatory foods.
Eating 12 g of protein for breakfast, he said, will keep you from eating more than 20 percent of fat the entire day (an egg contains around 6g). A healthy way of starting your day with a dose of protein is having whey protein shake in the morning, he said.
Rouse revealed that studies show that people who eat breakfast are also happier, thinner, more energized, and smarter than those who don’t.
Physical, mental, and emotional well-being, he said, are related, and are the key to staying happy, sexy and strong. Stress, for instance, triggers the craving for more sodium (sugar, if you’re unhappy), and even affects the food portions, Rouse said.
But who doesn’t live a stressful lifestyle? To cope with stress and its inevitable triggers on your body urges, try to stay calm and relax. Breathe deep, for instance, and in three to four minutes your cortisol level will go back down to normal, he said.
“The brain and the heart think in images. Studies have shown that the average person processes up to 60,000 thoughts daily, and 95 percent of those are recycled from up to 10 years ago, and over 80 percent are negative. You need to change the way you think for you to change your life,” said Rouse, who also has an undergraduate degree in transpersonal psychology.
When people are happy, he said, they have more energy, less stress, depression and anxiety, and greater immune strength. Express gratitude, forgive, avoid social comparisons, seek meaningful friendships, and practice kindness to yourself and others—these are among the key factors to becoming happy, he said.
“When you’re happy, you lower your risk of heart disease. Heart diseases are caused by inflammation. We live longer when we have less inflammation in our system,” he said.
He said feelings of gratitude, for instance, actually affect the cells in the body. It is important, he said, that people know how they allow the environment to influence their well-being.
The best foods for women, said Rouse, include kale (for bones, breasts and Vitamin K), tomatoes (eyes, breast, cervix), walnuts and almonds (skin, heart, brain, breast), flaxseed (heart, brain, breast), legumes/beans (colon, weight, breast), wild salmon (brain, nervous system, heart, skin), cranberry juice (bladder, eyes), Greek yogurt (bones, weight, muscles), and orange squash, tubers, sweet potatoes and butternut squash (skin, breasts, eyes).
Less carbs, sodium, sugar
How does Greek yogurt stack up against the conventional? Both are healthy, packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures, but the Greek yogurt contains more protein, and less carbs, sodium, and sugar. (Regular yogurt contains more calcium.)
If your doctor cautioned you against eating too much beans or legumes to control your uric acid, for instance, listen to your doctor. There are other foods that are good for your colon and breasts.
Rouse also warned against farm-raised tilapia, as recent studies, he said, have found them to cause inflammation.
Men can benefit by adding more of these foods into their diet: tomatoes (lycopene), olive oil (Vitamin E, antioxidants), Greek yogurt (protein, probiotics), dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach (protects the bones, anti-cancer), pomegranate, wild salmon (brain, anti-inflammatory), garlic and onions (prostate), green tea (antioxidant). The best foods for prostate support are Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, he said.
“Inflammation gets in the way of desire because it affects the circulation. The more we have an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, the more we have the energy and circulation for enjoyment,” Rouse said.
Fighting inflammation, he continued, is the most powerful way to have a healthy sexual appetite and to perform well sexually.
Get enough of the polyphenol resveratrol, Rouse advised. These are found in apples, berries, cherries, plums, prunes, raisins, kale, broccoli, onions, garlic, spinach, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, curry, cinnamon, rosemary, basil and dark chocolates. Best reds for these are pinot noir, shiraz, cabernet, and merlot.
Swish the wine around your mouth for 30 seconds to increase the benefits of the reservatrol by about 40 percent, Rouse said, and your heart will thank you for it. He said polyphenols like resveratrol is good for the heart, fights inflammation, manages weight, and protects one against cancer and other chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.
Flush out the toxins, drink lots of water, and cleanse your mind by doing exercises.
“Eat, think, move. To age well is to be happy, to be happy is to do something you’re good at,” he said.