Because I'm a healthy chef and a nutritionist, people always ask me how I eat. Or how they should eat. But the truth is that I don't follow any rules around food and I certainly don't encourage anyone else to! What I do is simple: I pay attention to how my body feels. We all have different needs and those needs change over time.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to an optimal diet.
 

That said, there are a few universally beneficial practices that, when practiced regularly, will make us feel more youthful and more vibrant. Make it a goal to add one of the following elements to your life a few times a month. Whatever you do, don't get overwhelmed. and don't beat yourself up for making slow, small adjustments. Even if you only adopted one of the suggestions below, your body and health would benefit in a year!

1. Eat your garlic.

The active beneficial component in garlic is allicin, which is tremendous for anyone trying to heal his or her gut. Grate one to three cloves, let it sit for 10 minutes, then swallow it off the spoon like a supplement. Do this three to five nights per week before bed. (Can't stand the thought of a spoonful of raw garlic? Try this salad dressing instead.)

2. Be good to your lymph.

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Our lymphatic system is a big part of our body's immunity, carrying out many of the toxins we take in. Some easy ways to be good to your lymph: jumping on a trampoline, rebounding on a mini trampoline or dry skin brushing.

3. Go easy on soy.

Eating too much soy has been linked to breast cancer, weight gain, and hormonal imbalance. If you eat soy, opt for fermented soy (like tempeh, natto or miso) in small quantities.

4. Make your own food as much as possible.

By cooking at home, you're sure to use the best, freshest ingredients, and reduce the amount of plastic you use.

5. Get some lemon every day.

Squeeze an organic lemon on your food or in some water, ideally two times a day.

6. Buy organic if and when you can.

Pesticides that are sprayed onto food or put into the fertilizer aren't doing you (or the environment) any favors. To learn more about this, consult the EWG's "Dirty Dozen," which is a guide to the fruits and vegetables with the most and least amounts of pesticide residue.

7. Install a house water filter.

Or, at the very least, put a filter on your shower head and bathtub faucet. Many water systems are full of toxins.

8. Go green in your bathroom and kitchen.

Remember, anything that goes on your body, goes in your body. If you would not feel safe eating it, don't put it on your body. Check out the EWG.org for more information.

Be sure to check with your doctor or health care practitioner before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine!

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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