Dr. Piazza’s 7 Eating Habits of Healthy & Lean People

Habits engage our lifestyles, give us a foundation to build upon, and can, at times, shape our perception of the world. While it may not be written in stone, there are habits you can pick up that can help you live the lifestyle of Healthy & Lean People. The habits discussed today focus on food consumption– an integral part of our lives. Our body and mood reflects what we eat, and you can learn to consume nutritious foods in a way that can actually change your life. Learn these habits, integrate them into your everyday life, and reap benefits like health and youth.

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1. Hydration is Key:

The importance of hydration is often stressed to us when we’re young. It’s said that a person can live a few weeks without food, but only 3 days without water.

Chances are, like most Americans, you’re probably addicted to soda. You crave the bubbly snap of each sip of Coca-Cola, as it coats a palate conditioned for sugar and starch. Consider the amount of soda you would have to consume to satiate thirst— it’s especially difficult, since soda often contains caffeine– a natural diuretic, that actually dehydrates you throughout the day.

Beverages like Coke are made of ingredients that could strip the paint from a car. That alone should be enough of a reason not to drink it, but in a nation of sugar addicts, soda is the #1 culprit of causing diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay.  While using the high-fructose corn syrup of genetically modified plants, soda impedes liver function and digestion, while storing fat.

Water, on the other hand, cleanses your system of toxins, aids with digestion, and carries nutrients to your organs. Water has been known to be an anti-aging component, since it reduces wrinkles and lubricates the joints. It’s easily accessible, cheap, and the benefits are countless. Healthy & Lean People utilize water exclusively as their beverage of choice, and it is obvious in the glow of their skin, lean muscle mass, and youthful appearance.

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2. Stock Up on Probiotics

Probiotics  consist of live cultures, and can provide your body with good bacteria. This may seem unappetizing at first, but it is one of the essential steps that the Healthy & Lean take to bring their wellness to a higher level.

The most well known food that Healthy & Lean People eat to get their intake of probiotics from is fermented raw vegetables, like cabbage, beets, cucumbers, etc. Products like Wildbrine Miso Horseradish Kimchi are great to use on top of salads and meals, and are also available in Thai and Japanese variations. It’s spicy and flavorful, and provides you with the probiotics necessary for easy digestion. If you don’t have the palate for kimchi, try raw sauerkraut. You can also get your probiotics from supplements like Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Formulas, which are capsules for easy ingestion. Many of these products are sold locally, at Tastebuds on Hylan Blvd., and also chain supermarkets like Wegman’s and Whole Foods.

If you want to live your life as the Healthy & Lean do, you must incorporate this kind of food into your life. Using raw vegetables is the best way to live healthy, as animal products can be treated with toxic preservatives, or are of questionable origin. Buying low-quility fermented food products may also be unwise, as they can be filled with preservatives and high in sodium.

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3. Powerful Food Combinations

Healthy & Lean people make sure to combine foods to receive the utmost nutrition from a meal. It is important to combine for the accelerated weight loss and detoxification that it incites. Certain ingredients can work in tandem to bring nutrients more readily to your organs, such as avocados and tomatoes, which, when eaten together, can make the antioxidants of tomatoes more bioavalable through the fats in avocados. 

Lemon and kale is another combination that Healthy & Lean People use for their benefit, especially since they eat a primarily plant-based diet. The vitaminC in citrus fruits, such as lemon, converts the iron in kale into a form of iron like that in red meats and fish! This iron is easier to absorb than that in meats, and thus does not exhaust the body in a way animal products do.

There is a general rule of thumb when considering the overview of food combinations. Greens can be paired with nearly anything (and should, since they help the digestive process). However, fruits should mostly be eaten alone, in the morning, but can also be paired with vegetables, as well (as described above). Grains with fish should be avoided, as they don’t induce digestion properly. This, and many other combinations will be described further in a future post I’ll be writing.

Food pairing is an inherent talent of the human race. Lean & Healthy People not only pair food to taste, but also to ensure the most rapid nutritional intake of any given meal. Exploring the pairings of certain foods can create a medley that resonates throughout your entire body.

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4. Go Plant-Based

The most well known Healthy & Lean People are celebrities with plant-based diets, like Olivia Wilde (pictured above), Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tobey Maguire. Others, like former President Bill Clinton, noted that a significant amount of weight was lost when they adopted the diet!

In other blog posts I’ve commented on the importance of adopting a plant-based diet. It can make you look younger, have more energy, and fight illnesses associated with aging. The real temptations of a poor diet are taste-rooted, since you are not actually receiving all the nutrients your body craves.

Perhaps you are a healthy person who goes to the gym several times a week, is at a healthy weight, and enjoys a omnivorous diet. You could look and feel even better if you changed to eating only plant-based foods. Not only that– you could look and feel better longer, since your body would not age as quickly. “Whole” proteins like that in meat and dairy can be found in plant sources, if you’re looking to bulk-up. You do not have to resort to the harmful ingredients of whey and creatine (something I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, Dr. Piazza’s Healthy Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipe).

Do not be led astray by false marketing: there is no miracle concoction that will make you healthy –just stick to the basics of nature– plant-based foods. Healthy & Lean People have the best of both worlds with a plant-based diet. While they are lean and attractive, they also have the health benefits associated with giving the body exactly what it needs, and how it needs it.  

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5. Eat Greens Before Meals

The fiber in vegetables keeps you regular, while the nutrients are absorbed almost directly into your body. Raw food is a wonderful way to get your body what it needs. Healthy & Lean People use this little trick to make sure the foods they eat exit quickly, rather than sit inside the body (which takes up energy and makes you gain weight).

Some great greens to eat are spinach, kale, cucumbers, cabbage, or lettuce. You can pair it with seasonings of your choice, and maybe even a little raw goat cheese to add some flavor! Raw or lightly steamed vegetables are great, too, for the abundance of enzymes that help the body process foods quickly. I usually eat a few stalks of celery before a meal if I’m not in the mood for salad, or don’t have time to prepare anything.

Greens introduce the enzymes necessary for jump starting the digestive process.  On top of that, eating greens before meals reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers.

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6. Eat Light to Heavy Throughout the Day

Most believe that eating heavy in the morning allows your body the entire day to burn it off. In reality, what you’re doing is piling on dense, indigestible foods early on in the day. As you continue to eat, your system becomes backed up with countless other dense foods, creating discomfort, bloating, and constipation. This process could even cause you to gain weight!

What Lean & Healthy People know, and actively practice, is eating light to heavy as the day goes on. I would suggest trying a smoothie or juicing in the morning instead of a bacon egg and cheese.

Detoxification occurs mostly during your sleeping hours, so it’s wise to aid that process with a green smoothie in the morning. Easy digestion from eating light to heavy is key to staying youthful, and maintaining energy throughout the day.

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7. Know Your Superfoods

Superfoods contain a multitude of nutrients that your body needs, but can’t create. They are easy to digest, and organic in their origin. Some of the best superfoods are goji berries, avocados, chia seeds, pomegranates and brown riceHealthy & Lean People make sure to stock up on these foods when grocery shopping. They even include them in their smoothies, and are thus ensured better health, slimmer frames, and a clear, youthful complexion as they age

To be a Healthy & Lean Person, you have to make sure that you are facilitating safe nutrition through the superfoods you consume. If you buy non-organic products, whether or not they are superfoods, you can harm yourself and your family. Many companies are trying to capitalize on the superfood uptick, and yet do not provide organic products for you to purchase.

Clean your fridges and pantries. Indulge in the organic markets in your area. Supply is only controlled by demand, so demand betterHealthy & Lean People are successful in being in shape and maintaining youth because they take the time to educate themselves on their nutritional choices. There is a multitude of superfoods that are available to replace all of the unhealthy options you may feel anchored to.