Epicures seven steps for healthy living

EPICURE'S 7-STEP PROGRAM TO HEALTH Here at Epicure, we believe it is important for people to not only evaluate their fitness by the bathroom scale, but also to focus on increasing their health and their overall physical, emotional and mental well-being. Epicure promotes a food plan that is similar to that of the US Health Department Recommendation (basically a Mediterranean diet), which encourages a life-style of healthy eating (fruits, vegetables and low-fat intake) in conjunction with a sustainable exercise regime. Epicure does note that their 7-step program will help you lose weight through establishing better eating habits (resulting in less hunger and emotional eating), but unless a calorie-controlled diet is specified it may not directly correlate with a massive weight reduction. However, with a wholesome balanced lifestyle, with Epicure cuisine you are bound to reach your optimal weight naturally, without excessive effort or food deprivation. 1.

A balanced food intake At this moment in time, there are a multitude of popular diets promoting things such as: 1. high protein with little to no carbs (Atkins); and 2. high carbohydrates but low GI (Glycemic Index, or simple sugars) (GI Index diet). In the short term, these diets may help you lose weight, but a recent study conducted in the US and the UK found that the most weight people lost on these diets was only 5-10% of their original body weight, over a year. This is not much if you weigh 150kgs.

The major problem, however, was that most people found it difficult to sustain such unnatural eating patterns, and after 3 months, 80% of the focus group had not only reverted to their old, familiar eating habits, but also regained the weight they had initially lost. The simple reason for the failure of such diets is that our body is not designed for the consumption of single food groups only. The healthiest people in the world and the individuals with the longest lifespan are primarily from the Mediterranean region, Japan, and rural central Asia. So, what are the common denominators in these communities' diets? 3 simple things: 1. a high vegetarian intake (fresh fruit and vegetables); 2.

fish and meat are consumed in small quantities only, and not every day; and 3. almost no-one in these communities over-eats. One of the biggest causes of disease and physical and emotional stress are caused by overeating. It is no surprise that many food related illness (obesity, diabetes, etc) are especially prevalent in western societies, where there is an abundance of poor-quality food available which is often consumed in excessive amounts. 2.

Fresh foods In today's urban society time is a scarce commodity; so many people tend to shop for food only once or twice a week. Because of this, we are used to eating a large amount of processed foods, usually laden with preservatives and nutritional supplements. These additives can have a detrimental effect on our well being, and have been linked to the development of allergies and food intolerances. Therefore, Epicure understands that it is vital to only eat fresh, whole foods which are bought and prepared on the day. 3.

Non/low- allergenic ingredients Until the body's functions are balanced through constant exposure to a healthy food regime, it is very important to avoid food stuffs that will slow down the revitalization process. Where ever possible, Epicure watches out for those allergy promoting ingredients, without compromising on taste. After a period of healthy eating, however, you will find that most of those allergies will naturally disappear. 4. Correct food combinations Some foods need acidic juices to digest, and others need alkaline juices.

If we eat opposite types at the same time, the acidic and alkaline juices in our stomach will cancel each other out, and the food will sit there and ferment, taking longer to digest. This means that immediately after eating we will begin to feel sluggish and bloated, and who has time to feel like that?!! (Please refer to the attached chart). For example, good foods such as fruit are digested in the small intestine. If we eat fruit after a meal, the fruit will be held up in the stomach further slowing digestion; therefore, Epicure always ensures that such food types are eaten individually, and at the optimal hour (for digestion) during the day. 5.

Hydration Our bodies are made of 80% water. All chemical and cellular reactions, transport of nutrients, and waste removal all use water in their processes. So for optimal functioning of our system we need to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruit and water-rich foods. Epicure recommends you drink at least 1-2 liters of water a day, but as this may seem like a lot for some people we have some 'secret ingredients' we can add to your water to make it more palatable, but which don't add any calories or sugar.

6. Eating times and frequency Breakfast can be a difficult meal for many people - either they are too busy to eat and so skip breakfast (not good as it slows down the metabolism), or they eat the wrong foods, leaving them tired and lethargic. Neither option is good way to start the day! Epicure's research indicates that the most effective breakfast is fruit (or fruit juice) in the morning, as it works as a cleanser and gives your brain the sugar intake it needs to function. A balanced lunch is essential, but if you're still hungry in the afternoon eat something light, and then have dinner as early as possible.

Or, if you prefer, reverse your eating habits and eat your main meal at lunch time and have a lighter meal in the evening (as they do around the Mediterranean, which is another reason they are healthier). Who wants to go to bed on a full stomach? You will also wake up lighter and more energetic! 7. Exercise One of the reasons why people in many rural communities around the world are not overweight is because their life-style forces them to do a lot of physical exercise, such as farming, lifting, walking etc. Epicure suggests that in order to stay fit and healthy, it is important to do an hour of exercise every day, such as walking, going to the gym, swimming, yoga, etc. Exercise not only burns calories and helps you lose weight, but it also elevates your heart rate, gets your circulation going, and increases your metabolism.

Thus, your body is able to cleanse itself more effectively which will further increase your energy. Unlike cars and other machinery, the more we use our body parts the better they function, so don't waste any time, get started on your exercise today! .

By: Chaim Kimel of

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