Freedom to be Healthy

“But the real secret to lifelong good health is actually the opposite: Let your body take care of you.”
– Deepak Chopra

By LaTisha & Willetta Alford

Juneteenth…What do you think of when Juneteenth comes to mind? Is it independence, freedom, emancipation, or opportunity? 

African-Americans have been wrongfully prohibited from our ability to choose throughout the years. Nowadays, We have more choices than even our ancestors imagined. We decide where we live, shop, go to school, eat, and so many other aspects of our lives. Many have fought for these freedoms, including the freedom to eat healthily. To take full advantage of all the incredible opportunities that await, the most important thing you can choose is “you.” Taking care of yourself begins with taking care of your health and nutrition. As health and fitness professionals, we see firsthand what happens when nutrition and fitness are neglected because of the poor choices we make. Making healthy choices starts with being aware of what works for you.

Diet culture plays a significant role in bringing awareness to the foods you eat and how you treat your body. The culture has evolved over the years and put restrictions on food groups. Somewhere along the way, it was decided that high fat, low carb diets are the way to go. Now, we don’t want restrictions on our right to vote, our right to sit at the front of a bus, or to even have a seat at the table; so why would we place restrictions on our nutrition? Food freedom is more than just restricting food groups, such as carbs, in your daily meals. I encourage you to get back to the basics. Select healthy foods you love and incorporate them into your diet. It’s about finding better alternatives for yourself overall. You have the freedom to eat the foods that you enjoy, but if you are not making healthy choices to take care of yourself, you are not going to be able to give your 100%. It all starts with a mindset. Change the way you think about being healthy. Look at it as the ability to choose and exercise your freedom instead of being restricted. 

Juneteenth celebrates freedom and independence for African-Americans; we must continue to fight for our freedoms! The choices you make now to be or not be healthy will impact you for a lifetime. We challenge you to follow these tips to start exercising your freedom to choose a healthier lifestyle. 

*Be ready for change. Free your mind, and the rest will follow. 

*Make a plan and incorporate realistic goals.

*Drink water to stay hydrated and keep your body functioning properly.

*Follow a balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, and healthy fats such as fish oils and flaxseeds.

*Eat within a caloric deficit. Instead of restricting yourself to the point of deprivation, eat nutrient-dense foods.

*Get enough sleep!

*Save time for “you .”Make a date with yourself to regroup, refresh, and be revived. 

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