Help needed



A friend messaged me on Facebook that she needs help with her diet and that her doctor gave her “not so good” marks for her health condition.

Another friend cannot seem to command her will to stop eating chicharon or a fatty steak. No will power.

Yet another friend does not care that she keeps tacking on an extra pound each year. And seems to be happy in her body. But we all know she needs help to keep in shape.

I am not a health professional but it seems people are looking to us for advice and health supplements, and maybe even consider “slow food” as an antidote to all the bad food we have been eating. Yes, slow food can help but it is not the end all solution.

Slow food simply means good, clean and fair food. If we start with eating good food, it can only mean good health of course. If we start eating clean food, all the more. Clean means free from chemicals and pesticides. And that may mean choosing natural for some, organic for others.

Good and clean food are choices we make when we decide to prepare food as we need it and not depend on processed or convenience foods. Fast food are also not recommended. They often have too much fat, and very minimal nutritional value.

Good and clean food are mostly food that are in Nature’s containers or how we find them in Nature. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and free-range chicken and grass-fed beef and pastured pork.

But is it all that we put in our mouths? A big part is. I know of someone so overweight she said she can stop eating (or maybe wire her teeth) but it is also what we choose to drink.

Even with wired teeth, we can drink high-calorie choices and empty calories at that. Wine, beer, soda and processed iced tea with sugar. Processed juices and worse, juice drinks (they are only 10 percent juice by law) which are mostly sugar and water. Empty calories.

So, what small changes can we do towards better health? Change the way we eat and drink.

Coffee and tea have zero calories if taken black. They both have anti-oxidants so they may be better choices rather than the ones previously mentioned. Or if you are really serious in changing drinking habits, the best is water. Alkaline water, purified water but not distilled water (for me, it makes very bad coffee too). Freshly-pressed juices are good as long as you know how to count calories and avoid taking too much as well.

But is it all food and drink we need to change? Nope. We have to move a little. How many of you are reading this on your laptop or your tablet? How many of you are seated or lying down while reading this? Get up and walk for 15 minutes. Ride a bike (a recumbent bike works best for me, as I do not have to avoid traffic and I can read a book while riding).

Brisk walking in the mall, walking up and down the stairs and doing some stretching never hurt anyone. But it has to be regular, consistent and measurable. We are so good at giving ourselves targets in business or performance of our departments or whatever KRAs (Key result areas) or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) but we are poor at measuring our own targets for personal success—good health.

Fifteen minutes everyday. That’s all it takes. It will show in your blood count, your cholesterol levels, your fasting blood sugar and most of all, it will show in your face, then your body!

Everything starts with a routine until it becomes a habit. Start now and in 12 months, you will see many positive changes. There is still time to start a full 12-month program.

Eat well. Drink well. Move well.

Happy New Year! Happy New You!

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Chit Juan is the Founder and President of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle located in Serendra, Podium,Centris, Davao City, Makati and Cebu. She is the President of Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. She often speaks to corporates, academe and entrepreneurs about her advocacies: Social Enterprise, Women Empowerment and Coffee. You can reach her at or find her on Twitter@Chitjuan, Instagram: CHITJUAN or Linked In: Pacita Juan.


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