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Written by Theresa G. – Intern Sweat Maker

One might say that I have become somewhat of a hippie over the past year and that is a label that I will wear proudly. I have my own garden at home, when I do buy I buy organic, I do not buy anything that has ingredients that I can’t pronounce, I do not take over the counter medication when I am feeling ill or even just when I have a headache. Instead I listen to my body and think of what I might be lacking, I ask myself questions like  “Did I drink enough water today?” I am constantly reading articles and books relating to the positive natural effects that whole foods and plant-based foods have on an individual. Over the past year I have become very aware of the things that I put into my body and the effects that those things have on my well-being.  I have found myself questioning issues that I had never put any thought into before. All of my questioning and inquisitiveness is still current in my life today and I am constantly learning each and every day.

My journey started with me first wanting to get into the best shape that I could be in physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is something that I am still working on to this day and something that takes a great deal of patience, loyalty, and training in all aspects not just physically. I know that for me, when I fuel my body with a natural whole food diet I feel better both inside and out. When I feel better inside that means that I feel better mentally (meaning my psyche is in a good place which means that I am able to regulate my emotional state in a healthy manner). If a person feels good mentally and emotionally, then it is safe to say that one will probably feel better physically as well.

Now when I use the term whole food plant-based “diet” I do not mean a stereotypical fad diet in which one is deprived, starving and feeling tortured. It is very common for us as humans to think that you need to starve to lose weight, or that a person should eat no carbs and all protein or just salads or whatever the case may be in that particular moment. When in reality it is all about balance. When I say diet I mean eating balanced, eating whole foods, plant based foods, foods with nutritional value, foods that have positive effects on the human body when consumed, foods that prevent treat and reverse diseases such as cancer, foods that you can grow or raise; not foods that were created by humans in a factory that have to go through a series of intense processing and machinery to even be made.

I want to share with you the very basic and easy concept of trying new things and this can be applied in all aspects of your life. I feel like a lot of people psych themselves out when it comes to “losing weight” or “eating healthy”. Stop thinking so much and in the beautiful words of Nike, Just do it! Believe it or not but our taste buds are completely trainable you just have to be open to try and really enjoy the beauty that natural foods have to offer! The number one disease preventative food is kale and when I first tried kale I must say that I was not a fan. It took numerous trials and sour faces before I actually started to like it. Now it is something that I incorporate into my diet everyday. Something that helps is finding the right complimentary foods and not being afraid to try new weird crazy combinations! I first tried beets a few months back and I hated them so much.  I did some research and read numerous articles about beets.  Their nutritional value and the impact that they have on the human body is just INSANE! So the following week I made a salad with beets, avocado, feta cheese, and kale and I fell in love with the taste of beets!

Sometimes as humans we need to be reminded of how lucky we are to have access to the amenities of natural whole foods and plant-based food. Whether your diet consists of chicken, eggs, beef, fruits, vegetables, beans; the point is that these are all foods that are loaded with nutrients and are extremely beneficial to an individuals overall well-being. Naturally grown foods have such amazing flavors that can stand alone without over processed dressings, dips, overloaded sodium, and disease causing chemicals. Don’t be afraid to try new things and if you don’t like it don’t be afraid to try it again in a different way. You might surprise yourself! Most importantly don’t think of your eating habits as a “diet” think of it as a  “I love my body. My body is a constant work in progress. My body and mind deserve the best so I am going to fuel my body with only the best.”

Here are some super foods to help aid those pains and sore muscles that you get from BRAUN FITNESS all week long!

 Sunflower seeds

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+ High is vitamin E

+ The high levels of Magnesium in this little seed help to build strong bones, lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension, minimize migraines and headaches, and help soreness and fatigue.

Ginger

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+You can zest it, slice it, chop it! Add it to hot water with lemon and honey. Add garlic and ginger to your favorite stir fry or even zest it into your own homemade salad dressing!

+This beautiful root is an anti-inflammatory that is high in Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Making it amazing for sore muscle pain, as well as gastrointestinal relief.

Blueberries

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+These amazing berries are loaded with antioxidants, high in phytonutrients that work as an anti-inflammatory. Also high in Vitamin K, lutein

+Beneficial to the nervous system and brain health

+1-2 Cups per day has been shown to improve blood fat balances, cholesterol levels, and lower triglycerides, and relieve sore muscle pains.

Beets

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+High in potassium and magnesium making this super food an amazing post workout option.

+High in Iron, vitamins A,B,C, and beta-carotene.

+Beets cleanse the body and act as a tonic for the liver. Works as a purifier for the blood to prevent various forms of cancer

+ Beets are Low in calories but high in sugar. They act as a high source of energy. The sugar is released into your system gradually whereas chocolate is released quickly. Beets are unique in this way.

+Contain Betaine (a substance used to treat certain symptoms of depression). Beets contain a chemical called tryptophan which relaxes the body.

GET STRONG. GET FIT. GET BRAUN!!!

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