We often hear that we should be eating to live and not living to eat. That sounds like good advice. But itâ€™s also a bit of a downer.
Eating is such a big part of our lives. We eat when we socialize, when we celebrate and when we just want to have a little “me time.” So is it possible to live a healthy life and eat nutritiously while still enjoying ourselves now and then?
Licensed nurse, nutritionist and medical journalist, Jolie Root, says you can.
Jolie crisscrosses the country speaking at conferences and hosts a weekly radio program called Food for Thought. She also maintains a personal blog about living a healthy lifestyle and works as an adviser for vitamin and supplement provider – Carlson Laboratories.
As a sought after speaker and recognizable public figure in the field of natural health – Jolie has inspired many people to take a closer look at their personal well-being. She wants others to discover that better health means a better life.
That’s what makes her one of our Natural Health Heroes.
From Horses to Humans – A Path to Better Health
Jolie Root’s life work can be traced back to when she was still young. While growing up, she was very involved in equestrian sports and loved showing horses.
“My veterinarian was the first person to teach me about the benefits of a healthy diet and the use of certain supplements for my horses so that they were less likely to get sick or stressed by the rigors of hauling and competing,” Jolie explains.
The concept interested her, and it wasn’t long before Jolie was thinking about how things like diet, as well as vitamins and supplements might affect her own life.
“It only made sense to me that if nutritional supplements and higher quality food made my horses stronger it would probably be smart for my family and me too. So as a teen I was shopping in health food stores, taking vitamins and drinking tea,” she says.
Then a tragic event changed Jolie’s interest into a lifelong mission. Her father died unexpectedly of a heart attack at just 42 years old.
“My interest in prevention and natural health evolved from veterinary issues to human health as I searched for answers about what happened to my dad, and for ways to keep my aunts and uncles, grandparents and my brother from having the same kind of deadly heart health issues.”
While studying the impact of nutrients that can improve heart health – like Vitamin E and Omega-3s – Jolie worked in retail, running natural health stores. That’s where she met and formed a lasting relationship with the founders of Carlson Labs.
Jolie teamed up with owners, John and Susan Carlson as well as their daughters Cari and Kirsten, to help educate people everywhere about the benefits of preventative health and proper nutrition.
“I do love my work, which is a true blessing!” She says.
- Find Carlson Labs Supplements at Natural Healthy Concepts
Jolie also continues to enjoy the original love that sent her on this journey. She still finds opportunities to ride horses while splitting time living in Colorado and Florida.
How You Can Live Healthy and Love It
The title of the blog where Jolie Root writes her personal musings about health is titled Red Wine, Green Tea and Dark Chocolate. Those are three foods that are close to her heart – and also provide powerful health benefits.
She firmly believes it’s possible to eat food that tastes good and is also good for you.
Here are several examples from Jolie:
Whipping up a batch of guacamole and adding slices of avocado to your salad or sandwich definitely makes for some delicious dining.
You may have been led to believe the fat in avocadoes could be detrimental to your health. Jolie says that’s wrong.
“People think they have to be careful with them because of the fat content. Indeed, avocados are the fattiest fruit. They have about a fourth of the calories or fat content of butter,” Jolie explains.
“However unlike butter they provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid, and potassium. Avocados even provide beta-sitosterol, a plant compound that lowers total cholesterol.”
She adds that coconuts are another fruit full of healthy fat.
2. Red Wine
Jolie says you shouldn’t feel bad about having a glass of red wine with your meal. Many studies show it is much more than a guilty pleasure.
“Red wine, dark grape juice, and pomegranate juice all provide powerful antioxidant polyphenols such as resveratrol, a potent anti-aging compound credited with preservation of a youthful brain and healthy blood vessels,” she says.
They may also help reduce inflammation and protect the health of your vision as you age.
3. Dark Chocolate
If you find yourself craving the flavor of a piece of chocolate melting on your tongue – Jolie claims it’s okay to indulge – at least a little.
“Decadent dark chocolate tastes fabulous, and is packed with antioxidant flavonoids, which improve cholesterol ratios and increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood,” she says. “The caffeine in dark chocolate enhances focus and concentration.”
That’s not all chocolate can do for your brain. Jolie says chocolate is quite literally “heady stuff” that makes us feel good. There’s a scientific reason you love it so muchâ€¦
“It helps your brain produce phenylethylamine, a mild stimulant that generates feelings of euphoria; similar to the elated feeling we feel when we first fall in love.”
Jolie adds that chocolate can also improve circulation promoting a healthy heart and clear thinking. Just don’t overdo it.
“Be awareâ€¦you only need about an ounce for these benefits. More and you are flirting with trouble because of the sugar,” she warns.
4. Green Tea
Drinking tea is probably Jolie’s favorite way to stay healthy while simultaneously treating herself to something enjoyable.
“Iâ€™m a real lover of tea. I drink it all day long,” she says. “The benefit? I have a ton of energy, I fly several times a month and stay well and I sailed through menopause with no issues.”
Green tea can help your health in plenty of ways. That includes a reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also help boost your metabolism for weight management and glucose control. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant that many say also has anti-cancer effects.
Jolie credits her tea drinking as a well as a diet based on whole foods, mostly fish for meat and very little sugar for her overall good health.
Jolie Root’s Best Advice for a Healthy Life
Jolie believes you can make a few simple changes to your routine and reap major rewards for your health. They may not be easy to accomplish – and you may have heard them many times before – but Jolie says they are important choices if you want a long, happy, healthy life.
The Most Important Change to Your Lifestyle – Regular Exercise
“Stop being a couch potato,” Jolie says. “Get up out of that chair and get active. Then make a commitment to your health to continue to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, no matter what.”
The Most Important Change to Your Diet – Less Added Sugar
“Read labels and do not eat foods that use high fructose corn syrup. Especially stop drinking soft drinks, sweet tea and fruit juices that are not 100% juice. Cut out sugary cereals, cut out sugary snacks, and have fruit for dessert. This one change would slash the rates of obesity overnight.”
She adds that you should watch out for diet sodas too. They can trick your metabolism into thinking you’re still hungry.
“Next thing you know you are reaching for that cookie,” she says.
The Most Important Supplement You Can Take – Omega-3s/Fish Oil
Jolie says you cannot argue the fact that most American’s are lacking in omega-3 essential fatty acids. And it’s having a negative impact on our health.
“Study after study points out that our culture is low in omega-3s and consumes too much omega-6. This is partly due to the use of vegetable oils in cooking, a several decades-long trend intended to reduce our intake of saturated fats like butter. And partly due to the practice of feeding corn and soy to the animals we eat, rather than allowing them to range feed on grass as nature intended.”
Jolie tells us that omega-3s EPA and DHA are part of her own daily supplement regimen, which also includes Vitamin D, CoEnzyme Q-10, L-Carnitine, phosphatidylserine, alpha lipoic acid, a full spectrum vitamin E and a multivitamin.
“All of this is intended to vigorously protect my brain, eyes and heart as I age,” she says. “So far so good!”
More Information on Jolie Root
- Get More from this Natural Health Hero at Jolie’s Blog
- Listen to Jolie Root’s Radio Show Food for ThoughtÂ (airs 11AM ET) on WWRL1600.com
- Follow Jolie Root on Twitter – @jolieroot