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If you try to stay healthy, chances are you’ve read some health books or gotten some information from websites and have incorporated “good habits” into your life. Some of them are probably great tips that are keeping you healthy, but some of them might not be quite right for you.

Here are some popular health tips that may actually be doing you more harm than good:

Drinking lemon water (or apple cider vinegar) every single morning

For some people, lemon water is great — it can help alkalinize your body by balancing your ph. levels — For others, it can lead to bleeding gums or even an upset stomach where you just don’t feel right. If we remember that food is seasonal, we can keep in mind that we shouldn’t be eating (or drinking) the same thing every single day of the year. If you find that it works for you, try taking a break every once in a while to let your body have a rest.

Ditching meat, and replacing it with soy

It’s easy to look at studies of cultures that eat soy as part of their traditional diets and think that adding soy to our diets will make us healthier. If you look at the Japanese diet, for example, they do eat soy, but they eat it in a fermented state — such as miso, shoyu, tempeh and tamari— “Foods” such as soy nuts, soy milk, soy chips and any other unfermented soy product can cause trouble for your thyroid and may even increase your estrogen levels, which could potentially lead to other health problems. Soy is in so many products and disguised under so many names, that you may not even realize you’re eating it. A few of these products are: textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavors, msg, plant protein and lecithin, among others. To make matters even worse, about 90% of soy production is now genetically modified, so if it’s not certified organic, you can almost guarantee it’s genetically modified.

Saving time in the morning by eating instant oatmeal

Let me start by saying that I love oatmeal! The problem with instant oatmeal is that the only way to make it “instant” is to take it through a process to break it down, making it a very refined carbohydrate — one that you want to stay away from. Instant oats also tend to come in a variety of flavors, which are packed with artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Instead, try whole rolled oats, and if you want to save time, try making a large batch to eat throughout the week, which you can flavor with raw honey and cinnamon.

Every body is different and will have its own reaction to different foods, so it’s important to listen to your body’s signals about what’s right for you instead of assuming because it works for everyone. My best advice if you’re really serious about making changes to your health is to work with a health coach that can help you figure out what will work for YOUR body to help you achieve your specific goals.

jacqueline silvestri banks

Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother.

Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.

Check out her website at: