Changing Your Diet

Nope, we’re not talking about going low-fat, low-carb, or low-anything-else.  The key to a well-rounded, nutritious diet is to go ‘whole’.  Whole, unadulturated foods contain the proper balance of nutrition and enzymes to help digest and assimilate those nutrients.  You can accomplish this with whatever lifestyle you choose from raw-vegan to omnivore.  The main objective is to keep foods as close to their natural state as possible.

We’ve been told for years that fat will make you fat, so carbs and sugars (often hidden) took the place of fat in processed foods.   We’ve turned to processed low-fat foods that are supplemented with carbohydrates, sugars, and artificial flavors to enhance the texture and taste lost when the fat was removed.  Guess what?  A pound of sugar is 100% fat-free!  The problem is that when simple, refined carbohydrates enter your body, whatever isn’t burned as energy right away has to be dealt with.  The liver turns this excess glucose (from simple carbs and sugars) into fatty acids to be stored for later use.  So we’re eating less fat (from animal products or healthy oils like olive and coconut, which by the way are necessary for assimilating fat soluable vitamins and minerals) and eating more refined, processed foods and not only losing out on necessary nutrients, but we’re getting fatter and less healthy in the process.

So what do we do?  We need to eat and don’t always have time to cook a healthy meal so fast food is the only answer… or is it?  How about real fast food, like a smoothie?  Whole milk (raw if possible) or unsweetened yogurt, frozen berries (blueberries are chock full of antioxidants and other goodies), add a banana for sweetness and as a thickener and you’ve got a fast meal.  Make it a super meal by adding ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, a handful of baby spinach, wheatgrass powder, or a spoonful of coconut oil.  You can get a full serving or more of veggies in one smoothie!  The extra seeds and oils will also give it staying power so you’re hunger is satisfied longer.  Make a blender full in the morning, pour some in a travel mug and pop into the fridge at work (or a cooler bag with an ice pack) and you’ve got a healthy meal faster than any fast food restaurant can offer.

Changing your diet isn’t about focusing on what you can’t eat, but what you choose to eat.  When your refrigerator and pantry are filled with whole healthy foods like vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, there won’t be room for the unhealthy foods.

u12268677Try one or two new items each week.  Add quinoa to your shopping list and do a search for a variety of quinoa recipes.  Try a new vegetable you don’t usually buy, like zucchini.  Add it to an omelette, throw it in a stir fry, saute it in garlic, or bake it with fish.  Add finely diced carrots, celery, and onions to your tuna salad.  Avocados can be used for just about anything, including chocolate pudding! (yup, look it up!)  Dice avocado and tomato into a bowl of quinoa with a squirt of lime juice.  Dice it into your chicken salad (for an extra boost, sprinkle some turmeric powder into that chicken salad too).

This doesn’t have to happen overnight.  In fact, it shouldn’t happen overnight.  If you clear out your pantry of everything and just stock it with new things, revolt is bound to happen.  Remember, this isn’t about what you can’t or shouldn’t have.  Just slowly add new things and the old things will slowly make their way out of your life.  Does this mean you’ll never have chocolate cake or ice cream again?  Of course not!  It just means that your body will be healthier and better able to deal with that when the occassion does arise.

Want more great food info?  Follow my other blog LifeWalkRecipes for great whole food recipes and tips and tricks for your kitchen!

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