Posts Tagged ‘real food’

Changing Your Diet

July 9, 2016

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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Diet vs. Diet

April 9, 2012

So are you trapped by a diet or freed by your diet?  What’s the difference you ask?  Plenty! 

The diet trap is what one follows to lose weight.  It usually means restricting certain items from the menu.  It’s designed to be a quick fix to a long-term problem.  We eliminate things we enjoy in hopes of better health.  What often happens, however, is that we either lose interest and drop the diet or we lose the weight, drop the diet, go back to old habits and the weight returns. Restricting  ourselves, either to certain types of foods or a certain number of calories, puts our nutrition out of balance and can actually increase cravings for the things you are trying to eliminate.

Your diet is what you eat on a regular basis for health and nourishment (not a short-term fix).  If your diet consists of items that are making you ill or overweight, then it’s time to start adding new things to it.  Add new things?  But I’m already overweight, you might be thinking.  Here’s the deal: begin adding new healthy foods to your daily diet and the unhealthy foods will eventually be squeezed out and your health (and weight) will turn around. 

Simple yes. Easy, not necessarily. It will take some effort on your part.  So where do you begin?  Just choose one thing at a time to add to your daily diet.  Choose a new vegetable to have a few times a week or add extra water to your daily regime.  If you’re drinking from a water bottle all day, sodas will be pushed out.  The more vegetables you add to your meals, the less room there will be for the processed, packaged foods.  If you replace 3 breakfasts each week with a smoothie packed with fruits and green superfoods, that’s 3 days without bagels, waffles, or donuts for breakfast.

The focus on the freeing diet is adding rather than restricting.  When you add vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and superfoods, your body will get the nourishment it needs and the cravings for refined carbs and sugars will go away.  When your plate is filled with these nourishing foods, there won’t be room for the processed food-like products.  If you change your thoughts from “I can’t have that” to “I can have it, but choose to have this instead” you are back in control.

When you begin eating clean, whole foods, your body will begin to work more efficiently.  Your immune system will get stronger. Your skin and hair will look and feel healthier.  Your energy levels will increase.  Keep adding new things.  Try new foods.  You won’t necessarily like all of them, but there are so many whole, healthy, natural foods that you can keep trying different ones and just keep the ones you like.

So turn your health around by adding new whole, real foods to your plate. Then add some more… and more. 

In the next article we will talk about what types of foods to add to your menu.  Don’t want to miss it?  Subscribe to this blog or ‘Like’ our FaceBook page!

Eat Real, Eat Well

March 20, 2012

Losing weight and getting healthy is not about low-fat, no-salt, flavorless and fake foods.  It’s not about every chicken dish you’ve ever known remade with soy products.  Your body needs fat.  It needs cholesterol. It needs salt.  You just need to find the right natural products that provide these healthy (and necessary) nutrients.

Consider this, if your grandparents knew it as food, it’s probably real food (yes, including real butter, lard, whole milk, and salt).  If it grew from a plant or ate a plant, it is probably real food.  If it was made in a plant, reconsider your choice.

Think about the vegetables you eat… are they oily?  In most cases, no.  So how do we consider vegetable oil a healthy food product?  Olives, when pressed, give oil.  That sounds like a winner to me.  And what exactly is a “Canola”?  Do the research.  There is no such thing as a “Canola plant”.  “Canola” is derived from “Canada Oil Low Acid”.  I will not go into details, look it up, then decide if you will continue to use it in cooking.

So if all these “healthy” products are not what they seem, what do I do?  Think natural and think flavorful.  Food was not meant to be flavorless cardboard nutrition pellets.  Take that free-range organic chicken and sautee it with garlic and veges in coconut oil (a medium-chain triglyceride – look it up!)  Vegetarian?  No problem.  No need for fake soy-based protein substitutes.  Get your protein from real, whole foods like beans, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy (if not vegan), and whole grains (especialy quinoa).  There is no need to resort to soy burgers, soy nuggets, and meatless meat products to get enough protein.

And I know I will step on a few toes here, but if you are vegan or vegetarian for health reasons, do some more research.  Meat and poultry are not the health demons they’ve been made out to be the past 20-30 years.  If you are vegan or vegetarian for humanitarian reasons (and especially if you are lacking in necessary nutrients that are easily found in animal protein), find a local farm that you trust to get your occassional meat, eggs, and dairy products.  There are many small, non-factory,  farmers who are just trying to make a living for their families and who feed and treat their livestock well.  You will not only enhance your health, but you will support your local economy as well.

When your body has the proper amounts of nutrients, including fat, cholesterol, and high quality salt, your weight will stabilize to it’s healthy and natural level.


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