In my previous post, I discussed how EXERCISE WAS ESSENTIAL for GOOD HEALTH. Eating good sources of healthy foods is EQUALLY important and TWICE AS DIFFICULT! The reasons include:
Most people do not like the idea of being TOLD what they should eat.
Most people do not like increasing their spending budgets on foods they don’t necessarily look forward to eating.
Most people are ONLY willing to eat food for TASTE rather than NUTRITIONAL NEEDS and taste.
Most people see food as an important part of their social entertainment (ex. date night, lady’s night out, etc…)
Most people suffering emotional instability turn to unhealthy food to temporarily reduce emotional pain.
Think about your childhood and the time devoted to learning about your DIETARY NEEDS.
IT NEVER HAPPENED FOR MOST OF US!
If we were lucky, we were taught to eat three meals a day. We were told vegetables and fruits were “good for us” and pizza, hotdogs and hamburgers were bad for us.
We were never taught about quality nutrition or how to determine how much to eat. We were never taught anything about ratios between entree foods, vegetables and other starches and dessert type foods. We have simply gone from generation to generation mimicking food choices and eating patterns. The only difference is the quantity of foods over the years has significantly increased.
Suffice it to say, we were never taught how to EAT FOR HEALTH. Instead, we were trained to think what we’d LIKE TO EAT rather than what we NEEDED TO EAT. This has resulted in serious health conditions suffered by growing numbers of people EVERY YEAR. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke continues to rise influenced heavily by poor food choices and sedentary living.
Eating healthier doesn’t mean adding chicken or a vegetable to an unhealthy diet. It mean REPLACING unhealthy choices with healthy ones. To leave some room for reasonable compromise, I suggest a 10-20% window for “comfort foods” to reduce the difficulty in successfully transitioning from UNHEALTHY CHOICES to HEALTHY ONES.
The following is a good starting plan that provides choices and portion guidelines to help you begin a healthy eating regimen. ***Make certain you check with your QUALIFIED HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE following ANY of these ideas to make certain they fit your health needs.***
SIMPLIFYING FOOD CHOICES:
1. Healthy mixed vegetables MUST be included in a minimum of two meals per day (preferably three meals.) Those choosing to avoid vegetables because “they don’t like them,” will likely suffer health complications including diseases and dysfunction as they age.
EAT IT BECAUSE YOU NEED IT; IF YOU LIKE IT, IT’S A BONUS!
1 cup of raw or 1/2 cup of frozen vegetables makes up 1 SERVING. We need to consume 4-8 servings per day. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Zucchini, Squash, peppers, spinach, kale, artichoke and mushrooms are just a few good examples.
I CAN’T EMPHASIZE IT ENOUGH; VEGETABLES ARE THIS IMPORTANT!
2. Although fruit is usually preferred over vegetable, we don’t need more than 2 servings per day. Apples, mixed berries, citrus fruits, pomegranate, kiwi, melon are a few examples of quality fruits to choose from.
3. Most people do not consume enough PROTEIN in their diet. Protein should be eaten at EACH MEAL. Foods containing quality protein include: (a) lean quality meats, (b) wild caught fish, (c) eggs (the white is entirely protein,) (d) poultry (chicken BREAST and turkey BREAST,) (e) greek yogurt, (f) whey protein powder (in water or milk,) (g) cottage cheese (be careful, this may be high in SALT!) In general, protein portion size (for each meal) can be based on approximately 25% of a dinner size plate.
3. People need to consume HEALTHY sources of FAT. These sources include, (a) olive oil, (b) avocado oil, (c) coconut oil, (d)avocados, (e) nuts and seeds, (f) dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa and no more than 1 oz/day,) (g) olives, (h) ghee (clarified butter,) (i) fermented cheeses (j) fatty fish (ex. salmon and mackerel- good source of protein AND healthy fats) 1-2 tablespoons of total oil (NOT OF EACH OIL) per day along with 1-2 SMALL handful of nuts/seeds will provide the body with the healthy fats needed. Feel free to add the dark chocolate as mentioned if so desired.
4. There is great controversy over starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, bread, cereal, beans, rye, barley and high sugar vegetables including corn, peas, and carrots. To simplify life, if these are products you like, they should be consumed in very limited quantities (1/4 cup.) They should NOT be consumed daily.
This guideline will help anyone searching for answers on starting a healthy nutrition program. It is based on the NEEDS OF THE BODY. If you are not willing to start VALUING YOUR HEALTH by making these NECESSARY CHANGES to your diet, your health will eventually suffer.
I know this post may sound a little scary or intimidating, but I’d rather elicit concern than watch people continue to destroy their health and their quality of life.
WE ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT LIFE!