|As senior editor at Food and Diet I want to introduce you to "new" information about the foods you're eating and part of the reason you may be experiencing weight issues and health issues. Actually, the information isn't "new" at all. Most of it has been known since ancient times and used by long-lived cultures worldwide. The "rediscovery" of this information has been slow to reach the general public, which is unfortunate in a modern society suffering from obesity, low-weight issues, digestive tract issues, a host of heart and liver diseases, and all of the associated problems of modern culture. Here are some things to consider when purchasing, preparing and consuming food as you move toward a healthier you:
- A full 12-16 oz of water upon waking helps the body flush out toxins accumulated during the night
- Taking vitamins and mineral supplements help the body process the foods we eat, repair itself, boost its own immune system, and promote better health
- Replacing canned, processed, cooked foods with raw, healthful, organic fruits and vegetables gives the body the full nutrients from the food without pesticides, chemicals and processing contaminants
- Replacing feedlot raised, overprocessed meats with grass-fed and open range meats gives the body trace nutrients consumed by healthier animals giving you far more nutritional bang for your calorie buck
- Adding superfoods to your daily routine helps the body with everything from stable, efficient digestion to stress and depression relief
- goji berries
- honey and bee products
- omega-3 rich fishes and seafoods
The old adage -- you are what you eat -- is similar to the technology adage -- garbage in, garbage out. In other words, it isn't just how much you eat, but truly what you eat or don't eat, that is creating your weight and health issues. By making one simple change every week you achieve a serious lifestyle change of 52 changes in a single year! Replace one thing this week. Add one new, more healthful raw food, organic food, vitamin, mineral or herb each week. As your body achieves better balance and greater health, your weight will come into balance as well.
And, in case you thought eating healthier and organic is too expensive, a quick trip through your local farmer's market will prove that healthy eating doesn't cost more, it just means you have to shop at different locations. Most mid-size and larger cities have hosted farmer's markets and natural food stores. Smaller towns and villages are awash with roadside vendors and direct-sale farms. Seek and ye shall find ... better health and weight balance.
At Food & Diet we know the difficulties everyone has with maintaining a healthy weight. Let's face it, we all have to eat. The question is... what to eat. Every diet guru and fitness expert out there has their own version of the "ideal" food plan. You can get packaged meals delivered to your door or measure out tablespoon-sized portions or eliminate one food group or another. This one says no salt and that one says no sugar. Don't eat meat. Eat meat. Eat chicken. No, eat fish. Well, let's cut through some of the blather.
A healthy diet for anyone includes all food groups. It includes a reasonable amount of fat, salt, sugar, and protein. Everyone's metabolism is different, so how much to eat depends on your current health, medical issues, exercise and fitness level, and your goals. If you're trying to gain weight -- yes, some people are -- eating less isn't going to help unless the food you eat is denser in calories. If you're trying to lose weight, eating more won't help unless those calories are kept in check. So, that makes sense, but you still don't know what to eat?
Consider these points:
- A healthy brain requires fats to function properly. So eating some fats is necessary, but choose "good" fats -- olive oils, minimal animal fats, and nuts.
- A healthy heart requires potassium and sodium as well as proteins to repair and function properly. Eating a reasonable portion of animal protein (4 oz serving) and using a little salt on fresh foods instead of sodium-loaded canned or boxed foods should keep the ticker running top notch.
- A healthy body requires vitamins and minerals as well as proteins, sugars, and starches to maintain energy levels, repair itself, and keep things working as they should. Eating reasonable portions from all food groups every day, as well as taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, will have your body ready to work out, relax, and maintain itself properly.
Whatever your tastes, try to work in something from each food group each day, in reasonable portions, and preferably prepared with fresh ingredients. If you try cooking with fresh items instead of boxed or canned items, you will find it takes no more time and tastes better as well as providing more nutrient bang for your calorie buck. In fact, save the cooking altogether and learn to enjoy the fruits and vegetables in their natural state - raw and bursting with nutrients.
Search our site for calorie charts, calorie burn charts, information on vitamins and minerals, and, of course, healthful recipes that keep the fat under 10 grams per serving, the protein over 10 grams per serving, and calories at a manageable 300 or less per serving. You'll find diet reviews, information about fitness programs, and lots of input from readers like you who have figured out what works and what doesn't work.
|Ugh! The mere mention of the word implies restriction, deprivation and anxiety. But it doesn't have to! Dieting shouldn't be about never eating this and never having that. It's about training your body to accept better foods in healthier portions. You can have cheesecake on a diet, you just can't have the whole cake! You can eat meat every day, just not cheeseburgers laden with gooey sauces and sitting on butter-toasted buns. A diet is about making choices and about learning how to listen to your body and give it what it needs, not just what your tastebuds crave.
And now, we'll mention the other UGH -- exercise. Let's face it, people. We've become a nation of game-playing, computer addicted couch potatoes. Oh, we might not park in front of the television like previous generations, but we're still guilty of parking our backsides in front of one screen or another and amusing ourselves with only our thumbs really getting a workout. Exercise is ANYTHING that gets the body in motion and keeps it moving for at least 20 minutes. Walk. Jog. Rake leaves. Mow the lawn. Throw the frisbee with the dog (good for him too!). Get together with a friend and put your treadmills together at one house so you can chat and treadmill together. Whatever you do... just get your butt up and get moving. Twenty minutes a day, every day, and within a month you will see an improvement in your stamina, muscle tone, and mental attitude. Exercise of any kind releases feel-good endorphins into the body and that really does make you feel better!
Consulting with a physician is an excellent first step before beginning any weight loss, diet, or exercise program. Also, it is good to keep in mind that no pill or piece of equipment will turn a couch potato into Mr. or Mrs. America overnight no matter how powerful those 3 a.m. infomercial claims may be. So, use your common sense, be kind to yourself, and find what works best for you. The best path to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is to eat in moderation, watch portion sizes, and get some physical activity every day.
Okay... that's the end of the Food and Diet sermon. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming and we hope that it includes a little get-up-and-go. ;)