When faced with: gluten free, grain free, GMO or non-GMO, organic, low fat, Paleo (to name a few options), how are you expected to know what is healthy? Let alone adapt or change your diet.
We are bombarded by advertising, friends touting on social media how you should eat, and the convenience of prepared food, that sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be worth all the effort to try to eat healthy.
Plus maybe you have tried some of these options but didn’t seem to get any healthier – perhaps you even had more health issues than when you started.
But it really just boils down to two things:
- Going back to eating like our great-grandparents. e.g., Eating non-processed, fresh food.
- Learning to listen to YOUR body.
Now there are a lot of excuses for #1:
- No time to prepare meals
- Too expensive
- Don’t know how to cook
- Not a fan of vegetables
- I’ll be hungry
However, isn’t your health worth the extra effort? And you just might save time and money on doctor visits and meds.
Learning to listen to your body is essential for good health. Your body is a machine, and when given the right fuel, it will deliver peak performance. If you put bad gasoline in your car, it’s not going to run so well. Same with our bodies.
Also by knowing what your body likes and doesn’t like will help you to make the right decision about what foods you need. Sometimes we just can’t eat what everyone else can. And there is nothing wrong with that.
So when you do eat, take the time to see how you feel after your food has digested. Are you sleepy? Bloated? Jittery? Then analyze what you ate and maybe eliminate it from your diet for a while and see if the symptoms disappear.
OK, so let’s talk about how can start implementing healthy foods in your life in spite of all the objections!
First, your mindset is the most significant issue.
Changes of any kind are most likely to succeed if they are self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking. Rather than motivated by a sense of guilt or fear. You have to want to make the change, or it’s not going to happen for any length of time.
Don’t try to change too many things at once.
If you want to start eliminating meat, try it once a week for a while and then increase it. Add a small portion of a vegetable to at least one meal a day. When grocery shopping, shop the outer parameters of the store. That’s where you’ll find the fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats.
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.
Real food doesn’t come with any labels. But unless you are ready for a raw diet, it’s hard to avoid some packaged food. So it’s important to learn to read labels and know what the ingredients are. Knowing ingredients is so important because we tend to trust the labeling, advertising or company but with consumers becoming more aware of harmful ingredients, companies change the names of these ingredients. Plus, many gluten-free items have many harmful ingredients, which are doing more harm to your health than if you ate the gluten! (Of course, this is different if you have Celiac Disease) And, “fake meats” are just as bad.
If convenience is a factor or making your own food is still intimidating, there are plenty of fresh, packaged salads, veggies and meats (not from the deli counter).
Learn to substitute a little at a time
Water for sodas and juice. If plain water isn’t tasty enough, add some fresh fruit or cucumbers.
Try fresh fruits for candy and sweets. Also, the fruit won’t give you that “sugar” high.
Need something crunchy? Try a handful of plain nuts, or homemade kale chips! (they are super easy to make.. and don’t make a face, till you try them!)
Almond or rice milk instead of traditional milk.
Cheese for a dairy free cheese – there are some delicious ones, or you can make them yourself.
And if you want to eliminate wheat and other grains, there are products made with rice or legumes.
Now if this still feels overwhelming, there is plenty of help out there:
- You can learn so much from internet searches about ingredients, get easy recipes, food substitutions.
- There are personal shoppers who will go to a grocery store with you to help you learn to shop.
- And if convenience is a priority, then there are personal chefs who will work with you to prepare healthy meals suited to your needs. And there are companies which make fully prepared meals or some send you the ingredients with directions, and you do the work. It’s a good way to learn to cook and get the family involved.
So really there is no excuse not to eat healthy!
And if you are worried about being hungry, once you start eating real food and get the sugary, sodium-packed, chemical ingredients out of your body, you will be surprised at how satisfying a meal can be. You might even lose some weight!You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces. Just good food from fresh ingredients. -- Julia Childs Click To Tweet
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