Is it time for a fresh start? Do you make New Year's resolutions? I don't, but some people find them effective. Whatever you do, I suggest you start small and implement changes slowly. Small changes are easier to deal with than radical, sweeping changes.
Time for a Fresh Start
Whether your fresh start is changing what you are eating, setting goals, or altering relationships, I suggest you begin today and look for little improvements every day.
Should You Diet?
First, let's talk about eating. If you are like most people, you have been indulging a bit over the holidays. Now that the festivities are behind us, it's time to get back to eating more healthfully. And that means eating fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good, lean protein. And, for me, cutting down on sugar. I'll give you a few tips below to get started. Are you ready to give yourself a fresh start?
Hear this: I'm not saying you should go on a diet! In my humble opinion, there is no reason to diet, that is, follow a strict plan of what to eat when. Diets have never worked well for me, no matter which one I follow. When I say, "I'm on a diet," my brain says, "Oh, I want chocolate, and potato chips, and extra helpings of this amazing casserole..."
Does that happen to you? So, let me just say: Only you can determine if dieting is right for you.
Nourish Your Body & Soul
I think feeling full and satisfied is super complicated.
For me, I know these are my trigger points:
- If I eat loads of sweets, highly processed foods, skip the fat, and don't eat enough leafy veggies, I will crave more food.
- If I wait too long to eat and am really hungry, I will stuff my face with anything available.
- If I am sad or angry, I eat more food, usually the stuff that is not good for my body.
- If I don't follow a calming routine involving reading, meditating, writing and doing yoga, I'm likely to eat more junk.
But everyone is different. What causes issues with food for you? If you overeat, or eat the wrong things, do you know why you do it? Is it a problem with getting the right nutrition? Or taking care of your emotional health? It may even be a combination of the two.
When you nourish your body and soul, you are likely to feel better overall.
Tips for Eating Healthier
Your body craves the foods it needs, but if you aren't paying attention, your mind can mix it up. And if you don't plan ahead, you'll grab what's handy, right? I know I do.
What I have found is if I eat a food to which I'm allergic, sensitive or intolerant, my mind starts saying, "I need more, more, more." Why is that? Because it's like an addiction. You can learn more about food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances in this article.
Rule #1: Avoid Foods That Make You Sick
My first rule for myself is to avoid the foods that make me sick. I know what those are; they are gluten, cow's milk and soy milk. What foods give you a bad reaction? Have you tested them? You can learn how to test for food "allergies" in this article.
Rule #2: Eat Good Fiber & Beautiful Colors
If you pack in the foods that are loaded with fiber and come in a wide array of beautiful colors, you will be headed in the right direction. You know the old adage, "Eat Your Colors," right? Foods come in red, yellow, blue, green, brown, white, purple, you name it. The deeper the color, the more they help you.
Dark, leafy greens are especially good for you because they have loads of fiber and nutrients and help regulate the gut bacteria, improve your blood, maintain healthy blood vessels. and improve your vision. I highly recommend that you read more about this in The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, M.D.
Choose the darker colors for better nutrition. For instance, choose brown rice over white rice. Brown rice has more fiber and digests more slowly than white. Choose orange or yellow sweet potatoes (yams) instead of white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, (chart provided by University Health News) which means they don't spike your blood sugar as much as white potatoes will.
To learn more about eating the colors and their benefits I suggest you download the terrific one-page PDF from The Wellness Coalition that tells you how your body benefits from the various colors.
If you are curious about how much fiber is found in the food you eat, you can look it up here (online PDF). In addition, in all our recipes on Recipe Idea Shop, we include nutrition labels to help you determine what the nutritional value of each recipe is
Rule #3: Eat Healthy Fats & Lean Proteins
People need fat in their diets. I personally believe that the "low fat" trend in eating is one of the worst diet trends ever! The body needs fat to process food and feel satisfied. I try to eat the "healthier" kinds of fat, like olive oil, avocados and nuts. But I eat my share of butter, too! And I am healthy, healthy, healthy!
Consider joining the "Meatless Monday" movement, along with eating fish once or twice a week, and stick to the lean proteins like chicken, beef flank steak, legumes (beans), and vegetables with high protein content (think broccoli). The variety will be tasty and good for you!
Rule #4: Be Kind To Yourself
There are plenty of people out there who will run you down. Don't do it to yourself. Be at least as kind to yourself as you would be to someone else. In fact, be kinder. Pretend you are a sweet, five-year-old child. How would you treat yourself if that was the case? (Just sayin...)
WHAT YOU NEED
You might need to do some prep work so you have healthy snacks to grab when you're hungry. I like to keep some fruits and vegetables handy for this purpose. The 100-calorie snack packs can be a lifesaver, too.
I suggest you plan your meals at least the day before you want to eat them so you are not rushed or starving when you need to pick up something at the grocery store or start making supper when you get home from work.
Here Are Some Ideas
I encourage you to care of yourself by eating satisfying, nourishing food that is good for your body and makes you feel healthy. Protect your spirit by living authentically, moving your body, and taking time to replenish and rest. I think you might like these recipes & posts from Recipe Idea Shop:
- Julie's Black Bean Vegetarian Chili
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- Easy Oven Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken
- South Beach Balsamic Chicken
- Hearts of Palm Salad
- South Beach Eggs Florentine
- I Am Enough
- Think You Are Gluten Intolerant?
- Why Do I Need a Food Journal
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This post was first published on Recipe Idea Shop January 3, 2022.