A Non-Diet Approach
Eating healthfully and providing your body with nutritious meals isn’t, and shouldn’t ever be, rocket science. Often times, though, food can get so complicated that giving up before trying to make positive changes seems the easier option. And who can blame you? Supermarkets are jungles nowadays. Trying to navigate them has become so difficult that grocery stores now have on-site dietitians and employees dedicated to help you find food to feed your family. When did it become so difficult that we need help picking out what to eat?
There is a lot of gray area when it comes to getting the “perfect” diet, so most people rabbit hole themselves into finding the new “magical berry” or fad diet that will melt away cellulite.
Reality check: you will never achieve optimal health by solely focusing on the quantity of food you’re eating without addressing the quality of your food first. Food QUALITY makes for a solid diet foundation upon which all other dietary strategies thrive.
FOUR Things You can do Today to Improve the Quality of Your Diet:
- Eat REAL Food. Humans are not meant to survive on sodas, 100-calorie packs, and fat-free yogurt. These foods have crept into our diets within the past century along with diabetes, obesity, and a myriad of other lifestyle related diseases. We survived on food from the earth, both plants and animals, for several thousand years up until recently. If I was a betting person, I’d put my money on avoiding our modern day convenience foods instead of egg yolks, for example.
- Ignore the Nutrition Facts Label. Yep, who cares if your TV dinner is only 200 calories if it’s made up of a combination of sugar, chemicals, and who knows what else? The ingredient list, if your food even requires one, is the most important item on the packaging you can look at to determine the health benefits (or deficits) of a food.
- Eat Foods that can Go Bad. If a food can “go bad," it means that there is still some vitality and integrity left from which we draw health enhancing nutrients. Basically, the nutritional value hasn’t been depleted. A great example of a food that seems healthy but is really considered “dead food” is whole-grain pasta. There is no telling when the grains were harvested, what processing they went through to get into pasta form, and how long it has been sitting on the store shelf before it is boiled to death. Nutritional value = zilch.
- Have Basic Go-To Foods on Hand for Easy Meals. I would venture to say 99% of our family meals are thrown together in under 20 minutes. Some foods we always have ready and prepped in the fridge/freezer are cooked sweet potatoes, jasmine rice, boiled eggs, cut up salad greens, sliced veggies, a few cooked proteins, frozen vegetables (we like stir fry blends), and several options of frozen leftovers. One day it may be 10-Minute Chicken Stir Fry for dinner and the next it’s stuffed sweet potatoes all from our toolbox of grab-and-go meal prep items.
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