*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am offering advice based on my personal experience, but it is up to you and your doctor to decide what is best for your body.
When you think about eating healthier, it’s easy to get frustrated and confused by all of the conflicting theories out there. What makes something healthy? Which foods should I eliminate from my diet? Fats? Carbs? Sugar? Sodium? Should I start eating only Paleo foods, join the Clean Eating movement or switch to gluten-free? Are soymilk and almond milk healthier than dairy milk or vice versa??? It’s enough to make your head spin!!!
Now, take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. I am here to help you navigate through this confusing web of propaganda and to help you become the healthiest you that you can be!
First, let me start by saying that every person’s body is unique. What works for one person, may not work for another. That being said, I would still caution you to steer clear of any diet that is extreme in any way. An “extreme” diet would be cutting anything out of your diet completely (unless you are allergic to it.) Some examples of that could be cutting out all carbs, cutting out all sugar or salt, only drinking juices or smoothies and not eating real meals, eating nothing but protein, cutting out all fruit… you get the idea.
There is one magical word that I believe is the key to any successful diet or lifestyle change. That word is MODERATION! Your body needs some fat. Your body needs some carbs. Your body needs some sodium. SOME! Not freakishly large amounts on an everyday basis. Some.
Aside from extreme diets being unhealthy for your body, they are also “extreme-ly” hard to stick to! (See what I did there? Haha!) This diet of moderation is a much more appealing and enjoyable way to lose weight, increase energy and get your body more of the important vitamins and nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. So, let’s get started!
The method that has brought me great success in the areas of losing weight, having more energy AND getting more nutrients into my body (3 in 1!!!) is making sure that every meal I eat contains something from each of the following food groups: carbs, protein, fruits, vegetables and dairy (although I have since had to eliminate dairy from my diet due to an allergy.) This works for several reasons. First, you feel more satisfied after eating because you have had a complete, well-balanced meal. This reduces your urge to snack in between meals. (Though snacking is not necessarily bad if you are snacking on something healthy like fruits, nuts, veggies or cheese.)
Secondly, this plan allows you to get more nourishment into your body with each meal, which will naturally give you more energy. Finally, in the process of making room on your plate (and in your stomach!) for all of those fruits and vegetables, you inevitably end up eating less of the main attraction, which is usually where most of the fat and calories are hiding.
I also believe that cooking from scratch is almost always healthier than eating pre-packaged food, especially if you are cooking with all natural ingredients. There are some questionable practices that many food companies use while processing their food, which include the use of harsh chemicals on the food. However, those chemicals are not currently required to be listed on the package with the other ingredients. I have definitely noticed a difference in the way my body reacts to food when I eat organic, as opposed to chemically treated food.
Now, as much as I would love to say that I always cook from scratch and use only organic ingredients… that’s just simply not true! I am a busy wife, mother of 3 and am in charge of caring for our dogs and chickens during the day. In the evenings, the kids keep me quite busy with band practices, dance and baton classes, voice lessons, helping them study for their tests and checking all of their homework! However, I am trying to move more and more in that direction as time goes on because my family is worth it!
I’m also learning a lot as I go! Here are some of my tips and tricks to save time and money when cooking.
Have questions or comments? I would love to hear them! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org