Okay, here's where the rubber meets the road, the healthy eating guidelines.
In over 25 years of studying health and nutrition I've been amazed what the media's ever changing stance on nutrition is. (or isn't) No wonder we're all confused.
It's simple. Really. There is one easy, never changing, "who cares what the latest fad is," way to eat.
In my time treating patients, coaching clients, and working with people to regain their lost health, I've found one fundamental truth:- We want what we can't eat. If you tell someone you can't eat "(insert food you love here)", that's the one thing that they will be wanting all day long.
It doesn't work very well, and makes people... in a word... grumpy. They may achieve some results, but once the diet is done, it's back to the way things were. These healthy eating guidelines are different.
If I asked what health was, what would you say?
"Well, it's not being sick". True. But isn't it much more than that? Health is a state of well being, not just the absence of disease. The World Health Organization's definition of health takes things up a notch.
If you want to enjoy your meals, be healthy and live longer, then smart healthy eating is the way to do it.
First - forget all the stories we've been told about fat, cholesterol and fiber. Clean the slate. Look at things from a different angle. Find the healthiest people groups in the world - the people who are doing nutrition right. Then, eat like they do.
If we were to get all of our healthy food tips from healthy people, things would make a lot more sense. If you wanted to learn to swim, you would want to study people who swim well, not people who drown. To become wealthy, don't study the poor.
If you want health, don't study sick people. Study how the healthiest people eat.
So what healthy eating guidelines do they follow? Well, they love fresh, lean, slow cooked meats. (some of them even eat straight fat, just not from grain fed domestic animals). They eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and plenty of nuts, seeds and berries.And they drink water.
So step one, is to stop eating everything you eat now. (just kidding - that's not how we roll)! By now you know me well enough to know that I'm not suggesting you stop eating any food you love.
"Can I still eat a tub of Ben & Jerry's every night?" Well... yes. But (and there's always a but) could you have something fresh first? A carrot? An apple? Some broccoli stalks? A big hunk of cucumber? Whatever you like.
Step one is to add fresh foods you love. Then add more of them. That means fruits and veggies. Fresh. Uncooked.
So for the first month, have one helping of fresh fruit or veggies before your "Ben & Jerry's". Basically, before you eat anything, have some fresh fiber first. Before breakfast. Before Lunch. Before Supper. Before snacks. For the second month, before your un-healthier snacks - have two.
With these healthy eating guidelines you will massively increase your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy carbohydrates. You will still eat the other foods you love, but there will be less room for empty carbs, fats, and processed sugars. You're going to feel more full, satisfied, and happy.
Step two? Start eating more salads. If you already love them, then just add more salad. Have a bigger helping of salad before your meal. Try some of those strange veggies that you see in the store but haven't tried. Chop them up with your salad. Use your favorite dressing (or even try some new ones - olive oil and balsamic vinegar?)
Third - Start slow cooking your meats. If you can, buy grass fed organic meat, (or go out and hunt your own wild meat - Deer, Moose, Elk, Bison). If not, well just do your best to find healthy - as close to nature as possible - meats.
Add some berries (smoothies in the morning are awesome), snack on some nuts and seeds - And Voila! You're getting more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein than ever before. Without removing anything you love.
(you may find some of the old unhealthy things getting replaced by healthier things - that's okay. But never feel you "have to" give up what you love. Just have some fresh fiber first.
There are a couple supplements you'll want to take. One is a high quality fish oil supplement (to boost your Omega 3 benefits), and the other is a good probiotic supplement. Round it all out with a quality multivitamin and you are seriously rolling.
It all sounds so simple. But human nature being what it is, there are bound to be some challenges. We'll just have to work our way through them
Roadblock 1: Expense Eating healthy on a budget can be hard. Click here for some simple solutions.
Road block 2: Family eating
"My kid is a really picky eater! What do we do?" There are some challenges in training up healthy eating children. (click here for some help)
Once you get past them though, the head-start that your little ones will receive by following healthy eating guidelines at a young age is astounding. Many of our bad habits that we have developed as adults are not seen in healthy eating kids. They never develop a taste for many of the things that are unhealthy growing up in a house that follows healthy eating guidelines.
That's the basic healthy eating guidelines. You can click on the links in the text for more detailed information.
For some help on getting started, go to the Healthy Eating Plans page. (It's here to help you put the healthy eating guidelines into practice)
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