This month I’m going to share 5 ways to help you eat healthy. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate and find an idea or two to help you stay on track.
- Clear out your pantry, fridge, and freezer of food items that you know aren’t good food choices. Give food away to family or friends or give non-perishable items to a local food bank. If you have vegetable oils like corn, soy, or canola, and even margarine, go ahead and toss those! You would be horrified once you know how vegetable oils are processed. If you’re unsure what’s considered “healthy” read the labels and if packaged products have a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce it needs to go.
- Speaking of reading labels, be sure you read the label for ingredients. Food companies are great at marketing. Marketers like to use words like healthy, natural, fat-free, or even gluten-free to get you to buy. Be an informed consumer and watch for added forms of sugar (anything with an “ose” at the end) should be avoided. Many products that are gluten-free or fat-free have a lot of added sweeteners to make up for the loss of fat or gluten.
- Sugar is sugar no matter how food companies label it. Organic raw sugar is no better than regular table sugar. It still stimulates insulin production and raises blood sugar. I’m always reading nutritional labels and it’s interesting to see all the new terms for sugar. Pure cane sugar sounds better than sugar, right? Wrong! Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose, and galactose. No matter what you call sugar it’s still the 2 molecules of fructose and glucose. Experts say sugar addiction is real and that it’s more addictive than cocaine. I believe it.
- Be prepared. While I knew being prepared was key, I wasn’t sure how to “be prepared”. A good friend of mine is a personal chef, and she shared some ideas with me to keep me healthy while traveling. My favorite holy grail in the kitchen is the Instant Pot. I can easily make soups and stews when I’m on the road. Some fresh meat, fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, and some bone broth and I have a meal for a week. Every day it gets a little tastier. When my husband and I go out to eat, I’ll look up the menu online, if available, so I can make better food choices. We don’t eat out that often, but when we do I like to be prepared ahead of time.
- Don’t snack. This is my personal downfall, but I also know it’s important to eat your meal and not snack in-between. When we were kids, we weren’t told to eat 6 times a day or eat small meals every few hours. When we eat ALL THE TIME our blood sugar doesn’t normalize, and insulin production stays high. Never before in the history of mankind have we seen a high number of people with metabolic syndrome like high blood pressure, pre-diabetics, type 2-diabetes, and insulin resistance. Metabolic syndrome is lifestyle-related and can be reversed. Next time you want a snack, have a conversation with yourself and ask these questions. Am I hungry? Am I bored? Is this a habit? I’m guessing the answers may be no, yes, yes. Give your body a break after a meal. If you ate a high carb, high processed meal, then you’ll probably be “hungry” within an hour. The old joke about you’re hungry an hour later after eating Chinese food is due to the high carb load.
My magic bullet is being prepared. I don’t obsess, but rather I have an idea of how my day will go. The goal is to eat when hungry and not eat when not hungry. Voila!