Living Well, Part 1
I often hear, “Where do I start?”
And, that’s because we all want good nutrition and understand that it is available to all of us but it’s over-whelming. Do we stop eating carbs or just bread and is that all kinds of bread or simply white bread? Conflicting headlines, daily health news, different health programs about what to eat, how to stay healthy and where each one of should start in our own path to living well.
I thought I would start with simple tips on how to get started and how or why which ones you should pick. If you can follow just one of these tips, you will have a more balanced diet and a good roadmap and relationship with food. Don’t stress yourself, there is no need to follow all of these, today! Start with one. More importantly, living well is not a contest or a race.
You’ll experience bumpy roads along the way, so… Enjoy the travel…. Take the time to learn about you, your health, your body and how living well can fit into your lifestyle.
1) Consume foods that are the least processed.
Think simple when it comes to foods. Eat simple foods, unrefined foods and whole foods. One trick and I’m sure you heard this before, when it comes to grocery shopping try to stay away from the inside aisles, these have packaged foods, foods in cardboard and foods in plastic. Instead shop for foods that are on the perimeter aisles of the grocery store.
2) Cook slow, cook fresh.
It takes practice to cook without being dependent on processed products, we also need the time to prep fresh ingredients for a salad and slow roast a chicken, but if you can add this element once a week, it will open the door to try more recipes, you will probably feel less bloated because you will have more control over your salt intake and your home will smell wonderful. To start, keep the menu simple. And, remember, fresh products take up more space.
3) Eat Fermented Foods.
Natural fermentation of foods has been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. Fermented foods also carry probiotics created during the fermentation process, which many claim improve digestion. I’m not a scientist, but I am a strong believer in fermented foods and we will talk a lot more about fermented foods in this blog. My family and I include many fermented foods in our diet.
4) Increase Plant Foods.
This is legumes, nuts and seeds. Try the dried legumes, not canned and better to eat raw nuts and seeds. Many people will eat too many nuts, like a whole bag of roasted cashews while watching a movie, because ‘everyone says nuts are healthy’. This is not what any one is suggesting to add to your daily diet and eating too many nuts can cause bloating.
5) Eat Salads.
Try adding Italian Parsley, Radicchio, fresh onion thinly sliced, a few walnuts to your next salad. For years, I hated salad, making salad, eating salad until, I discovered it was the Balsamic vinegar that I didn’t like. Luckily, I like to try new foods and one day, I bought aged Sherry vinegar and from there, I have had a love affair with salad.
Do try new foods, experiment and don’t give up. You’ll discover what you like and maintain a healthy lifestyle.