A Little Education + One Step At A Time = Healthy Lifestyle
If you are reading this, more than likely you are wanting to start eating healthier, feel more energetic, or maybe lose weight. I am just getting this blog going so I feel I need to share what got me, and keeps me, motivated...two things: Education and taking it a step at a time.
When you think of healthy food, what comes to mind? It means different things to different people. To some, it may mean pre-packaged protein bars or granola. To others, it may mean bland, flavorless food that you have to force yourself to cough down in the name of being healthy. Well I asked myself the same question after years of trying lots of different fad diets. I decided to just get educated on healthy eating as lifestyle, not a short-term fix. I read books and blogs, or whatever I could to really understand how to eat to look and feel my best, naturally. No pills or concoctions. No starvation or deprivation. I took a Nutrition course in my culinary program and received my certification in nutrition. I kept running into "Clean Eating" and eating "Whole Foods", etc. I learned about nourishing my body with the right fuel. I learned about resetting my palette. I have always tried to eat right, but I found out why what I tried never really turned into a lifestyle. I am not here to say I have the answers, but I am saying educate yourself. Learn what real food is and what it is not. Maybe you have special dietary needs such as a food allergy, or you need to eat a low-sodium diet. Everyone has different tastes and dietary needs, but there are a few basics that I feel are the foundation of what is healthy, real food. Here are just a few.
Real food is:
Whole foods that have one ingredient, like fruits and vegetables
Packaged food that have just a few ingredients
Dairy products like milk and yogurt with no added sugar
Breads and grains that are 100% whole grain ( refined grains have far less nutritional value )
Lean meats and poultry ( free of hormones and antibiotics)
Dried fruits, nuts, and seeds
Foods that are more a "product of nature" than a "product of industry"
You can eat good, real food without eating "diet" foods and still lose weight if that is your goal. The key is balance and portion control. Think of it like this. God made your body for YOU. It is made for you to live a full and happy life! We need to take care of it! We care for our families,our homes, our cars, and our pets. Yet sometimes, we neglect our own bodies. Think of this health and fitness journey as being a good steward over your body. It will change the way you think about what you put into it. So back to the original point: Educate yourself on nutrition. Learn why whole grains are better for you, what foods can lower your bad cholesterol, etc.
Next is taking this a step at a time. Maybe you go through the drive-thru almost every day. Maybe you are a junk-food junkie. You can't expect to dive in and completely change overnight to eating healthy. What you can do is take it a step at a time. Maybe give up sodas and replace it with water. Maybe decide to cut out added sugar in your diet. Take one step, be determined, and stick to it. When you have that down, take another step, then another until you have created new healthy habits in place of bad-for-you habits. Add in an exercise routine, and you will be on your way to a new and healthy lifestyle! When you start to see results in your weight, your energy level, and better check-ups at the doctor, you will be so glad you did! And you will never want to go back to your old way of eating. Now, we all have a life to live, with family dinners, parties, holidays, etc. We will all have times to splurge. But I can tell you that feeling the way I do now,after eating a clean diet, I would never give it up. An occasional splurge is totally realistic and fine, but I honestly love and crave real food, especially if it is prepared in delicious ways! I will be sharing some delicious recipes with you that you and your family will love! I am excited to share this journey with you!