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Let’s face it – good nutrition is not about theory, it is about practice.
I have met many people who are proud of their knowledge about healthy lifestyle and who boast about it all the time. On the other hand, most of them were unhappy, unsatisfied, and always complaining about different health problems. They lacked the understanding of good nutrition. It is always easier to talk, (especially to advise others) than to move “from words to deeds”.
I used to read a lot (I still do) about different plants, their benefits, great recipes, bad habits etc., but it took me a while until I started implementing what I had learned until I started “living” it. Over the years, I also learned that certain simple things make the difference – simple adjustments to our eating habits can do miracles, and it did, in my case.
How did I achieve that?
Simple things make the difference
I used to put memos and notes on my fridge. When I came across an interesting recipe, information, advice, I just put it somewhere I could see it. This habit has resulted in me being more curious, passionate, and vivacious.
I also used all kinds of different family gatherings to experiment with new recipes and food. After a while, I realized that these gatherings also gave me a great opportunity to spend quality time with my children, to teach them about healthy food and lifestyle, and to test myself, my knowledge, and cooking skills.
The most important thing I did was to research. I used every resource to learn something new, not just from magazines, newspapers, and similar sources, but also from other people. I have met people with similar interest at the most unusual places – car wash shops, bus stops, boutiques, furniture shops, just name it. Some of them shared their personal experiences, both positive and negative, and this was priceless.
This is the list of the things that took me the longest to implement in my everyday life -the list of nutritional don’ts and dos.
Don’t count daily calories – it can be very destructive, annoying and stressful. Moreover, it won’t help you adopt a healthy lifestyle; you will just be obsessed with numbers.
Don’t skip meals – skipping it, especially breakfast, will only slow down your metabolism.
Don’t substitute fruit juices or other beverages made from juice for whole fruits.
Don’t eat fruits immediately after a meal – eat fruits alone or on an empty stomach. If you eat it after meal, your stomach will be bloated with air, the fruits will be held in the stomach for too long, and it will rot and ferment in the gut. It can lead to indigestion and other digestive discomforts.
Don’t eat too much or until you’re stuffed.
Don’t treat food as your emotional friend. When you find yourself emotionally drown to food, focus your thoughts on other things, or engage in other activities.
Don’t leave yourself dehydrated. We Need water for numerous very important reasons.
Don’t think too much about the food, you don’t live to eat, it’s vice versa.
Don’t think that healthy food tastes bad.
Don’t be impatient – eating healthy needs planning and patience.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry, you will be only focused on satisfying your hunger.
Buy food in its season; buy from local farmers; buy organic products;
Plan healthy menus with your family and enjoy preparing meals as a family.
If you need to buy packaged food, read the nutrition labels carefully.
Make your own food whenever possible.
Use extra virgin olive oil whenever suitable.
Keep raw vegetables in your fridge; they are the best snacks.
Try the food while cooking; do not just follow the instructions in the recipe.
Replace fried food with boiled or steamed whenever possible.
Slow down when you eat and chew properly.
Nurse your sweet tooth.
Try different cuisines – Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Greek.
Try to remember these quick facts:
Apples protect your heart.
Avocado benefits circulation and dilates blood vessels.
Bananas strengthen bones.
Blueberry blocks bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
Broccoli combats cancer.
Carrots save eyesight.
Cinnamon stimulates insulin activity.
Cucumbers are mild diuretics that help with rheumatism, skin infections, and constipation.
Dandelion is beneficial to digestion.
Fish boosts memory.
Garlic kills bacteria.
Ginger treats nausea, vomiting, headaches, stomachache, and rheumatism.
Grapes improve bloodstream.
Guava helps eliminate body toxins.
Honey increases energy.
Kale is beneficial for the stomach, liver, and immune system.
Kiwi is loaded with vitamin C.
Lemons smooth skin.
Mushrooms control blood pressure.
Nectarines are good for eyes and joints.
Oranges support immune systems.
Onions aid in cellular repair.
Papaya helps delay the aging process.
Parsley helps purify the blood.
Pears help lower cholesterol.
Pineapple helps digest food.
Plums have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Radishes have antibacterial properties.
Rice conquers kidney stones.
Spinach has a great amount of vitamin C.
Strawberries calm stress.
Tomatoes protect the prostate.
Walnuts lift the mood.
Watermelon helps heal wounds.
Yogurt helps us digest food better.
Should you take supplements?
There is no need to take supplements when everything you need you can find in nature.
Vitamin A can be found in milk products such as cheese, cream, or milk.
Vitamin C, important for the immune system, can be found in most citrus fruit and strawberries. Do not forget that vitamin C is in tomatoes, broccoli, and cantaloupe and turnip greens.
Vitamin D you can find in oysters, cheese, butter, cream, and margarine.
Vitamin E is found in seeds, green vegetables, corn, olives, spinach, and asparagus.
Vitamin K is naturally in cabbage, soy, cauliflower, and spinach.
Vitamin B1, known as thiamine, is consumed through whole grains, fortified cereals, soybeans, fish, lean meats, and beans.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is in green vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, almonds, and yeast.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) can be found in nuts, meats, eggs, legumes, and poultry.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is found in eggs, dairy products, legumes, beef, fish, and broccoli.
Vitamin B6 is found in grains, cereals, spinach, peas, and carrots.
Folate is found in green vegetables.
Beta-carotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, carrots, grapefruit, and spinach.
Good source of probiotics is plain yogurt and miso.
Only positive thoughts
Nutrition is not only about food and recipes; it is also about the positive way of thinking, and living. Think about these thoughts:
- Take baby steps
- Follow your heart
- March to your own beat
- Take chances
- Search for the answers
It is ok:
- To need help
- To start over
- To make mistakes
- To admit your weaknesses
- To want more for yourself
Remember – good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is not the only part.
Image credit: DepositPhotos.com
Last article update: 9/18/2019