How would your life be different if...You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read? Let today be the day...You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life. Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today.
The manner in which we nourish ourselves is a reflection of how much we value our health. Is this too broad a statement? Consider if you are spending the few minutes it can take to prepare a healthy meal rather than ordering a pizza or getting fries with that, it says good health is important to you. On the other hand, a cabinet full of cookies, white bread and “convenience” foods reveals you haven’t given your well-being much thought.
That’s not the case anymore, is it my friend? The following strategies can be used all at once or one at a time to improve your health by changing the way you nourish yourself.
Don’t eat breakfast if you want to gain weight. A University of Massachusetts study found waiting more than three hours after waking to eat raises your risk of becoming obese by 43 percent. The study analyzed the habits of 500 men and women and also found eating breakfast away from home makes you 137 percent more likely to become obese. The numbers are more dire if you don’t eat breakfast at all, raising the chance you will become obese by 450 percent.
Be a homebody when you eat…I can hear you say, “Impossible! I hate to cook!” or “Who has time to cook!?” You will if you want to avoid the sodium-laden, trans-fat filled, sugary, extra-large portions common in restaurants. Sure, you can share a dish with a friend, order a salad or ask for the salmon without the sauce, but will it be the dessert tray or the drink specials that sabotage you? There are limitless resources of quick and healthy meal ideas on the internet, through apps and in good, old-fashioned cookbooks. Make it your goal to try one new recipe each week.
Play pantry police and toss out all the crap. How do you know if that innocent-looking treat is guilty of an assault on your health? Read the label…No, not the colorful logo on the front of the package featuring the dubious claims of low-fat, whole grain and all natural. Now you eat to nourish yourself, so ignore the billboard and read the black and white label. Here you will find the ingredients of the product listed in order of net weight. If any type of sugar is listed in the top five ingredients, or if hydrogenated oil appears, or if there is a 15-letter word that looks like the name of a central Asian country, you’ll know that criminal food needs to go away.
When you do sit down for the nourishing meal you’ve made, slow down by chewing each bite slowly and you’ll find more flavor and more satisfaction from the food you eat. Enjoying your meal will also reduce your cravings. However, understand your cravings by allowing each one to arise and pass. I’m not saying you can’t satisfy the craving, but do so with awareness. Really listening to your body will teach you when you are hungry versus when you want to eat out of habit or for emotional reasons. Finally, eating at regular intervals is a good way to maintain your energy and avoid overeating.