Healthy Eating is Not Easy!
I know that when it comes to eating well, we can get a bit overwhelmed, off the tracks, and lose our ability to “eat well ALL the time”. On top of work and the stress surrounding our daily lives, eating balanced meals that are nutritious and satisfying on a consistent basis is a bit of a struggle. However, learning to incorporate some healthy eating patterns into our lifestyle furthers our possibility to live the life we desire. I’m pleased that I’ve found through trial and error and research healthy eating patterns that offer the highest benefit for the calories ingested. That’s especially important if you are concerned about weight management.
I love Virginia Woolf’s quote “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”.
We know it’s not easy, yet you will benefit greatly by considering these five areas to become your habits!
Meet nutritional needs with nutrient-dense foods.
As 21st century women, we concern ourselves about the nutrition that comes from the food we ingest. Just about every food we purchase has FDA required information including calories and basic vitamins and minerals. Nutrient-dense foods are the greatest thing since .. yes – the 19050’s adage – “sliced bread”. Why? First, they provide concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients that provide stable fuel for the body to stay energized and alert throughout the day. Second, and this is wonderful for weight management concerns, these foods cost you the least in terms of calories! Eating nutrient-dense foods will burn more calories alone than eating poor quality foods and working out intensely afterwards.
Fight stress with “Super Foods”!
Certain foods can diminish our energy source and create additional harm by creating inflammation within the body, which not only leads to a weakened immune system, but also can even increase depression and/or rage. Healthy anti-inflammatory foods, some of which are also super foods may actually calm your nerves on a biological level. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (wild cold-water fish, salmon) keep stress hormones out of our nerve cells. Dark chocolate also is anti-inflammatory (in moderation) and it regulates cortisol and hormone levels to help decrease stress levels by creating a stabilized internal environment within the body. Vitamin supplements help as well, such as B-12 to reduce stress.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” – Brillat-Savarin
Food is more than just something to throw in your mouth when you feel that hunger approaching during mealtimes. It is fuel for your entire system to help you become the best version of yourself! Especially when you are under stress and you are looking for a quick snack to boost your energy levels, always go to the raw options first. Fresh fruit (such as: apples, pears, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, etc.) or nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, etc.) will do the trick. Think trail mix for a more creative and sweet approach. Trail mixes are fantastic and nutritious, providing you with a mix of dried fruits (such as dates, prunes, currents, raisins, figs, etc.) and nuts (these nuts can be roasted or raw, depending on what you prefer). So all you beautiful women visit your local health food store and get these simple yet nutritious snacks that will make for a great healthy eating pattern.
Keep a food journal handy.
Remember the traditional diary where we write our inner most thoughts and feelings? Well, a food diary is similar in that it collects all of your meals in an organized way so that we may become familiar with our habits. The cool thing about a food journal is that you get to write down not only the foods you eat, but the emotions that come along before and after you eat a certain food. For instance, are you eating that slice of double fudge chocolate cake because you are hungry, sad, happy, or angry? Here is where you get to observe your own mind patterns and how they relate to your eating habits. Let’s continue with the cake example. After you ate it, how did you feel? Do you feel fatigued, numb, or angrier as a whole? You can follow the signs your body is trying to show you and learn about how food actually affects your state of being. Then you can incorporate those analytical skills to promote healthy eating habits in the long run, and let go of the foods that negatively affect you and your body.
Water is your friend.
Running around town doing errands, grocery shopping, or driving your kids to soccer games all encompass a busy lifestyle. Whether your priorities are your children, work, family, or any other passion, women sometimes forget to take care of themselves first. Remember, if you don’t love yourself fully first, you will never be able to give that love to anyone outside yourself in a balanced state of mind. So look after YOU and drink more water! The general recommendation is that you drink from 7-8 cups of water each day (side-note: remember to always consult with your medical professional before altering any part of your diet). If you can drink 1 cup of water as soon as you wake up and then sporadically throughout the day, you will get used to it.
Whether it is with a meal or on its’ own, drinking water ultimately keeps our bodies happy and healthy by stimulating digestion and circulation within the body that also helps to detox us on a regular basis. It cleanses the entire system so that you end up feeling refreshed and moreover, energized. It can even make your skin glow. If you feel that water sounds boring, you’re right. Sometimes the taste can get bland. When that happens, try adding some lemon juice in it or a piece of apple or strawberry. This makes for a delicious drink that’s mainly water based!
Incorporating these five healthy eating patterns generates positive results by supporting healthy body weight. Additionally, these patterns can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and essentially attune the body to be functioning at its best so that you as a powerful woman can take on the world each day with gusto!
Let’s ELM HEALTHy Eating Patterns!!!