Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Land of Confusion


Don’t eat carbs, eat every 2-3 hours, don’t snack, eat every 5-6 hours, don’t eat fruit, eat fruit, coffee is bad, coffee is good for your brain…

There is so much conflicting information when it comes to diet. How is a girl to know what to eat?  The simple truth is : you already know.

For years and years  we have followed the experts and let them tell us what to eat and when. Each time we decide to get “back on track” we find the latest diet bestseller and decide that this time we will succeed. Then we don’t, only to cycle through it all again and again.

First you need to start with what foods you like. Yes I am totally serious! Grab a cup of coffee and sit down with a pen and paper and write down what you like to eat. Even the “bad” stuff.  The next step is to figure out when you are hungry. For instance, some people are not very hungry in the morning, so a small breakfast is good for them.  Just make sure that the small meal is packed with nutrition.  A small bowl of oatmeal with a little brown sugar and some crushed almonds on top OR an egg and a piece of whole grain toast.

Then there is lunch. I prefer a warm lunch, usually leftovers from the night before OR I make a big pot of soup early in the week and I’ll eat that all week. A sandwich is a great choice for those on the go, but make that sandwich at home rather than depending on a deli to do it. Make it a little healthier by putting some dark green lettuce (not iceberg) or some sliced radishes on it.

Play with your food. YES!  Play with it and let your kids try new things…if you have never had a radish EVER then buy some and slice them really thin and use it on that sandwich or salad. Just a side note for the parents: forcing kids to eat an entire plate of food is never a good idea. Having to taste something that is on their plate is.  Everyone knows someone that has bad memories connected to a food that was forced upon them. We want our kids to grow up with a healthy relationship to food. Let them choose what’s for dinner once a week. Have them pick a grain, vegetable and protein. Have them join in on some of these decisions and it takes some of the stress off of you.

Take the time to think about your day. If you notice by the afternoon that there hasn’t been any veggies in your meals so far, make sure to have some at dinner. If you already know in the morning that you are going out for dinner and will undoubtedly order your favorite spinach&artichoke cheesy dip, then eat smart throughout the day- lots of veggies, some lean protein, you get the picture.

We know that polishing down a entire pizza is not healthy. But if you enjoy pizza, have a slice with some salad OR that delicious antipasto.  It is all about balance, isn’t it? Truth be told, the more healthy foods that you incorporate into your day, the less room you will have for the unhealthy stuff. Keep it simple, but keep it fun.

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