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Tuesday, December 27, 2005
A short guide to making better, smarter, more empowered eating choices.

** RESPECT your body. Understand the role your food choices play in your health. Ask yourself; Where are poor food choices showing up in my health, energy or appearance?

** START SEEING FOOD for what it is. Most chain restaurant and packaged foods are the same six or seven cheap ingredients combined different ways. Most of those ingredients are not ones you want to be eating in any quantity. Notice how food is marked and advertised. What are the tactics the company is using to get you to buy it? What emotional or social benefit are they implying?

** DON'T TRY TO ELIMINATE all the things you love. But do reduce the frequency and/or portion size of the ones you know aren't good for you. Also look for healthier options, and try new things now and then!

** LEARN TO COOK for yourself and family, and do it together -- often. It is possible to whip together a fine, fresh dinner in under 30 minutes. You can do breakfast or lunch in five!

** CHOOSE FOODS less for what they don't have in them, and more for what they do have to offer your body, both in terms of quality and effectiveness. If the food isn't based on healthy, nutritious ingredients, even if it does'nt have anything really "bad", you can choose better.

** GO FOR BASIC GOODNESS . The closer to the original form of a food, the more it has to offer. Taste, satisfaction and nutrients all peak in fresh fruit, for example. Frozen fruit, a bit less so, and canned the least. Choose fresh, locally grown food whenever it is ripe or available.

** DON'T ASSUME that fresh and organiz are necessarily more expensive. That's not always the case. Also, if you think you can't afford it, figure out how much you spend now on eating out, sodas, processed foods, etc. It's a matter of priority. If we stuck to fresh foods and eliminate the sweet beverages, snacks and prepared convenience foods, most of us could afford the best produce available and have money left over.

** LOOK AT long term cost savings of eathing healthy (reduced health problems and medical costs, less money spent on weight reduction, weight camuflage, etc.) As with waste management and energy production cost questions, people often forget to calculate the total costs associated with theri food choices.

** BE LABEL SMART. Ingredients are listed in teh order used. Sugar assumes several disguises, such as fructose, sucrose and other "ose" endings. Be especially wary of high fructose corn syrup. Also beware of refined fats. Trans fats are not currently listed as such, but anything that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil will contain trans fats in similar proportion.

** BE CAUTIOUS of foods that proudly trumpet that they are "fat free" or "sugar free". If they don't have good stuff in them, it does'nt really matter. Also watch out for "made with whole graion!" marketing messages. The product may have just a little whole wheat mixed in with mostly refined.

** RESIST ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT offers and avoid restaurants that trade on "Bootmless" bread baskets. Also be wary of food products or menus that use words like "giant", "Colossal" and "extreme" to flaunt their wares. Real quality is likely not a priority here. Keep in mind that most U.S. restaurants are simply not very good at vegetables, fruits or whole grains. They are good at industriallyproduced proteins, fats and refined grains. Does'nt your body deserve better!.

** GET PEEVED. If you are in a restaurant and can't find anything to eat, tell the management you're disappointed and find a new restaurant. Some goes with finding organics and healthy items at you local store.

** WORK THE MENU. Recombine ingredients at will. Ask to have the pasta sauce put over grated vegetables. Have your sandwich fillings rolled up in a large lettuce leaf or tossed with salad greens. Have your steak with mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.

** CUT YOURSELF OFF. If you have trouble with portion control, don't take an open bag of snacks with you while you do something midnless. If you're served a large plate at a restaurant, immediately ask to have half of the portion put in a doggy bag for another meal.

** PORTION CONTROL, for health first, then indulge your desires. If you eat your entire meal and still want and don't initiate "gotta have more" cravings the way many processed, sweetened and artifically flavored products do.

** FEED YOURSELF for health first, then indulge your desires. If you eat your entire meal and still want the bread, have a slice. But if you start with the bread beforehand, you may fill up on it.

** CARRY A STASH of healthy snacks and "convenience foods" woth you. Get a good, easy to carry cooler and some portable, reusable foor storage containers each day -- before you leave the house. Look into getting a tiny fridge for you cube or office so you don't even have to make a foray into the vending room.

** INOCULATE YOUR KIDS against marketing messages and gimmicks designed to get them to beg for unhealthy food. Start teaching them now about how nutrition affectrs their health and happiness.

for more suggestions and resources that can help you start eating more safely, see the online version of this article at lifetimefitness.com/magazaine.

posted by infraternam meam @ 5:09 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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