Eating well...keep it simple.
Food can get to be so complicated, more than I want to deal with…I’d rather be in my studio making things, in the garden growing things, most anywhere than in the kitchen making stuff to eat.  I’d rather not spend too much time thinking about what to eat either…

The purpose of my post today is not to go on and on about why you should or shouldn’t eat certain things.  There is lots of information out there, and sometimes people have very strong opinions about what we should or should not put in our mouths.  Some of these convictions are based on good nutrition, and some of them are because of deeply held moral beliefs about eating animal products.

 I’ll say right up front that I am a meat eater.  I eat meat not because I have to have it - thinks it's amazing, but because I believe our bodies need a certain amount of protein gotten only from animals, to be healthy and function optimally. . However, I totally respect the vegetarians and vegans out there. Fresh and raw are what I love best.

 In considering how to write about this today, I decided on simple.  Offer some simple principles that others might find helpful.  I’m not going to go into the why of any of it, we’d be here all day.  I’ll follow up with a couple of things that worked for me, as I made my own food changes.

In making these changes, the goal is eating whole, unprocessed food.  This is not as difficult as you might think. It requires a little bit of time in the kitchen, but once you get the hang of things, it’s pretty simple.

 First, here are some things to avoid. The list is not exhaustive, and you might have something you could add to it. 

Refined Sugar of Any Kind
-go easy on honey and maple syrup too.

Processed Carbs/grains
- bread, baked goods, pasta, etc. Stuff that has refined wheat flour in it.  Whole wheat products are included. If you want to eat grains, try the sprouted variety.  The sprouting process changes the grain from a carb to a protein.

Dairy-if you have to eat dairy, eat organic dairy. The stuff they feed to cows these days is just awful.  It’s bad for humans….antibiotics, hormones….

Canned Veggies.  Go fresh! Frozen is the next best. Eat organic when you can.  The canned stuff has had the nutrition cooked right out of it.  Lightly steamed fresh is wonderful….

Caffiene- Coffee, tea…those yummy drinks from Starbucks are loaded with caffeine and sugar…rats!

Fruit Juice-it’s loaded with natural sugar, even the kind that says it has no sugar.

Artificial sweeteners-affects the brain in some very nasty ways.

Soda-give it up.  Especially the diet variety.

Processed Fats-margarine, stuff like Crisco, hydrogenated fats found in the likes of Jif peanut butter, etc.  Fats that have been altered and used as food.

Boxed cereal. Incredibly expensive and full of processed grains, sugar and preservatives.

 
Here are some good things to do:


Read the label when you go to the grocery store...

Drink lots and lots of water

Eat lots and lots of raw veggies and fruit.

Eat a good quality protein three times a day. 
Protein builds and sustains strength in the body-it keeps us healthy and evenly energized.  At least once a day, have the protein be animal protein.  Other good proteins are legumes and nuts.

If you have to have something sweet, then try a handful of raisins
.  Or a piece of your favorite fruit.

Eat nuts-not Planter’s peanuts….if you don’t have allergies, these are an easy way to get protein in your system.  Almonds are delicious!

Make your own veggie juice!  This will detox and energize your body like you can’t believe-and it tastes marvelous! 

Make smoothies in the morning-we put everything but the kitchen sink in ours.  My husband does not like to eat his vegetables, so I put them in his smoothie-he doesn’t know what he’s eating, and gets some nice raw, green nutrition in him.

 Here are a couple simple things you can do to make food changes easier. 
When I first started making this shift, 6 or 7 years ago, it was overwhelming.  It made me crabby!  It felt like work…so I tried to make it simple.  Very helpful.

You can’t do it all at once.  Make a list of all your unhealthy food habits-don’t be shy and do tell the whole truth!  Put them in order of badness.  At the top of the list should be whatever it is you are eating that is the worst for you. Mine was sugar.  Pick one and start with it.  Go gentle with yourself. Be patient.  One thing at a time.

For example.  I needed to stop eating wheat products. This is a hard one, because lots of what I liked to eat had wheat in it….so I cut back, and then found an alternative-sprouted bread and pasta.  While I can’t go hard core with this, I can eat it once in a while.

 Let’s say you like to eat box cereal in the morning.  It’s very convenient….think about something else you would like to eat instead.  Let it be a treat! You might have to get up a few minutes earlier to prepare it, but chances are your alternative would be easier on the budget and stay with you longer through the day.  Try a few things if need be-see what works best.  Don’t ever start your day on carbs and sugar.  Make sure you eat protein in the morning.

Sugar was at the very top of my bad list, and by far and away the most difficult to shift. I craved the stuff for months, even though I wasn’t eating any….the smell of chocolate chip cookies was enough to flatten my resolve…..For me it was a matter of knowing that I absolutely needed to be done with sugar-for the sake of my body. Giving it up was almost a spiritual practice.  I prayed and asked for help frequently….I kept raisins in the cupboard-this did satisfy the craving.  When I began  noticing how much better I felt, how much clearer my head was, then I was encouraged and kept going. I won’t lie.  I don’t think I am the sort of person who can have just a little bit and be ok-sugar and I have parted company for good. Sometimes you just have to draw a big line in the sand and stand on it.

 Keep it simple. Whole food.  Lots of water, good protein, fresh veggies and fruit.  Food does not have to be complicated to nourish and sustain you.

 


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