Eat Better, Feel Better – Easy Tips to get Started.
There are lots of programs out there that promise fast results if you follow a bevy of rules, restrictions and ridiculousness regarding your eating regiment. I have found that the most long term success comes with slowly implementing changes in the way you eat, eating a balance of foods and nutrients, and getting enough fiber. The recently updated Food Pyramid can give you more information on how much to consume based on age, gender and weight. They have meal plans and recommendations for children, adults and pregnant women. If you have the time there are also a great deal of free items you can request be mailed to you. Visit them at: My Pyramid.
But what about some things you can do quickly, today -to get in more nutrients per chew? Here are some tips from my own personal plan –
One of my favorite things to do is substitute. Don’t starve yourself, reward yourself and your body with healthy alternatives.
- Substitute Spinach for Lettuce in or on everything. Per 100 edible grams Spinach has: 2.86 grams of protein to Iceburg’s 1.0, Fiber: 2.7grams vs 1.4 grams, Calcium 99 mg vs. 19 mg, Iron 2.7 mg vs. 0.5 mg, Potassium 558 mg vs. 158 mg, Vitamin C 28.1 mg vs. 3.9, Folate 194.4 mcg vs. 56 mcg. The list goes on from the USDA Nutrient Database on why Spinach beats out Lettuce.
- Use Spinach on sandwiches and subs
- Throw some Spinach in a salad
- Add Spinach to your pasta, anything you like!
- Try switching to Agave instead of honey and sugar. Agave has long been known for its healing properties when applied to the skin as used by the Aztecs but it has even better results for those looking for sweetness. The carbohydrates in Agave nectar, when used moderately, do not cause the same blood sugar spike because they have a low glycemic index. Many groups are now turning to Agave, including those with ADHD, Diabetics, Health Conscious, and People Managing Weight. Keep in mind Agave can be processed “miel de agave” should not be. Maple Syrup is a non-processed alternative for those not looking for low GI foods.
- Use Agave instead of Syrup on your pancakes
- Use Agave instead of Honey in your tea
- Use Agave when baking
- Replace some of your grains and breads with 100 % Whole Grain / Whole Wheat. The process of making bleached white flour looses eaters over half of the vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fiber, with only a small percentage being put back in through “enrichment”. 100% Whole Wheat / Whole Grain products retain the bran and germ, and are a very good source of fiber. Of course, this does require reading on your part – read the labels and look for 100% Whole Wheat or 100% Whole Grain on the label and ingredients.
- Drink plenty of Water. The average adult is about 70% water so don’t skimp! Drink at least half of your body weight in fluid ounces per day. If you weigh 140 lbs, get at least 70 ounces per day of water. Water helps with brain functioning, reflexes, draining throughout the body, balancing minerals, and moving nutrients/vitamins through us. Not an avid water drinker, neither was I, try these tips:
- Buy yourself a BPA Free Water Bottle and / or refrigerator pitcher – use them, fill them, drink!!
- Lob a slice of lemon and a squirt of Agave into your water for taste. (I keep this in a fridge pitcher to refill my bottle before I go out).
- Cut up cucumber and throw it in a glass of water
- Pick up some pineapple and add it to water
- Mix some mint leaves in your bottle and hit the road
I was not compensated by any of the companies mentioned, they are companies that I personally use products from and have given my opinions on freely.