How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle by Eating the Right Foods
If you want to be healthy and fit, you must exercise regularly and follow a strict diet. Of these, many people would find regular exercise easier to do. For one thing, you don’t have to exercise everyday to get fit. Second, 30 minutes to 1 hour is all the time you need for exercise.
But diet is a different story. The word “diet” connotes images of people suffering; of bland, tasteless food or perhaps rail- thin supermodels munching on carrot sticks.
In truth the word “diet” is a misnomer. A diet is not only designed to lose weight. There are diets to put on weight and for maintaining weight. If properly planned, a diet isn’t a four- letter word.
The Road to a Healthy Lifestyle Does Not Start in Your Stomach
Can you imagine what would happen if you put diesel in your gasoline- powered car? You will spend thousands of dollars flushing out all the diesel fuel from your car and by then, there would be other damages as well.
What you eat affects everything you do. You have to make smarter choices when it comes to healthy eating. If you consistently eat junk foods or those that are heavily processed with refined sugars, high- fructose corn syrup, excessive amounts of sodium and artificial ingredients, your body and health will pay for it.
The ingredients used for food processing have been linked to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Unmitigated consumption of these items will lead to deteriorating health and unending medical bills.
So why do people eat these types of foods if it can make them seriously ill?
It’s because many have been influenced or “programmed” by Big Business that food has to taste good to make you feel good. Food undergoes processing to improve taste, extend shelf life and lower cost. Of course, Big Business will not tell you the important disclaimer about processed food.
It can kill you.
The road to a healthier lifestyle does not start in your stomach. It starts in your mind.
Unlearn all the ideas Big Business has driven into your consciousness. Let go of your unsubstantiated beliefs that healthy food is bland and tasteless. Instead of validating your choice with price, why not try to value your own health?
If you want to eat healthy, you must open your mind to all the possibilities and fully embrace its benefits.
Best Sources of Healthy Food
If you shouldn’t eat processed foods what should you eat?
Your best sources of healthy food are those that are un-processed or produced using farm- friendly methods. This means fruits and vegetables should not have been exposed to chemicals and pesticides. Meat should not have been injected with hormones or fed whole grains.
In order to function well, you should have the right balance of macronutrients. These macronutrients or macros; carbohydrates, protein and fat all play distinct functions in the human body:
- Carbohydrates – Immediate source of energy; converted into glycogen and stored into muscle tissue. Also essential to fast track recovery after exercise.
- Protein – Made of amino acids which comprise muscle tissue, bones, ligaments and skin. Protein initiates repair and rebuilding of muscle tissue damaged during exercise.
- Fat – Protects cells; spares protein from getting used up. Healthy fat such as Omega- 3’s is good to ensure heart health.
There are many great sources to get your daily requirement of macronutrients. In addition to macros, these sources are also rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy compounds that fight cancer, strengthen the immune system and regulate blood sugar.
Here is a grocery list of the best sources of food:
- Brown rice
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Fruits of Various Colors
- Grass Fed Beef
- Organic Poultry
- Lean Porkloin
- Greek Yogurt
- Olive Oil
- Ground Flaxseed
The Best Way to Prepare… and Enjoy Healthy Food
One of the biggest myths in eating healthy is that food doesn’t taste good. It’s easy to make healthy food taste good by following these simple tips:
- Don’t Store Meats for a Long Time. Cook protein sources such as beef and chicken on the day you bought them. Or if you want to marinate them, 24 hours from date of purchase. Remember raw food creates the ideal conditions for contamination. It will continue to deteriorate even when it is in the refrigerator.
- Flavor Your Food Well. One of the best ways to prepare food is braising. The first step is to set up your flavor base which is made up of vegetables such as carrots, celery and onions. Vegetables have natural sugars which help flavor your food. Next use healthier options such as low sodium soy sauce, mustard or sesame oil for another layer of flavor.
- Best Ways to Cook Your Food. Aside from braising, baking, grilling are other healthier options to prepare your food because it decreases the fat content.
Finally spread out your meals throughout the day. Try to eat 5 meals broken down as 3 large meals and 2 snacks. Eating frequently increases metabolism and keeps you from going hungry.
Eating healthy does not have to be a challenge. When you are assured of your health, you live a better life. Now that is real comfort food!