“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Here’s a basket of info and techniques to jump-start your resolve and increase your chance for success. It takes at least 21 days to get a new habit started well, so if you begin today, you’ll have a successful first month of 2010 and it will help to shape a successful year.
Here’s a first pass at suggestions to start now:
___ Use only fresh, seasonal food. It is less expensive and it helps your body by being in tune with your natural instincts. Your body knows what it needs to endure in each season; the fact that you can get out-of-season “food” only confuses it, and that leads to complications and possible dis-ease.
How do you know what is in season? Go to your market and look for the least expensive fresh foods! But, if you are at home planning menus or looking at recipes, you can use Seasonal Food Availability Charts by month, by hemisphere.
This will help you make a healthy, budget shopping list, which will give you more healthy food for your money.
___ Cooking your food at home need not be difficult or time consuming. It is a fundamental skill that you literally cannot live without. I was shocked to see how even some 50 and 60 year olds had never learned to cook, when I watched the first episode of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” last week.
Yes, I was totally shocked by the ineptitude of all these people and the lack of respect for themselves and their well-being that this ignorance engendered!
And, when several of the people were shown again at the end of the episode, I was also impressed at how their knowledge base expanded exponentially in just one lesson, along with their confidence!
Every city has places where there are food demonstrations, and if you can afford it, go get real cooking lessons, but if you cannot, then buy a good, basic cook book and start at page 1. If you learn technique and understand the principles, you can cook anything in a healthy way.
Make sure you get a recipe book which has the nutritional content along with each recipe or use the recipes at a site which does, too.
I will be putting my own easy-to-make-food information out soon; I’ll let you know when you can buy it online on a print-on-request site for a reasonable fee.
___ Have at least 30 favorite, healthy recipes which you feel comfortable making. Use these staples to make either 2 meals per day for a fortnight OR use them to take one meal’s slot for a month. Variety will help you stick to any regimen. If you just learn 1 or 2 recipes a week, you will change your life quickly for the better.
‘Make sure you stay with a portion size which will give women about 1600 calories a day and men about 2,000 calories a day. Anything less than that, as typical diets are, will NOT give you enough to get proper nutrition’, so says the editor of Prevention Magazine, and I agree, even if you are taking supplements. Food provides factors we don’t even know about, let alone can reproduce in a lab. Supplements are just that; they are not the solution, and most of us need them as a back-up support system to help, as we are stressed all the time.
Obesity and morbid obesity are epidemic among all age groups in America, Britain and Australia, for sure. Some other countries are not far behind. As people become impoverished in this financial tsunami, if you are not putting Healthy Food First (TM), then expect that you will find your budget stretched to the max with medical bills or pills or worse. Eating too few calories makes your body think it is going to be starving and starts a bad biochemical cascade; and eating poor food tells your body that you ARE starving, and it keeps eating. Both result in obesity. But, when you eat healthy, whole, fresh food and treat it lightly and carefully in cooking, your body IS nourished and relearns to be satisfied with just an amazingly reasonable amount of food.
___ If you want to make double-recipes and freeze half, then you have you’ll half a month of main meals already made! If you get into the rhythm of this, then you can make a huge change in your budget, health and time available for other things, daily.
One relative held a full-time, executive job, with 2 children (starting when about 8-9 and 11-12 years old) and a husband she was teaching to cook, gradually over a year, starting by being there as she did this once-a-week or once-a-month cooking and freezing, depending on her schedule. By the end of the year, he could do the whole regimen, and will never be stuck eating commercial ready-made “food” and he can be a real partner. Each child had prep and clean-up chores and it became a great use of quality family time. Now the kids know how to cook, too, and know it’s easy to make real food, so don’t get sucked in to junk food.
This requires an upfront commitment, but the rewards are great and are life-long.
___ Eat about every 4 – 5 hours, and preferably make your meals about the same size and importance, along with a snack about 8 – 9 pm. Having each eating session be about 400 calories of balanced, high mineral, high vitamin, healthy fat and moderate proteins what we want to aim for or make 3 meals and a smaller snack but have the meals fairly equal.
Some people need a slightly bigger meal at breakfast, others at dinner. If you know by instinct, then honor that, but if it is a dinner, make sure you eat early, and are finished by 6:30 pm – 7pm at the latest – the earlier everyone eats dinner, the better. Some body types want more equal meals, and if you don’t have an instinct, then use that schedule format. Never skip meals.
___ Make your plates look full. Use luncheon size plates for most meals.
___ The protein should be about the size and thickness of a deck of cards (about 3 – 4 ozs. cooked) or half that for a lesser meal. Two eggs, equivalent beans and dried peas or dals, as well as nuts and seeds are other protein options. Four ounces of red meats or 6 ozs of fish are the max your body can process for a protein source at one meal, so that great big juicy 12 oz. steak mostly is not even used and just becomes toxic waste that overtaxes your kidneys!
___ Vegetables are the only carbohydrates that you need to use. They should be preferably fresh or frozen, not canned, and should take up the rest of the plate i.e. about 70% – 80% of the plate’s area.
As carbs, all veggies should be the mainstay of your diet in all seasons, and I include potatoes and sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots in sometimes, and in appropriate amounts and preparations. Most vegetables are potent alkalizers. You DO NOT NEED any other carbs, and if you use grains, be especially careful, as huge numbers of people have food sensitivities to them or outright allergies. Rice and Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth are the least likely to produce allergy. Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth are actually, botanically, fruits, and are alkaline foods!
Listen to your body; if you truly, deeply don’t “like” a food, don’t eat it. If you want to check if you are likely sensitive to it (or anything else in your environment), follow the instructions at: Kiniesiology Self-Testing.
___ You also need monosaturated or omega-3 healthy fats. Use 1 1/2 t per meal of hemp oil or flax oil (never cook either of these!) or have about 1 1/2t of olive oil or 1 1/2T vinaigrette dressing (with organic olive, flax or hemp oil and organic apple cider vinegar and lemon juice) or organic butter or ghee on them (which ever is appropriate). No margarine; no “vegetable” oils; no deep fried foods or hydrogenated fats like Crisco.
Healthy saturated fat is organic coconut oil. Healthy and saturated fat in the same breath is not an oxymoron. Read my articles in the Archive, above, about the miraculous goodness of coconut. But it is a limited food, when used in its fat form. You need just a tiny bit, daily, to help produce important hormones, and “no”, other saturated fats won’t provide the same benefit.
___ Fruits are dense carbohydrates and are Nature’s dessert. They should be used only once or twice a day, at most, and NO fruit juices — they are blood-sugar imbalancers. Only some fruits are alkaline and all cooked fruits are pH acidic — not where you want to be!
Never use high fructose corn syrup in anything and never use fructose as your sweetener — these are VERY bad for creating high blood sugar readings.
Agave nectar is the best sweetener for diabetics; it is natural and low-glycemic, but it has an acidic pH, so so use it moderately. Buy an organic version.
Use NO artificial sweeteners, including the ones like sucralose which pretend they are not different from Nature, but they still are, as Nature does not chlorinate sugars!
___ Science shows that your brain is calculating visually as to whether it thinks there’s “enough”, and if not, then you will trigger biochemistry which causes you to over-eat by not being satiated. That’s another reason to fill every plate or bowl with lots of nutrient-dense yet low-calorie marvelous veggies!
Eat slowly, as it takes 20 minutes for satiation signals to operate in your brain. Be mindful of your eating; be in a quiet environment or at least a relaxed one. Chew well, preferably chew each bite to liquid.
___ Try to find actual time every day for Quietude or Meditation – formal or informal. And, just walk after one meal, for about 20 – 30 minutes at a moderate – to brisk, but still “conversational” pace. You should never be breathless.
While you can still view it online, spend a little time watching “This Emotional Life” on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Later, you will still be able to buy the DVD. Last night Episode 3 aired for 2 hours — “Finding Happiness” was fascinating and worthwhile. I encourage you to see it. Finding Happiness – “This Emotional Life”, PBS At the moment, it’s in a video which you can stop and start, if you act now, fitting it in as you can.
OK, I’m going to finish this post and may add another similar one later.
At some point, hopefully soon, Dear Reader, I will return to the Iodine Series to finish up, but I am bogged down about half-way through an 150 page tome and I don’t have the time to finish it right now. Please bear with me.
(c)2010 Em at http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please write to the About Me page on the upper navigation bar for permission if you are using more than a couple of sentences to quote. Thanks.