By Libby Hayes, WHNP and Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG
The first, and most important way is to stop eating from boxes, bags, and cans. Stay away from the processed foods, try to eat raw and minimally processed as much as possible. Eat clean meats, meaning grass fed or free range, without antibiotics, steroids, and hormones. Consume clean vegetables and fruits, no pesticides used, organic. Low sugar, even if it is fruit, eat two or less servings a day. As for grains, the American Heart Society says that 6-8 servings of grains, with half of them being whole grains, a day is ideal. I strongly disagree. Limit these to 2-3 servings a day max with these servings being low- glycemic options such as brown rice and quinoa. Be sure to include healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil. They are essential for metabolism, mood, and hormone regulation. Avoid fast foods and COOK! Consider gluten-Gluten is an inflammatory protein found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley, rye, and occasionally oats. You should eliminate or reduce your gluten intake to assist in metabolism, digestive health and as an aide to reduce inflammation.
The second concept to consider is portion control. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card. Make breakfast your largest meal of the day, but not the typical high glycemic unhealthy fat American breakfast consisting of a stack of pancakes, two eggs, some bacon or a sausage biscuit and a glass of orange juice. Make your choices from low glycemic options or skip all the cooking and do a protein smoothie mixed with a few berries, almond milk, etc. Even consider adding kale, spinach or other greens to a blended smoothie for an extra nutritional punch. You’ll be amazed to find that when blended these greens are tasteless. I think that you should eat your fruit, don’t drink it, and when you do have fruit eat fruit choose lower glycemic options such as seasonal berries and melons. A lower glycemic breakfast means less spike in the blood sugar, and improved metabolism and less hunger before lunch and throughout the day. Lunch should be of average size, not the size of breakfast or dinner, but in between. Have some protein, a veggie or two, maybe even some brown rice. Now for dinner-choose something light, nothing big. High quality protein, healthy fats. Avoid the sugars and carbs and eat ideally before 7 pm. Realize that sugar, carbs and unhealthy fats make you sick and fat. Healthy fats, proteins and produce make you healthy!! When shopping for the food choices you plan to eat make the majority of your choices selections that you’ll find surrounding the periphery of your supermarket. There you will find produce and proteins. Be aware that 80-90 percent of the foods located within the inner isles are packaged and processed. Realize in reading labels if there’s more than three ingredients is not worthy of being called food!
The third way is to drink, water, water, and more WATER! There is no exact amount of water to drink, however a good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily, but generally the more active you are, the more you should drink. By increasing the amount of water you drink you can significantly reduce cravings, aches and pains and increase your energy and metabolism. Filtered reverse osmosis water is preferred. Reverse osmosis is sometimes known as ultra or hyper-filtration. It removes microbes, fluoride, chemical residue, etc. In home filters can be purchased relatively inexpensive cost and certain bottling companies use this filtration process. Drink water, and water only! Eat your calories and don’t drink them by consuming high sugar options such as sodas, juices and sweet tea.
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