Column,  Eat This, Not That,  Spring 2018

Improve your diet with healthier food choices

Improve your diet with healthier food choices on your journey towards healthier eating.

The road to health is long and twisted. It can feel overwhelming and there is a definite learning curve. When it comes to making healthier food choices there are so many conflicting diets that it can be paralyzing. In this series,” Eat this Not That” our goal is to assist you on your journey towards healthier eating.  As we navigate through the different ways we can improve our diet here our guiding principles:

  • One size does not fit all. Although we are very similar in a general sense, the nuances in our genetic makeup can have an impact on how we metabolize or break down food. Our goal then is to find the combination that works best for us individually. This requires a refined awareness of how we respond physically, and emotionally to the foods we ingest. 
  • Practice and all is coming. We have inherited many of our bad habits when it comes to eating. We did not get here overnight, and most of us will not be able to break these habits by going “Cold Turkey.”  We must be purposeful in how to make these changes. To discontinue habitual behavior we must derail existing habits and create a window of opportunity to act on new intentions. Secondly, repetition is key. Lastly, there must be stable context cues available to trigger a new pattern. “
  • Honor every milestone. We are often so focused on our big goal that we forget to honor the mini-milestones required to make it there. Acknowledging these moments allows us to see our progress and allows us to overcome feelings of defeat. 

The first meal of the day

Breakfast is our most important meal of the day.  We are literally “breaking a fast.” Therefore it is important that our first meal of the day is light to allow our system to eliminate  toxins and metabolic waste. The current trend is to have a heavy breakfast and unfortunately it has become very processed. We want to replace our cereals, bacon, eggs, with whole foods that keep us energized throughout the day so we do not require coffee to make it through the day.

Like Coffee?

Coffee is the go-to for most of us to start our day unfortunately long-term use of coffee can have a negative impact on our health. One of the ways it can affect us is by interfering with our absorption of vital minerals. Also, coffee is very acidic and can irritate the stomach and the lining of your small intestine which can eventually lead to ulcers, gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Instead, do this

Lemon Water: Lemon water is a great way to kick start your day. It is energizing, has a long list of health benefits, and will help remove the toxins in our bodies. 

Chai Tea: This Indian tea is a powerful blend of tea, herbs, and spices. Although it has caffeine, it is significantly less than what we find in a cup of coffee with a long list of health benefits. It improves digestion, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation, and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that chai has antibacterial and anti-cancer effects.

Green Smoothie: A green smoothie is a great way to boost your energy levels while reaching your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables. Full of the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive, this makes for a great breakfast.

Crave Cereals? 

Cereals tend to be a  staple for breakfast. Unfortunately, although convenient it is not our optimal choice. They are loaded with pesticides, sugar, and other chemicals used for coloring, preserving or flavoring. This can lead to mineral loss. Moreover, many of these cereals are fortified with synthetic vitamins which is not the same as finding it from a natural source. 

Instead, do this

Overnight Oats: If time is of the essence overnight oats is a great way to have a wholesome breakfast on a time crunch. It is super-easy to prepare, portable, inexpensive and a delicious way to get your day off on the right foot.

Granola:  Granola is the easiest replacement for cereal. By substituting a healthy granola for cereal, you’ll cut oat loads of artificial ingredients and sugar from your morning meal. Also you can have tons of fun creating your own granola recipes. 

Smoothie Bowl:  When having a smoothie bowl, think ice cream for breakfast, but instead of being loaded with sugar it’s filled with fruits, superfoods, and love. Depending on your ingredients a smoothie bowl can be a great source of fiber, protein and natural sugars. 

Here are a few recipes to help you transition to healthier breakfast options

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