Food – it’s so delicious and wonderful. It is connected to so many experiences. It can be a social experience, bonding people together or, a personal experience where one finds comfort. People can also have different relationships with food, some positive and some negative. It can be hard to figure out what to eat especially in this world of highly processed, ready to serve options. So, what is it that we should be eating to stay healthy? Your body is a temple after all…
There are many diets out there being suggested by various groups of people depending on their interest and what works for them. What research suggests however, is the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. Lean proteins include fish and poultry, and my favorite part – red wine consumed in moderate amounts.
This type of diet, along with our previously mentioned exercise can reduce the risk of:
- Heart disease and stroke – by reducing your intake of processed food, red meat and dairy you reduce your risk of heart disease through lowering your cholesterol.
- Keeps you spry – studies have shown the diet decreases the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease because of it’s cholesterol lowering effects therefore improving blood flow and nutrient delivery to the brain. The diet decreases the incidence of Parkinson’s disease because of the high levels of antioxidants found in the fruits and vegetables consumed.
- Cancer – A decrease in the consumption of processed foods has been shown to decrease your chances of cancer.
This might be a drastic change from how you are eating now. I know it was for me! The important thing to remember as I mentioned in the last post is to start small. Your first step can be as small as switching your cooking oil to olive oil – tadaa, that’s it, you are one step closer to changing the way you eat for the healthier!
The next piece I committed to was always eating a healthy breakfast. I started eating yogurt, granola and berries instead of breakfast sandwiches or pastries. The rest of my meals remained the same as I usually ate. Then, as I got used to the change with breakfast, I worked on the next step.
Grocery shopping might become a little more difficult. One of the tricks I often hear is – always focus your grocery shopping on the outer walls of the store. The produce, bakery, and fish areas or walls. These areas contain the fresh food that you should be focusing on. Then as necessary, you can make targeted purchases within the aisle that would include your whole grains and potentially legumes. If you use this as a guideline and avoid the junk areas you will likely be less inclined to purchase the unhealthy processed stuff.
Taking a little time out of your week to plan your meals is also helpful. This way you know what you need when you go to the grocery store.
Just remember – change should happen in baby steps. It is easier to celebrate the successful and feel like the changes can be accomplished and sustained. We put these ridiculous timelines on ourselves in which we think we have to change our behavior in a certain timeframe or we have somehow failed ourselves. These timeframes are usually not realistic, and we do end up failing which only confirms within ourselves that we cannot do something.
Let’s stop this self-deprecating behaviour and commit to supporting ourselves in success. Move on to the next change once you have mastered the first and remember, every small change means you are one step closer to the big picture.
Just reading this post means you are one step closer to an improved wellbeing!
Thanks for reading and see you next time!