Hello everyone – make this day the best ever. Then do the same tomorrow.
Good Nutrition: Can you extend your life span with good nutrition? Not looking for perfect, just good. Your nutrition does not have to be treated like a job. It can be virtually simple.
One of my mottos; “people make things more difficult, than what it is". Here are my rules for keeping it healthy and fun.
1) Small Healthy Plate: Approach your changes gradually and with commitment. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your nutrition in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Please do not keep filling up those large plates you purchased for display, which is too much food for one meal.
2) How Do You Eat? Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate or how great your food smells—it is also about how you think about food. It is important to think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down. Wow that sounds like me a long time ago, one large pineapple and hamburger pizza and down it went in less than 4 minutes. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Chew your food slowly. For soft foods, chewing it 5-10 times is adequate enough while harder foods should be chewed for 10-30 times until it forms into a mushy texture. I tend chew at least 40 times per bite. Please do not chew like a horse .We tend to rush through our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food.
3) Fruits & Vegetables: This is your foundation of a healthy you. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal. In my book “Who Says You Can’t have It All” I talk about experiencing different fruits & vegetables from different cultures. Try bright and dark green vegetables such as kale, mustard greens, broccoli, bok choy, Asian pears, jack fruit and Chinese cabbage. All are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C.
4) Carbohydrates & Grains: Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. Whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Good carbohydrates - include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbohydrates are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable. Bad carbohydrates - are foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Unhealthy carbohydrates digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Try different grains - wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. Beware of the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran can be deceptive. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” at the beginning of the ingredient list. Avoid: Refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain and full of sugar.
5) Yummy Proteins: Protein gives you the energy to get up and go—and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. A lack of protein in our nutrition can slow growth, reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, growing and changing daily. Here are some different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, and soy. Black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good options. Avoid salted or sugary nuts and refried beans.
6) Sugar & Salt: Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Most of us consume too much salt in our daily nutrition, which can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems. Try to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.