4 Things You Can Do Nutritionally RIGHT NOW to Improve Your Life
Very few people have ever decided that they are going to just throw up their hands, decide that whatever happens happens, and just choose to stay sick and broken down and headed for an early grave.
But at the same time, the evidence is there that a big chunk of our culture has done just that.
We eat terribly. We're addicted to distraction. We spend enough of our lives not moving around to the point that movement becomes difficult—if not impossible—later in life.
And, any commercial break during any TV show at any time of day shows how much encouragement we are getting from the corporations intent on selling us more and more of this lifestyle that's killing us quicker than we could ever hope to manage on our own.
So, how do we fix it? How can you, today, start making better nutritional choices to feel better, live better, and simply be better?
I'm glad you asked. It's not nearly as hard as you might think.
1. Look at What You're Eating
The best way to get as many calories (and toxic chemicals, empty carbs, and stuff that isn't even food to begin with) through your mouth and down into your body is to just shovel it mindlessly in.
It's like the old adage: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In this case, if all you're eating is food from a bag or a box, then everything looks like food.
Which, of course, it isn't.
Instead, if you choose your food mindfully—and then eat it in the same way—you are quickly going to become aware of what, exactly, it is that you're eating.
And with everything you eat, ask yourself this question: Is this helping my body or hurting it? People know a Double Whopper with bacon-flavored cheese isn't good for you. But, what if you thought about it in this way: If I continued to eat this, every day, would it help me or hurt me?
The answer is obvious. And if you keep that question in mind when both choosing and consuming food, you'll be a lot more enlightened about what exactly is going into your body.
Just shovel it in. Seriously. Whatever it is, just eat it.
2. Eat Plants.
It's really that simple. Plants are healthy. They have almost all the nutrition inside them that you will ever need. Vitamins. Minerals. Fiber. A whole array of nutrients.
And the best way to start introducing more plants into your diet is to do just that. Introduce them.
Don't take anything else out of your diet. Eat what you're eating now. But add in two servings of vegetables to every meal. For those of us who aren't keen on counting, think about it this way: For every meal, half your plate should be vegetables. You like Twinkies? Fine. Keep eating Twinkies. But also add in some broccoli, or carrots, or (if you want to get fancy) a rutabaga. Whatever.
Just fill up half your plate with whatever vegetable you choose.
After a while of not feeling so horrid from dawn until dusk, you're body is going to adapt. It's going to want those vegetables. Like a truck you've been filling up with maple syrup for the past decade that now has a taste of what it feels like to run on premium gasoline, you're going to be surprised at how much you won't miss the garbage.
Don't eat them. Don't think about them. Don't even look at them. Pretend they are all poisonous. (Because let's face it... they are).
3. Quit Frying things.
Seriously. Just stop it. No more frying your food.
Oil just adds calories. You can still use your frying pans, but use them for steaming or sautéing. Or, if the temptation is too much, take all your frying pans and make decorative planters out of them. Or give your cat a little treat in the form of a much wider, slightly shallower, and be-handled new watering dish. Or fill them up with soil and start growing sprouts for all the salads you are going to look forward to eating in the future once your veins de-grease themselves and your body is more animal than off-shore oil well.
4. Understand Why You Eat What You Do
This is a big one.
A lot of why we eat isn't from nutritional deficit, but instead because we feel a certain way.
Happy? Grab an Oreo.
Sad? Grab a Double-stuff Oreo.
The food we eat often has very little to do if we're hungry or not. A lot of people (and I used to be this way, so don't accuse me of getting preachy on you) just eat out of simple boredom.
An Oreo in our culture is legitimately just something to do.
Being mindful about WHY you eat, on the other hand, puts the nutritional factorial back into the equation. If you are upset and start reaching into the snack cabinet, take a breath, and ask yourself why your hand is currently wrapped around a Ho-Ho. Are you hungry, really? Or are you eating out of emotion?
Eating mindfully is one of those habits that can make a big difference very quickly. We have members that come into the program that have legitimately never once thought about WHY they eat what they eat. And once that lightbulb goes on above their heads, you can see the change almost visibly in their faces.
Once you get it, you get it. And then, combined with the other steps on this list, eating starts becoming something life-giving and rewarding, and not a mindless exercise in chewing.
What steps do you want to take to begin eating better? Let us know in the comment section below!