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We are what we eat

June 14, 2011

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a health information seminar. The seminar was to promote a nutritional wellness product, but the speaker gave some great insight on some things that I absolutely agreed with and wanted to share/ talk about.

The basic premise was that we are what we eat.

We are what we eat

The bottom line is if you eat like crap, you feel like crap.  As a nation we are often sick, depressed, struggling with acne, stressed out, fighting disease, tired, etc. and we wonder why. So much of that is simply what we eat! We aren’t nourishing our bodies.

With movies and books out like Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation, it’s no secret that we as Americans have begun to recognize we need to change the way we live (our eating and exercise habits), but with all the confusing advertisements I know personally it can be hard to really understand what is healthy and what isn’t. Products throw in phrases like fat free, whole grain, or sugar free on their labels to get consumers thinking they’re buying a healthy product. It can be a struggle to really understand what eating “good” is.

Truthfully foods that are the best for our bodies are those found in their natural states like fruits, vegetables, and grains- the foods God created and intended for us to eat- and our bodies are craving these nutrients. It’s really that simple!

Check out the new food plate put out by the USDA that has replaced the old food pyramid. This is a simple way to understand how we should ideally eat at every meal.

I love that the plate and USDA recognizes that half of our meals should consist of fruits and vegetables.

I think we should all challenge ourselves to get our plates looking more like this at meal times!

I know that changing your eating habits is a huge task. Believe me, days used to go by where I didn’t touch one fruit or vegetable, and I truly thought just eating a subway sandwich here and there with some veggies had me covered. However, after educating myself and taking an interest in my own personal health I started to live better by making healthier choices.

Fit Chick Britt Eat Well Tips for making healthier choices

  • Do most of your shopping on the outer perimeter of the grocery store. All the sugary, pre-packed and processed foods are what you find on the inner aisles. The outside perimeter is where you’ll find fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.
  • Incorporate healthy fats in your diet like avocado, nuts, olive oil, and fish.
  • The darker the fruit/vegetables the more nutrients it has. Reach for greener leaf lettuces like spinach and kale, and choose red grapes over green.
  • Cook at home more. At home you get to control the sodium, butter, and content of everything that goes into your meal.
  • If you do eat out, pick a food that’s served in it’s most natural state. Fried food is not natural. Choose grilled vegetables, fruits, and/or salads.
  • Read labels. Typically foods with less unpronounceable ingredients will be better for your body.
  • Fat free does not equal healthy. Often times if the fat is taken out of a product more sugar or corn syrup has been added to enhance the flavor of the now fat free food.
  • Sugar free does not equal healthy. Artificial sweeteners are not only linked to cancer, but they often cause the same insulin affects as regular sugars in the body, which can still lead to weight gain and cellulite.
  • Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces in water a day. Water is vital for digestion, cell and organ function.
  • Educate yourself and pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain foods.

 

What tips do you have for making healthier choices? What do you think of the new USDA food plate?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2011 10:05 PM

    It’s funny because I used to be the BIGGEST instant oatmeal fan – loved maple and brown sugar too much! I could easily eat 2 packages and still be left wanting. My older sister turned me to making my own oatmeal with whole grain oats and whatever “seasonings” I so choose. I typically use Splenda brown sugar blend and cinnamon. What a difference! After having that breakfast as a staple for many months, I went on a trip and settled for instant oatmeal as a convenience – it was totally disgusting. Lesson learned.

  2. June 14, 2011 10:12 PM

    We are what we eat- words to live by

  3. June 15, 2011 7:00 AM

    Sounds like a great seminar! I do agree with you are what you eat, it’s so true! Fat-free does not equal healthy is one I think a lot of people get confused! The package says, “fat-free”, yeah, a package of gummi worms is fat-free, but it’s alllllllll sugar!

  4. June 15, 2011 7:14 AM

    I think i is about time that the “correct” balance of food is shown in terms that people can easily understand and visualize. A plate is perfect. One thing I try to do is incorporate as many colours as I can into my meals. Not only does it look nice, but it means that the variety of nutrients is greater 🙂

  5. shiningfromwithin permalink
    June 15, 2011 7:48 AM

    LOVE these tips! I agree.. we are TOTALLY what we eat. I like to live by ‘eat the energy of the Earth’ and I always shop the perimeter of the grocery store.. that’s where most of the fun foods are anyways 🙂 and I am SO over people using artifical sweeteners.. I want to slap them. heh. 😉

  6. June 15, 2011 11:24 AM

    I agree we are what we eat, for sure! I think people who are starting small need to prioritize the steps however. For example, my boyfriends sister is incredibly overweight and unhealthy. She lives off a college students diet of fast food and fried foods. She has talked to me about wanting to lose weight, however the only step she takes is using artificial sweeteners. I’ve tried explaining how harmful those are, and that a more appropriate first step is even to just add in ONE piece of fruit each day, and slowly work up.

    • June 15, 2011 11:42 AM

      I totally agree it’s just about taking baby steps! You can do it all overnight otherwise it’s too overwhelming and you’ll quit. I know it was a gradual learning process for me and I’m sure I have so much more to learn still.

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