How to Get Started with Healthy Eating
I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas for substitutions for your favorite processed foods to illustrate how to get started with healthy eating. I’m very respectful of how hard it is to change eating habits as the big food companies design their “food” to be addictive and hard to resist.
We make clean eating promises to ourselves, and they might last a few days. Then the cravings for bread, sugar, pizza etc. just become too much. We fall off the wagon and get mad at ourselves; too often, we just give up.
This pattern feeds into the yo-yo dieting, lose-gain-lose-gain pattern so many of us endure and into the millions of dollars we spend trying to lose weight every year (especially in January after the holidays). That time is fast approaching, so let’s get ahead of it and talk about a few alternative suggestions to help you stay strong.
Pasta is first on my list. The traditional pasta we usually eat contains gluten and is a simple carbohydrate. It rapidly bumps up our glucose levels and then drops them leaving us hungry and craving more carbohydrates. I like a gluten free pasta from Trader Joe’s. It’s an organic brown rice and quinoa pasta, and it really has a good taste and a mouth feel like real pasta. Also, I like substituting wild rice or black rice in place of pasta. Spaghetti squash is another good alternative. Roast it in the oven, and then scrape out the flesh; it works really well as a pasta substitute.
An important note is that key with any dietary changes is to carefully monitor the portion size you’re eating. I used to eat a full plate of pasta with bread several times a week. Not any longer though. I think you’ll be surprised at how satisfied you can feel with a smaller size portion of a pasta alternative.
What about bread? If you really want to go plant-based for a bread substitute, try using a lettuce or a cabbage leaf to make a sandwich or have an open-faced sandwich to cut your bread in half. You can also make really tasty gluten free breads that satisfy with more wholesome ingredients, no gluten and a smaller size loaf. Here’s the recipe I developed so you can try it for yourself.
If you always have cereal for breakfast, I challenge you to switch it up…at least a few times a week for starters. Eggs are so versatile that they are always a good choice. Some canned sardines or mackerel in olive oil will also work. Include ¼ sliced avocado and some cut up fresh fruit, and you’ll be amazed how that stays with you for the morning!
These three suggestions will give you a gentle start and help you understand how to get started with healthy eating. If you put these into practice in your daily routine and commit to reducing your portion sizes, you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Lastly, don’t forget most of us, me included, fall off the healthy eating wagon from time to time. The secret is to not beat yourself up and just get right back on track. You’ll do just fine!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
P.S. Watch for the release of my new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” coming out in November. It’s the sharing of how I recovered, by accident, from debilitating chronic depression by changing how I eat. What’s in the book can help others lose depression and some unwanted weight as well!
P.P.S. Check out all the free recipes for great tasting healthy eating in the Recipe Section at http://ThinStrongHealthy.com