Healthy Eating: The Basics

I am by no means any sort of expert on eating well. In fact I can’t even manage to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight on a consistant basis! But I’ve made a lot of progress the last 3 years or so, so here I am writing about it! 

Today at Meijer I met a bagger I actually liked.

That alone is a miracle.

Anyway, he commented on my groceries saying, “I notice all the young people eat pretty healthy while the older people eat really bad”

First of all, I’ve always wondered if baggers judge what people are buying or more specifically if they judge me for buying all organic but never bothering to use reusable bags and thinking that I’m a hypocrite. Apparently the do! But, back to the point….

I told him that having a kid really makes you re-think what you eat. And he told me how in general more and more of his college friends are paying better attention to what they eat and noticing that they feel better when they eat well. He also told me that he cooks all his own food at his studio apartment and that hes a vegetarian because its cheeper to eat healthy if you don’t eat meat.

Some people like this kid are really catching on. What we eat matters! It matters A LOT! Some people want to change but still need a little help, others just need a reminder of how to keep up. Here are my very basics on eating healthy:

1. Eat Organic

Search the “Dirty Dozen” to see where you should eat organic first! Its an expensive switch that we’ve done over time. We started with dairy and meat, then added apples, then added veggies, then other fruits. Now we barely eat any dairy, so that is a non-issue. Organic meat is amazingly different that non-organic. Free range meat is even better.

2. Eat Local

Know your farmer. Seriously, if you know where you’re food comes from you know what’s in it. Factory food is is awful, full of chemicals, anti-biotics, hormones, and more. We buy most of our food at our local farmer’s market and literally know some of the farmers! I get my eggs from various family members that raise their own chickens, some of the chickens I’ve met! There are more benefits to eating local that I can list but in short; you know what’s in your food, you are eating what is in season, and you aren’t wasting money or energy on gas to trasport food across the country.

3. Pay attention to WHAT you eat

I read recently “People on any diet are healthier than those that aren’t on any” and it went on to say that if you are paying attention to what you eat and being strict about it, whether its low carb, paleo, vegetarian, doesn’t matter. People that pay attention to what they eat are healthier. It also mentioned to be careful what friends you hang out with when you eat. If you hang out with friends with poor eating habits you are much more likely to eat poorly. My only direct advice on specifically what to eat or not eat would be to avoid sugar as much as possible and to limit carbs. More and more studies are showing how blood sugar spikes are horrible for all aspects of health and limiting carbs and eating lots of protein is the best defense against this.

4. Eat at HOME

When you meal plan and eat at home you can know what exactly what you are eating. There are no lingering questions like, “Did they make this with milk?”, “Did they wash this salad?”, or “Is there corn syrup in  this?” You know what you make. Also you end up eating less, and most often, end up paying less. Around here it is hard to come by restaurants that use organic ingredients anyway so by eating out I’m already lowering my standards. I’ve found that lack of planning is what kills me in this department! Meal planning is your friend! Even if its only 1 or 2 days out, PLAN!

For more info on eating healthy I would highly recommend watching “Food Inc.” and “Forks over Knives”. I also learned a lot from the book “Master Your Metabolism” which has a lot of info about how chemicals change how our body functions.

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