Thursday


Start getting healthier now


Photo - Muy Yum via Flickr.com under Creative Commons License

When it comes to getting a healthier, trimmer and a beautiful body, there's nothing called tomorrow. It's time to get started

Change your breakfast, change your life:
Breakfast is the meal where most people make the biggest nutritional mistakes, ranging from not eating anything to eating sugars, high calorie baked products, fried foods, etc. Don't let the breakfast food paradigm force you into making poor breakfast choices. It is nutritionally proper to eat lunch and dinner foods for breakfast (i.e., leftover chicken or steak and salad from dinner). The goal is to get protein, healthy fats, fibre and low glycemic carbs at every meal — scrambled eggs with steamed or sautéed vegetables are an excellent choice.

Drink lots of water:

You should drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. Those who drink water exclusively seem to experience the best results. However, occasional drink alternatives can include organic herbal tea served hot or cold, lemon water or lemonade sweetened with a dash of honey.

Follow a snack strategy:  
Great snack choices are green salads, mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts), smoothies, berries, fruit salads, soft boiled eggs, seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds), low fat yoghurt with fruits.

Eat variety:  

Some good choices include broccoli, spinach, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, mixed greens, asparagus, green beans, peppers, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, onions, etc. These vegetables deliver the most nutrition when they are raw, juiced or slightly steamed, as cooking decreases the nutrient quality.

Eat excellent sources of protein:
Eat chicken/turkey (grilled/baked/stir-fried with loads of vegetables), low fat dairy, whole grains, legumes, pulses, nut.

Learn ways to balance the negative with the positive:

Learn how to reduce the negative impact that some foods have on human body. For instance, if you choose to consume a high starch meal, a sweet dessert, then eat a high fibre meal such as dark green leafy vegetables, or you can eat high quality proteins beforehand. It is also helpful to drink water with lemon or have olive oil in your salad. All these steps help to slow the pace at which sugar enters your blood stream, thereby reducing the harmful insulin response from the concentrated sugars.

How you should eat:
First, it's important to eat smaller portions, smaller bites, and to minimally cook or raw foods whenever appropriate. Try to masticate your food to a liquid form and then swallow it — this will predigest your food with the enzymes in your saliva and also provides neurological stimulation of your stomach and pancreas to increase their acid and digestive enzyme production.

What you shouldn't eat:

The foods to avoid are the majority of foods that most people eat and by their nature are highly addictive. Minimise sugar and foods that turn to sugar quickly after eating and such items include pasta, syrups, potatoes, white rice, breads cakes, etc. A good rule when considering these types of carbohydrates is "if it's white, it isn't right". This rule is generally accurate with a few exceptions like cauliflower, radishes, garlic, onions, etc. Regular consumption of sugar and high glycemic foods causes chronic hyperinsulinemia which is the root cause of most diseases of ageing. Also reduce your intake of fried foods, desserts, soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, sweet drinks and caffeinated beverages.

Adopt a few good changes in your diet and you will feel so much better that you will want to adopt more. Following these simple changes can have a profound impact on your health, life and performance. It is all about designing a lifestyle programme that works best when complemented by regular exercise, sleep, meditation and prayer. Discover easy, natural strategies that nature has created for you to live in super health and start with the purest, freshest foods. Give yourself some time to become acclimated to the dietary changes you have made and to enjoy the incredible variety of health benefits that are derived.

Monika Seth/Nutritionist and diet consultant specialising in weight loss at Al Raffah Hospital

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