3 Steps to Eating Better in the New Year
With the holidays behind me my thoughts inevitably shift to eating just a bit healthier. For me, my seasonal indulgence comes with added guilt, since last year (it sounds so long ago already!) I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Although I managed to bring my blood sugar levels back under control with a a combination of probiotics and diet changes, I have a feeling that things have gone a bit awry since my last checkup.
As I go through the checklist of do’s and don’ts my nutritionist gave me to manage my health, I realize that the top three are pretty basic concepts and can be applied to anyone looking to increase their overall health in the New Year. Plus, these steps don’t involve hours at the gym, sweating profusely, or getting up at the crack of dawn to run in the cold … unless you know, that’s your thing.
So here you go. Three simple steps to a better, healthier and happier you in the New Year:
1. Avoid Simple Carbs
Okay, I know this is way easier said than done, but this is a big one. Basically carbs = sugar and sugar feeds all manner of terrible things, from cancerous cells, to infection. High sugar diets lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. See that loaf of bread? No you don’t, now you see a bag of sugar. That box of pasta? Nope, try a box o’ sugar.
If you absolutely can’t live without carbs, because say you’re running a lot of marathons or working out every day or biking about 50 miles to and from work, then eat complex carbohydrates. Quinoa, Millet, oats and other whole grains will give your body added minerals and release their delicious sugar payloads slower, so you won’t have massive insulin spikes, which are tough on your body. But in really just try to avoid these things – bread, pasta, flour tortillas, and white rice. Your pancreas will thank you.
2. Eat You Greens
That’s right. Greens. Anything green. Eat it. Preferably raw if you can. This means salads, spinach or even better – kale. That’s right, kale chards, collards, mustard and other greens are loaded with a healthy payload of vitamins and minerals as well as being an excellent source of fiber. Fiber maintains good digestive health and allows beneficial bacteria to grow. This bacteria will help you process food better as well as remove toxins from your body. Aim for at least one, if not two large salads and one cooked source of greens every day. At first it will seem like a lot, but you’ll soon be craving the clean, pure energy boost it gives you.
3. Eat Meats High in Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats, fats that aid in cholesterol reduction and healthy blood flow. Where can you find these wonderful angels of fatty goodness? Salmon and other fish are a great source of omega-3s, so are any grass-fed meats. Meats in general are harder on your digestive system than vegetables, but are a good source of slow burning protein. Eating meats high in omega-3s will maintain heart health and help to reduce bad cholesterol levels. Making you a heart-healthy, green-burning machine!
TIP: make sure you drink lots of water each day. Especially as you switch gears from a diet that was a bit indulgent to one that contains higher amounts of fiber and less sugars. You may feel hungrier at first (that’s okay, feel the hunger, let it pass and then eat enough to sate it, just enough!) and you may feel worse as toxins begin to leave your body, but drinking lots of water will help keep your organs processing impurities and let them leave your body faster. Stick with it and your body will soon crave good calories instead of empty ones.
Want a head start on eating healthy? Try getting a weekly delivery of organic fruits and vegetables from Full Circle. You can also order whole grains and grass-fed meats to add to your delivery. Good luck!