We have found that instead of dieting, it is much more sustainable to apply principles to the way you eat. If you adopt certain principles, and choose to live by them, it is much easier to apply them in any situation you’re in. Furthermore, sometimes you may choose to deviate from some principles, if for example, you’re eating out at a restaurant. But what we have found is that once you really start applying principles, you may deviate from one, but still follow the others. These principles will help you make better choices, even if they are simple choices…and those simple choices will affect your life in big ways.
So here are some of the principles we live by.
1. PILE ON THE GREENS … this has been the most impacting principle of all the ones we’ve learned. Add vegetables any time you can. If you’re going to eat an omelette, add mushrooms, green peppers, spinach, onions, red peppers, etc. If you serve yourself a plate, make the largest portion the veggies. Eat a salad every day. You have the opportunity to add veggies to your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks- sometimes you don’t even taste them but the benefits are astounding.
2. TRY NEW FOODS… most of the time, people are afraid to try certain foods because they are afraid they won’t taste good, or they look weird, etc. The path to becoming healthy is a path of learning new things. The only way you can break away from your old habits is if you adapt your palette to new flavors. They say that kids need to try a new flavor 10 times before they can really start liking or disliking it. Adults are the same way. You may think you don’l like broccoli because you remember the mushy, bland broccoli your mom made when you were little. Well, there are a ton of ways to make broccoli. Try it roasted, or steamed, try it mixed in with other veggies you like … you’d be shocked to discover that maybe you didn’t dislike broccoli, you just disliked the way it was served to you.
3. READ THE INGREDIENTS… People nowadays have become much more label aware. So they get a box of cereal or chips, or anything else and they say “oh this only has 2 grams of sugar, or it has 0 grams of fat” those numbers comfort you and you eat the product guilt-free. Well there is a lot more to that product then what you’ve just read. For example, maybe the only reason it has 2 grams of sugar, is because it is sweetened with aspartame. Or it has no fat, but it has high fructose corn syrup. What you really want to look at is the part under the Nutrtition Facts …The INGREDIENTS. That fine print will shock you what the product contains…which leads me to my next principle.
4. EAT WHOLE FOODS… In an awesome documentary, Hungry for Change, Kris Carr said, “if it takes a laboratory to create it, it takes a laboratory to digest it.” We try to eat foods with as little ingredients as possible. That leads us to eliminate a lot of boxed foods, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. An apple has 1 ingredient “apple.” We look for foods that don’t include contents we can’t pronounce. Every whole food…bananas, pears, spinach, asparagus, melon,berries, nuts, cheese, fish, chicken, sweet potato, olive oil…etc, has a little bit of everything. These whole foods have sugar, fiber, protein, fat, etc, but because they are “Whole” they are digested in your system the way they are supposed to. Of course depending on your dietary goals and/or needs, you may choose to consume higher quantities of one whole food as opposed to another. But they are different from processed, boxed foods or “diet” foods that are not digested properly in your system. They go straight to your liver and prevent your body from functioning properly. Eventually, these diet foods can actually make you gain weight instead of lose weight.