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~The Simple Sophisticate Podcast – Episode #8
The idea of eating flavorful covetous food all the while maintaining a healthy body initially seems impossible, but indeed it can be your reality. After reading more than a handful of books full or research and scientific studies, as well as consulting my own doctor and making my own attempts and mistakes along the way to finding an eating regimen that worked, today I am diving into food and sharing 10 simple ways you can love the food you eat and feel confident in the body you are feeding.
In Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide, I break down the 6 Pillars of Lasting Good Health, and two of the pillars focus entirely on food: eat what you want, but in moderation and choose quality food. Today I’m breaking down these two pillars even further and sharing with you simple tips on how to eat well without the guilt all the while unearthing your most beautiful and healthy physique.
1. Drink of Choice
Drinking water regularly flushes out toxins from your vital organs, provides nutrients to your cells, and prevents dehydration so that you continue to feel energized throughout the day. The Institute of Medicine recommends “adequate intakes” for women of 2.2. liters (about 9 cups) a day and for men 3 liters (about 13 cups). By making water your default drink of choice, you not only have a healthy fall-back, but perhaps will be saving money as well.
~The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz with Sandra Bark
2. Listen to Your Body
Our body knows what it needs; we just have to figure out the language in which it is communicating. We are the ones responsible for figuring out what it is asking for, and if we haven’t been in tune with our body for awhile, it can be frustrating because we often aren’t feeding our body in a way that it needs. Reading basic nutrition books or consulting your doctor can offer helpful insight into how to better fuel and nourish your body.
3. Eliminate Process Foods
Whether you ascribe to a vegan, paleo, vegetarian or any other particular eating regimen, simply refuse to eat anything out of a box or anything with a distant expiration date. Why? When you force yourself to purchase food on the outer edges of any supermarket, you are choosing real food. And while yes, this food will expire in a matter of days most of the time, you are choosing to nourish your food with the nutrients it’s craving.
4. Reduce Added Sugar
Being aware of the effects of any ingredients has, not just sugar, on the mind and the body is vital information to be aware of. Now notice I didn’t say eliminate added sugars because we all may want a bowl of pasta or a slice of cake from time to time, but simply knowing what has added sugar is a huge step in the best interest of your health. Dr. Perlmutter shares in Grain Brain when “fructose is consumed in sufficient quantities from unnatural sources it does not trigger the production of insulin and leptin, two key hormones in regulating our metabolism”. In other words, excessive eating of fructose from processed foods numbs are body from knowing when it’s full.
~Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
~Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar —Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, MD
5. Change Your Options
Clean out the cupboards. Toss the easy-to-eat processed snacks. Throw out the soda. In Fit to Live, Dr. Pamela Peeke explains that stocking our cupboards and fridges with foods that promote eating well helps us make healthier eaten choices throughout each day. Hungry upon arriving home from work and haven’t had time to go to the store? As you open your refrigerator, why not be greeted by sliced cucumbers, artisanal cheeses and apples?
6. Retrain Your Mind
Adhering to eating three meals plus one snack is more than enough to get you through your day. If you eat proper (healthy and balanced ) meals, you’ll find this is true. It is all about training your mind and our body. Books to check out Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food and French Women for All Seasons.
7. Sit Down
Letting go of the habit of multi-tasking is perhaps one of the best habits to lose, especially when it comes to enjoying your meal. Choose instead to enjoy the conversation or just your own thoughts or something engaging to read, but respect the ritual of enjoying your food. Refuse to eat while driving, standing up or walking down the street. Eating is a pleasure that deserves to be savored.
8. Eat Local & Eat in Season
When you eat fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in season (the times of year when they yield their harvest naturally), you are increasing the flavor that you get to enjoy without adding extra ingredients and unnecessary sugars. Pick up pears and brussels sprouts in the fall, asparagus and rhubarb in the spring, berries and tomatoes in the summer and turnips and mandarin oranges in the winter.
Similarly when you purchase your bread from a local bakery or your milk and eggs straight from the farm, you are reducing the ingestion of hormones (check with each vendor). As well, you are supporting local farmers.
9. Savor your Food in Small Portions
When you savor your food, you slow down, and when you do this, you tend to decrease the number of calories you consume. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your mind to get the message that you are full, so take your time and let the message arrive. Enjoy your company and the flavors the chef took such care to incorporate.
10. Fall in Love with Food Again
Food should not be our enemy. It is your tool, rather, your necessary partner in life to help you live your one and only original simply luxurious life.
Most importantly, once you establish a healthy relationship with food, and remain consistent with these simple, yet powerful habits, you will begin to see positive changes. While it will take time, the change will become permanent as your eating habits will be for life, not for a short duration. As I mentioned in the podcast, making the shift from eating well for your health rather than to fit into your jeans has a very powerful effect on one’s motivation. So why not today, begin to incorporate one or two of these habits into your daily eating regimen?
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~Click here for the recipe – Basil, Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta