There are a plethora of diets available that it can be easy to become confused—there is the Atkins diet, ketogenic diet, the Zone diet, Weight Watchers diet, South Beach diet, low-carb diet, the Dukan diet, and so many more. Eating healthy shouldn’t be confusing, and it should be easy to incorporate as a lifestyle, and not just for a short period of time. After all, we all want lasting results.
What if eating healthy was meant to be balanced and part of an ongoing lifestyle? Many can agree that a superior diet is one filled with fresh, whole ingredients, and not with junk food or processed foods with chemicals. For me, it means a healthy lifestyle that considers the body’s mechanisms and how to best maintain it. This helps produce a clearer mind, better emotional health, overall well-being, and the prevention of disease.
This is what I consider to be “healthy eating”:
- Whole foods, least processed
- No animal products
- Plant foods – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts
- No refined foods – refined carbohydrates, sugars, free form fats
- The avoidance of stimulants and harmful substances
You won’t be losing out on anything, but you will…
Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Eating a vegetarian and/or vegan diet will help shed unwanted weight and maintain it. Data from the (AHS) Adventist Health Study shows that vegans had the lowest BMI and gain significantly less weight as they age. (1) A vegan diet is considered most protective against unwanted weight gain. What else is beneficial? Did you know that…
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth More Than A Pound of Cure
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper states that vegan and vegetarian diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” (1)
Studies show a strong correlation between animal fat intake and diseases such as leukemia, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as the decreased risk of developing those diseases in plant-based diets. Plant foods are richer in phytochemicals, which protect against cancer.
It’s not enough to know what to eat, but how to eat it.
Tips on Eating
Eating is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? It surely is. These are some fundamental but important tips on how to keep your digestion running optimally and feeling your best. It may look like a to-do list or a rigid step-by-step routine, but don’t worry. I encourage you to incorporate what you can, bit by bit. The results you experience will motivate you to continue and add more to your routine. It really does become second nature, and you won’t have to think of it much.
- Drink warm water in the morning (preferably with honey and lemon juice) to activate your small organs. This aids the stomach in digestion as it must warm up before beginning the digestion process
- Allow at least five hours in between meals for optimum digestion
- Variate your meals but try to not have too much variety at one meal
- Do your best to eat meals at the same times each day
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but not in between meals. The stomach must absorb liquids before digesting, so allowing half an hour to an hour before and after meals to drink anything allows for better digestion
- Eat balanced meals, and you’ll find that it will help avoid snacks. Snacking in between meals restarts and inhibits the digestion process
- Chew your food thoroughly and have a sense of gratitude and calmness as far as possible when eating. My husband and I like to pray together before our meals.
- Periodically, it is good to skip a meal. Fasting is one of the best remedies for those with diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. (2) The best meal to skip would be is ideally supper time.
- The heaviest meal should be at breakfast time and the lightest meal at supper. Sometimes we’re not hungry during breakfast because we had a heavy meal at dinner. The stomach is in the best position for a heavy meal at breakfast time.
Starter Food Guide
- Vegetables & Fruits – Eat a rainbow variety
- Leafy greens – Kale, mustard greens, microgreens, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, beet greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, arugula, endive, and more.
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Healthy fats
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- All-natural nut butters
- Plant-based protein
- Nuts – Almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts,
- Seeds – chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, hemp, sesame, sunflower,
- Beans & Legumes – Lentils, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, navy beans, northern beans, peas, mung beans.
- Nutritional yeast
- Sprouted grains and similar breads
What Foods Should I Avoid?
- Fast food
- Animal Products
- Refined carbohydrates
- Packaged and processed foods
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Ready for a health boost? Give the tips and foods in this article a try.