alive logo
foodfamilylifestylebeautysustainabilityhealthimmunity

Healthy Foods for Life

A nutritional lifestyle

Share

Healthy Foods for Life

A week-long healthy eating plan can help you change your habits and embrace a healthy eating lifestyle.

Do certain stimuli make you reach for food, even though you might not be hungry at the time? Do you eat as an emotional response? What triggers this reaction?

Keeping a journal of when and what you eat may show patterns you may not be aware of. When you understand why you eat the way you do, it becomes easier to make long-lasting changes. As in medicine, better results are achieved when we treat the underlying causes, rather than the symptoms.

Here are some healthy suggestions, along with a week-long eating plan, to help you create an effective nutritional lifestyle. Check our Web exclusive at alive.com for an additional three-week menu plan.

Eat Whole Foods

Pay attention to where your calories come from and not just how many you are consuming. Foods that are high in refined sugars, including many packaged and refined foods, cause our blood sugar levels to rise and fall abruptly. Rapidly dropping blood sugar levels create cravings for the same foods to bring these levels back up.

Whole foods are foods that are in their natural state (nothing added, nothing removed) that supply complex carbohydrates, help regulate our blood sugar levels, and reduce these cravings. A balanced diet should include a variety of whole foods in moderation.

Schedule Time to Eat

Changing how you eat is just as important as your food choices. Mealtime should be an activity you schedule time for. Sit down and relax into the ritual. The more involved you become in the process of preparing and serving a meal, the less likely you are to eat and run. This act of self-respect means you care enough about yourself to eat well. Feeling good about yourself allows you to move away from old eating patterns with confidence.

We are most active during the day, so make breakfast and lunch hearty, protein-based meals; focus dinner selections on complex carbohydrates to lessen the digestive load while sleeping.

Eat a midmorning and midafternoon snack to keep the metabolism active. Raw vegetable sticks and unsalted raw nuts and seeds make great snack choices as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial enzymes.

Fresh fruit, half an avocado, low-fat yogourt or kefir, salsa, and organic corn chips are also satisfying choices. Remember, no snacks after dinner. The body needs to spend its energy on rest and repair, not digestion.

Eating Out

Most restaurant kitchens are happy to please, so don’t be afraid to ask; it’s your food dollar and they all compete for it. Ask for extra vegetables, hold the salad dressing, and ask for olive oil and vinegar or a wedge of lemon instead. Order your fish or chicken grilled, baked, or steamed. Rich sauce? Have it on the side or omit altogether.

Introduce variety into your diet by exploring different ethnic cuisines, spices, and condiments. For example, one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar has only five calories, but the flavour it imparts is without measure!

Healthy Eating Habits

Changing habits can be challenging–replacing old habits with new ones is a slow, steady way to win the race.

  • Clean out the fridge and cupboards of all foods you should avoid.
  • Use the weekly menu plan as your shopping list. Do not buy on impulse.
  • Avoid being tempted by poor choices; do not shop when hungry!
  • Shop at farmers’ markets whenever possible; connect with local growers.
  • Eat four to six smaller meals (including snacks) throughoutthe day to avoid feeling hungry between meals.
  • Control the size of food portions at mealtime; making a large amountof food at one time encourages second helpings.
  • Eat slowly (put your fork down between mouthfuls) and chew thoroughly to promote satiety.
  • Encourage friends and family to be supportive by not offering extra portions or unhealthy food choices.

Foods to Avoid

  • refined sugar, packaged, and processed foods
  • white foods (flour, rice)–replace with whole grain options
  • coffee–reduce or replace with green and herbal teas
  • saturated cooking oils–saute with water
  • boiled vegetables–steamed are best to preserve nutrients

Foods to choose

  • local, seasonal, organic produce
  • wild fish (salmon) ratherthan farmed
  • lean white meat cuts ratherthan fatty cuts with skin on
  • broth-based rather than cream-based soups
  • organic eggs and low-fatdairy products
  • unsalted butter, in moderation
  • extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar for salads–avoid store-bought dressings

Breakfast

  • juice, 2 poached eggs, steamed spinach, whole grain toast,sugar-free jam
  • oatmeal porridge with soy milk, ground flaxseed, fresh fruit
  • smoothie (low-fat yogourt, fresh fruit, unsweetened organic juice, plant protein-based powder)
  • 2-egg omelette, goat cheese and chopped kale filling, whole grain toast, almond butter
  • juice, bowl of quinoa, cinnamon, honey, chopped nuts
  • half a grapefruit, 2 small, low-fat cranberry bran muffins, sugar-free ginger marmalade
  • warm stewed fruit, whole grain cereal, organic maple syrup

Lunch

  • grilled skinless chicken breast, brown rice, nonstarchy vegetables
  • broth soup, tofu and vegetablestir-fry, rice noodles
  • chickpea and vegetable stew, whole grain couscous, pita triangles
  • miso soup, baked wild salmon, steamed Asian vegetables
  • curried lentils, wilted greens, mixed vegetables, whole grain naan
  • baked red snapper, steamed Swiss chard and mixed vegetables
  • black bean soup, grilled Portobello burger, whole grain bun

Dinner

  • greek salad with goat feta, grilled onions, mushrooms
  • sprouted grain pasta, garlic tomato sauce, olives, capers, onions, fresh basil
  • main course green salad, grilled vegetables, lemon and olive oil dressing
  • soba noodle soup with shiitakes and vegetables
  • squash puree with spinach, balsamic-roasted root vegetables
  • whole grain flour pizza, pesto, vegetables, goat cheese
  • vegetable curry, coconut milk sauce, brown basmati rice
Ad
Advertisement
Advertisement

READ THIS NEXT

Finding Hope

Finding Hope

Our journey with ALS

Tiffany Mayer

Tiffany Mayer

10 Reasons to Eat More Cranberries

10 Reasons to Eat More Cranberries

This small fruit comes packed with big benefits

Laura Newton

Laura Newton