Wholefood columnist, Janet Steer shares tips for eating better.
Transform your thinking and forget the norm
Start with a clean slate. Forget the fat-free yoghurt, the fat-free shake, the All-Bran Flakes and the diet bar. It's time to start thinking beyond what we know and believe is health food. Let's get back to basics and reawaken the child within.
Be wary of 'health food', 'natural food' and even 'organic' labels
The terms 'health food' or 'natural food' are generic and nonspecific and can be misleading. They may mean nothing at all. Don't be fooled by opportunistic marketing. Consuming copious amounts of organic chocolate will also not necessarily bring about the health changes you desire.
Add one new healthy habit at a time
Rome was not built in a day. Creating better health is a process. Consistently doing little things each day will ultimately culminate in overall good health. Add one new thing per week or one new thing per month, and do it everyday until it becomes habit. Only then add another new habit.
Start thinking 'whole' and minimal processing
Our 'tried and tested' diet and health foods invariably contain the words fat-free, lite, artificially sweetened or fortified. Various chemicals have been added to, amongst other things, facilitate processing, reduce fat content, enhance texture and/or prolong shelf life. Wholefoods are free of added toxins and won’t slow your metabolism.
Focus on quality foods
Take a look at the food you are already eating, and just improve the quality. It takes one day of eating quality food, with no quantity restrictions imposed, to transform our minds and develop a positive attitude. A diet of deprivation will invariably lead to over-indulgence. Let the weight issue become the side issue and focus on your health.
Eliminate refined foods
Take stock of the refined foods in your diet and start picking those foods that have most or all of their edible parts intact: whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and pulses. Avoid processed and hydrogenated oils and refined flour and sugar. Remember that refined white flour has had the bran and germ removed. Only the starch remains
The value of home-cooking is underestimated. Get into the kitchen and prepare a meal from start to finish. Listen to your body and nurture it with a meal that is cooked, seasoned and served with your particular condition in mind. Experience the benefit of eating something that has been prepared especially for you, and the comfort of knowing exactly what you are eating.
Sit down and chew
Eating on the run often means fast food and unhealthy food. Decide to make time for meals. If you cannot schedule 30 minutes for at least two meals a day, it's time to reevaluate your current lifestyle. Sit down when you eat, focus on the task at hand, and most importantly, chew your food.
Janet Steer is a graduate of the Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusetts. She is recognized by Michio Kushi, the founder of modern Macrobiotics and the Kushi Institute, as a recognized Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor.