What you eat is at the core of how you feel. And how you feel has a direct impact on your ability to get good work done.
As we head into the first of the big holiday feasts next week, food is going to be coming at you fast and furious. You can’t fight it, but if you want to survive the holidays and still feel healthy and clear-headed, to have energy and not gain 10 pounds, practice mindfulness. Be sensible. Be picky. And use your head over your gut to make decisions.
Here are 10 healthy eating tips I originally posted in 2017. Today seemed like a good time to pass them on again as a reminder to me, and to you, to stay on a healthy-eating path as delicious smells start to fill the house next week.
- Don’t eat food that’s advertised. Good food items are like good movies – the best ones rely on word-of-mouth v. marketing campaigns. And the less processed your foods are, the better. What can you cook over the holidays that’s made from scratch?
- Sautéed onions, garlic, spinach, and mushrooms can be added to just about anything. They’re all super healthy and, oh my, aren’t they yummy.
- Buy local and in-season when you can. Fresh = fewer preservatives = good. And the local farmers will love you as you help them sustain their good work.
- If you don’t have time to cook every day, cook when you can and freeze individual portions. It’s fun on a busy day to look in your freezer and find deliciousness. The freezer is also a great place to store your Thanksgiving leftovers. As soon as you finish eating, freezing the leftovers helps reduce the temptation to dive back in!
- If you read a label and don’t like, or can’t understand the ingredients, make your own from scratch. I used to use a corn bread mix that we loved but it had lard in it. Now I buy cornmeal and make cornbread using healthier olive oil for fat. You can make your own bread, your own crackers, and your own salad dressings in small batches that are tasty and skip the preservatives.
- Thinking of preservatives, if you own food that doesn’t spoil, that’s not right. Real food spoils! How long have most of your salad dressings been in the refrigerator? If you aren’t sure, it’s time to purge and pitch! What else has been hanging around in there for WAY too long?
- Slow cooking is healthy for your mind as well as for your stomach. Microwaves serve a purpose but try heating leftovers or soup in a covered iron skillet on the stove, or pop things into the oven. You end up with food that is hotter, and healthier. You know you’re not supposed to be around a microwave if you have a pacemaker. Why not just step away from the microwave altogether?
- Speaking of iron skillets, you know Teflon coatings aren’t good for you, right? And with an iron skillet, you can use a metal spatula, go right from burner to oven when needed, and you get a tiny amount of iron added to your diet. Nice.
- Keep a food diary. Whether you do this as an independent journal or keep track of what you eat in a planner, the simple act of writing down what you eat every day has a healing effect. Doubt it? Try it! But maybe start right after Thanksgiving…
- And while you’re jotting down what you eat, take note of how you feel. Do certain foods leave you feeling fuzzy? Or do they give you an acidy stomach? Or a headache? Look for patterns and cut out foods you’re sensitive to. If the food you eat is bugging you, don’t medicate; change your diet!
I hope this gives you warm, fuzzy thoughts to help balance the warm fuzziness of apple pie :).
Nice reminder for this week from a tasty, local restaurant…
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