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A Healthy Diet = A Well Stocked and Healthy Kitchen!

Attractive man and woman prepping low calorie dinner in kitchen

Let’s face it. Unless you can afford a cook, or have healthy meals delivered to your door, sticking to a healthy diet means you need to prepare your own food. And to do this, you must have the food you need available in your kitchen.

If not, and you are hungry, it’s likely that you will grab anything in your kitchen but the kitchen sink! Or you will stop at a fast food restaurant or a local restaurant, in which you will be more likely to eat unhealthy food and large portions, and feel lousy about yourself the next day!

Here are some tips to guide you:

>>  Don’t shop when you’re hungry. If you pull items off shelves while your stomach growls, you risk arriving at checkout with a cart full of junk, like fried chips and sugary pastries. Then too, hunger may distract you so that you forget foods you need.

>>  Don’t shop in a hurry. Rushing can cause stress, careless selection, mistakes, and omissions.

>>  Avoid shopping at busy times. Weekend mornings and early weekday evenings can be stressful in markets.

>>  Shop with a list and stick to it. The night before, either use the food lists coming later in this chapter as a guide or devise your own list. Write down everything you need, the approximate prices, and the store or stores to visit. Next morning, check the list again with fresh eyes to see if you’ve forgotten anything. Studies show that those who shop with a list lose weight and keep it off better than those who don’t use a list.

>>  Buy for multiple meals. Buy food for more than one meal. For instance, get three to four bell peppers, instead of one or two. You can then have some for snacks and dips and others to sauté for dinner. You might double or triple your purchase of meats, to cook multiple meals at once. Portion them in containers and refrigerate or freeze for future use.

>> Buy largely fresh food. Between 60 and 70 percent of your food purchases should be fresh vegetables and fruits. Buy them first.

>>  Purchase some foods in bulk. Dried foods, such as oats and rice, and canned foods, such as tomatoes and beans, have a long shelf life and can be bought in large amounts.

>>  Look into home deliveries. Look on the Internet to see if your area has a service that takes orders for fresh, seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables and delivers them to your door. Some products may be purchased through the web. Amazon, for instance, has competitive prices for products under “Grocery, Health and Beauty.”

>>  Read labels carefully. Careful reading of labels can spare you heavily processed foods. Generally the more processing involved in a food’s manufacturing, the more harmful to your health. You should avoid such ingredients as high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings, trans fats (in partially hydrogenated oils), nitrites or nitrates, and excitotoxins, such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate.

>>  Always read the small print under “Ingredients” to find out what eatables are in any packaged food. See also “Nutrition Facts” for an analysis of the food’s nutrients (calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, and protein), both by weight and as a percentage of the recommended daily intake. Don’t go by slogans like “Smart Start,” “Strong Heart,” “Antioxidants,” “Low sodium,” or “Healthy Heart.”

>>  Select your breads carefully: When picking bread or another grain product, the first ingredient should be a whole grain, such as 100 percent whole oats, whole rye, brown rice, whole or sprouted wheat, whole-grain corn, or something comparable. If such an item does not top the list of ingredients, the product is not whole grain. Ignore terms like “wheat bread,” “cracked wheat,” “enriched,” “seven-grain,” “bran,” “multigrain,” or “stone-ground.”

>>  Cook less often and in larger quantities. Preparing one meal at a time from scratch every day is a costly use of your hours in the light of pressing commitments and work demands. Cook more than you need for one meal, freeze some, and refrigerate the rest. It takes the same amount of time to cook in bulk and you then have healthful “fast food” for future meals.

>>  Think ahead to the next day and cut up more vegetables and fruits than you need today. Use the roll-over technique, whereby you cook for one meal and use the extra ingredients to prepare another meal. I can teach you all about that in my DVD titled “Time Management in the Kitchen” and in chapter eight.

Remember, people at their perfect weight don’t have more will power and self-control than you. But, they do have a better set of skills, which you can have too with the right coaching and strategies.

 

Wishing you much happiness and health,

Michelle

(Nutritionist, Life Coach and Director of MVB-Health)
Your Most Valuable Body

 

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