You can eat better.
Nutty Crunchy Veggie Burger recipe here
and better pizzas …
Pizza with Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, and Prosciutto recipe here
and better smoothies …
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie recipe here
and better desserts.
Pineapple Ice Box Dessert recipe here
Here are some ideas of how to get started making changes.
1. Decide it's important to you and start thinking about what eating better looks like. Most people know at least a few things that they are indulging in that is unhealthy for them.
Although there are many fad diets, here are some healthy-food ideas that are commonly agreed upon by many reputable sources:
* whole grain products are more healthful than processed white flour products
* fruits are good for you – raw is more healthful than cooking or adding sweetener, cream, etc.
* vegetables are good for you and are best cooked with little or no added sweetener, oil, salt, gravy, etc. – flavor can be added by using spices
* natural foods are more healthful than processed foods
* oatmeal is one of the most healthful foods to eat for breakfast
* dried fruits and nuts are more healthful snacks than chips, cookies,
* eating less meat and dairy than the typical American diet is a good idea (Read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer)
* getting more of your protein and calcium from plant-based foods is becoming more widely accepted to be more healthful (Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II)
* you should eat as little sugar as possible (look up the episode called Sugar on 60 Minutes which aired twice in 2012). Also, sugar is sugar is sugar – that means honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup – it's all processed sugar and can lead to chronic illness and disease (look at this WebMD article on sugar)
* restaurant meals oftentimes has an astoundingly crazy amount of fat, salt and sugar compared to the same foods you would make at home (read Cook This, Not That by David Zinczenko)
2. After reading and thinking about your particular situation and your family's, decide on a strategy. For example, if you feel that drastically changing your diet is too much, and the above reading has your head spinning, make your healthful changes in small steps. Start with the easiest changes. Remember, everything is relative.
3. Psyche yourself out. If you really know you need to eat better, but you are just in a vicious cycle, look at it from a different perspective. From the Pride perspective: How do Americans look to other cultures who are poorer than us, but eat healthier, because they have kept the same eating habits of their ancient ancestors who eat healthy, plant-based foods? From the Anger perspective: How many large corporations are getting rich off our laziness and lack of knowledge about food? They try to trick us, through marketing and packaging, hiding facts about their products that we wouldn't buy if we understood the truth.
4. Stop trying to fool yourself. Is carrot cake good for you because it has carrots and raisins in it? Are all yogurt products good for you no matter how much added sugar they have? Is a cheesy, chicken, potato chip casserole good for you because it has chicken in it? Be honest with yourself.
5. Freeze stuff. Find out what healthier foods you want to make, and if you dont' have time to cook from scratch everyday, figure out what meals (or partial meals) you can make ahead and freeze. Just thaw the night before and cook. You can freeze homemade soups, healthy sauces for rice or noodles, nutrient-packed smoothies, veggies, pesto, herbs … an endless list.
6. Be prepared. Once you are eating better, the times you are most likely to eat poorly is when you are not prepared. You're hungry at work at 3:20pm and you don't have heatlhy snacks. You grab a bag of chips or eat your co-worker's leftover birthday cake.
7. And last but not least, give it time. Depending on your commitment, your personality, and personal situation, it could take you anywhere from 6 months to 6 years to meet your goals. But if it saves you from chronic disease, then it's worth it. Right?