You Can’t Always Eat What You Want: but if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need

If you missed last week’s installment check it out, this is Part II. Last we talked portions, servings, and knowing what this all means to your nutritional needs and your health and fitness goals. It’s a good place to start when you’re not sure how to start making dietary changes. This week we’re looking at what to eat, or in some cases what not to eat when you’re looking to start a health and fitness program.

So let’s start with the very basics, you know it, you probably don’t want to hear it, but it is absolutely crucial to your success. The advice goes something like no more Coronas, Hagen-Dasz or Cheetos. Eventually you can be human and indulge in a treat here and there. But those aren’t foods, they are calories that serve no purpose to your system. When you look to not just lose a few pounds that you’ll gain back again (and often, a few more pounds), and want to truly end the cycle of insanity, you need to start looking at food as fuel; that sounds soooooo boring, I know! Let me tell you how much I don’t eat boring food, and I would never succeed at staying healthy and fit if it had to be. You’ll have to start working with herbs and spices and interesting ideas and preparation techniques (interesting not hard), but it can be easy and tasty. Life doesn’t have to be all broiled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli!

You may try to fool yourself into saying that some things that aren’t good are okay. But you know that a microwave dinner with a section of veggies, a protein, and a starch only sounds good until you see all of the additives in it and the fact that its questionable length of time spent frozen really limits (or completely annihilates) the potential for a live enzyme (good stuff that you’ll find in fresh raw fruits and veggies) to be present. You tell yourself these stories, but you know deep down, good food is barely any different from how it came from the earth (i.e. peeling a banana, or cooking the chicken is good) and is fresh. You know there is no way any of this heavily processed (actually engineered!) to appeal to our taste buds’ on an addictive level, is shaped to be a fun food, and/or live a long time on grocery store shelves, is actually any good for you.

So to get what you need the best advice I can give you is start by making sure every meal has:

* 1/2 of your plate filled with fruit and/or vegetables (1 meal should be fruit the others vegetables for healthy proportions).

*1/4 of every meal should be a protein-rich food. This would be meat, fish, poultry, beans, meat substitutes (not too many of these, most are filled with preservatives and fillers), eggs, some nuts (others are just very high in fat), and many dairy products (check the label and make sure, like nuts the product is not just high in fats)

*1/4 of your plate should be a complex carbohydrate. This is grains when they’re still brown, potatoes and sweet potatoes with the skin.

*Fats are still important and help initiate a bunch of very important bodily functions including release and regulation of a number of hormones, so don’t go cutting fat out! Healthy fats are very vital to our health and not enough can actually cause hormone imbalances. Since your hormones are the major controllers of how your body metabolizes energy I would recommend not depriving them of their much needed fats. That said 3 tbsp. a day is a good amount of healthy fat. This includes your salad dressings as well as oils used to cook.

Keep in mind each meal doesn’t have to be balanced as described above, just keep in mind that these are the proportions of food that you want to be eating every day. Most of us don’t get half the vegetables we need, too much high-fat protein like pork and beef, and all kinds of simple carbohydrates from grains which is just a pile of calories stripped of their nutrient value, prepared in a deep fryer and more than sprinkled with sugar, usually caked or crusted with it. Use these guidelines to start and be honest with yourself about the health value of your foods. Try recipes using spices and herbs, rather than tonnes of sugar and fat, to add flavour. Take on the food can be fuel and flavourful mindset, you’ll still enjoy it, kick-start your results and feel awesome!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness with appropriate and specific direction to original content.

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