It all begins with what we do or don’t start our day with. Disclaimer: not every body is the same, so this is generalized information. You may have to tweak this a bit to have it work well for you. What we put into (or don’t) our bodies really matters. There IS a connection between what we eat and how we feel.
When we eat a bowl of cereal of cereal or a standard breakfast bar to start the day, we’re already behind in nutrients. This will result in feeling the yawns ten minutes after you hit your desk, or the teacher calling about your child either bouncing around the room or nodding off in class.
If we give our kids a mid morning snack, we re-start the same cycle of anti-nutrients when we go to things like that granola bar (carbs & sugar), fruit snacks (food dyes & sugar), or Go Gurts (more sugar with a side of chemicals). For adults we’re stuck in that same boat when we reach for that blueberry muffin in the break room, grab a donut at the gas station, or a nibble from the vending machine.
AHA DAILY SUGAR RECOMMENDATIONS
We think we can catch up at lunch a bit, though it’s not possible when we’re consuming Lunchables and more processed foods. What’s tough is when our kids lunch is above and beyond the DAILY sugar intake recommendations from the American Heart Association. It’s easy to do when they’ve packed fruit snacks, juice box, PBJ on white bread, potato chips, and a gogurt. I get the intention behind that lunch, every bit of it, though it’s doing the opposite of what we intend.
Let’s up the ante with some true healthy eating tips that will begin your family’s quest to better health
#1 Eat less simple carbs
Simple carbohydrates are quick to break down and be digested. Complex carbs take a bit longer and thus give the body more long term energy. This looks like more fruits & VEGGIES than bread, pasta, and cereal.
#2 Get hydrated.
Buy your family members a water bottle and use an electrolyte tablet from your local co-op or Whole Foods in place of a juice box. We are dehydrated people, so this goes for mom and dad as well.
#3 Don’t buy junk.
Start by minimizing and exchanging for better quality snacks and foods. Start some simple swaps:
Aunt Jemima for real maple syrup
Skippy peanut butter for a non-hydrogenated natural peanut butter
Rice-a-roni for REAL organic brown or white rice from the bulk section.
Eggo’s for a batch of whole grain waffles or pancakes
#4 Avoid sugar & candy
It’s super tempting to want something sweet for dessert, but it’s better to avoid sugar as much as possible. Eating these may provide an in-the-moment sugar-high but will only lead to a sugar crash causing you to become even more sleepy, irritable, and foggy. Instead of your usual go-to’s, try the rice crispy recipe or our suggested cookie recipe.
#5 Eat a truly healthy lunch
Choose a tuna/chicken salad without the bread or cobb salad with egg, turkey, cheese. Cook extra food for dinner and pack for lunch.
Batch cook over the weekend to keep in the fridge for lunch – this time of year is great for hearty soups and stews. Taco salads are also a hit for the family member of any age. Organic beans and rice with a sprinkle of cheese is one a lot of kids like.
#6 Eat a healthy breakfast
Start the day right with a nutritionally sound breakfast.
Nutritional components to keep in mind when preparing your breakfast –
Choose these – Healthy Carbohydrates = vegetables, fruit.
Not these – Heavy Carbohydrates = flour, bread, sweets, or sugar.
Choose these – Healthy Fats = bacon, grass-fed pork sausage, grass-fed butter.
Not these – Heavy Fats = McMuffin.
Choose these – Healthy Proteins = grass fed meats, organic & free-range eggs, collagen.
Not these – Heavy Proteins = Jimmy Deans breakfast sausage.
See the batch cooking recipe for egg breakfast muffins. You can make a weeks worth ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer.
#7 Include these 3 nutrients every time you eat (even when you snack)
Healthy fat Colorful carb (remember, this is fruits & VEGGIES) Protein
#8 Keep in mind these healthy fats
Your brain needs healthy fats to function well, so choose from these beneficial fats: Avocado, avocado oil, avocado mayo, butter, coconut milk, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts & seeds, olive oil, olives, and whole fat dairy products if you can tolerate them.
#9 High protein snacks include
A handful of raw nuts, homemade protein/energy ball, Epic bar, jerky, apple & peanut butter, beef sticks, veggies & hummus, pear & cheddar cheese.
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