During this time of social distancing, it is an excellent opportunity to take stock of health habits. If better ones are desired, it is a good time to map them out. As the saying goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” and that is particularly true in the arena of changing food habits. People are accustomed to reach for their favorite food, so it takes a concerted effort to plan a different approach.
To change to a healthier lifestyle and for it to work long-term, the plan must fit the person who is going to walk through it day-by-day. It must be something that realistically can be incorporated into a person’s life.
All healthy habits start with removing or eliminating excess sugar, salt, and processed foods. This is a general must no matter what other changes are made. If there is going to be a permanent change, there must be a commitment to a permanent removal of any excesses. Otherwise, it is too easy to fall back into bad habits. It is good to talk over contemplated changes with a doctor or primary care physician or health provider.
The reason for removing or reducing the above foods is because these foods either affect the gut flora negatively or can affect the sugar balance in the body negatively. It is easy to get on a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. It is simpler to maintain a healthier lifestyle when there are not huge cravings. Sugar can become a huge craving.
There are energy dense foods and nutrient dense foods. Energy dense foods are foods that have lots of fat and sugar. They give a quick energy burst. However, later, when that energy burst falls into an energy slump, then there is a demand for another energy dense food. When a person eats a candy bar, for example, shortly afterwards that individual may be hungry again.
In contrast to energy dense foods, there are nutrient dense foods. These are foods that offer a lot of nutritional value in relation to the caloric value, such as a big bowl of salad versus a candy bar. The candy bar is smaller, full of sugar, and will give a quick sugar high. The salad has more volume, more nutrition, and will satisfy longer. The salad is nutrient dense compared to the energy dense candy bar.
One way to add nutrient dense foods is through smoothies. There are green powders, made from various greens, that can be added to a daily smoothie to increase the nutrient value of the smoothie. There are also powdered fruit alternatives that can be added to smoothies as well. Another food that has multiple health benefits is bovine colostrum. If it is true, six-hour colostrum (after 6 hours the composition changes to transitional milk).
Any of these are ways to add nutrient rich foods to smoothies. The benefits of incorporating these powdered kinds of foods now, is that they are more available online during this season while in-store shopping is limited.
For those who don’t want to go the smoothie route, fresh whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meats, fish, and eggs are all nutrient dense. This is when it is time to sit down and think about what foods on that list are preferred. Plan out some menus and shopping lists in order to be ready when life resumes,
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