Today I will share with you some quality advice for healthier living. As a disclaimer, I'm not a registered dietician, but I am a runner. If you know anything about runners, you'd understand we'll do anything to become faster, including making healthy lifestyle choices; this has been my goal over the past several years. I hope you find my thoughts helpful. Sometimes healthy reminders are necessary!
1. It is better to eat constantly.
Eat snacks (about 150-200 calories each) in between meals (350-400 calories each) rather than going several hours from one meal to the next without eating.
When you don't eat for more than three hours, your blood sugar drops and your metabolism slows down. This means that when you do eat again, your digestive system takes longer to absorb the nutrients, therefore food sits in your stomach/intestines longer and is more likely to effect you negatively (turning food to fat instead of energy).
2. Sugar is the enemy.
We all know candy isn't good for us, but that's not the only thing that contains ungodly amounts of sugar. Check the nutrition label for the sugar content in your cereal, granola bars, canned items, drinks, bread, etc. Cereal shouldn't have more than 6 grams, bread no more than 2 or 3. Think as low as possible when it comes to sugar.
Foods and drinks high in sugar spike your blood sugar (your goal should be to keep your blood sugar levels even all day). When you have a high blood sugar levels, you get a buzz (sugar high) but then you crash and feel hungry soon after. This leads you to crave bad foods that are high in sugar and calories which begins a vicious cycle that sets your blood sugar levels on a crazy roller-coaster ride.
3. Eating fat isn't bad.
There are certain fats in food that benefit you, in moderation. However, check the nutrition label for saturated fat %. It is better to choose unsaturated fat because consuming too much saturated fat raises your cholesterol, and that's trouble for your guts! Here is a link I found extremely helpful in understanding the different kinds of fat: Dietary fats: Know which types to choose.
4. You probably eat too much sodium.
You like your occasional dash of salt to add a little flavor to your food, but trust me, whatever your eating already has plenty. Quite frankly, your body doesn't need so much sodium.
Usually, your kidneys eliminate access sodium in your pee, but if for some reason there's too much, it begins to build up in your bloodstream. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases, which makes your heart work harder to pump blood to every part of your body, which increases pressure in your arteries.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. Read more: Sodium: How to tame your salt habit now.
5. Drink before you eat.
A lot of the time when you think you're hungry, you're actually just thirsty. Drink a glass of water before you eat anything. In fact, always drink more water than you think necessary. 8-10 8oz. glasses a day (that's basically 3 camelbak water bottles). Why? Let me give you an analogy:
Imagine you just took a dump (sorry for the graphic mental image). It's time to flush, but there's no water (or very little). The toilet is working perfectly but without the water, the crap isn't going anywhere.
You need water to flush your food through your system. Enough said.
There are also a ton of other benefits to drinking water, it helps everything. Water is just great, you need to drink it. Ok? Ok. :)
When it comes to mealtime.
Also, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when choosing your meals:
It's the most important meal of the day!!! Also, it should be your biggest (most calories). Think high in carbohydrates (Yes! Carbs!) and also protein.
- Low-sugar cold cereals (Kashi has great stuff!) or oatmeal
*Sidenote: personally I'm not a fan of milk (skim or otherwise) because of all of the unnatural hormones added in. Also, milk is relatively high in sugar. Instead, I drink unsweetened Almond milk with my cold cereal. It has much more calcium and vitamins and made from all natural ingredients.- Banana with Peanut butter or a handful of raw almonds
- 2-4 eggs/egg whites on two slices of whole grain toast or two whole grain tortillas
A balance of carbohydrates and protein
- Peanut butter and jelly on whole grain (always a classic)
- Spinach salad with chicken
- Baked potato
- Tuna sandwich
- Egg salad sandwich (1-2 boiled eggs chopped+mustard+light mayo on whole grain bread)
Don't forget to include vegetables (especially green) like green beans, peppers, celery, carrots, broccoli etc.
Think less carbs, more protein.
- Chicken and rice
- Spinach salad with chicken
- Beef with baked potato
And again, don't forget to include vegetables raw or cooked.
- Yogurt (especially greek!)
- Toast (whole grain)
- Boiled eggs
- Trail mix
Just think moderation and you'll be fine
- Dark chocolate
Welp. That's all I have for right now. I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!