Tag Archives: cooking

Healthy Eating: The Basics Never Change

salad catI was curious, so I searched the internet for “healthy living.” Google had about 576,000,000 options for me in .48 seconds. I narrowed the search to “diet plans.” Google had 21,300,000 results in 0.39 seconds. These numbers seem ridiculous, but there is something out there for everyone. I’ve heard and seen a lot of “healthy eating” over the past years, but the basics never change. Here are concepts I’ve seen healthy-eaters master over the years.

The Joy of Cooking is cookbook title. Preparing food isn’t everyone’s idea of joy, but basic cooking skills are necessary. Dining out wastes money and calories. And diners have little control over the cook who prepares the meal. In a study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, authors and researchers Julia Wolfson and Sara Bleich analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES)

As part of the NHANES data gathered between 2007 and 2010, approximately 9,500 adults 20 and older were asked about their cooking habits. Researchers found that households that reported cooking dinner at home most frequently (6 to 7 times a week) consumed “significantly fewer” calories and ate better than those who relied more heavily on restaurant meals and frozen foods.

The researchers found that 8 percent of adults lived in households in which someone cooked dinner no more than once a week; 44 percent cooked dinner 2 to 5 times a week; and 48 percent reported cooking dinner 6 to 7 times a week. Compared to the low-cooking category, those in the high-cooking category consumed significantly more fiber, fewer carbohydrates, and less sugar.”

Calories count. Calories are just units of food energy. A lot of people hate the idea of paying attention to calories, but it is necessary. You can’t cut your electric bill if you aren’t paying attention to leaving the lights on. Start with turning some lights off. And using less heat in the winter. This gives you a handle on how you are using electricity. You have to cut your food energy (in general) to cut your weight. This takes a conscious effort.

Quality of calories count even more. After you have paid attention to your quantity of food you have to begin to understand the quality of your choices. Eat boxed and canned food sparingly. If it had a mom, and came from the ground it’s edible. Eat unadulterated food. Or as close as you can get. Don’t drink your calories. Eating lean protein, fruits and vegetables with a splash of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats will help your body run optimally. Pasture-raised and organics do matter, and if incorporated into your grocery bill correctly are affordable.

Staying informed. If you don’t know how many calories are in a Starbucks Frap there are a ridiculous amount of websites/apps/wearable fitness monitors/software that will tell you. “Not knowing” is no longer a good excuse for being ignorant to nutrition. If all the info is confusing and you don’t know how it applies, then hire a professional. Me and thousands of professionals love to help clients apply nutrition knowledge. We can’t do the work for you, but we can give you honest and educated guidance. Since you limiting dining out, use the money to hire someone.

Nutritional intervention for weight loss or healthy lifestyle will work 80% of the time. Some people do have physiological roadblocks to weight loss that are not solved by nutrition and/or exercise. If, after 3 months with consistent nutritional and fitness effort, you aren’t seeing results consult your doctor. Bloodwork, urinalysis, and/or have hormone levels checked and evaluated.

Patience. Learning how your body best performs is a gradual process. What works for one person may not work for you and your lifestyle. Or it might. Never give up. Nutrition is an individual thing. There isn’t a single blueprint for everyone, but mastering basic healthy eating is crucial to the process.