What a great day to change your life. So where do you start?
Part One – Overhauling Your Dietary Habits
This is a huge piece to the wellness puzzle, and oh my goodness is there ever a TON of conflicting information out there. It’s impossible to be able to tell the good information from the not-so-good sometimes, especially with all the different “fad” diets, cleanses, and restrictions that affect our eating habits. The resource that is recommended by Health Canada is Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating which includes examples of what foods fit into each of four food groups. It also offers tips on how to eat optimally for your age and gender, beginning at age two (younger children should follow the advice of their family physician to ensure all health requirements are being met).
Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating also gives examples of proper portion sizes. The reality is that we could actually be over or under-eating certain foods and not even know it. Did you know that one bagel is actually two servings of grain products? That two eggs is one serving of Meat and Alternatives? That half a cup of pure fruit juice is one serving? I have personally found it helpful to have a food scale in my home. Having the visual really helped me to learn what a single portion looks like, and has helped me to ensure that myself as well as my entire family is eating a healthy and balanced diet. So much information is available just by going to:
Real change takes work, commitment, and willpower. Dietary habits are life-long habits which you have become accustomed to from a young age, and it can be difficult to learn a different eating culture. Changing small things (to start!) can help to find long-term success. A few tips that you can do to get started are:
- Choose whole grain bread products over white, it will help you feel full longer
- Increase water consumption – drink a glass of water before you eat a meal
- Choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice
- Trim visible fats from your meat and remove the skin from poultry
- Try something new! Tofu, quinoa, soy, brown rice, lentils etc. might sound bizarre to you, but you might amaze yourself with the items that you actually like!
It is important to note that that specialized diets do have a place in wellness, however if you are restricting anything from your diet (ie: dairy, gluten/wheat, sugar) My advice is to have a registered dietician or physician’s recommendation and guidance to do so safely.
In an article on the Chicago Tribune website, writer Rosie Mestel examines a scientific article recently posted in which scientists state they it may be possible to grow gluten-free wheat plants.
“Avoiding gluten isn’t easy, and those with the discipline to succeed deal with a host of restrictions to their diets.
Scientists have experimented with another tack: sifting through different varieties of wheat and barley lines that lack, or make a lot less of, key gluten proteins in their grains. (Gluten is a complicated mix of proteins that are stored in seeds of wheat, barley and rye, and only some – not all – of these proteins trigger the allergic reactions.)
But though they’ve found varieties that lack some of the important allergenic proteins…”
Read the full article by Rosie Mestel on the Chicago Tribune Health website.
“In addition to avoiding the gluten containing grains like wheat, spelt, rye, barley, farro, kamut and semolina, you also need to watch out for the hidden gluten in many processed foods. Start reading labels, choose more whole foods with no (or at least very short) ingredient lists, and begin to cook more at home.”
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