What an exciting week it’s been!
I’m late with my “What I Ate” post because I’ve been preparing for my presentation at the 2015 Asia Health Summit, an Asia CEO Forum event, at which I was honored to be a speaker for the 2nd year in a row. Presented by Healthway Medical, this all-day conference features physicians, health insurers, corporate wellness specialists, the Philippines Olympic Athletic Trainer, and other prominent health professionals.
And me. How cool is that?
The theme of this year’s conference was: “Next Generation Preventive Health,” and I addressed it in my presentation by pointing out 5 steps we can take to move towards better health through better nutrition. Wanna hear?
Step 1. Ditch the Sugar: refined white sugar comes in just about every processed food product you can imagine, from the obvious soda, to yogurt and ketchup and instant oatmeal and bread. The more added sugar we eat, the more we crave it. The only way to kill the craving is to reduce your intake, no way around it. Replace sugary drinks and sodas with water- flavor it with fruit slices! Find recipes for treats with less sugar & natural sweeteners (like dates!). Check out the ones on this blog as well as Jack’s Balancing Act & Hummusapien– 2 bloggers that I truly trust for solid advice and fabulous recipes.
Step 2. Fill up on Fiber: fiber is good for you for so many reasons! It makes you feel full before you’ve eaten too many calories. It keeps your digestive system healthy. It can reduce your risk of colon cancer. And the foods that are high in fiber also come with a ton of other beneficial nutrients. But please, people, get your fiber from foods and not from a supplement. Think whole grains (quinoa, whole oats, barley, millet, brown rice), legumes, seeds, veggies, & fruits to increase your fiber intake. If you don’t currently have a lot of fiber in your diet, take my advice and start slowly. And be sure to drink a lot of water…
Step 3. Eat your Veggies!: Just like your mama always tol’ you… There is everything good and nothing bad about veggies!! They are full of vitamins, anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, & fiber to keep you healthy & reduce your risk of every chronic disease. Eat as many colors of veggies as possible and as lightly cooked as practical. Fill your plate with them at as many meals as possible. Whip them into smoothies, hide them in brownies, eat plates & plates of them with your whole grains & legumes.
Step 4. Reduce your Meat Intake: and I mean a lot. People typically eat way too much protein, and too much of it comes from animals. We only need 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. That’s not a lot, folks! We might need a bit more if we’re working out intensely and frequently, but most people don’t. And protein needs can be easily met with legumes, whole grains & vegetables. While not everyone needs to be vegan, not everyone needs to eat meat 3 times a day either. Start with a vegetarian breakfast or lunch, and move to “Meatless Monday” dinner… then go for a vegetarian day 3-4 times per week. See how amazing you feel!
Step 5. Ditch Fast & Street Food: this might be the most important thing you can do for your health. When was the last time you saw a vegetable in your fast-food meal?? And I’m sorry, but limp lettuce and pale tomatoes do not count! Fast food is full of MSG, saturated fat, sodium, and poor-quality meat, not to mention all the additives, ahem… added… to do a multitude of things to your chicken nuggets and burgers. No thank you! So what is the solution to your daytime hunger dilemma? Just pack it! Your lunch, I mean. Or snacks. I always have a couple of little tupperwares of almonds and dried fruit and homemade cookies in my purse. And for lunch, dinner leftovers are the perfect thing- just pack it up as you’re putting the rest away.
It takes a little planning, a little advance thought, to do these things I’m proposing. But the time it takes is SO worth it in terms of your health… not only how you look, but even more importantly, how you feel.
Yup, Mama’s up on the soapbox today, as my kids would put it! And there is just so much more to be said on good nutrition and a healthy diet. But it can’t all be said in one day, one presentation, or certainly one blog post… and thank goodness for that!
Happy weekend, everyone!