Healthy Habits

When it comes to taking care of our bodies, the chasm between knowing and doing is often so great that I sometimes forget lack of knowledge is still a culprit.

Now, I am a long and loud cry from a nutritional expert, by any means. As simply a gal who listens and reads and has picked up a modicum of at-least-presumably-healthy habits over the years, please allow me to share a few general tips. Perhaps some of them will be new to you.

- Of course, eat LOTS of veggies and fruit every day.

- Go with frozen vegetables over canned every time; they retain their nutritional value and are not packed in sodium water.

- Eliminate white; replace it with whole grains. There is no nutritional value in white (stripped) rice, flour, pasta, or bread.
            * Try introducing whole grains to your household by mixing them with whites to help everyone adjust to the flavors/textures over time.

- Try not to consume so much processed food. A general rule: the less ingredients in the item you are considering, the better. Have you ever really looked at the ingredients in a boxed cake mix, in coffee creamer, in cheap ice cream?

- Fat free or sugar free are not always a good choice. The idea is to stick to whole, real foods, in their natural state. Fat-free products often replace removed fat with sugar (which turns to fat anyway). “Sugar free” means sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium, which have been found to increase hunger and have harmful side effects that include being carcinogenic.

- Minimize consumption of processed meats: lunch meats, standard hog dogs, sausages... Not only do they contain sodium nitrite, a questionable chemical preservative, but are also high in sodium and saturated fat.

- Adding citrus to your water is said to have great benefits, making it alkaline and helping to neutralize acids in the body.

- Stay away from microwave popcorn. The lining of the bags are coated with carcinogenic chemicals, (fluorotelomers). Instead, pop your corn in a popping machine or a pan on the stove.

- Try not to buy or use plastic water bottles and definitely don't reuse them. Similarly, avoid microwaving plastic, which includes saran-wrap topped things. As plastics age or heat-up, there is an increased risk for leaching of phthalates or BPA from the plastic to the food or water.
- The safest cookware is cast iron or stainless steel. As soon as the Teflon-lined/nonstick kinds scratch, they're leaching aluminum into your food. If you find that you only want to use nonstick, coated pans, be prepared to replace them frequently.

Fad diets are often confusing and contradictory. They go out of style for a reason. Many healthy choices are intuitive.... natural, unprocessed, homemade foods - and less of them if your caloric intake does not match your energy output.

Here's to avoiding risks, where we can, and to putting real, nutritious foods into our bodies, when we can.
What are your favorite healthy habits?


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  2. Thanks for sharing, always good to pick up new healthy tips!