Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — My pigout days are over. How do you stay healthy while you’re unemployed? Doesn’t good food like organic everything cost more? When I’m stressed out I want to eat, not cook! What are my alternatives? Oh I’m a diabetic too. — Starving for Wellness
Dear Starving for Wellness,
Let’s clear up a basic definition faux pas. “Diet” does not mean what you eat when you’re trying to lose weight, it is what and how you eat habitually. Therefore, we can all — regardless of employment and health status — have healthier diets and more wellness any time we choose to. Firstly, if you have special needs such as diabetes or food allergies, find out from your doctor what you need to have and avoid in your diet to maintain health. These can easily be inserted into your overall better food choices.
Here I go again: I am a proponent of the middle way, all things in moderation. I believe you can and should have whatever life has to offer you in balanced measure. Another key to moderation is to know yourself, including your addictions or unhealthy (mental or physical) inclinations, in which case you will most likely have to avoid those items in total to achieve and maintain your balance.
Basics to a healthy diet: there is a good rule of 80% veggies and 20% other. I don’t do this, but I do enjoy quick tips and short cuts. Mine is about portions; eat portions that are your fist size and make sure at least one of those is a veg per meal, 5 veggie servings a day is recommended. Avoid white foods: bread, processed sugar, chips or crackers — they can make you hyperglycemic (including diabetic or weight gain). Eating six (6) smaller meals during the day helps control weight by helping the body know it is not being starved (of nutrients). I shoot for four (4) a day and try to rotate in smoothies and fruits and veggies in where I otherwise might not at a larger meal. Pre-pack (protein) cheese, nuts and/or a hardboiled egg; carrots, broccoli florettes, and self-packaged fruits like apples, bananas and grapes work best for lazy-booties like me.
Know yourself and find what works for you, then work it.
Bon appetite and health all year,
Dear Starving for Wellness,
Eating well doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But FYI, spending a little more at checkout could save you thousands in medical bills. As a diabetic you know the array of medical issues that can stem from not eating right—from neuropathy to death.
First, know that the vogue value of organics has risen greatly over the years and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables can be found from Target to Safeway. My favored shopping spot is Trader Joe’s. You can find frozen and fresh meals and snacks that are made from whole grains and packed with vitamins. There are even “healthy” versions of Cheetos and other favorite snacks that actually taste good. Although, there are some great snacks that are good for you and taste great—like Teriyaki Turkey Jerky.
Don’t think that you have to pay absurd Whole Foods prices for good organic foods. At Trader Joe’s, a dozen Omega 3 enriched eggs are $2.39, at Whole Foods the same eggs basically $4. Safeway Organics brand offers some good values on packaged foods at about half the price of Whole Food’s O brand.
The truth is if you care about your health and your loved ones, you’ll make the investment in yourself. This starts on a most fundamental level with how you feed yourself. McDonald’s isn’t going to make you healthy. It will make you fat with bad skin, high blood pressure and aggravated diabetes. Cheetos, Doritos and potato chips will do the same.
Believe it or not it’s easy to make a healthy meal. A tortilla, some beans, grilled meat and salsa and you’ve got a yummy low carb, high protein snack. Stevia used instead of sugar and no calorie sweeteners can actually help your blood sugar numbers. Roast a sweet potato in the oven for a delicious side dish packed with vitamins. Make a few important choices in the foods you pick to improve health and your mood—without sending your budget over the deep end.
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