When you inquire about a bunch of people what eating healthfully is for them, then you’ll likely find a different answer each time.
For certain people, healthy eating means reining in the fast food habits or eating more fruits and vegetables while for others it might be a time to indulge in a slice of cake, without guilt.
Yet, people with specific medical conditions or food allergies might be able to conceptualize healthy eating in their own particular way.
In essence, there is no definitive answer to the question of what healthy eating means.
Healthy eating is a human thing and as human beings each of us has different desires and requirements that will ultimately impact our choices regarding food.
Furthermore What healthy eating means to you might change over the various stages in your journey as you progress and adjust to your constantly changing requirements.
This article focuses on the human aspects that comes with healthy eating, and I offer my personal strategies to simplify the process.
What does healthy eating means for me
A definition for healthy eating has changed for me several times over the last few years.
At the time when I went to college healthy eating was about adhering to nutritional guidelines and following everything according to the rules. But, this meant that my perception of food items in my kitchen changed. I stopped seeing meals I loved to just seeing food items as nutrients.
In a flash, I changed from looking at traditional Costa Rican gallo pinto -or beans and rice to looking at complex carbohydrates and plant-based proteins.
When I began becoming a nutritionist, the idea that dietitians should appear like a certain way or conform to a certain body type made me think it was healthy eating meant measuring my food intake to determine precisely what I was eating. I could eat anything I wanted provided that my nutritional requirements were taken care of.
I made sure my body had everything it needed to stay healthy However, healthy eating goes beyond the nutrients. It’s about how you feel. And with food being a vital element of social and cultural occasions, eating is something that we should enjoy.
Today, I’m using a different method of healthy eating. I’m much more flexible with my food choices and realize that balance is essential for being satisfied and healthy with food.
Healthy eating is now a matter of often I ensure that I include foods from all food groups in my plate, without taking measurements or considering the plant-based or. animal-based protein , or simple or simple vs. complicated carbs.
It also means I can enjoy some of everythingfor example, sweets or fast food items, as well as desserts in reasonable limits and without having to weigh or count it.
As you can see, finding the perfect balance that I was able to achieve did not happen overnight. In fact my concept of healthy eating has been changing throughout the various phases through my own life.
If you are able for a healthy diet and take note of what it requires and desires, you can provide healthy eating your own meaning since healthy eating is for everyone.
Looking at the larger picture
As with many other things that happen in our lives, eating well does not always go exactly as you had planned.
There are times when you’re stuck in a job that is late at night or tired to cook your own dinner, but that isn’t a reason to not order take-out food and have fun with the food.
In the event that healthy eating means being flexible in your food choices it is important to be able to adapt to changes in the environment that arise, which can happen more frequently than you think.
In the event that I have to pick a food at an opportunity, I attempt to select the most appropriate option from the menu I’m offered. If I am able, I try to find a meal that is similar to a meal that is home-cooked or choose lunch, salad or bowl.
However, I sometimes need pizza, which is why I enjoy eating it, too!
When I am faced with this situation I am reminded to look at the larger perspective. It is it is true that healthy eating is not defined by a single meal, but rather by the decisions we make day in and day.
A friend of mine once shared with me a quote that says, “One bad meal will not make you sick, just as one good meal will not make you healthy.”
It could be challenging occasionally
If you’re a dietitian many people believe that healthy eating is something that comes naturally to you. However, we’re human also and we enjoy food and desserts just as do all other people.
In my experience one of the largest issues I’ve faced was having to eliminate most carb-containing foods in order to treat chronic infections.
Carbs are found in a variety of food groups, such as grains and legumes, starchy vegetables fruits, and dairy. They are also found in processed foods as well as sweets.
Experts typically divide them into two groups in accordance with the amount of fibre content:
- Whole grain: preserve their natural fiber
- Refined carbohydrates: They are refined to eliminate their fiber, and also contain sugar added to them.
In theory, I was told to cut out refined carbs, which , for some, is the most healthy way to live.
In the end I gave up all sorts of processed carbs like whole wheat pasta and bread along with grains, starchy vegetables and dairy.
So the list of carbs-rich foods I could consume was restricted by fruits oatmeal, legumes, quinoa,beans, lentils chickpeas and edamame.
Many people said that this transition would not be that difficult for me as dietitian. But it took me some time to get used to my new diet and schedule meals on the go and eating out.
I realized that organization and imagination are crucial in managing my nutrition needs.
3 things I’ve done that you can also
As I stated earlier the importance of organization and creativity in helping me make the right food choices each day. It is due to the fact that, from the way I consider the matter, healthy eating is a decision that we make every meal we take.
This is why I make my choice-making process as straightforward as I can when I’m deciding on an eating plan or snack. This way, I’m able to keep choosing what’s the best for me.
Below are three things that I practice on a regular or weekly basis to help me to be healthy and eat well.
Preparing for meals
Although this might sound cliché I find that preparing my meals in advance for the week actually helps.
The process of cooking can take lots of time however, having food that has to be heated and served lets me prepare a healthy meal within a matter of minutes.
One of my most frequently used meal-prep suggestions is to prepare a batch of meats — usually poultry or some other meat that is lean which I then portion out and freeze for more than one week, then freeze when I’m ready to use the food items.
I also make sure that I make sure to prepare vegetables ahead of time for throughout the week. So, I don’t have to have to think twice about having a salad or making a side of vegetables with every meal.
I make an effort to cook them in a variety of ways to avoid becoming bored and ultimately refusing to take them to eat.
For instance for the carrots and zucchinis I’ll cut dice, chop, grate or spiralize them. All of these allow me to incorporate them easily into my meals.
Make sure that fruit is within reach.
The act of keeping the sight of my fruit prominently displayed keeps me motivated to eat fruits throughout the day.
Research suggests that you’re the most likely to consume more of the food items are in your vicinity regardless of whether they’re sweets or fruits .
I follow this rule every day and make it a point to keep my fruits displayed on my table, and my sweets and snacks stored away.
Maintain a regular routine
While I don’t have a formal plan for my weekly menu but there is a particular menu that I eat each meal.
For instance my breakfast choices typically comprise:
- A Costa Rican classic of gallo pinto and eggs
- Toast with peanut butter, and eggs on the side
- Oatmeal with fruit
- oatmeal pancakes
It’s the same with my other snacks and meals, where I’ve got at least three choices to pick from , without any thought.
A predetermined menu of foods that I am sure I will enjoy helps me to choose what I want to eat. It also allows me to alter my meals based on what I want to eat, whether it’s sweet or more savory.
It’s also useful to use it for buying groceries because you already know what food items you’ll likely be eating for every meal.
Human beings continuously grow and adapt to changing conditions, as will our idea about healthy eating.
In this article, I’ve discussed with you how the concept of healthy eating has changed for me over the years, what was the biggest obstacle on my healthy eating journey, and my tricks and tips to assist in making healthy eating easier.
But, my method does not represent my “right way” — or the only method -to eat healthy. It’s what I’ve found to work for me and it could or might not work for you.
Healthy eating is part of our human nature and is different for every individual. Take a look at what you could incorporate in your routine to position yourself for success in healthy eating.
If you’re uncertain about what to do, you might consider consulting with a registered dietitian to help you develop an attainable, healthy eating plan that fits your unique requirements and needs.
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