This is from one of my absolute favorite reads, Rachael, over at Fresh Approach Cooking. She's absolutely delightful and her cooking is mouth-watering. I have only tried a few of her recipes and each one has been unique, different, and stunningly good. I am now going through her archives to present a delicious menu other than the normal fare (but surprisingly easy to shop for) to my family and came upon this gem of a post. I have always had strong feelings about healthy eating as well, but never put it into words quite so well. The rules here encompass so many things and so many foods on the market, you'll be surprised at all that shouldn't be eaten, but seriously, the alternative is really so much more tastier. And fresher. Please take a moment to go say hi to Rachael and peruse her site, you might find a new recipe for dinner tonight! And Rachael, I hope you don't mind that I've posted the text here as well as sending readers over there, this is so good I wanted to have it in my files to look back at or refer to if need be.
"I have pretty strong thoughts on weight loss and why it is Americans struggle to lose weight. As someone who is constantly around food, I understand how much of a struggle it can be to maintain your ideal weight, so I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject.
1. Eat real food. Stop eating strange, processed, diet,low-cal,low-carb,low-fat foods. Your body needs real food, not substitutes. Buy fruit, vegetables, meats and legumes and grains. Like your friends (ha ha) at Breyers say, if you can't pronounce the ingredients on the label, you shouldn't be eating it. Nothing in your cupboard should have a shelf life longer than your life expectancy.
2. No more soda -- drink water. Even diet soda is bad. Cut it out of your life. Try green tea.
3. Stop eating junk. Just stop. Don't buy it, don't have it in the house, avoid it at the office. There is no middle ground. Do not buy junk substitutes, just don't eat junk. Period.
4. Stop and eat. When you are eating, just do that. Sit down, at a table, and eat, slowly. It takes your brain up to 30 minutes to realize your stomach is full, so you could eat almost 4 times what you really need in the time it takes your stomach to feel full. So slow down. Chew. Savor. Enjoy.
5. When you buy groceries, take the extra ten minutes to chop everything up. Mince those onions, put them in a baggie and have them on hand. Peel some carrots and store them for snacks. It makes cooking easier and snacking healthier.
6. Taking carbs completely out of your diet is not a healthy way to lose weight. Sure, cutting back on them makes a difference, but cutting back and cutting out are two different things. Try portion control and go from there. Bread is good, a lot of bread isn't. Also, there is a risk with low-carb eating -- you don't get fiber. Fiber is important to your health.
7. Eat seasonally. Vegetables have seasons. Find out what they are, and eat accordingly. You know peaches won't be any good in the middle of winter, but potatoes will...so choose accordingly.
8. Exercise. Walk, run, hop, skip, lunge, leap...whatever it takes.
I don't know if that sounds easy or hard to you, but if you change the way you deal with food, you can change the way food affects your life. We have such abundance, it can be overwhelming, but it shouldn't be. You are in charge of your weight. "