Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's About Balance

Are you one of those people who knows you could be eating healthier but haven’t gotten around to making the changes necessary to clean up your diet? Maybe you think it’s too much work, or you won’t like the food, or you’re afraid you’ll be deprived and never be able to eat your favorite foods again. For the most part, these are misconceptions.

As I mentioned yesterday, good-for-you foods can be incredibly tasty and satisfying and I the long run, will make you feel better. Your palette will also change over time as you grow accustomed to eating healthier and you will slowly lose the taste for the salty, fatty, sugary foods that are making you feel tired, irritable, depressed, and sick. And in the time it takes to open a box, cook the noodles, tear open a packet of powdered cheese and mix it in, you could have prepared a tasty and filling salad full of flavor or put a dish of vegetables in the oven to roast. When we make up our minds to do it, we just do it.

How about the idea that we can never eat our favorite foods again? My philosophy on this is that life is about balance. It is meant to be enjoyed and savored and treating yourself to something you love is good for the soul. As you move into a healthier diet, you will likely find that you will want your unhealthy favorite foods less and less and may even reserve them for special occasions. For example, the cake in the picture was for my grandson’s 5th birthday. And as you’d expect, the cake on the inside tasted as good as the outside looked–it was actually decorated by an artist. Of course I had a piece (maybe two, I don’t remember). But I didn’t deprive myself of the experience of tasting this delicious cake.

Tonight, I learned how to make pot stickers with a friend and I enjoyed some of those as well. But ninety-five percent of the time, I would classify my diet as clean. One good way to manage your treats is to have them outside the home. If you want ice cream, go out to an ice cream shop and have a cone or cup, don’t come home with a half-gallon. Same with other sweets, or pizza, or whatever else you crave. This way, you’re not tempted to eat it all the time.

What are your strategies for maintaining a healthy diet? Please share them here!

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