- Write down at least 3 days of eating, minimum. Don’t censor it. A bite of food is a bite of food. When I did that I learned that I was tasting everything I made as I was preparing and cooking, up until the time I served the meal. I also ate my kids leftovers, and wasn’t counting that as my food intake either. It will be eye-opening, do it!
- There’s an app for that. My Fitness Pal or Lose It. After you do the 3 day food journal, start using one of those apps. Why don’t I have you do that from the beginning? Mindfulness is a beautiful thing. YOU should be thinking about your health, not letting a program do it for you. Learn about you first…why you eat, when you eat, and what you eat.
- Become an ingredient reader. When you buy food, the label will state how good the product is. Don’t believe it. Read for yourself. Trans-fat free is not so if it has hydrogenated oil in it, but it can be labeled as such if it contains less than 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving. Terms like whole grain, all-natural, and fat-free are all deceiving. Read the ingredients.
- Don’t dress for dinner (or lunch). Most bottled dressings are made with cheap vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup, and chemical preservatives. Lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar, or house made dressings are a best bet. Ask what dressings are made in-house. If you do get any sauces or dressings, ask for them on the side, and measure, as each tablespoon is approximately 100 calories. For sandwiches, ask for avocado in place of mayo or dressing.
- Veggies, veggies, eat them up…yum! Make vegetables part of your food intake as often as possible. Try to include at least 5 different items in your meals whether the meal is a smoothie, salad, side dish, sandwich, or pizza. For example: Try spinach, broccoli rabe, peppers, onion, mushrooms, on pizza. For side dishes (sauté veggies with quinoa or brown rice) and salads, there are so many options: carrot, spinach, bokchoy, daikon, cilantro, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, sweet potato, peppers, jicama, peas, onions, fennel, celery, cucumbers, and more. Be adventurous and try different veggies in different combinations!
Taking steps like these will increase your health, well being, and happiness factor. And studies show that by taking action, you can positively influence your friends and family too. Pretty cool, right?
To your health and happiness,