Be in the Flow – Follow Your Path!

Posts tagged ‘healthy’

How to Eat Healthy

How to eat healthy

The USDA periodically updates what healthy Americans should eat. USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA administers programs that provide services to farmers. So it is not some health and wellness or medical organization that tells us what we should eat, but instead an organization that supports farmers. In addition there is heavy involvement of lobbyists who support the various branches of agriculture and the food industry. So who won the lobbying wars?

 

USDA My Plate

USDA My Plate

Take a look at the “My Plate”. I’d say the dairy industry won this round’s top lobbying award. Dairy is protein, but instead of sharing nearly a quarter of the plate with fish, red meat, poultry, and legumes, Dairy gets its own section. And this is in spite of the many people who are lactose intolerant for whom dairy is not a healthy choice at all.

A similar controversy surrounded the previous food pyramid. For instance, the pyramid recommended two to three servings from the protein-rich group, but this was intended to be a maximum. The pyramid recommended two to four fruit servings, but this was intended to be the minimum. The previous food pyramid and the “My Plate” also say nothing about drinking water, which is important for good health.

 

Let’s look at food pyramids/eating guidelines from other cultures.

mediterranean food pyramidThe Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was created in conjunction with the World Health Organization. It, for example, relegates red meat into the ‘eat monthly’ category. It also shows the importance of drinking water and daily physical exercise. Note also that potatoes are grouped in with the grains/starches category, not under vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

2014MAY15 JapanesePyramid

The Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top also shows the importance of water and exercise. It shows grains as the most consumed food, and fruits and dairy the least consumed with 2 servings each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014MAY15 EssensPyramideThe German Food Pyramid starts with lots of liquids; next are 5 portions of fruits and vegetables; then 5 portions of grains and potatoes; Milk and milk products daily; meat, sausage and eggs in moderation; fish regularly; high quality oils and fats; and avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and fats.

 

 

Clearly there are commonalities between the food guidelines, but there are also important differences. The Mediterranean and German food Pyramids are the only ones that point out to avoid sweets and other sugar-laden foods and drinks, whereas “My Plate” does not distinguish sugar-laden donuts and muffins from whole grain breads.

There are many other food pyramids and eating guidelines from other countries. There are also eating guidelines for specific dietary needs such as vegetarians, vegans and diabetics.

Among others I also found some humorous food pyramids. One German Food Pyramid consisted of Bratwurst, Pretzel, Beer, and eat all other foods sparingly!

Compare the eating guidelines to notice common themes and do your best to eat a healthy diet. Eat a variety of foods to get lots of nutrients and keep the portion sizes small, so as not to overeat.

 

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Selective Eating for Your Health: It’s a Journey – Part II

Growing Emotionally Healthier While Eating Selectively

This is an exploration of how memories and beliefs we formed earlier in life can negatively impact how successful we are in achieving our current goals. Examples in this article are from my journey of following the advice in the book “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss. But this isn’t about me. These examples are here to help you see how your own past can derail you and what you can do about it. By identifying current blocks and their link to a past memory or belief, their hold on us can simply dissipate. I hope these examples help you on your journey toward your goals.

One of the suggestions in Mr. Ferriss’ book is to start slowly. For a week, follow his “slow-carb” diet only at breakfast. Well, on that first day I felt like gagging all day. When exploring this with my “coach”, it traced back to a childhood event where I was told to eat something most unpleasant. Working through that scenario, I released the emotional hold it still had over me. So I almost derailed at breakfast on day one.

Somewhere around day two I developed an intense craving for soda, which I normally drink very rarely and which is not allowed. Working with my “coach” I was able to unearth a memory of another childhood event where my mother drank soda on occasion but I wasn’t allowed to have any. After releasing this memory, the craving lessened substantially.

On day three I became quite sad and despondent wondering if I could stick with this diet for a week, let alone for a whole month as I had planned. Again working with my “coach” I discovered that there was a childhood memory associated linking receiving food I liked with love from a parent. So, depriving myself of some of the foods I liked felt like being unloved. Wow, I was beginning to see that I have a lot of emotional baggage associated with food. I recommitted to resolving my food related issues and sticking with this diet for at least a month. Following the diet was harder than I had expected, but I approached each meal as if it was the only meal on the diet. Each meal I started over doing my best to follow Mr. Ferriss’ recommendations as closely as I felt able.

By day 4 I felt bored with the foods I had been eating and felt that I couldn’t possibly stick with eating the same few foods much longer.  Working through this issue with my “coach” I remembered that I had been a good cook when I was younger, but after repeated ridicule had taken on the belief that I couldn’t cook. I also discovered that somehow I had come to believe that I didn’t deserve to spend time on cooking meals for myself. Once I realized this, I took some time to search for “slow-carb” recipes online and expanded my choices with tasty and easy to make dishes. More importantly, I was more than halfway through the week and was working through my issues as they arose. Each issue I clear up will be one less issue holding me back from a healthy weight – for the rest of my life.

I hope that these examples from my own experience will help you become aware of your own struggles and how, by recognizing the origins, you can let go of the emotion associated with old memories and beliefs.

Call to Action:

If you have an unhealthy weight, I encourage you to work through any emotional issues you have around food. Once you resolve them, they will no longer have a grip on you, and you will naturally and effortlessly adhere to a healthier weight. Willpower can only take you so far, but in the end your unconscious emotions and beliefs are likely to take over and ruin even your best efforts. If you have unsuccessfully dieted before, get off the yo-yo and take control of all that is holding you back. You are worth it.

Taking it Farther:

Check out the Internet or the public library for a diet that works for you. I am currently following the diet from the book www.fourhourbody.com.

Contact me:

Do you have trouble following a diet and sticking with it? Are the goals reasonable and you still can’t do it? Have you checked with a doctor to see if there are medical reasons for an unhealthy weight? May be life coaching can help you let go of self-sabotaging behaviors or unconscious beliefs around food, and help you achieve your goals. For a free consultation call Edith at 847.913.3900

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