Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mindfulness.. where it all begins

Tune in to your nutritional needs and loose weight! Pay attention to what you eat of course, both quality & quantity.  Set time a side to plan out your meals, preparation  should not take long at all and its the most important step to healthy living!

When your starting off and creating new health goals...write down everything you eat.  Keep a daily dairy and log all the foods you ate and how they made you feel.  This will help you connect your mind with your body.  Listen to what your body tells will guide you to the right nutrition and foods your  body needs to heal and keep you healthy and energized!  Your dairy will also help identify emotional eating , helping you get rid of all those "comfort" food and snacks you love.  Don't be sad you will eventually replace the "bad" snacks with new snacks that you enjoy more.

Step one in changing your diet, getting rid of ALL processed foods!!!!  When your in the grocery store next ...walk around with new eyes.  Read labels and be totally aware of what your eating!! If the label is long and contains things you either can't pronounce or normally wouldn't use to cook with....Don't eat that! Processed food is targeted for "quick" fixes not good for you or healthy by any means!  Make yourself priority in life, stop using "time" as an excuse for not being in control of your nutritional needs and preparing healthy meals.

Of course it all starts at the grocery store.  Are you making good choices and being mindful of your health when your surrounded by a million of bad vices? Start in the produce section, whole foods, vegetables and fruit should be the main source of your selection.  Choose fresh , whole organic produce whenever possible.  Fruits and vegetables from all parts of the color spectrum should make up most of your grocery items.  Always choose low to no sodium canned and packaged food.  A variety of grains, breads, cereals and legumes are great staple foods to stock up with.  Buy products made with whole grains not white or whole wheat flour.  Stock up on dried beans and lentils.  Avoid frozen meals that are high in sodium, choose healthier protein sources such as edamame or organic frozen foods.  Amy's is one of my favorite organic brands and has a lot of vegan options.  There's a variety of meat alternatives to choose from.  My staple products are: Tofu- extra firm, firm and soft, seitan which is a high protein meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans and very high in protein, it's a bit on the nutty and grainy side but delicious.  Textured soy protein also known as texturized vegetable protein TVP.  This is made from defatted soy flour that's compressed and processed into bite-size chunks.  TVP needs to rehydrated with water when using.

As it goes for non dairy products always read the label! There's a lot of hidden ingredients that are made from milk proteins such as casein.  Follow your heart vegan cheese is my favorite brand.  It's 100% dairy free and comes in a variety of flavors. Earth balance is a wonderful dairy free butter, make sure to buy the non-hydrogenated one!  There's a lot of milk alternatives.  my two favorites are: Soy milk which is made from soy beans, high in protein, vitamins and minerals and rice milk made from brown rice, water and a small amount of brown rice sweetener.  Almond and hemp milk is also very good!! 

Get crazy for nuts!!! Choose unsalted or low-salt varieties of nuts and seeds that are raw or dry roasted.  Store your seeds in the freezer for freshness.  Nuts and seeds are healthy fats essential for a healthy diet.  The benefits if almonds are plentiful.  They contain monounsaturated fats that help reduce the risk of heart disease, great source of protein to provide sustained energy, calcium for strong bones and magnesium which plays a role in a healthy metabolism.  Almonds should be a staple nut in your pantry!