In the event that you asked a crowd of people what eating healthfully is for them, you’ll likely get the same answer each time.
For some, eating healthy involves snatching up a fast food habit or eating more vegetables and fruits for others it might be a time to indulge in a slice of cake and not feeling guilty about it.
Healthy Eating Is Human
However, those with specific medical conditions or food allergies might think of healthy eating in their own way.
In essence, there is no definitive answer to what healthy eating is.
Humans are healthy and as humans each of us has various desires and needs which will influence our choices regarding food.
Furthermore what is healthy eating to you could alter through the various stages in your journey as you mature and adjust to your constantly changing requirements.
This article focuses on the human aspects of eating healthy and I share my personal tips and tricks to help you make it simpler.
What does healthy eating mean for me?
What constitutes healthy living has changed several times in the last couple of years.
When that I entered college eating healthy was about following the nutritional guidelines and following the rules. It also meant that my perspective of food items that I ate changed. I was no longer seeing food I liked to seeing only food items as nutrients.
Then, I switched from seeing the traditional Costa Rican gallo pinto -which is beans and rice to looking at complex carbohydrates and plant-based proteins.
When I began working as a nutritionist the idea that a dietitian must look like a certain way or conform to a certain body type made me consider that healthy eating meant taking a food inventory to determine exactly what I was eating. I could eat anything I wanted as long that the nutrients I required were taken into account.
I made sure my body had everything it needed to stay healthy, but eating well extends beyond just the food. It’s about how you feel. With food being an integral aspect of our culture and social occasions, eating should be something we love to do.
Today, I’m using a different way of eating healthy. I’m more flexible in my mealsand recognize that balance is the key for being satisfied and healthy with food.
Healthy eating today means that almost all the time I ensure that I include foods from all food groups in my plate, without worrying about measuring anything or even contemplating plants and. animal-based protein , or simple carbs vs. more complex carbohydrates.
This also means that I am able to indulge in the best of everything which includes sweets or fast food items, as well as desserts in moderate consumption and without having to weigh or count it.
As you can observe, finding the right balance that I was able to achieve wasn’t a quick process. In fact my view about healthy nutrition has changed as I’ve moved through various stages in my journey.
If you are able at nourishing your body, and pay attention to the needs of your body and desires, you can make healthy eating your own significance, since healthy eating is for everyone.
Looking at the larger picture
Like many other issues in the world, eating well isn’t always exactly as you had planned.
It is possible that you are working late at night, or simply too exhausted to cook a home-cooked dinner. That does not mean you can’t order takeaway and really take advantage of the food.
If healthy eating is about being flexible about your food choices You’ll have to learn to adjust to changing conditions which could happen more frequently than you think.
When I’m forced to choose food at an opportunity, I make sure to select the most appropriate option from the menu I’m offered. When I am able, I try to get the closest to a home cooked meal or choose lunch, salad or bowl.
However, I sometimes need pizza, which is why I enjoy eating the same!
In times like these I try to remember the larger overall picture. It is that healthy eating isn’t determined by a single meal but rather by the choices we make each day.
A friend of mine once shared with me a phrase that reads, “One bad meal will not cause you to become sick the same way that one healthy meal won’t cause you to become healthy.”
It can be difficult at times
If you’re a dietitian many people believe that healthy eating is a natural thing to do. But, we’re human also and we enjoy food and desserts just as everyone else.
In my experience one of the most significant issues I’ve faced was having to cut out most carb-based foods in order to treat chronic infections.
Carbs can be found in many food groups, such as grains as well as legumes, starchy vegetables fruits, and dairy. They’re also in processed foods as well as sweets.
Experts categorize them in two groups based on the amount of fibre contents
Whole grain: keep their fiber naturally present
Refined carbohydrates: Are processed in order to eliminate their fiber and are enriched with additional sugar
In the theory of things, I was expected to get rid of refined carbs which , for some, is the most healthy option.
In the end I gave up all sorts of processed carbs, such as whole wheat pasta and bread along with grains, starchy vegetables as well as dairy.
So the list of carbs-rich food items I could eat was restricted only to fruit, oatmeal, and legumes such as quinoa such as beans, lentils chickpeas and edamame.
Many people said that this transition would not be a problem for me as dietitian. But I took some time to get used to my new eating habits particularly when I was planning my for snacks on the go or dining out.
I realized that organization and imagination are essential in managing my nutrition needs.
Three things that I have done which you can also
As I stated earlier the importance of organization and creativity in helping me make the most nutritious choices for my food every day. That’s because from the way I consider it, healthy eating is a decision we make each when we eat.
This is why I strive to make the choice-making process as straightforward as I can when making a choice about an eating plan or snack. This way, I’m able to remain in control of what’s most suitable for me.
Below are three things that I practice on a regular or every week basis which make it much easier for me to be healthy and eat well.
While it might sound cliché I find that preparing my meals in advance for the week helps.
The process of cooking can take lots of time however, having food that only requires to be cooked and then served, I can make a nutritious meal within a matter of minutes.
One of my most frequently used meal-prep strategies is to prepare a batch of protein — typically the chicken or other meats that are lean — which I portion out and freeze for more than one week, then freeze when I’ll need they require.
I also make sure that I prepare my vegetables ahead of time for during the week. So, I don’t have to be hesitant about eating a salad or making vegetables for a side dish at every meal.
I make an effort to cook them in a variety of ways to keep from becoming bored and then opting not to consume them.
For instance in the case of vegetables like carrots, or zucchinis I’ll cut dice, chop, grate or spiralize the vegetables, which all allow me to incorporate them into my meals with ease.
Keep the fruit in reach
Making the sight of my fruit in view helps me remember to eat fruit throughout the day.
Research suggests that you’re more likely to consume more of any food items you have near you, no matter if they’re sweets or fruits
I apply this idea every day and make it a point to keep my fruits displayed on a table , as well as my sweets and snacks stored away.
Use an exercise
While I don’t have a formal plan for my weekly menu but there is a certain menu that I use for every meal.
For instance my breakfast choices typically comprise:
A Costa Rican classic of gallo pinto and eggs
Toast with peanut butter, and eggs on the side
Oatmeal with fruit
This is the same for the other food and snacks. I’m likely to have three choices to pick from, and I don’t give it any thought.
Pre-determined sets of foods that I am sure I will enjoy can save me time trying to choose what I want to eat. It also lets me vary my meals according to what I want to eat, whether it’s sweet or spicy.
It’s also very easy to go purchasing groceries because you already know what food items you’ll most likely be eating for every meal.
Human beings constantly grow and adapt to changes, and so is our notion of healthy eating.
Here , I’ve explained to you how my concept of eating healthy has evolved for me throughout the years, and the most challenging obstacle on my path to healthy eating along with my tricks and tips to help you eat healthier.
But, my method isn’t the “right method” -or the only way to eat healthily. It’s just what works for me and it might or may not be the best option for you.
Healthy eating is part of our human nature and is different for each person. Think about what you can do in your routine to prepare yourself for success in healthy eating habits.
If you’re not sure of what to do, you might consider consulting with a registered dietitian who can assist you in establishing an attainable, healthy diet plan that fits your unique requirements and your lifestyle.