A Holistic Approach to Healthy Eating
Eating is something everyone does. Across cultures and generations, one of the few things every person has in common with the rest of humanity is the need and desire to eat. Animals eat, too, of course, but they do it to survive. Humans are unique in that they not only eat to live, they live to eat.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the snacks that come between are all geared toward satisfaction. Be it a burst of berry in your morning muffin, a slice of gooey cheese on your sandwich, or a tangy dressing on your dinner salad, food for people is vast in its array and its ability to satisfy emotionally as well as physically.
You may have heard it shouted from the rooftops that humans need to be more aware of what they eat. Countless studies have shown that food is capable of making us sick, or making us well. If you are concerned about your health and want to live a long, strong life, you need to think about choosing foods that can help you.
With all of the noise coming from the media about which foods are good, bad, or terrible for you, it can be tough to sort it out. Breaking your diet down into manageable bites is easy to do if you understand a few basics.
1. Keep it Natural
You may have noticed a lot of food labels now sport the term, “all natural.” This recent trend is great because it gives you many more options than you had a few short years ago. Natural foods are free from artificial flavors and colors, as well as artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Food additives can cause people to feel cranky, have headaches and rashes, and generally feel unwell. If you’ve ever eaten red licorice and washed it down with an orange soda, you know the feeling.
2. Keep it Real
Real food is defined as food that comes straight from the source. For instance, carrots pulled from your garden are more real than pre-packaged baby carrots from the grocery store. Bread baked fresh in your local bakery is more real than the stuff that comes in big white trucks. Grass-fed beef that comes from a local rancher is more real than grain-fed beef from a feedlot. Real food not only tastes infinitely better, it packs more nutrition into every bite. The real food producer, hamptoncreek, makes a great selection of dressings and spreads to liven up your meals.
3. Keep it Balanced
Eating the right amounts of the proper foods might seem tricky, but it is important to eat a balanced diet. The Choose My Plate guide published by the USDA is designed to be a guideline for healthy eating. Lean meats, whole grains, fresh leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and low-fat dairy products are all part of a balanced diet. Just be sure to eat some of everything every day. Avoid binging, even on veggies, because your body needs a broad spectrum nutrients which can only be had by consuming a variety of foods.
4. Keep it Simple
In many families, time is of the essence. In fact, finding time to prepare three square meals per day is virtually unheard of. So, how do you find the time to eat a holistic diet? It’s simple, actually, because healthy food is easy to prepare. Lean meats and vegetables can go on the grill or under the broiler, with no fussy sauce required. Eggs can be hard-boiled on the weekend and tossed in lunch bags all week long. Whole-grain pasta tossed with smashed tomatoes and garlic is quick and satisfying. Or choose a simple green salad topped with leftover chicken.
5. Keep it Moderate
You’ve heard the phrase, “everything in moderation” before, right? Everything means just that, so if you thought the phrase only applied to chocolate and red wine, you may be missing the point. Everything, even broccoli, needs to be consumed in moderation. An important part of holistic eating is to keep tabs on how foods affect your body, mind and spirit. Going overboard and eating too much of a good thing can actually make you feel bad. Too much meat might make you feel constipated, while too much oatmeal might have the opposite effect.
Eating holistically is a combination of making healthy food choices, preparing them simply, and committing to not overdoing it. By implementing these simple tips into your diet, you can achieve balance and health while still enjoying your food.