Friday, June 5, 2009

Eat For Life

To truly live, you must learn how to eat.  Here are some simple reminders of advice you've probably heard before:

Eat 5 to 6 times daily (3 meals and 2-3 snacks).  It keeps your metabolism working around the clock.

Drink at least 8 eight ounce cups of water a day.  This also helps with metabolism and keeps everything well 'lubricated'.

Understand labels.  Ingredient labels on the food we buy are sometimes really hard to read.  Simple advice: if the list of ingredients is long, it's man-made and not good for you.  

Don't eat processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread and pasta.  Complex carbs are best - such as whole grains.

Stay away from saturated and trans fats.  This means anything fried or high in sugar.  Look for healthy fats high in Omega 3 and essential fatty acids.

Control your portion sizes.  Don't eat large portions.  A general rule: anything the size of your palm or fist counts as a portion. Remember this when you want to eat a portion of vegetables, protein and carbs.  

Keep the red wine to a minimum.  Anything more than one glass a day is harmful to you.

Slow down.  This one is tough for me.  I generally want to gobble up my food.  Eating slower and chewing well is good for your stomach.  It helps the digestive process.  It also allows your body to tell you when you are full much quicker.  Allow yourself to taste and savor your food.  It will be much more enjoyable overall.

Eat with your family.  I've read studies that families that eat together stay together more often.  Eating a meal with your family will give you an opportunity to touch base and talk about all kinds of things.  It's amazing what happens if we slow down for a bit and enjoy a meal together!

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