If you’ve been planning to improve your diet, lose weight or just change your habits a little but can’t seem to bring yourself to begin, perhaps taking a small step at a time is just the thing for you.
Choose one day during the week or weekend that you will eat and think about food differently. Name your day; call it something like “Simply Mine”, “Simply Eating”, “Just My Day” or anything creative, make it yours. It’s important to write out a plan before you begin. Pick your day, choose your menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, find the recipes for each meal, make your grocery list, then shop the day before you plan to follow your one day health plan.
Some healthy menu ideas are:
Breakfast- whole grain, steel cut oatmeal with fruit/berries mixed in, or an egg & whole grain toast and a piece of fruit, sliced or chunked up, or an egg scrambled with a varius unlimited amount of green veggies and a piece of whole grain toast. Green tea, unsweetened apple juice or water.
Lunch- A large salad with many different veggies such as spinach, raw or lightly steamed green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, peppers, pea pods, carrots, onion, sprouts, avocado and beets. You can add beans and peas such as chickpeas, black beans, butter beans, canneloni beans…etc. Top it off with almonds, walnuts or pecans. You can compliment your salad with a simple soup for added nutrients and hydration. You can easliy make your own with a good quality canned low or no sodium broth and add your own ingredients such as brown rice or whole grain pasta, a handful of your favorite veggies like carrots, onions, chopped garlic, celery, and even a chopped tomato and kale; add whatever you like the most.
Dinner- Your plate is healthiest in terms of fat content and nutrient content when half of it consists of vegetables, two-thirds of it has a whole grain and one-third is a protein. When you think of vegetables think of a rainbow, choose greens, oranges, yellows, purples and reds. It’s easy, just go to the grocery store and choose a few from each color scheme. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to prepare it, buy it and request help here, I’ll be happy to send along some simple recipes and ideas! Also, opt for sweet potatoes or yams over white potatoes.
As for the grain there are many. Choose whole grains. Some are brown rice (if you make some for your soup, make extra for dinner and just heat it up in a pan with a little water), quinoa is great and versatile, barley is hearty, bulgur wheat is great too.
For your protein you can choose animal or a vegetable protein. If it’s meat, try to choose a lighter choice such as chicken or fish but red meat is ok too. The important thing is portion size. Try to keep it the size and thickness of your palm or smaller; this doesn’t include your fingers.
A hearty soup and salad is also a good choice for dinner.
Healthy snacks include, fruits, nuts, raw vegetables, a low-fat, low or no sugar yogurt with whole grain unsweetened granola, green tea, even a slice of cheese unless you’re avoiding dairy for your day.
On this particular day think of food as merely fuel. It’s the reason we eat. If you can distract yourself from thinking about food or your next meal until you’re hungry you’ll enjoy your day more. Eating when your hungry and not because it’s ‘six-o’clock, dinner time’ will serve you better also. Listen to the signals your body gives you. Pay attention to the thoughts you’re having about eating. Are you hungry or do you just feel like eating something? Find things to do in order to keep your mind and body busy. Plan that into your day as well. Do things like hiking with a friend, your dog or siblings. Walk the beach, the wooded trails, play outside, go to the local park, visit a museum or take any other trek you’ve been wanting to do. Make it your day and if you feel inclined, make it a day with your best buddy and support each other through your day of healthy choices.
The last very important thing I recommend is to drink lots of water this day and every day. Hydration is necessary on a daily basis as many ailments come from dehydration.
I hope you choose to try this soon and I send warm, positive energy your way!
Please write and share with each other how ‘your day’ went!