What is a “Healthy Diet”?

What is the definition of a ‘Healthy Diet’?

Conscious eating is a big benefit of having a sensitive body or food allergy, being aware of what you’re eating is the first step of the indulgence of a healthy diet. Everyone benefits from eating with the purpose of getting the most energy for your body to run on. Eating without gluten, dairy and sugar has tremendous benefits: the high fiber from whole grains and fresh produce makes for glowing skin and hair; the calories we get from non-animal fat are easily burned for fast energy and the protein flours we use instead of processed white flour also sustains a high energy level. You should find that you’re hunger is more satisfied, that you have more energy and that you think clearer on a gluten, dairy and sugar free diet. In addition your intestines will function more easily in digesting your food and that mid-body bloat will  start to disappear very quickly.

Quality is the key to a healthy diet, quality of the ingredients used cannot be compromised in spite of a wide range of products available. Buy from reliable sources. In my  farmer’s market I was surprised to learn that the vendors that didn’t specify ‘organic’ in their brands sign weren’t, I assumed all the vendors were organic, some markets have a line between the non-organic and organic vendors.  What to buy organic is always questionable. I buy organic root vegetables, because they’re grown in the dirt and gaining unadultrated minerals, but not all produce labeled organic is grown in dirt, some are grown in water. Also, produce with thin or no skins are best organic: celery, pears, plumbs, strawberries, spinach and anything that you won’t be peeling. I also buy organic soy based products, unsweetened soy milk and tofu and organic wheat free soy sauce.
Organic is a good choice for meat and eggs, to qualify as ‘Grass-Fed‘ animals are nourished by actual sun light in a grassy environment, giving you the benefit of a product that is rich in DHA (good for brain development), and Vitamins A and D, higher in Tryptophan (better sleep and moods). Commercially produced beef is made from cows that are feed corn, cows are not meant to eat grain and it causes blockage, blockage is not good, it creates arachidonic acid and inflammatory fats, the meat itself is inflammatory and low in Vitamins A and D. For those of you who didn’t see the documentary Food Inc., the difference between the organic cow and the commercial cow looked like two completely different species, the commercial grain fed cow looked like The Hulk’s cow. Natural or All Natural means nothing in labeling, it is a term used to imply healthfulness in a product. Although, I do use the term Naturally Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free for recipes that are traditionally made without them.
Unprocessed or as little as possible processing, is a better food choice. Fortified is a dirty word to me, this means that in the process of packaging all the natural nutritional value has been stripped out (along with most of the flavor) and replaced with chemical supplements. Brown Rice is healthier than White Rice ( over processed and bleached) the brown rice contains more fiber and minerals, you have to eat four times more white rice to get the same nutritional benefits. Steal Cut gluten free oats are ‘better’ than Instant gluten free oats, but the Instant is much quicker to cook on rushed mornings and there is still a benefit to eating the instant over the no-breakfast choice, and the Instant makes great crumble over fruit. Work with what works best for you.
No Refined or artificial sweeteners. If you are eating 2 servings of organic fruit a day and 2 servings of grain and 3 servings of vegetables, (complex carbohydrates) you won’t crave sugar (dessert, candy) I promise. You can use honey, maple syrup and agave as sparingly as possible, I use organic. Local honey will help with pollen allergies. Agave is from cactus (yes, the same cactus that has given the world tequila) it has a very low glycemic index and it’s much sweeter than sugar so a little goes a long way. Complex Carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit and starchy vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Fermented Foods are healthy and are rich in Probiotics miso, pickles, sauerkraut are some examples and yogurt. For those of us not eating dairy yogurt, there are non-dairy yogurts but they tend to be over sweetened, so don’t add them to a savory dish until you’ve had a taste.
A healthy diet avoids Nitrates, found in hot dogs and lunch meats, but the good news is the ones without nitrates are usually gluten free as well and are a better quality meat. I love Nathan’s Kosher, Gluten Free, All Beef Hot Dogs.
A healthy diet contains good fats. We need fat, especially children, for brain and muscle development. I’m going to cover that one in detail in the next email. I’m not say’n ‘Don’t Fry’ I’m say’n ‘Fry Right’ ‘Saute Away’ ‘Sometimes oil is better than boil’.  I wish that I’m forgetting things because I need to fry more…
Use the  Daily Needs Chart, on the good2eat4U.com website, spread your calories to include 3 meals and a snack or two, fruit is a natural snack (Ooh I used that ‘natural means nothing on a label’ word) and dessert. You will feel satiated and light all at the same time and that’s a whole lot better than feeling heavy and light headed.
More soon,
Elaine Good

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