Loving Yourself: Making Healthy Choices

Kendra Hall

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We have all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” This statement rings true when you think about it. There are so many amazing foods that make us feel alive with energy. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains are foods that allow our bodies to function efficiently. On the other hand, there are foods that drain our life source yet offer a quick energy fix. These so called food sources are not good for us. Diets consisting of high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium processed foods will leave you bloated and in overall poor health. It is time to take control of your diet without giving up all the foods you love. Here are some ways to stay focused on eating well:

Clear out your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets, it is time to purge. Toss the salty chips, stale cookies, soda, and any other foods that provide empty calories and puff. Make a list of healthy items you will shop for and once at the store, do not deviate from your list. Get into the habit of reading food labels so you know what you are buying. Your focus is to fill your grocery cart with healthy yet tasty foods. Your diet must be well-rounded, balancing calories with nutrition.

A well rounded diet consists of three to four servings of bread, pasts, cereals, and rice. Avoid proceeded choices like crackers, pastries and cookies and refined breads. Look for healthy sources of bread made with whole wheat flour, barley, oats, and brown rice.

Consume two to three servings of milk, cheese and/or yogurt. Keep in mind, dairy has a lot of vitamin D, but is high in fat and cholesterol. When making choices on what type of dairy to purchase, choose lower fat versions.

Eat two to four servings of fruit each day. There are so many benefits to eating fresh fruit. Eating fresh fruits like oranges, are high in vitamin C. Bananas offer a valuable source of potassium, while peaches are rich in vitamin A. Buy organic fruit and get a variety of fruits to choose from.

Make sure you are eating your vegetables. Eat three to five servings of vegetables each day. Limit eating corn and other starchy vegetables like white potatoes. Leafy, dark vegetables are nutritionally best. Buy plenty and eat often.

If you are a meat eater, eat lean cuts of meat. Remove excess skin from chicken before cooking and trim any excess fat. You can eat two to three servings of meats, eggs, nuts, fish, dry beans, and poultry. Fish is a great source of fatty acids like omega-3. Be sure to buy varieties of foods that are low in fat and calories. Be sure to make foods in unsaturated oils like canola oi, olive oil, and sunflower oil when cooking.

Stay away from sweets and watch your portion size. You must keep your proportions under control. Make well-rounded healthy food choices. When you pack your plate, you are negating your hard work. If you are not sure whether you are packing your plate or not, eat one serving of the food and do not go back for seconds. That one serving should not be a pan or macaroni and cheese. A half of a cup of cooked macaroni and cheese is a better food choice then eating an entire pan.

Plan to consume two heathy snacks per day. Monitor yourself to find out what two times of the day you are at your hungriest and/or low in energy; and plan to eat your snacks at those times. Easting low-fat cookies is not an acceptable healthy snack as it is filled with empty calories. Check the nutritional labels on your snack to ensure you are eating low calorie and low fat foods.

Use salt in moderation. When you reduce your salt intake you lessen your chances of developing high blood pressure. If you already are suffering from high blood pressure, slowly moving away from salt is only to your benefit. You need to bring your blood pressure down and there are many great alternatives to using salt. Spices like Mrs. Dash offer variety, flavor, and value. When we get into the habit of putting salt on everything, we lose our true sense of taste. It is time to make a change and lay down the salt for your heart health.

When you eat well, you feed yourself loving vibrations. When you feed yourself food that is meant to poison, you essentially are poisoning your spirit. Making smart, healthy choices makes you feel good inside. No more beating yourself up for making choices that did not serve you in the past. This is the new 2021 version of you. Silence your inner critic by sticking to nutritional choices that honor your temple (body).

Make sure you are exercising your body. When you work out it affects you mentally and spiritually, releasing “feel good” chemicals in your brain. When you feel good, you look good. When you feel good, you are at peace with yourself. Your brain is more oxygenated, and your blood flow is more pronounced when you exercise.

Laying on the couch all day while watching your favorite Amazon Prime or Netflix show will leave you feeling lethargic. You need to keep your mind and body engaged, exercise does that. Do not feel intimidated of working out. While we see many rigorous workout routines online and on television, know you do not have to work out in high intensity for your workouts to be effective. There are many low-impact workouts you can do like Yoga, Pilates and/or Tai-Chi. Just get up.

At the end of the day, love yourself. Loving yourself is one if the hardest and most rewarding things you will ever do. Your entire life comes down to self-love. You are one in your mind, body, and spirit. Connect to yourself lovingly by living a life rooted in purposeful decision-making. You only have one life, make sure you are demonstrating continual respect for yourself. Live your best life now.

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My goal is to provide uplifting news and stories; creating relationships amongst people from all walks of life by giving useful advice and, providing insightful solutions to assist and inspire through life's ebbs and flows.

Princeton, NJ
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