By Eileen Ferrer, Skinny Gene Nutritionist
When we lose control, it sometimes feels like reality can be lost in the distance. Almost like being stuck in a balloon drifting away, seeing everything get smaller and smaller. But losing control is only temporary, and that is something to keep in mind. We learn and move on from those experiences. In regards to food, we can sometimes lose ourselves in food. Food can have a deep relationship with our emotions, habits, behaviors, and physical attributes. The smell, taste, and texture in our mouth can relay a specific feeling.
For myself, when I used to drink soda, I always liked that feeling of the strong carbonation as it enters my mouth. I liked the bubbles, I like the sound. I gained my independence from drinking soda. But, it is these associations that we are sometimes controlled by the foods we enjoy. It is important for our health that we gain our independence, especially from food.
Maintenance, consistency, and a little hard work will allow you to gain the independence you need. The goal is to get in control of your diet and health. So whether you want to start cooking healthy meals, want to limit the times you eat out, or are searching for healthy foods that aren’t too expensive, there are many things you can do to make those positive changes for your health.
1) Don’t Focus on Forbidden Foods!
An important rule is when you eat healthy, you need to enjoy it. Try not to focus on the forbidden foods you cannot eat, such as a juicy burger and fries, but the items you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Go for foods of the fresher variety, like fruits and vegetables. Try something new and in season, like cantaloupe or summer squash. If you have a sweet tooth or feel like you want to cool down during these humid summer days, try not to head for the freezer for ice cream, but to the fridge for low-fat yogurt.
2) Cook, So You Have Control!
Another way to gain independence from food is by cooking your own meals, which will definitely cut back on the amount of times you go out to eat. Not only will cooking at home save money, but it will also decrease intake of empty calories because you are in control of what you prepare. It is ultimate control when you cook because you determine portion size, the amount of fat that goes in, the ingredients, the flavors, even the cooking method. Most foods have a healthier version, such as fried chicken. Though it is delicious, and may remind us of a comforting time, think about other options like grilling or baking. So gather a few of your favorite recipes to see where extra health can be added or subtracted.
3) Substitute! Substitute! Substitute!
It is simple too. Even easy substitutions like olive oil instead of butter or brown rice over white rice can make a big difference in your health. However, on occasions when the only option is to eat out, take control of the way you order food. Substitution is key, like choosing a side salad over chips or wheat bread instead of white. Many restaurants make it easier for the consumer and make healthier options readily available.
4) Shop Wisely!
Fast food is the cheaper option, but eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Eating well on a budget starts with shopping wisely. Do not ignore the pesky junk mail. Store mailers are usually sent through snail mail, which advertises the sales on produce, proteins and other food item. Coupons are also offered, which is another great way to save. Check out the farmer’s market and ethnic markets that offer a variety of fresh produce that is very affordable. In addition, when going to a major grocery store, the store brands are usually cheaper for the same quality product. Joining a savings club or using coupons will add more savings to the dollar. In the long run, purchasing fresh produce has great benefits to your health. Practicing these tips gives you the opportunity to be in control, and gain independence from food.
If you are struggling to gain your independence from food and are ready to take control of your health, please contact us. We’re here to help! Please click here to schedule an appointment to speak with a nutrition counselor (free) or write your comment or question below.