4 Tips for Healthifying Your Food
What’s you absolute favourite food?
Does it happen to be something you “shouldn’t” be eating? Something you’re sensitive against or even allergic to? Or something that isn’t good for your condition, but it’s not causing you enough trouble to let it go?
Oh boy. The amount of times I’ve had to battle this for myself.
Since forever, my favourite food was pasta with a green pesto sauce. I LOVED that stuff and could have eaten it at any given point of time.
It’s something about the slight chewiness of the al dente cooked pasta in combination with the fresh, green and actually quite healthy taste of the pesto that has always been AHMAZING. Also given the carb and fat combo that the pasta and the oil makes, it starts off a whole array of reward reactions in the brain.
And before you ask, yes, I definitely used to eat this while being diabetic. But it was before the start of my earth-shattering New Life that I started at the time of my education to become a nutrition coach. With that came all the information and knowledge of what starches get up to in your body, and although I didn’t see it coming, it changed everything.
In many cases, it’s too easy to get stuck on the foods you used to eat. What’s even harder is to get used to the “new food” that you’re most probably feeling a little “meh” about.
Why should I eat this healthy crap instead of my favourite dish in the whole wide world? I don’t feel THAT bad when I eat the good stuff? How much would it REALLY change if I went for the healthy version of it?
The answer is: quite a lot, actually.
Do you honestly feel better when you eat the stuff you know you shouldn’t? Not necessarily mentally, but physically? After which food do you have more energy? Does it have any consequences on you, your body and your health when you gulp down that burger? Transfats, pure sugar and artificial flavours is just the beginning of your problems.
Add to that the inflammation response in your body that an elevated blood glucose causes, for example. Can you see the spike of insulin your body needs in order to fix that?
I think both of us knows what happens when your blood glucose is elevated for too long (days, months, years) and the body has to produce more and more insulin to compensate… After a while it’s pretty easy for the insulin receptors in your cells to not recognise the insulin anymore, causing something called insulin resistance and, eventually, Type 2 Diabetes. Not fun. And nothing you will want to handle.
When it comes to healthifying your food, the biggest issue is that you’re definitely looking to find foods that “replace” the old yummies. But what if you could find something else entirely that makes your mind and body sing? And that this food also “happens” to be healthy?
These are my top 4 tips for when you’re changing your food:
1. Do an elimination trial
Try to eliminate the food you think might be causing you problems (most commonly gluten, grains, milk or soy) for 1 month and see if you notice any changes.
2. Focus on how your food makes you feel.
Really feel how your body reacts to certain foods. Do you feel tired, sluggish and out of sync? Perhaps try something else next time. On the other hand, do you get happy, feel full and energised after a meal? BINGO, you’ve found something great!
3. See the “new food” as a welcomed addition
If you only think of the foods you miss and aren’t “allowed” to have anymore, instead of seeing it as adding a plethora of new tastes and culinary experiences, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Sure, you’ll be putting aside a few good old go-to recipes for a while, but what about the things you’re about to taste, feel, see and enjoy? Give it a chance! You might just experience something wonderful.
4. Remember, it’s probably not forever
When you start out trying to figure out what’s good and not-so-good for you, it’s a bit like an obstacle course of trial and error. While you say good bye to milk products for a while, doesn’t mean you’ll never have it again. If your body can handle it, and you feel good eating it after your break from it, then by all means, go ahead and keep it in your cooking repertoire.
The important point is to try how you do without the food in question. Do you feel better without? Then you should probably leave it for a longer period of time. Do you feel fine (or even better!) with it? Add it back in!
What about you? Have you discovered a particular food that wasn’t that good for you anyway? Have you tried to eliminate a type of food for a while? Please comment below and help others who might just be like you!
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