It is widely understood that eating healthier food leads to a well-balanced lifestyle. So just eat healthy and you’ll be fine. Simple enough, right? Wrong.
When the time comes to go grocery shopping again, that’s when the issues of price, flavor and variety seem to arise. My philosophy on how I control what I eat is that if I don’t buy it, then I won’t eat it. Once we get into a habitual practice of resisting the urge to empty out our pockets for the sake of junk food, turning down unhealthy options becomes an easy feat.
As uneventful as these decisions initially appear, the meal choices that are made daily impact the function of our bodies, both physically and mentally. According to NCHPAD.org, a deficiency in Thiamine (vitamin B1), which is found in legumes, fortified grains, and some seeds, can lead to depression, weakness and irritability. Folate, also known at vitamin B9, is found in fortified grains, legumes, and leafy greens, and it is “essential for supporting red blood cell production, helping to prevent homocysteine build-up in your blood, and allowing nerves to function properly.” A deficiency in Folate can also lead to depression and a number of other side effects such as fatigue, apathy, poor concentration, and poor sleep. Deciding to eat one sweet treat won’t be the end of the world, but making it a ritual to indulge is where the problem sets in. The decision is to eat is not a mere decision to taste and enjoy, it’s the supplementation of fuel to our bodies, and one of the ultimate determinants to our overall health and wellbeing.
So the next time that you feel a craving an unhealthy meal, remember that you have to pack what you snack, and if you never purchase it or accept it, it’s never going to be yours. It all comes down to self-control and awareness.
Here are some healthier recipes that can replace popular meals:
3) Mixed fruit smoothie (replace sugary beverages)
· Blend your favorite frozen fruits (my favorite combination is strawberry, banana, peach, & dark cherry) along with some leafy greens (if you’re feeling lucky), water, then blend it all up and you’re all set!
6) All-Natural Oatmeal (replace sugary cereals)
· Start with plain rolled oats. You can use water or milk as your base. (Milk gives it a sweeter, more familiar taste)
· Prepare as usual, but this time add almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, banana slices, etc. Be creative! Your taste buds will thank you.
*If you don’t have a food processor or Himalayan salt handy, you can add EVOO or any other “good oil” to get the consistency of butter. Honey can also be used to add more flavor.
**Unsalted natural peanut or almond butter would be a healthier option to cut down on sodium intake.
***Tastes delicious with almond milk! Adjust the recipe as you wish.
****Vanilla or plain Greek Yogurt can be used instead