A few years ago, my husband had come back from India, and casually stepped on the weighing scale. My son’s jaw dropped and he said “Wow Dad! One more pound and you will be 200.” This was the moment when a switch went off, and my husband was a changed man. He went from eating just about anything, to eating healthy. And what is more remarkable is, he’s kept it going! Here is my Top Ten Steps to a healthy life style:
10. The AHA! Moment
This is when we recognize, that what we put into our body matters, and we understand how it affects us.
9. It’s a Family Matter
You cannot do it on your own. Your family needs to back you, all the way. In our case, since I was the one cooking the meals, I had to commit to cooking and eating healthy myself. Replacing unhealthy foods became a lifestyle choice for our family.
8. Early Dinner
Our body needs at least 3 hours to metabolize the food we eat. Therefore dinner no later than 7 pm is critical.
7. Mini Meals
Growing up in India I was very much used to the 3 meal routine. Hefty Breakfast, Loaded Lunch, Heavy Dinner and a Tiffin (evening snack). To replace all this with 6 mini meals has taken us some time. We now start with a good breakfast (cereal with flax, fresh/dry berries in soy milk), mid-morning snack (fruit/nuts w/ tea), lunch (sandwich and salad), late afternoon snack (baked chips with dip and tea), an early dinner (roti with vegetable and salad) and a small bar of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) for the grand finale.
6. Healthy Fillers
We skipped “empty calories” from fried, sugary, or carb-heavy snacks. We went instead for nutrient-rich, fresh fruits and nuts.
Eating in moderation and enjoying each bite has become our mantra. You really do not need to completely give up foods that you love.
4. Flax it Up
Flax is a seed, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. 4 Tbsp of flax gives 6gms of protein and 8 gms of fiber. I add flax meal to roti dough, baked goods, crepe, idli and dosa batter.
3. Go for the Good Carbs
Carbs are made of carbon and water. Key is to eat natural and unrefined carbohydrates, as these are easily converted to energy. These good carbs metabolize slowly in our body and they release glucose very slowly, therefore the satiety levels increases.
2. Parse the Labels
Brown Rice, Whole Oats, Whole Rye are all good carbohydrates and are called whole grain. But, stone ground, 100% wheat, cracked wheat, seven grain, are usually not whole grain. Assuming that we eat all natural unrefined good carbohydrates we can eat 40 to 60 % of calories in the form of carbohydrates.
Good health goes hand in hand with people who exercise on a regular basis. We are still working on this one!