By Joyce Mueller who is a registered nurse at the Essentia Brainerd Clinic and an advocate for healthy eating. Joyce has run two marathons and will run Grandma’s Marathon in 2017.
You may have heard of Dr. Pollan. He is the author of An Omnivores Dilemma. I like how Dr. Michael Pollan describes healthy eating:
Not too much.
The reason I like it so well is because it is so simple, easy to remember and, if you think about it, very wise.
If we consider the amount of processed foods we take in on a daily basis, it is no wonder we are a society dying from diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancers. Good nutrition and thoughtful eating are essential to living a healthy long life. Simple eating allows us to be more mindful of what we are eating, when we are eating and how much we are eating.
Do you sometimes eat out of ravenous hunger and stuff whatever food is in the cabinet into your mouth? Do you invite friends over and keep a bowl of chips on the table and continue to eat from the bowl throughout the conversation without even a thought of what you are eating? Without the aftertaste in your mouth, you may not have even known you had eaten? We need to be mindful and savor each and every morsel and feel the textures while chewing.
More mindful eating is easier if you flavor your food with different herbs, seasoning and textures. Try eating things that you need to chew, close your eyes and taste the flavors. It is amazing! Try keeping onions, garlic, whole pepper corns, basil, oregano and fresh cilantro in your kitchen. These are the things that will wake up your taste buds and allow you to simply enjoy your foods.
Also, keep beans around the house. Not the baked brown beans from a can, but plain bags of dried chick peas (garbanzo beans) and black beans. Keep as many fruits and veggies around to help round out any meal and just to snack on. Greek yogurt and low fat cottage cheese are some great sources of protein and calcium that are fairly low in fat. Keeping your food as close to its natural state is essential to good health. Start frying and cooking with olive oil which costs a bit more but is very heart healthy. You are definitely worth it, your good health is worth it.
Activity is part of the puzzle too. Don’t forget to go for a quick walk for some fresh air after getting home from work. Take several stretch breaks throughout the day. You might also decide to join a fitness club or gym.
Now getting back to Dr. Pollan. Here are his seven rules for eating:
1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket, shop on the perimeter of the store.
4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot.
5. It’s not just what you eat but how you eat.
6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times.
7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline.
We can do this. Let’s start a revolution right here in Crow Wing County!