Tip #6 | Design Your Life: How to Design Your Foods for Optimal Health
Toni Julian, Health Advocate & Author
You know how you try hard to make the right food choices, but sometimes find yourself snacking on something that you later regret? Do you occasionally feel like you delay making a healthy meal and find yourself grazing on carbohydrates to get through the day? Perhaps you skip breakfast, have an apple in the afternoon, then a low quality protein bar or crackers before dinner, not realizing you are actually deferring your need for a balanced meal to keep you satiated. Carbohydrate snacking creates fluctuations in your blood sugar because they metabolize so quickly, setting you up for weight gain, mood swings and headaches, not to mention the potential for diabetes.
The food choices you make have a tremendous impact on how you look, and more importantly, how you feel. You can design your body, design your wellness, and design the quality of your life by making optimal nutrition choices. After all, the goal is to be as vibrant, energetic and healthy for as long as possible, right?
Here are some tips to help you stabilize your energy level and conquer your cravings for salty, crunchy, or sugary foods that will leave you feeling guilty!
- When making food choices don’t think “what sounds good?” think instead “what does my body need?” It will elevate your thoughts from considering leftover Chinese takeout to actually considering your nutritional needs. Take a moment to think whether you’ve had any veggies that day, have you eaten enough protein, are you drinking enough water. For me personally, it’s a great time to consider a veggie smoothie if I’m low on my greens, or an egg-white omelet for a protein boost.
- Make every time you eat, a meal and not a snack.
- Eat a balanced combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits or vegetables) and healthy fats (avocados, almonds, olive oil, etc.) in every meal. Most people do well with a balance of 20% protein | 60% complex carbs | 20% healthy fats.
- 70% of your foods should be plant based (grains, fruits, veggies, nuts) so it should be easy to hit a good balance.
- Keep each meal about the same in calories. For example a woman might need 5 meals of 350 calories per day, and a man may need 5 meals of 550 calories per day.
- If you are hungry before bed, lean toward eating protein, like a nonfat Greek yogurt, that you can use for muscle repair at night, rather than a pure carbohydrate that will likely be stored as fat while you sleep.
- If you are having sweet cravings, try making yourself a cup of Good Earth Sweet & Spicy herbal tea. It’s naturally sweetened and helps curb night time cravings with zero calories.
- Take a little time over the weekend to plan out a few meals, and you’ll find you are better prepared to make good decisions, at least most of the time.
- Plan to do your major grocery shopping over the weekend, and another quick stop to Sigona’s mid-week to replenish your fresh produce supply.
I look forward to connecting again next time, and I’ll share with you my deliciously hearty Turkey Bean Stew recipe, that has the perfect balance of macronutrients to keep you satisfied for hours!
Please share this with your friends who are interested in how to balance their foods for a healthier lifestyle!
From my heart to yours,
Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four! She is also the creator of Toni’s OatMEAL, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Get yours at Sigona’s! Visit www.ToniJulian.com