We have an intimate relationship with food. Foods we eat become the building blocks to replenish our living cells. Visualizing that concept makes you see that eating healthy food is a way of loving and honoring your body. Would you build your dream home with cheap, rotting building materials? Of course not, for your dream home, you would choose strong, sturdy, building materials. Keep that in mind when you’re building your body.
Imagine how horrified a doting mother would be if she realized that the trans fats in those fast food French fries she’s feeding her toddler actually are incorporated into her child's brain cells! Seventy percent of the brain is fat - do you want to build it with foreign, chemically altered and processed fat or do you want to build it with fresh, pure, good fats? Fats are essential to building healthy brain cells. If the only available fat is junk fat, then that gets incorporated into your brain cells! It's no wonder we are having an epidemic of learning disorders, obesity and health problems in our children.
The favorite foods we were given as children by our parents develop our eating patterns. Teaching children healthy eating habits builds strong bodies, and leads to life-long benefits. For people who have never eaten healthy, developing a taste for vegetables or new healthy foods can be challenging. When you eliminate bad foods from your diet, it’s important to NOT look at it as “self-deprivation.” Don’t think “Poor me, I can no longer eat these foods. Instead say to yourself, “Why would I want to put that garbage food into my body? I deserve better than that and I choose to eat the healthiest food to keep my body strong.”
Here are some tips when you’re selecting your food. Avoid processed foods and select organic, grass-fed, hormone-free meats and wild fish. Consume 8-10 organic fruits and vegetables per day limiting fruit to one or two a day. Eating this many vegetables daily can be daunting and juicing fresh vegetables can be a good option. Eat good fats found in lean meats, nuts, avocadoes, olive oil and coconut oil. Avoid simple sugars in candy, cookies and cakes. Sugar is not your friend! In particular, fructose is a type of sugar found in many processed foods and even fruit has fructose. High intake of fructose leads to obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease and cancer. Fructose should be limited to less than 25 grams per day. Avoid starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread and pasta.
When you’ve mastered the mental aspect of eating, it puts YOU in charge of making healthier choices! Crash diets that drastically limit calories or food groups do not contribute to long-term health. Most foods, even sweets, can be eaten occasionally, if in moderation. Diets are restrictive; long-term, healthy eating is a way of life. If you’re trying to lose weight, try eating healthy one day at a time and after a year, you’ll be at your goal!
Marina Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.E., a UCLA-USC trained physician has no ties to any pharmaceutical company. She is the author of “Outliving Your Ovaries: An Endocrinologist Reviews the Risks and Rewards of Treating Menopause With Hormone Replacement Therapy.” She’s the medical director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Preventive Medicine in Dallas, Texas. She’s appeared on Joni’s Table Talk on Daystar Television Network, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, Daybreak USA radio show and written articles for numerous magazines.