- Drink more water
- Add vegetables
- Plan meals and/or cook in batches
- Evaluate your food choices – reduce sugar and fat as appropriate
- Exercise and reduce stress – eliminates cravings
1. Drink more water
I drink about 2 quarts of water each day. Water satisfies thirst, can be useful in warding off cravings for extra food and it helps flush waste out of the body. Some people may mistake thirst for hunger. The body must have take in 2 cups of water each day to eliminate the waste that is produced. But optimal intake is set at about 3 liters. This is water from food as well as from beverages. Typically people get between three to four cups of water as part of the food they eat.
Do you think you drink enough water? Not sure? Try adding one or two quarts of water each day for a week or two and see how it feels. Signs of dehydration include thirst and chapped lips (or needing to use chap-stick frequently).
During short term hard exercise one losses water and salt. These both need to be replaced. Sodium and other electrolytes “hold” water in the body. If your blood pressure is low you may want to increase salt in your diet.
What prevents you from drinking more water?
● Don’t remember
● No time
● Don’t want to go to the bathroom all the time
Strategies for drinking more
● Carry a water bottle and/or keep water bottles in the car.
● Keep water bottles, glasses or mason jars full of water in the kitchen, next to your bed, at your desk, next to the couch or other places where you spend time.
2. Add vegetables
Two thirds of all cancer can be prevented by adequate intake of fruits and vegetables. Over our lifetime we have a 39% chance of being diagnosed with cancer (all sites, invasive SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1999). (20% will die from cancer.) This means that in a room of fifteen people six people will end up with cancer. Imagine that next time you are in a social gathering. Which six will it be?
However, if we all start eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables only two of us will end up with cancer. Both fruits and vegetables give us the benefits, but I like to emphasize eating more vegetables since it was always the greatest challenge for me. It was easy for me to get in the 2 to 4 servings of fruits, but harder to manage the 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are beneficial in preventing heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity and common illnesses such as colds. They provide these health benefits by supplying antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients. Sometimes it is hard to get excited about long term benefits. Do we really care if we die at 60 of a heart attack? But sudden death is not the usual lot, just the most dramatic. These ailments can lead to chronic pain, isolation, limited mobility, etc. Search on colostomy bag images if you want motivation to eat more vegetables.
What is in it for you today? You and your family will be sick less often. This makes your life easier. You will have more energy and less fatigue, less headaches. Subtle sense of well being. Clean body, clear mind. Energy you can count on. No afternoon drag. Better gut health, less problems with infections: yeast, bladder, colds.
Do you eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day?
Do you eat 2 to 4 servings of fruits a day?
What is a serving of vegetables? Fruits?
In brief you need 1.5 to 2.5 cups per day or 1/3 to one pound of vegetables a day.
What keeps you from eating the recommended number of vegetable servings?
● Don’t like vegetables.
● Too hard to prepare.
● Cost too much.
● Don’t know how to prepare.
● Didn’t know I need to eat so much.
Keep it simple. Start by adding a vegetable at each meal. Go for color. Most bang for your buck= carrots
3. Plan meals and/or cook in batches
Eat low sugary breakfast
Eating a breakfast that includes protein and fat in addition to complex carbohydrates lessens food cravings, balances blood sugar, helps maintain normal weight and results in lower food consumption at lunch when compared to the results of eating a sugary breakfast. Adding vinegar at breakfast also helps maintain stable blood sugar. Eat cereal for dinner. Eat dinner for breakfast.
For many years I ate a bean dish with rice for breakfast everyday. Here is my recipe. I would make this up using the leftover vegetables in my fridge (you know the ones that end up rotting). One batch of this is good for breakfast for two weeks. Make up a batch and freeze it in individual serving size containers. Since I like variety, I would make up two different batches: one lentil soup type and one chili type and rotate depending on my mood.
4. Evaluate your food choices – reduce sugar and fat as appropriate
Adding vegetables is the most important thing you can do. After that take a look at what you are eating and ask your body what it needs or doesn’t need. Reducing sugar and fat may be a good thing for the majority of people, but there may be other foods that are causing problems in you body. Some people find that they already know (but perhaps are ignoring) the foods that create dis-ease in their bodies.
Muscle test food choices
You can also play around with muscle testing. Take a stable standing position and hold a food in front of you. Ask your body, “What about this food? Would you like this?” If your body is okay with the food, the body will rock forward. If the food is not good for the body, then the body rocks backwards. I know some people that were able to use this dynamically to eliminate a food allergy. They thought they were allergic to eggs their whole life. What they found, when they listened to their body, was that they could eat eggs, but only when the body said “yes” and only the number of eggs the body specified.
5. Exercise and reduce stress – eliminates cravings
Read my earlier post about other barriers to healthy eating.