Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Stay Thin Forever

It’s January, the month in which thousands of Americans resolve to improve their health, be it through increased exercise, better diet, or both. Today, a co-worker of mine related how she is attempting to lower her high blood pressure (which has been up for over a year now) naturally, but didn’t know where to start. I typed up a few ideas that I’ve picked up through nutrition classes and reading health magazines over the past few years since college, and gave it to her. I wanted to post it on my blog as well.

Whether you’re looking to lower your blood pressure, lose a few pounds, or have more energy, I hope you find one or two new ideas that will help you to achieve your objectives for 2010. A few are geared specifically towards a salt-restricted diet, but most are general guidelines for a healthy eating. I’m a big believer in balance. I have never gone on a "diet" because I believe that they are only temporary solutions when a balanced, healthy lifestyle is the true solution. Through small, smart decisions, I believe that anyone can enjoy health and thrive.

Healthy Start

Always start with a whole grain breakfast (like cereal with low-fat milk, oatmeal, or whole wheat toast). Also great: fruit ( I like frozen berries in my cereal) and lean protein (like eggs cooked in olive oil or turkey bacon).

Healthy Snacks (Eat One Every 3-4 hours)
Fruit, especially apples, oranges, cut up melon, berries, bananas

My Formula for Healthy Lunch/Dinners

1) Start with a whole grain like:
Whole Wheat pasta
Whole Wheat bread
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat tortillas

2) Add a lean meat or legume like:
Lean beef
Pinto/black/kidney/garbanzo beans
*Avoid processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, lunchmeat, ham - they have too much salt*

3) Always include at least one vegetable (fresh or frozen are best) and, if possible, a salad with a low-fat dressing (best kind: vinaigrette).


- Remember: the more colorful the fruit/vegetable, the more nutritious it is. (Bright orange and dark green are especially good for vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach or kale.)

- When you buy canned foods, always buy "low-sodium" ones.

- Use herbs to add flavor instead of fat or salt. Mrs. Dash contains a blend of herbs and spices and no salt. Try growing fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley.

- Whenever possible, cook foods in regular olive oil (which contains healthy fats).

- Replace butter or margarine with heart-healthy Smart Balance or Promise and full-fat mayonnaise with low-fat, canola-based mayonnaise.

- My favorite way to get 2 servings of fruit quick is a smoothie. The easiest way to make it:
Buy bananas, cut them into chunks and freeze them. Later, combine a few banana chunks with frozen fruit like berries, peaches, etc., add juice or soy/rice/almond milk, and blend in the blender until smooth.

Low-fat yogurt (like Yoplait or Dannon)
Kashi bars or Fiber One bars
Natural oven roasted almonds, cinnamon brown sugar flavor
Whole grain crackers (like Triscuits) with thin slices of cheddar cheese (not processed American cheese)
Celery with natural peanut butter
Hummus with carrot sticks
Carrot sticks with light Ranch dressing
Dried fruit

1 comment:

  1. Loved the tips, thank you! I totally believe in healthy, small snacks... it keeps me going!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!