My P’s and Q’s to a healthier body have helped in changing my life! As my spiritual health continues to transform, I realize I need to improve my physical health so I can be around to fulfill God’s will for my life. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says … your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit… therefore glorify God in your body.”)
I have made some essential changes with how I approach food and eating. This has helped me immensely! My blood pressure medications have been reduced by my doctor. Since the stroke I have now lost over 150 pounds and counting! However, I to clarify that this is not a “diet” but more of a lifestyle change. I try to approach each day as I am eating to live healthier versus eating whatever and whenever I want. Before the stroke; my meals were whatever fast food I felt like grabbing on the way home from work.
One essential thing that helped with these changes was I “prepared my palette” by juicing first. I juiced for about 30-45 days. I know this helped in detoxing my system, activated the weight loss, and also re calibrated my taste buds for more healthier, natural foods. My favorite juice was a combination of organic baby spinach,lemon, celery, and granny smith apple. It was refreshing,delicious and even my young nephew enjoyed it!
Here are just a few of the things that really work for me and I pray it can be useful to you going forward.
1-Plan ahead. Planning is critical whether it be planning your meals for the day or the week. Having a plan for your meals will help you in the effort to just stop and “grab something” throughout the day. Most weekends I prepare a large batch of Steel Cut Oatmeal and then put in containers in the refrigerator so every morning I have a healthy ready to go breakfast. I add a little cinnamon, raw honey, almonds, and some frozen blueberries then heat up and I have a delicious, filling, and healthy breakfast! however,recently I have cut back on the oatmeal and I prefer to have 1-2 cage free eggs due to their added vitamins and the Omega 3’s. ( scrambled or an omelette) I cook them with some organic kale that has been sauteed in coconut or olive oil. So my refrigerator is always stocked with these particular eggs.
2-Prepare shopping list. Before I go to the store, I have researched the store or market for specials based on what I need at home. This helps me from grabbing unhealthy choices and I am able to save money! The Produce, Meat, and the Dairy/Eggs are usually first. I have learned I can also get quality protein from beans and raw nuts like almonds so I have cut back on the meat quite a bit. when i do buy meat; I prefer organic chicken or grass fed beef. I try to avoid the bakery area and processed foods.(weakness for me) I have also love steaming frozen broccoli so I hit the frozen section last and also grab some blueberries because they are wonderful in smoothies or great for homemade ice cream…YUM!
3-Portion control. This is very important! I try to balance my meals with lean protein, some carbohydrates, and some fruit or veggies. Doing this is training my body to eat the proper amount so that I feel content. This revelation hit me while in the hospital during my stroke recovery. Their portions were always measured and I never went to sleep hungry one time! Also in restaurants, I try and eat a portion of the meal and take the rest home for another meal. Or just share an entree with someone and order some veggies. I do this because most restaurant portions are enormous. It is much easier to fall asleep at night when you do not have that stuffed or bloated feeling.
4-Potato Swap. Growing up, I love potatoes so much my mother consider giving me the nickname “Tator”. Baked potatoes, French fries, mashed or roasted, even potato salad! That being said, about 2 years ago, I swapped out red and/or white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Now these are not like what we typically have on Thanksgiving smothered with marshmallows and brown sugar but I treat them the same way I do a Russet. I wrap them in foil and bake for an hour and they are so soft and moist. If I want something sweet I just add a little cinnamon and they are divine! I also like cut them up and toss them in olive or coconut oil with my favorite spices and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven until tender and golden. My favorite way to enjoy them is to peel them and roast them in the oven with the organic chicken they are unbelievably delicious! The combination of the juices from the chicken and coconut oil make them so tender you can cut with a fork! Making these changes here with the potato has helped in regulating my cravings for French fries and Tatar tots.
5-Push away from the table. I have learned if I eat until I feel “full” it is probably too late. I have probably overdone it. So I try to pace myself while eating. Chew slower and savor what I am eating. I also try to drink a glass of water before each meal.
6-Pick healthy fats. I have learned by researching several nutritionists there are definite health benefits from Avocados, raw Almonds, Coconut oil, and Cage free/Organic Eggs. These are all foods have incorporated into my menu each week. From what I understand, the healthy fats give my body what it needs so it does not shut down and think I am starving myself through this transformation. As with anything, I try to eat these items in moderation. Just because its healthy I do not want to overdo it. You can research these healthy fats for yourself and see what works best for you. Check out Dr. Joshua Axe. He sounds like a Christian on his website!
7-Purposely slow down and savor. I used to eat my food so fast I’m not sure I came up for air! However, now I try to enjoy my food by taking my time eating. Drink some water throughout your meal. Its very easy to eat too fast especially if you are watching TV while eating. Eating slower will also allow you to notice when you are satisfied and help in keeping you for overeating and maybe prevent some indigestion too!
Q-Quality. This is my body that the Lord has blessed me with and I want to put quality food in my body. By quality, I do not always mean expensive. I prefer Organic fruits and vegetables. I also eat Organic/cage free eggs because of the healthy Omega-3’s. If I plan ahead, I can purchase items while they are on sale and stock up or freeze them (produce) for later. Just like our automobiles, you would not put low grade gasoline in your vehicle for a long time without any breakdowns.
Q-Quit making excuses. It was very easy for me to say, I’ll change things next week, I do not have time to exercise, or eating healthy is expensive. However, since this is the only body God has blessed me with, I plan to do my best to take care of my health going forward.
I hope these tips give you some ideas that help and encourage you to take care of your body These are just a few that have improved my quality of life dramatically.
Food for Thought
Are there any changes you have made in your life to help you eat healthier? Please let me know. I’d love to hear. May God bless you and your health.