7 Ways to Get Straight with Your Food

OK.  So we have heard the conflicting words about food for years.  Eat more meat, less carbs.  Eat no meat, it causes cancer and other diseases.  Wait, no! A vegan diet causes nutrient deficiencies. Maybe paleo and going back to our primal roots.  Snack.  Don’t snack. Eat 5 small meals.  No, consume all your food in varying time frames (intermittent fasting). Don’t eat fruit.  AND DON’T FORGET YOUR GREENS!

Seriously, it can all be so overwhelming.  But, I am here to help you straighten out some of the conflicting thoughts on food that you have heard.  After doing a TON of research myself, as well as trial and erroring it, I have some tips for you.

1. The same diet (as in types/ pattern of food you eat) won’t work for everyone.
     This should be a given.  I mean, we all look different and we all have different body types and needs.  So why would our bodies all react to food the same way?  The first thing to get straight with food is understanding that what works for your co-worker, best friend, or even your mom or sister, may not work for you.  Everyone means well, but you have to do what is best for you.
2. You need all of the food groups.
     In line with the opening paragraph, I mentioned some of the many varying thoughts that people have been trying with food, most of which comes with restricting one type of food.  Well, I’ll tell you what.  Our bodies NEED the nutrients from a variety of food.  A well-rounded diet will help you get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs without vitamin supplements.  Your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from food much better than in pills, so eat a rainbow.  You don’t need to cut fats, carbs, or fruits.  They all play a role in your diet.  The key: moderation.
3. If you feel bloated and tired often, chances are it’s your diet.
     Wait!!! Don’t reach for that RedBull or RockStar!  Chug a bottle of water, cut back on the white carbs and processed foods and watch the miracle that happens! Seriously! Try it for a few days.
     Our diet affects more than our waistline and hips.  Be conscious of what you are eating and start thinking of food and water as something that will help you feel better and reenergize from the inside out.  As a wife and mom of 3, life gets busy, but when I am eating right and getting enough water, I am like the Energizer bunny.  But a calm bunny.  A calm energizer bunny…
4. It’s OKAY to trial and error!
     Take this as official permission to trial and error and find what works for you.  If you are eating healthy, eating a variety of food, and watching portion sizes, it is okay to try intermittent fasting (that’s another post), snacking or removing it, moving around certain foods to different times of the days, and cutting certain foods and adding them back in to see how they affect you.  Everyone is different.  There are hundreds, thousands, of diet books, but you don’t have to follow one to a T.  It is amazing to read and get advice on trying new things that will help your body, but at the end of the day, you need to do what is right for your own body.  You do you, boo! 😉
5.  You don’t need to eat 5 small meals a day to lose weight….
     … UNLESS your body does best with that.  Honestly, I have tried that off and on for years, but I actually find that I eat more, am more bloated, and the scale starts creeping up.  I personally need a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and on occasion will snack or eat a dessert if my body is truly craving it.
6. Yes, you can still have that slice of cake or bowl of ice cream and lose weight.
     As I stated above, the key is moderation. 90/10.  Eat healthy most of the time and you can splurge every now and then.
7. Cravings can have a purpose.
     I will be honest, I do give my cravings the time of day.  If all I can think about is a big juicy burger, I probably need to up my protein and iron intake.  I eat something meaty, whether a burger and not, and it goes away.  If I have a major sweet tooth that won’t go away, I will have a small whatever it is or eat some fruit, and walla, fulfilled.  Just take a moment to see if you are craving something because you are bored or stressed or whether it is a true craving that might help your body.
Food is simple.  Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be.  Treat your body well and it will treat you well.
Until next time,
Autumn 🙂
Advertisements

Greek Yogurt Parfait

This recipe is simple, but I had to share.

I would have never thought to add pineapple in my yogurt bowl. Berries, bananas, apples…. I have done all of those, but this time I was out of everything but pineapple.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  When I eat breakfast, I also don’t want to be hungry in an hour or two.  I want to be full for at least 3-4 hours, which means I need some protein.

As every mom knows, mornings can turn hectic and sometimes you need something that is quick, easy, and healthy.  This is that recipe.

Greek Yogurt Parfait:

3/4 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (this is key so you get all the benefits without the sugar)

1 cup of fruit (I’m telling you, pineapple is my new favorite!)

1/3 cup granola (low sugar, high protein)

Sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg over the whole thing

And if you really need a little extra sweetness, a tidbit of honey or maple syrup can jazz it up, but I promise that the fruit and spices will deliver on the flavor.

I personally use my portion control containers to measure it all out quickly and easily.  I can even pre-fill them and stick them in the fridge the night before, or in my lunchbag for work, and I know I have a full serving of protein, fruit, and carbs.

Do you have a certain go-to fruit that you throw in your parfaits? I would love to hear!

Until next time,

Autumn

Broccoli Beef

broccoli-beef

If I can get my family to eat veggies easily, I feel like I conquered my evening. Vegetables and fruits are a way of life in our household, but I will admit that the fruits are much more readily accepted. I try to include a veggie with every dinner, but none of them go down quicker than the broccoli in this recipe.

In fact, the night I made this, there was a fight over the last little bit of broccoli since I didn’t add enough in. Winning!

So, I know that this is not THE healthiest meal. Sure there are improvements to be made, but it is a family favorite and something that we eat every other week. It has protein, some greens, and my family walks away from the table with a full belly.

My biggest tip with this one is to make sure that the marinade is given AT LEAST a full hour in the refrigerator before cooking it. I have shortened the time on a few occasions, but the meat was much tougher.

If you want fork-tender meat, you will be patient. 🙂

Marinade:
1.5 lbs beef for stew cut in smaller slices
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda

Marinate the meat in the refrigerator, covered, for an hour.

Towards the end of the hour, I mince up my garlic then get the broccoli going.

Steam or saute broccoli until bright green, then set aside. I use varying amounts, but normally match or double the amount of beef. It all depends on you how much you want to include.

While the broccoli is cooking, mix the sauce for the beef:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour

Once the broccoli is done, set aside, put the beef in the same large pan and pour half of the sauce over the beef.

After the meat is cooked to your liking, pour the remainder of the sauce and the cooked broccoli into the pan. Stir and serve as is or over a bed of rice or veggies. 😋

If you like it spicy, top with some Sriracha!

Yum!!!