In Home Cooking

Healthy Eating 101 – The Super Woman Wellness Series

Do you ever feel like you are being bombarded by all of the new diets out there? The shakes, the small 
pre made meals, the no carbs, no meats, no oils diets that aren’t able to make it for long in your real LIFE
I know I have been lost in a sea of books at times, reading up on this diet and drinking that special shake, trying to be the healthiest me. 
And then, one day, it just hit me.
I LOVE food!! 
All these trendy diets and meal plans (where you exclusively eat a certain food group) were not manageable if I wanted to be Super Woman and have the energy and stamina that I needed to run around all day long  (lets face it) and SMILE!!

I love everything about food. 
I love cooking food, I love talking about food and most of all, I like eating food. 
Though you might not enjoy cooking food, and your conversations might not turn to what you will be eating at your next meal, and what you ate last night for dinner, it is possible for you to enjoy eating even more than you do!!
Knowledge is power and I realized that to be a Superwoman, I needed to get knowledgeable about food so that I could make healthier decisions on WHAT I put into my body to build a healthier ME!
It has taken me most of my life time to learn about eating well. I was mistaken, like most people are, and thought that eating a teeny tiny salad was going to help me maintain a healthy body. An hour after consuming that teeny tiny salad though, I would be starving and my stomach would be growling loud enough for people to assume I was hiding an angry dog under my shirt. Not fun.
So, for most of my life, I have been on a hunt to figure out what to eat, and what is able to keep my body satisfied while filling it with nutrients to make it through the day!
I realized fast that my body needed nutrients for energy and to literally build the tissue that made up ME!
It took a little longer to figure out what TYPE of nutrients my body needed. 
There are big nutrients, small nutrients, and special nutrients called phytochemicals. Who knew there could be so many?!
Macronutrients is the smart word for the big nutrients which are carbohydrates, protein and fats. A healthy balanced meal contains all three of these macronutrients.
For a long time, I thought carbs were the enemy! 
I kept hearing all of these diets that were carb free and claimed that consuming no carbs was the way to look bikini ready all year long. So I gave up bread and fruit and was totally miserable in my attempt to live carb free! (Read moody, unsatisfied and mean in the dictionary)
I wish I knew what I know now!
Carbs are not just bread or fruit. Carbohydrates include simple sugars and complex carbohydrates (starches) and fiber. 
Dietary carbs come from plant sources. Our bodies use carbs as fuel and about half of our daily calorie intake should be made up of carbs. That is where I got confused, and most of us do! It depends on what kind of carbs we eat that will determine how we look and feel. Carbohydrates that are highly refined or that are accompanied by no fiber should be avoided.
Good carbohydrates have lots of fiber and can be found in whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes seeds and nuts. 
(All cupcakes should be plugging their ears right now.)
So why cant we just eat white toast and call it a day? 
The fiber that is in good carbs slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, which helps us regulate our blood sugar levels and keeps us feeling full longer. Fiber also has zero calories, so that is an added awesome bonus. I like feeling full longer too. I mean, playing taxi driver and psychologist to my children all day requires no distractions.
Protein is very important for our diets. I have been a vegetarian since a very young age, before it was seen as hip. (Yea, I was that annoying kid.) 
For most of my life, I was probably more vegan than not, and my diet consisted of barely any protein. 
(No wonder my arm work outs resulted in barely any results!)
It is important to know that there are also two kinds of protein: complete proteins and incomplete proteins.The proteins in animal products are called complete protein because they contain essential amino acids (they need to come from our diets because our bodies cant make them on our own.) Plant based proteins, like seeds, nut, and beans are missing one or more essential amino acids, so they are called incomplete proteins. 
But all in all good proteins are considered ones that have little fat. Regardless of where they come from.
For example, red meat with lots of saturated fat should be limited and fish that have healthy fats are the best. Plant proteins are always a good choice and just need to be accompanied by fiber and good fats for optimal digestion.
Lastly, fats need to be included into our diets! They should end up being about 30 percent of the calories we take in daily!
This doesn’t mean we can eat a donut for dessert and call it a day. 
We need to stay away from trans-fats (most commonly found in processed snack foods, pastries, and deep fried foods) and saturated fats (mostly found in animal products). Eating these bad types of fat can increase our risk for heart disease and increases our cholesterol levels. 
Instead, monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados for example) reduce our risk for heart disease. 
Monounsaturated fats lower cholesterol, keep our blood vessels healthy, reduce inflammation within our bodies and may reduce our risk for some cancers. Polyunsaturated fats are also good fats and are abundant in plant oils, flax, chia seeds and fish;  they are essential to our diets since we cant get them any other way then consuming them as is
Pass the EVOO!!
So the sum of this post and all these big food words is to share that if you prefer making your food and eating your food instead of drinking it in powder form, this is the fool proof way to eating a lot and eating well!
 People have always asked me how I can eat and eat a lot and still stay slim and THESE are the secrets! 
It is all about healthy choices over poorer choices, combining your carbs proteins and fats for a well rounded meal and gaining the energy you need to keep the wind in your cape.
Happy eating Super Woman friends!

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