By Lisa Metzgar , Ph.D- Nutrition Tidbits –  Happy Healthy 2011

Well, it is that time of year again! It seems as though I just wrote my 2010 New Year’s article. Year after year, we look at the past year and resolve to make the coming year even better. It is an opportunity for us to reframe what we have been doing, bring habits to into our conscious thought, and make a stab at changing things that we don’t see as fitting into our goals for the New Year.

One question that I am asked, especially this time of year, is, What diet works? First, I have to say,I don’t really like the word diet. It often brings up visions of deprivation, hunger, and frustration. There are a lot of diets out on the market and year after year, we see more books published with ideas of how to lose weight. We have seen low fat, low carb, grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet,,you name it,there has been a book published on it. If you read each of these books,they all make a lot of sense. As we learn more and more about how our bodies function, we see different diets come onto the market. Weight loss is a multibillion dollar business and yet we are seeing more and more obesity and disease caused by our modern diet.

It really isn’t a secret how to lose weight and live a healthy life. One of the big problems is that we have forgotten how to eat. We look more towards convenience than towards good nutrition. Our foods have also changed as our world population grows. We have discovered ways to mass produce food by genetically altering foods, adding hormones, and chemicals to feed everyone. The wheat that is produced today isn’t like the wheat our ancestors consumed. Our bodies aren’t genetically adapted to a lot of the foods that are produced today. Over 40% of our population has gluten sensitivities which is wrecking havoc on their health. Processed foods full of sugar and hydrogenated fats are causing everything from diabetes to cancer. Over 90% of disease is caused by a metabolic imbalance created by our diets and stress.

So what is the answer? Go back to the basics. How did our ancestors eat? How did the cavemen eat? The animals grazed the native land and weren’t fed genetically altered grain. The fruits and vegetables were collected from the native land. The key is to get back to as natural as possible. Try to eat organic, grass fed animals. Chickens should be free range and not raised in cages. Eat the eggs from these free range chickens. Eat fruits and vegetables that are locally grown. It takes a little bit more effort to eat healthy, but you will love the results. You will have abundant energy, maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and love attaining your optimum weight. You don’t have to starve yourself, eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables will not make you gain weight. Starving yourself is what will make you fat. You don’t have to count calories or carbs,just pick natural and enjoy.

Here are a list of foods that you should try to avoid. Try this for 3 weeks and see how you feel.

Sugar

Hydrogenated fats

Gluten grains (wheat, rye, barley, and spelt)

Dairy

Alcohol

Caffeine

Artificial sweeteners

Foods that contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce (chemicals) which includes most packages convenience foods

Fast foods

Soda

Here is a brief list of foods to include in your healthy diet:

Nuts and seeds (nut and seed butters as well)

Grain fed beef or buffalo

Free range chicken

Turkey

Lamb

Fish (esp. wild salmon)

All fruits and vegetables (limit white potatoes and dried fruit)

Quinoa

Brown rice

Beans and lentils

Flax seeds

Fiber

Always eat a balanced meal or snack that includes a protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

For example if you have an apple for a snack, eat it with nuts or nut butter to make a metabolically balanced snack.

If you have any specific questions about how to eat a healthy diet in 2011,feel free to send questions to me at questions@conceptsinwellness.com

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2011!

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