Eating Simple Foods for Better Health

eating simple foodsAs most of you know, the food we put into our body is considered fuel to our body and helps our body function. Unfortunately, most of us are putting the wrong types of fuel into our body and then, we’re putting too much food!  If you are suffering with indigestion, reflux, heartburn, and/or constipation, this is a sure sign that you are probably eating some of the wrong foods!

We need to be eating simply. Most American meals consist of massive quantities of a beverage (usually soda or milk), then a main course (meat), side dishes (rice, pasta and/or potatoes), vegetable (if we’re lucky), probably some bread and then a dessert. If we break out each individual piece, you can see that we are asking the body to digest a wide range of foods, all at one time. First there is the soda (otherwise known as massive sugar) or the dairy (Lactose); then meat (protein), then the carbohydrates (rice and potatoes), vegetables (carbohydrates), bread (carbohydrates) and the dessert (back to sugar again).

Is it any wonder that we become tired after eating a “normal” meal? This is simply too much food and too many different types of food for our body to digest efficiently. In a later article, I will discuss the different types of carbohydrates and why some are good and some are bad for you, but for this time, I want to share with you some ideas to eat more simply.

Here are some simple steps to create better health in your body by eating more simply:

1. I recommend not drinking with your meal. Adding liquid (of any type) to a meal, is detrimental and only dilutes your body’s digestive juices and makes it even more difficult to digest your food. If you are a big liquid drinker during meals, first, switch to water. Then work on cutting down the amount. Over a month or two, you will find that you feel better and you can get to the place where you can totally eliminate it.

2. Eliminate the “bread” portion of your meal. There is no reason (other than we’ve developed the habit) of having bread, rolls or tortillas with our meal. Especially EVERY meal! If you’re having a “breakfast taco”, try eating the guts out of the taco and leaving the shell/tortilla. If your main course is lasagna or spaghetti, you don’t need a roll or breadstick to go along with that….especially if you’re slathering butter all over it (yet one more thing that the body has to digest!)

3. Increase veggies at EVERY meal. Vegetables (not corn or potatoes) contain enzymes that HELP digestion and the more of them you consume the better for your body and the easier time it will have digesting your meal.

4. Try to limit the types of food you are eating to just being about 3. In other words, have 1 type of protein (meat, eggs, tofu, cheese OR beans), have several types of carbs (2-3 different types of vegetables (not corn or potatoes), and then maybe a starch (like corn or potatoes – just pick one from the list and only if you HAVE to!). One of my favorite things is “One-Skillet Meals”. This is easy to prepare and easy to digest! You have a large skillet, you add your protein (tofu or meat), saute your vegetables (broccoli, carrots, kale, onions, celery, squash, asparagus, etc., add some spices and voila! You’ve just created a One-Skillet Meal and your body will love you for it! There are literally endless varieties of dishes you can create with this method all of which will be healthy and fulfilling. You don’t need the rice or pasta to complete this meal…..your brain might miss it, but your body won’t!

5. In a word: SPICES! Spices can jazz up all your meals. Don’t be afraid to use them – sprinkle some chili powder and a little lemon on a bowl of fruit – DELICIOUS! Add some basil, dill, oregano, curry or cumin to a pot of beans – there are endless ways you can cook with spices. They will trick your brain into thinking that you’re having a lot of variety with your food, when in fact you’re keeping it simple and just adding some healthy herbs!

So remember to try to eat as simply as possible for your health. Your digestion will become easier, your body will feel better, you’ll have more energy and those of you that need to lose weight will find that it comes off easier when you simplify what you’re eating!

Happy Eating!