Healthy Eating 101

“Hi, Cat! Any words of advice on how to control unhealthy eating? Thank you very much. :)” – formspring 

Though I’m no health expert, here are 5 tips that work for me. 

1. If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it: make a conscious effort not to buy chips, sweets, sugary drinks, etc. and take them home. Many times we find ourselves eating poorly because it’s only an arm’s reach from us when we’re bored. I grew up in a home that never had soda and chips, so I don’t look for them. But if you really find yourself craving something, by all means have it. You’ll need to walk or drive to get it, which will burn calories. 

2. Don’t allow yourself to run on empty: when you get to that point where your head is spinning, your mood is foul, and your tummy is begging for anything, you’re probably going to make bad food choices not to mention binge. Always have a small snack (1/4 cup of nuts and dried fruits is often enough) on hand if you know you’re going to be somewhere without food for more than a few hours. 

3. Keep eating out to a minimum: A few years ago, Carl and I lived with a professional chef and we were looking forward to tasting all the amazing culinary dishes he would whip up. We promptly discovered that a big spoonful of lard was the secret ingredient in almost everything he made. Restaurants aren’t worried about calories or health, they’re concerned about taste and flavours. They will put all the naughty things in there to make you come back for more. You’d be surprised how many grams of fat can be in something as innocent looking as a leafy salad. If you’d like to lose weight, it’s best to keep dining out to a once-a-month treat. Ask a friend out for coffee (hold the ensaymada) instead. 

4. Stock your kitchen pantry with good things: This goes back to rule number one. Leave the bad things in the grocery aisle and fill your basket with fresh fruits, nuts, dark chocolate, wholegrain bread, eggs, and peanut butter. These can all be used to make yummy snacks for in between main meals that will have you feeling full without the guilt. While typing this, I just had a handful of dry salted almonds and a small avocado mashed into skim milk with a little brown sugar, that’s going to keep me full till dinner two hours from now. 

5. Make water your best friend: try not to have your meals with an ice-tea or fruit juice. A simple glass or two of water while you eat will help you consume less and prevent you from getting hungry sooner. Many times, our bodies aren’t actually hungry but dehydrated. A large ice-tea is like having dessert with your meal. Skip it and share a dessert with a friend for more chit-chat time after instead. 

For more healthy living tips, head over to my mom’s old site (click on the articles section).