Cleaning up your nutritional routine is daunting if you’ve been living off of fast food and convenience store snacks, but it can be done. Growing up as a latch key kid, I was forced to eat Mc Donald’s and Burger King more than I was ever prompted to eat my vegetables, but with enough research and education I have turned my diet into one that few mothers would complain about.
The first thing to do is to stop thinking of food as comfort. It is nutrition, and it is not supposed to cake your arteries with grease – it is supposed to fill your blood with good things like anti-oxidants. When you have begun to rethink the reasons you are eating, you may start to wonder how it would feel to eat healthier foods. Try getting a drink from a juice bar that is full of freshly squeezed fruit like orange juice or get brave and try carrot apple. Drink this quickly because the nutrients will be oxidized within about fifteen minutes – that will make them lose potency. You should notice some sort of jolt to your system when you drink freshly squeezed juice. It should be a pleasant feeling, but it may be somewhat alarming if your body is really dying for real nutrition. Use this experience with the first taste of something healthy as a starting point and a reference for why you should eat better. This will provide an insight for you to how food should make you feel rather than what it should taste like.
When it comes to changing the way things work in the kitchen, realize that you may have to take small steps. You could start by introducing one healthy item a day. Healthy doesn’t mean not yummy. Healthy means you have to put a little more thought into what you are eating, but it does not mean you don’t get to enjoy your food anymore. You might have to retrain your taste buds to get them used to the more healthy stuff. Try introducing several servings of fruit into your diet. Make sandwiches with turkey or tuna. You can put alfalfa sprouts on a sandwich instead of lettuce or nothing at all. Alfalfa sprouts are loaded with nutrients and taste delicious on a sandwich or in a salad.
Over a period of a couple of weeks, or as fast as you can, cut out all fast food. Cook your food at home. It may not save money, but it shouldn’t cost more to do this. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Whether you live alone, with a partner, or with kids, you can still make simple meals that have not got the kind of fat and preservatives as with fast food. Do not use a microwave. Microwaves zap out the nutrients of food. This could be difficult if you love your microwave, but learning to heat something up in the oven is really not that hard. Set the oven on about three hundred and check the food every couple of minutes until you have a sense of how long it takes to heat up chicken or a bagel.
Learn to use garlic in food. You can bake a clove of garlic in the oven for thirty minutes on 350 degrees. Once you have baked the garlic, it will spread on bread much like butter. You can mix it in with cream cheese or you can drop it in spaghetti sauce. Garlic will boost your immune system, clean out your blood, and act as a natural mosquito repellant. Eat garlic several times a week in something that you like. You can also bake red peppers in the same manner as the garlic and put the peppers in with the garlic.
Cereal is a great way to cut out fat and increase fiber and vitamins. There are plenty of health food cereals like Kashi that are great for improving diet, but if you are coming off of fast food and want something more familiar than granola, try any of the regular General Mills cereals like Cheerios. Cereals can replace a high calorie low nutrition breakfast with a fresh and clean one that tastes good. You can top Cheerios with honey instead of sugar for a treat.
Don’t fry foods anymore when you cook. Bake French fries. You can cut up potatoes and bake them in a casserole dish with olive oil, garlic, and onions for a serving of potatoes that will satisfy that fry urge without being as bad for you. All of the ingredients are good for you. Another fat recommendation would be to try eating more fish instead of red meat. Fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your skin, nails, cardiovascular and digestive systems.
These simple changes in your diet can change your life. My skin and hair are healthier, and my waist is appreciative of the changes I’ve made. However, the changes are more than cosmetic: I have more energy, less headaches and minor illnesses, and even my premenstrual problems are improved. If you are trying to kick fast food and fat eating, use these suggestions to help you put it into perspective and get started.