So you’ve decided that you want to go beyond just taking some probiotics and supplements, The First Step To Better Health, and real health is what you are on track to find. The second step to better health just requires some planning. Great thing is, planning is nothing new, we plan what we are going to do each week. Now you will just apply those skills in a different area. And after a short period of time that planning becomes a part of your daily life. Easy!
Make Your Own Meals
Don’t click away, read some more. What I am suggesting is to just add a couple of homemade meals each week. Now that does not sound like a lot of work, does it? The great thing about making your own meals is that you will leave out the artificial flavorings, chemicals, and coloring. This means your body will not have to deal with them. You would be surprised how much of a difference this can make in your health.
I have had clients start off by just adding a couple of homemade meals a week of their choosing and they have reported to me that they have started feeling better and losing weight. Your body is a great creation, and given the correct nutrition it will react in a positive manner very quickly. Most artificial coloring is derived from coal tar. Think asphalt! No wonder you feel great when you stop eating some of these additives.
Breakfast Is A Great Health Start
A great starting place is to eat breakfast. You would be surprised how many people skip this very important meal of the day, saying they just don’t have time. Coffee is not food! Our bodies need energy to operate and food supplies this energy source. After all you have just been sleeping for about 8 hours and you hopefully did not eat just before going to bed. So you have not eaten for around 12 hours; you should be hungry. Your body has been in a catabolic state, meaning the body is being broken down for fuel. The longer you take to eat, the more muscle that is broken down.
Two Mississippi State University Dietetic Interns, Jennifer Eggert and Nancy Bowers, have researched the importance of breakfast for children under the supervision of Dr. Barbara McLaurin, MSU Extension nutritionist specialist.
“Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, especially for school-age children. Studies have shown that children who receive a good breakfast learn better, are more alert and are more likely to participate in activities,” Eggert said.
Other studies have shown that, “Children who eat a good breakfast tend to perform better in school, and have a better attendance and decreased hyperactivity.”
Wow! They are more alert and participate in activities. Guess what? If this holds good for children it holds good for adults as well. Driving to work is an activity that it sure helps to be more alert, not to mention work when you get there. Plus, we need to set good examples for our children. Now my kids get on my case if I get too busy and try to skip breakfast.
A good meal for breakfast is yogurt, especially with a little fresh fruit and some Chia Seed Gel. Talk about a power packed meal!
- Easier to digest than milk
- Adds to colon health
- Improves bio-availability of other nutrients
- Can boot immunity
- Great source of protein
- Can aid in lowing cholesterol
These are some great benefits that yogurt can give. A sad fact is that most yogurt you buy is pasteurized, reducing it to a dead food that does not have many of the great benefits listed above. Make sure if you buy your yogurt to get some containing live cultures, not just made with them. I would suggest buying a quart of plain yogurt then add in the flavorings, such as fruit, etc. In the end it will even save you some money. Here’s a tip to keep the yogurt fresh longer: never use a metal spoon to scoop it out of the main container, metal reacts with dairy and causes it to breakdown faster.
One of the best yogurts is a homemade one. It will be high in probiotics and have a yummy homemade taste. Here is a link to the recipe we use weekly, Homemade Yogurt “The Easy Way”. Yogurt can also be used as a base in a shake or fruit smoothie. Add some yogurt, fruit, sweetener of your choice, and ice. Blend it all up! What can be easier than drinking your breakfast as a smoothie. A Blueberry-Orange Julius Smoothie would be great, just use yogurt instead of some of the milk if you want.
Advice: When shopping for the yogurt if you don’t make your own, look for ones that contain live cultures. A quart of plain yogurt allows you to make different flavors yourself at home.
It may take a few extra minutes in the morning to make breakfast but it will be well worth the energy and health that you are helping to establish in your body. I suggested breakfast, but dinners are also another great place to start with some homemade meals. The great thing is the choice is yours.
Let Me Share
I just wanted to share with you a short story about making your own meals. Tom was a high school senior when I started working with him. He was tired all the time and just hurt sitting still, not to mention his school grades which were top of the line till his senior year were becoming very lack luster. He wanted to attend college but was getting to the point where he really did not care anymore. After working with Tom to help him understand how food was important to who he wanted to be, he started making changes. In just a short time his energy came back, but more importantly, he cared again. His senior year became a great time with his grades going back to the levels they should be.
But Tom did not stop there, he started sharing what he had learned about nutrition with his friends. He became a healthy living ambassador and got some of his friends to make changes that they enjoyed. Tom went off to college with a renewed energy and out look.
Later, Tom called me to share that he was having trouble keeping up with eating healthy while at college. He was just so busy; how could he fit it in? I suggested that he make his food prep for the week a social event. This is what Tom started doing. He invited his friends over on a weekend day for a grill-out and food prep fest! They would prepare foods for their meal that day, but they would make twice as much as they needed. Tom would store the extra grilled items to eat later in the week, they just had to be reheated if needed. Often he would just use the grilled meats and vegetables cold as a topping on a salad for dinner after a long day of classes.
He found that by doing the prep work on one day of the week he was easily able to still eat healthy with a busy schedule. By having his friends lend a hand with the food prep he helped to create a great circle of friends that had fun and learned about how great meals taste, when you take the time to plan and prepare them yourself.
Encourage others, share in the comments below what meals you have changed or are planning to change.