Let’s face it, change is hard. It took years to gain those extra pounds and it will take more than a month to loose them. The most important factor to consider when making a diet change is to assess if the diet is a lifestyle you can maintain for a lifetime.
Ever wonder why the weight comes off and then comes right back on again? It comes back due to the change in diet changing back to what is the individuals norm. We are comfortable with our food. What is comfortable is what we rely on during stressful times: Perhaps it is a reward for a long day, a hard job or a difficult emotion. No matter what causes us to eat, if it is something that is not hunger then the calories will outweight our exercise.
Many of us use the cost of food as an excuse to avoid a diet change. Here in the Pioneer Valley, we are fortunate to have several stores that can reduce our monthly food bill. Save-a-lot in Holyoke is not difficult to find and a quick jaunt from Noho or Westfield due to its location by the off ramp at the end of rte. 391 in Holyoke. Price-rite in Westfield and Springfield is another store that offers decreased prices for foodstuffs that our pantry and bodies crave. Neither store accepts coupons but both accept food-stamps.
Big-Y Alert: If you prefer shopping closer to your home, try out Big-Y which has just changed their coupon policy to year round acceptance of doubling coupons. Keep your coupons below 1.00 off and you will get double on every coupon you use to decrease your total food bill. This can decrease your expense by one to two thirds of your normal budget if you watch the sales carefully.
If you want to cut to the chase, click here.
The changes listed below may seem like a big change (and can be expensive) but the alternative is illness, a lack of life longevity and for the younger set to worry about, can attribute to the lackluster in appearance in the face, hair and nails. Making holistic meals will give the family more visible physical health and more vitality as well as longevity. Being more conscious of the foods and the ingredients in them is the first step to a more healthful life. If we eat garbage we will feel like garbage; trash in trash out as the saying goes.
One option is to make homemade holistic food and beverages ahead of time: Isolate a few hours each week to make your meal necessities for the week. For those of you who are new to this there are a few simple rules to follow:
1. Plan meals ahead, make a menu and completely stock the pantry with sale items and coupon items. Then make your menu.
2. Ban pre-packaged prepared food from your kitchen unless it is self-prepared.
3. Make juice with fresh fruit, a couple cups of water, a saucepan and a blender.
4. Find a reliable resource for healthy meals. (hint: www.eatingwell.com, www.caloriecount.com or the Budget Meals Examiner, Beth.)
5. Make some dairy products at home including cheese and yogurt.
6. Replace red meat with beans and brown rice up to three meals each week.( It doesn’t hurt to have ground beef now and then, just not everyday)
7. Add broiled or baked fish two times each week. (or, now and then, eat it like sashimi or sushi: salmon recipe)
8. Eat turkey or chicken two times each week.
9. Include two non-starch vegetables at every meal.
10. Use olive oil (why?) from a dark colored bottle for everything. Eliminate margarine as much as possible.
11. Nothing in nature is white. Use Whole wheat or whole grain pasta, whole wheat breads, brown rice and use raw sugar if you have to use it at all.
One of the biggest complications with making a meal holistic is providing a beverage that is healthy, low or no sugar and tasty. The issue is controlling the sugar intake of your family. Many of us have learned to dilute our juices before serving them and although this is a viable option for many, some of us simply cannot have the additives found in secondary and tertiary ingredient lists of our favorite beverages.
The first option is to buy juice concentrate from the frozen food aisle. This can be less expensive and you can be sure ingredients within are more (not totally) accurate. Common reconstituted juices list “Juice from Concentrate” as an ingredient and this term hides secondary and tertiary ingredients that are not holistic. Never assume that a food is a natural food even if it is listed or labeled as such. A good source of information regarding this is a government database here.
The second option is to make your own. Use a couple cups of fresh fruit, a couple cups of water and a tiny bit of sugar; boil; bottle and store in a cold place. This will need to be one once each week but the time it takes is much more beneficial to you and your family when you have control of the ingredients.
Pot of green tea mixed with black tea; both teas have qualities and you can drink them hot or cold with or without milk. Do not use sugar. Add 10 calories if milk is added. Tea without milk is healthier because tea mixed with milk neutralizes some of the good chemicals found in mixture with the tannins.
½ c skim, low-fat or 1% milk 50 cl.
1 black coffee: coffee mixed with milk is actually better for you because it removes or neutralizes the negative elements in coffee. Add 10 calories if you add milk.
4 ounces Homemade Juice: any juice that you can make ahead of time…on the weekend.
If you don’t have a juicer don’t worry, use this idea instead:
Put 2 cups of fruit in a sauce pan with two cups of water; boil covered until fruit is mashable; then mash; Turn off and let sit for an hour and then strain through a colander and then through a strainer. Coffee filters work great with this step. Do not add sugar or any other form of sugar. Drink juice as it is… whole. Only make enough to last a few days. If you have more than that, freeze the rest and thaw on Wednesday.
Fresh juice deteriorates when it is sitting around in coolers for weeks at a time. The vitamins and trace minerals that help the vitamins work most efficiently decay over time and with exposure to light. Store juice in dark glass to prevent nutrient decay and store it in the refrigerator.
Drink four ounces per day and consider it one serving of whole fruit. If you make cranberry juice keep in mind that cranberries do not taste tart without the addition of some sugar. To keep the nutrients in juice whole, do not add the sugar. Sugar deteriorates nutrients and attracts bacterium, which neutralizes the juices natural ability to load your system with vitamins, as well as fight germs and bacterium.
Breakfast options for the diet conscious:
Take-your-time Breakfast Options:
Poached egg 80 cl. and w.w.toast 110 cl. ; With bell bacon 70 cl. or bell sausage 90 cl.
Total = 250 – 280 (if butter added on toast add 45 cl.)
Total without meat: 190 cl.
Cold Cereal option: ¾ c fiber (fiber one 51%) cereal 140 cl. with ½ c milk 50 cl. ; ½ c fruit 50-90 cl.
Total = 240 – 280
Hot Cereal Combo. #1:
¼ grape-nuts 100 cl.; ¼ c. oatmeal 75 cl.; 1 -2 teaspoons brown sugar if not diabetic = 4-8 g. sugar and 15-30 cl. Or 1.2 c fresh fruit 50 cl.
Total = fruit version: 225; fruit and sugar version 240 – 255
Hot Cereal Combo. #2: ¼ c oatmeal 75 cl. made hot mixed with ½ c low fat fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt 75 cl. and 1 Tbsp. Grape-nuts 35 cl. For a Total: 185
Diabetic or low sugar and low fat Hot Cereal Combo. #3: ¼ c. oatmeal 75 cl. Made hot mixed with one container low sugar yogurt any variety; 80 cl. And 1 Tbsp. grape-nuts; 35 cl.
Total = 190
(keep in mind that artificial sugar is not healthy and if you can tolerate unsweetened fruit instead, it will be much better for you nutritionally and maintain your health longer)
On-The-Go Breakfast Options:
W.W.= whole wheat
Grab and Run:
1 W.W. bread 110, 1 slice ham 80 cl., 1 slice Am. Cheese 80 cl. Or 2 tbsp. herb farmers cheese 40 cl.
For a total = 230 – 270
A Quick Sit:
Plain Yogurt 1 cup = 160 cl ; fresh fruit 50-90 cl.; 2-3 tbsp. grape-nuts on top of fruit @ 35 cl./Tbsp.= 100 cl. For ¼ c.
If you are in need of help regarding your diet or lifestyle change, consider dropping me a line. Fitting in your comfort foods can be a challenge and I can at least send you links that will help in your efforts to becoming a new you in the New Year.
Your friend in creating a frugal and health conscious family,
The information on this site is in the public domain. This article is for entertainment purposes only. The Examiner is not responsible for information published on this site. The author’s expertise is limited to the formal education and employment experience of Social Work, 30-year self-taught herbalist, 30-year self-taught gardener and self-taught wholesale perennial distributor, 35-year bargain hunter, trash to treasure entrepreneur, and a formally trained Master/Teacher of Reiki. The author is in no way a formally trained financial advisor and information on this site should not be construed as financial or medical treatment, direction or advice. This site is for entertainment purposes only.