Healthy diet food is not about dieting or a diet plan, rather, it's a lifestyle of choosing the best foods for your diet. There should not be any calorie counting, starvation or off-limit foods. Rather, this is, and should have always been, an empowering journey.
The tips below are foundational to achieving true health and taking ownership of our life and heath and it's more than simply a listing of healthy diet foods. Anyone can "know" what constitutes a healthy diet food, but to understand why they are healthy and also why we don't always eat them is much more impactful and important.
We begin this journey by exploring our mindset and why it could be slowing our progress or even stopping it altogether and ends with the 80/20 rule of healthy eating. Let's get started!
Our mindset has an enormous impact on success or failure.
Society has trained us to focus our energy and mindset toward what I call "surface level goals", or the outcome you seek...and to get it quick without any hard work.
A perfect example of this concept is the goal -- and thus the mindset -- of losing weight. Losing weight is the focus that we've all been "taught" to have. This article will help you to unlearn that social conditioning.
Using the "losing weight" mindset as our example, below I have outlined 5 key reasons why this mindset doesn't work:
The reason that society has trained us to have this surface level goal as a mindset is because it is very profitable. Just open your eyes and see what is on the shelf at the grocery store...low fat, sugar free and "diet" foods. Watch TV and you'll see countless ads for weight loss products or plans. I bet you saw some just navigating to this site on the internet.
Now that we've explored the surface level goal, lets create a paradigm shift toward the true prize.
Underneath the surface level goal of "losing weight" is a much more powerful goal. This goal is empowering instead of disempowering and sets us in a completely different direction towards success. The real underlying goal produces the results our example above as a secondary outcome. The goal? It is achieving optimum health. In other words, optimum health is actually what we seek that will ultimately produce the outcome we desire. In the example above, that would be losing weight but could be any desired health outcome. Being overweight is not possible in a healthy state of being. Optimum health drives weight loss, not the other way around.
If you can achieve optimum health, your goal of losing weight will take care of itself. Here's how this new mindset changes everything:
Mentioned in the Mindset section above, healthy diet food is not a diet plan. It never has been and never will be. Healthy diet food is just the best food for our diet. The modern diet plan is nothing more than the act of outsourcing our health goals to relieve the burden of responsibility to someone else.
That's a harsh statement, I know, but it's not our fault. We've all been taught and conditioned to think and act in this way to drive revenue and profit. All that is known about diet plans and the best diet foods come through propaganda via TV, radio, magazines and other publications.
These have literally become a source of education for everyone of all ages that see the same message over and over again in different formats and places. This propaganda simply teaches us to buy products and services, even drugs, to get us to a sometimes unrealistic goal that is not supportive of vitality, health or strength.
So here's how to avoid the diet plan trap:
The use of camera angles, photoshop image enhancements and lighting to produce images of models and actors who are unrealistically "perfect" can set the tone for how we all see ourselves. This is how our own body image, or how we see ourselves, is subconsciously set in our mind without even knowing it.
An unrealistic body image helps drive the sales and profit of the diet plan products to help us reach goals you can never realistically achieve in a healthy or sustainable way.
The people in the magazines, movies and other publications are just regular people who's images have been enhanced using all kinds of methods. This is the knowledge that we need to maintain in our conscious thought while we're battling with what we believe we're supposed to look like.
Our goal here is vitality, health and strength...not an unrealistic image of what we believe we're supposed to look like. Don't let this dictate your path and actions! Once we've broken free, use the best healthy diet foods to drive true optimum health and your body will settle into the physique you truly desire deep down.
Water is the most important healthy diet food of all and nothing else matters if we're not properly hydrated. So, drinking enough water has numerous benefits that can't be ignored such as:
But not all water is created equal. In a three year study, the EPA found 202 unregulated chemicals in tap water in 45 States. What chemicals you ask? How about refrigerants, detergents, petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, ammonia, pesticides and even pharmaceuticals to name a few. This information shocked me as I was researching for my own health which is why I purify -- not just filter -- my tap water.
Even in small amounts, these toxins can have negative effects on hormone regulation and even cause cancer and other devastating diseases...especially when you consider the fact that you ingest them in small amount every single day for long periods of time.
This is why it is essential to purify your water at home and use it for drinking and cooking for maximum health benefits.
It is also important to note that water does not equal diet sodas or sugary beverages.
Reduce wheat and grains?? Are you kidding!? Everyone tells us to eat more grains, and especially now it's whole grains that's at the top of the dietary recommendation chatter.
Contrary to these recommendations, I have avoided grains, whole grains and specifically wheat for a multitude of reasons and my health has improved significantly as a result. Losing weight and clear skin are two of the first things I noticed when I significantly reduced my reliance on this cornerstone American diet staple. Below is more compelling information:
Need more convincing? I would recommend the book "Wheat Belly" by William Davis MD. This book will change everything you ever thought you knew about wheat and you just may stop eating it altogether after reading this paradigm shifting book.
Grains are found everywhere in the American diet but they're not as hard to avoid as you may think. Stick to whole organic fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grass fed meats and you'll be good to go. And the fiber you need? Fruits and veggies are packed with it. There just isn't anything in grains and wheat that you can't get from other fruits and vegetables.
Healthy diet foods are not sugary and the ones that are, like many fruits, come with a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Like grains, sugars spike blood sugar levels as anyone would expect. This then leads to additional food cravings once the insulin does it's work removing it from the blood causing a sugar crash.
Sugar is the real culprit when it comes to weight gain. Reduce sugar, reduce weight and reduce cravings.
We all know what this means. As you begin your healthy diet food journey, there is an "eating curve" where we must make transitions in our diet.
Initially, there will be cravings for the same old food you're used to because we're creatures of habit and our bodies are used to getting certain unhealthy foods from your old diet.
There's no magic formula here. Everyone's experience with this will be a bit different and will have to adjust in your own way.
Here's what I have found works great for me: Once you've adjusted your diet, begin exercising even if it's just going for a brisk walk. I find that I don't crave bad foods when I exercise because my body is demanding proteins and other nutrients. Give it a try!
Not just lean meats...lean grass fed meats. Grass fed meats contain different nutritional properties than conventionally factory farmed meats do. This is especially apparent in the amount and types of fat the two meats contain.
This single fact alone is the driving force between one steak being way better for your health than another.
Organic grass fed meats have significantly lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. Better yet, they have much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a wider array of nutrients. Don't buy cheap factory farmed meats! They really do have a negative impact on optimum health.
Take a moment to read the linked articles above for more information on why grass fed is so important.
No one needs to be told to eat more organic fruits and veggies to improve their health. We all already know this is a crucial component in building vitality, health and strength and can make any healthy diet food list.
So how can we add more of these best health foods to our diet?
Here are a few tips that you can build on to begin increasing the quantity and quality of fruits, vegetables and nuts in your diet:
Fat will not kill you or make you fat. That's just plain nonsense...as long as they're healthy fats! If you have vegetable oil or shortening in your pantry, I would recommend throwing it out right away and replacing them with extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil.
The fats contained in vegetable oils are inflammatory and can cause a range of health afflictions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to arthritis.
Olive oil and coconut oil by contrast have anti-inflammatory properties and also contain other helpful agents that can even help reduce the risk of cancer. Other foods containing good fats include avocados, organic grass fed meats, seafood, dark chocolate and nuts and seeds.
Ok, so you're trying to reach your health goals. You're eating the best healthy foods, things are going great and then you get invited to a birthday party. There's going to be a birthday cake and all kinds of other foods that probably didn't make it on your list of healthy diet foods.
Don't worry and don't try to find a way out of going to the party!
Our society, bent on diet plans, forbids eating a birthday cake. If you do, you may call yourself undisciplined, a cheater or even a failure because of the dieting rhetoric out there. This is nonsense! This can have a negative effect on your overall mindset and can derail you from achieving your goals.
Stick to your healthy eating plan at least 80% of the time and you will achieve your goals. There is no reason to fret about going out with friends or attending a birthday party.