Last week’s article included important information on the effects of additives that may be hiding in your family’s food. I realize that some of this info is pretty anxiety provoking, but there’s good news. You can provide your family with nutrient rich foods, easily and without a fuss. This article is written with you and your family in mind. Making the switch to healthy eating is a lifestyle change that will gradually become part of your everyday routine. You and your family will notice increased energy, weight normalization, and a vibrancy that will keep you on your positive track. Here are some simple ways to get on track.
Make the Transition Easy
This transition can be difficult for some people and taking steps to make it as easy as possible is extremely important. If you have trouble navigating your way around the grocery store and don’t know what to buy, try a grocery store tour (weekly tours are provided by me!). Make a weekly meal plan, or have me make one for you. Take your meal planning shopping list with you when you go shopping and avoid veering away from your list. If you don’t have the time to go to the grocery store, try an online delivery service like spud.ca, a local company that delivers groceries weekly. Their prices are comparable to grocery stores, they carry high quality products and they try to provide local products when available. After getting your groceries, take a few minutes to wash and cut produce, and cook some grains (to put into Tupperware) so everything is ready to go in the fridge when needed. You’d be surprised at how much easier it is to eat healthy when ingredients are ready to go. I provide at home food and meal preparation education, as well as structured meal plans for families.
Eat Balanced Snacks and Meals
A balanced meal will include a carbohydrate, a protein, and a good fat. This mixture will slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which will create lasting energy with no energy rush and extreme crash after consumption. Refined grains and sugars create an unhealthy sugar spike in the bloodstream. This quick release of sugars into the blood creates a quick energy fix for the body, but what also comes with it is a surge of the hormone insulin, which is used by the body as a carrier of the sugars into cells. When insulin has shuttled the sugar into cells, an energy crash is felt and the body craves food that will give that same energy quick fix. This is why when a person is feeling extremely low energy they will crave something very sugary. The body knows that with a sugary snack it will get instant energy. This becomes a non-stop cycle for the body and each time leaves the body with an energy void. This blood sugar roller coaster is linked to Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Whole grains are crucial to a balanced meal.
*Meal and snack ideas are listed at the bottom of this article.
Eat a variety of foods to get an optimal nutrient intake
People get used to eating the same foods with little change in meal time menus. It’s important to include variety in the diet. Different kinds of produce have different nutrient content and including an array of produce will ensure that you and your family are getting sufficient vitamins and minerals to keep your body thriving.
Sneak veggies in when the kids aren’t looking
If your kids are picky and won’t eat their veggies just sneak ‘em in like a pro. My favourite way to do this is in smoothies. Kids love milkshakes, and there’s easy ways to make these great tasting drinks just loaded with nutrients. A good greens mix is key to keeping in the house for shakes (leafs can work but kids may not like the texture). I use Brad King’s greens mix. Go to your local health food store and find one that suits your needs. They can be flavored or not.
Makes two portions
2 cups filtered water or almond milk or coconut milk
handful berries (fresh or frozen)
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp almond butter
1-2 scoops greens mix
Make preparing food fun
Get your kids involved with making their own food. Kids will be more inclined to eat it if they’ve had a hand in making it. This is especially easy when things are already cut up for them! Think pita pizzas, ants on a log (celery, almond butter and raisins), cheesy quinoa with veggies, etc.
Balanced Breakfast – Quinoa Yogurt Parfait
- 1 cup organic yogurt
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa (cooking a few cups of quinoa and storing in the fridge makes for easy additions to meals)
- handful of local berries
- ¼ cup walnuts
Layer the ingredients in a glass to make a parfait.
- 1 Whole grain brown rice cake
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ½ granny smith apple
- pinch cinnamon
Spread the almond butter on the rice cake and cover with thinly sliced apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
I hope this article gives some insight on the importance of being mindful of what you are putting in you and your family’s bodies. For more meal and snack information check out www.nourishinggoods.com recipe section.