It’s time to give yourself all F’s. That’s right; all F’s. Not grades, but the following: Function, Form, and Feeling. You can make your body function better, look better, and feel better. Although it might be obvious, if your body improves these three F’s, your emotional state will also improve.
Ask yourself this: do you tend to justify why you don’t eat your best (e.g., “It’s expensive”, “It’s too hard”, or “I just love junk food too much”)? It’s fine to have a good reason for not being able to do certain things because of prior personal experience; however, many don’t give healthy eating a real shot first before busting out the justifications. If you really attempted to eat healthy, you might realize that it isn’t as hard as you thought. In fact, you might kick yourself for not having done it sooner.
My hunch is that the convenience of junk food and the intense fear of change is what gets in the way. No one wants to change unless they have to, right? So listen up, you HAVE TO CHANGE the way you eat. You know exactly what your bad habits are. To jump start your positive change, here is a list of the 10 foods that really need to bid “adieu” and never invite into your house again.
- Processed Meats – These lunchbox staples “have been linked to stomach cancer,” reports Jim White, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. This is not going to be popular with the Lunchables crowd.
- Margarine – “Margarine’s trans fats, which put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes, are far worse than the natural saturated fat you’ll find in butter,” writes dietician Georgie Fear, R.D., author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. Does anyone still eat this crap?
- Sugary Cereals – “High in sugar and low in nutrition, sugary cereals set you up for fat gain,” states Georgie Fear. Additionally, because many do not look at the serving size (with most being under 1 cup), most people end up eating three days’ worth of sugar in one bowl or cereal. I’m guilty as charged with this one.
- Fast-Food Burgers – Georgie Fear laments: “Burgers contained between 2.1 percent and 14.8 percent meat. The rest is water, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves, fat, cartilage, and, in some, even parasites.” Mmmm… “Please pass the parasites.”
- Donuts – Donuts offer nothing more than 400 + calories from sugar. Additionally, “Donut shops use nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide, which was classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans” reports the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Donuts are my biggest temptation, so I can understand how difficult giving these circular beauties is.
- Microwave Popcorn – “Some brands contain diacetyl-containing butter flavorings, which when breathed in, can cause life-threatening lung disease such as bronchiolitis obliterans,” according to research from Brown University. (It has already caused these diseases in many of the pop-corn factory workers). Just make real popcorn; it’s not that difficult.
- Toaster Pastries – “Food bank has stopped taking these… one of the worst foods you could possibly eat…typically high in sugar, trans fats, and low in protein and fiber,” reports Jim White. I’d like to believe this means that real pastries are a better substitute, but alas…
- Blended Coffee Drinks – “Guarantees a sugar and energy crash that will leave you raiding the snack drawer 30 minutes later.” Thus sayeth Jim White, Chief Killjoy.
- Bagels – “Not only are their carbs refined, leaving you with little more than sugar in bagel form, they can weigh in at 400 calories each,” states White. 400 calories even before all the extras that go on the bagel. I guess Einstein wasn’t so smart after all…
- Soda – According to the landmark 2014 study in the American Journal of Public Health, “Drinking soda can age you as much as smoking.” Premature Death doesn’t seem worth this, does it?
With our ability to access our technology in seconds I do not see why you can’t take a few minutes to really learn about what you are eating, and what you should start eating. With how many phone Apps on the market offer great help with what to cook or order in any restaurant that will be the healthier choice it is not as hard as you think. Once you truly embrace the challenge of taking good care of yourself you will notice the difference and it is absolutely worth it.
Here are the five foods likely to start giving you F’s:
- Leafy greens: “The most nutritious and fiber-filled greens include kale (ranked highest in antioxidants in a Human Nutrition Research Center study), mustard greens, broccoli rabe, bok choy, Swiss chard, and of course, good old broccoli and spinach,” says Audrey Cross, PhD, professor of public health at Columbia University in New York City. “Kale: the modern hair shirt”.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil not only doesn’t cling to arteries, narrowing them, as do some saturated fats, but it contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols found in many teas.
- Flaxseeds: Rich in fiber lowering cholesterol, flax contains polyphenol compounds that may protect against cancer, and if that wasn’t enough to convince you, it helps with constipation. Also, both seeds and their oil also contain smart omega-3 fatty acids, reports Tanya M. Horacek, PhD, RD, associate professor at Syracuse University.
- Oatmeal: Oats rush cholesterol out of your system. They also make you feel full for longer.
- Tea: “Tea is rich in polyphenols, a free radical fighter, also may boost your metabolism helping you burn off food,” reports Horacek. If you’ve always wanted to be a fighter, drink tea. From personal experience: if green tea tastes like yard work to you, try the baby version, white tea.
Special message to parents: if you haven’t learned how to feed your body correctly, how can you teach your child? Not only do you choose to essentially prevent your own body from working as efficiently as possible, you are also sabotaging your child’s body. Remember, children learn best by witnessing what their parents do and do not do. So how long will you wait to set an example for your children?
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