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I need the Dummy's Guide to Getting Healthy!!

Posted by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM
  • 8 Replies
1 mom liked this
I have never been a very healthy eater but I don't eat a ton of junk either. But I would like to start eating healthier but I am not exactly sure where to start. I drink coffee which I think I shouldn't do but I am very dependent on it now and I don't know if cold turkey is the way to go? I have also been drinking green tea lately but honestly I don't know if that is any better for me or not. It is just very overwhelming with all the diets and websites and programs and all of that out there. I don't need to loose a ton of weight (if it happens that is cool but thats not my goal) or anything, I just think I am getting to an age where I should start taking better care of myself. I am 27 with three kids. My head starts to spin when I try to figure out where to start and what to do. I need help!!!
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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wayward_redhead
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

My personal opinion is that you shouldn't quit coffee cold turkey.  If you do you can get a lot of negative side effects-  when I tried I had massive headaches.  In fact,  just cutting down my consumption was very hard.  There is no reason to stop coffee altogether,  it has many benefits to your health if you can limit consumption and avoid sugar/cream when drinking it.  I try to limit intake to one or two cups per day.  Green tea, white tea and herbal is also very beneficial and as long as you aren't adding a ton of sugar can be enjoyed often.

I also agree that the world of eating right is very confusing,  and most eating plans have medical doctors who back up the claims.  So, I'll tell you my version of healthy but someone else might disagree.

I believe in eating a balanced diet and I think the key is to eat WHOLE FOODS.  This means nothing or little processed.  This is harder than it sounds because in America 90% of our food is processed,  and not everyone has the time or money to cook every single thing from scratch.  However,  you learn as you go to start reading labels and stop buying certain things or swap out brands for better brands.  Initially I remember going to the store and feeling overwhelmed, and spending twice as much and then feeling like I couldn't afford to eat that way.  Now, I actually spend less at the store and buy a lot of organic.  My diet is a lot more nutrient dense and simple.  Things I look out for on a label are high fructose corn syrup, MSG, food dye, and nitrites (for a start, there is much more)-  if I see any of this stuff,  I move along!  Chances are if the item has more than a few things on the ingredients label, it's processed junk.  Some stores have nutrition sections where whole food is located, at other stores it's mixed in or doesn't exist.  When in doubt try to shop at places like Trader Joe or Whole Foods.

As far as what you should eat or buy, you'll find your own preference, but personally at my house we eat a lot of produce.  I do a lot of vegan meals, even though we do eat meat and dairy we really try to limit them.  There are a lot of health benefits to limiting consumption and getting those nutrients from plant sources,  and also meat and dairy is so full of antibiotics, etc.  My family can't afford the price of organic beef and dairy, so in order to buy organic we cut our consumption in half.  Even then,  we mostly eat chicken breast now because the price of organic beef is outrageous.  We don't do a lot of added oils in our food because it's really not necessary. In fact, I don't think I even have butter in my house! I always buy 100% whole wheat when I buy pasta or bread or wraps.  I eat a lot of beans, brown rice, and quinoa.  I also buy a ton of fresh produce and go by "the dirty dozen" which is a guide to which stuff to buy organic.  

I don't know what type of things you eat now or what you feel confused about and I feel like I'm rambling, so if you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Rota
by Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM
1 mom liked this

It is hard to help you if I don't know where you are starting. What do you eat, do you cook your own meals or purchase premade products? Do you use processed foods ? What do you drink besides coffee? I am a RN and work in an Integrative Medicine practice so these types of questions we handle daily.

Without knowing anything about you- here are suggestions to get you started

1. Drink water. Don't buy it in plastic bottles. If you have city water then purify it at home. I can recommend several great purifiers that will end up being cheaper than bottled water.

Some coffee/tea is OK

eliminate as much as possible any products that contain HFCS, artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings.

Eat lots of vegetables ( not canned), some meat and some fruit.

If you have more questions, let me know and I will try to help.

jessicaaris
by New Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM
We don't eat a ton of processed foods and I cook almost every meal from scratch (sometimes I get mixes or something processed but not often). My kids love fruits and veggies so I always have them on hand but I don't seem to eat then very often myself. Dh is a meat eater so we almost always have some kind of meat with our meals. Like I said before, I don't eat junk all the time but I guess you could call it a meat and potatoes diet. A lot of pastas and breads and meat. It just doesn't feel like healthy food. Thanks for your reply!

Quoting wayward_redhead:

My personal opinion is that you shouldn't quit coffee cold turkey.  If you do you can get a lot of negative side effects-  when I tried I had massive headaches.  In fact,  just cutting down my consumption was very hard.  There is no reason to stop coffee altogether,  it has many benefits to your health if you can limit consumption and avoid sugar/cream when drinking it.  I try to limit intake to one or two cups per day.  Green tea, white tea and herbal is also very beneficial and as long as you aren't adding a ton of sugar can be enjoyed often.

I also agree that the world of eating right is very confusing,  and most eating plans have medical doctors who back up the claims.  So, I'll tell you my version of healthy but someone else might disagree.

I believe in eating a balanced diet and I think the key is to eat WHOLE FOODS.  This means nothing or little processed.  This is harder than it sounds because in America 90% of our food is processed,  and not everyone has the time or money to cook every single thing from scratch.  However,  you learn as you go to start reading labels and stop buying certain things or swap out brands for better brands.  Initially I remember going to the store and feeling overwhelmed, and spending twice as much and then feeling like I couldn't afford to eat that way.  Now, I actually spend less at the store and buy a lot of organic.  My diet is a lot more nutrient dense and simple.  Things I look out for on a label are high fructose corn syrup, MSG, food dye, and nitrites (for a start, there is much more)-  if I see any of this stuff,  I move along!  Chances are if the item has more than a few things on the ingredients label, it's processed junk.  Some stores have nutrition sections where whole food is located, at other stores it's mixed in or doesn't exist.  When in doubt try to shop at places like Trader Joe or Whole Foods.

As far as what you should eat or buy, you'll find your own preference, but personally at my house we eat a lot of produce.  I do a lot of vegan meals, even though we do eat meat and dairy we really try to limit them.  There are a lot of health benefits to limiting consumption and getting those nutrients from plant sources,  and also meat and dairy is so full of antibiotics, etc.  My family can't afford the price of organic beef and dairy, so in order to buy organic we cut our consumption in half.  Even then,  we mostly eat chicken breast now because the price of organic beef is outrageous.  We don't do a lot of added oils in our food because it's really not necessary. In fact, I don't think I even have butter in my house! I always buy 100% whole wheat when I buy pasta or bread or wraps.  I eat a lot of beans, brown rice, and quinoa.  I also buy a ton of fresh produce and go by "the dirty dozen" which is a guide to which stuff to buy organic.  

I don't know what type of things you eat now or what you feel confused about and I feel like I'm rambling, so if you have any more questions feel free to ask!

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wayward_redhead
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Well,  it can be hard to lose weight on a meat, potatoes and pasta diet.  Maybe look at how you are cooking them (no added butter, oils, milk, cheese, etc).  Also pay close attention to portion control.  As a rule veggies should take up 1/2 of your plate at every meal. One serving of pasta is no bigger than 1 cup (start measuring!).  A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards (actually quite small IMO).  You can start counting calories on myfitnesspal just to give you an idea of where you are and where you need to be. 

A typical meal at our house:  whole wheat penne, boiled and drained.  Then in skillet saute mushrooms, onions, garlic and add sauce.  I pay close attention to jarred sauce because so many like prego, ragu have added sugar and tons of salt.  Another option is to use diced tomatoes instead of jarred sauce,  or make your own.  Then I add frozen brocolli, kale or spinach, beans are another option.  Truthfully add whatever veggies/beans you like.  Cook until tender and add it all together. Tada!  Super easy and healthy.  I try not to do meat and pasta together because they are both so high calorie,  and I would rather eat more of one thing.

Another option is to have a homemade smoothie for breakfast or lunch.  I always feel so much lighter because I only had a drink,  but I'm full and so energized.  I usually do fruit with spinach, half water or almond milk, and some brown rice protein powder.

The healthy weight loss group on here will also have a lot of advice.


Quoting jessicaaris:

We don't eat a ton of processed foods and I cook almost every meal from scratch (sometimes I get mixes or something processed but not often). My kids love fruits and veggies so I always have them on hand but I don't seem to eat then very often myself. Dh is a meat eater so we almost always have some kind of meat with our meals. Like I said before, I don't eat junk all the time but I guess you could call it a meat and potatoes diet. A lot of pastas and breads and meat. It just doesn't feel like healthy food. Thanks for your reply!
AromaDrops33
by Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

This is what has helped me, I love it!!

Basherte
by on Mar. 19, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Green tea is very healthy for you. 

I would need a better idea of the types of foods you normally eat. 

If you could give us a typical week of menus that would make it a lot easier.

quitting caffeine cold turkey can cause migraines, or extremely bad headaches from the lack of caffeine If you want to quit, quit slowly.Very slowly. I get migraines if I have even one cup less caffeine filled drink in a day. 

If you are using a lot of boxed dishes, stop and make them yourself from scratch. 

add fruits and veggies to your diet. exercise a little. start small and work your way up. 


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heathersheaven
by on Mar. 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM

heathersheaven
by on Mar. 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

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