Looking and feeling good is like an iceberg. The ten percent that shows – the looking good part – is supported by the invisible ninety per cent: an exercise routine, an eating program, and a recuperation/recovery regimen. While the finer points of everything are goal-related, it’s still possible – even advisable – to have some basic rules-of-thumb in place.
The biggest part of the invisible ninety percent is our eating program. Exercising/working out is vitally important as well, but what we eat has quite an impact on how we look and feel. When we have a few basic, not-too-complicated guidelines going for us, it’s more difficult to stray too far into behaviors that take us farther from our goals.
Nutrition Facts for Everyday Thinking
Move the body for about fifteen – twenty minutes a day, at least once. This gets the blood pumping, the muscles warmer and more flexible, and the mind more alert.
Breakfast can be a tricky meal. Some folks love to chow down during the first part of the day, some folks can’t stand the sight of food before lunch. Most of us are somewhere in between. The most important thing to keep in mind is to eat something. A variety of lean protein, starchy food, and veggies or fruit, will help most of us sail through the morning. Breakfast is a forgiving meal, though. If we take in too much, or splurge a little on high-sugar or high-fat food, we have all day to burn off the excess.
As far as meals go, let’s imagine a plate, then divide it in four segments. For every lunch and dinner we eat, cover two of the segments with some kind of veggie (preferably green stuff), one fourth is filled (not heaped!) with some kind of starchy food (for example, potatoes, rice, bread, corn, beans), the rest has some kind of protein (for example, fish, meat, poultry, eggs) on it.
- Use fresh fruits instead of candy bars for snacks and pick-me-ups.
- Drink water instead of sodas with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Stick to buying foods that are as close as possible to the way Mother Nature made them. This is not to say that all pre-packaged food is not OK. Quick and easy guideline to follow: If there is an ingredient we can’t pronounce on the first try, or we don’t know what it means, leave that particular item and find something else.
If it’s deep-fried, swimming in sauce or gravy, or falling off the bone, don’t order it. These kinds of food take us farther from our fitness and wellness goals than eating them is worth. ‘Nuff said.