10 Steps to a Healthier You
Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD
A food and flavor renaissance is sweeping across America. It started on the West Coast in California, where fresh, health-inducing ingredients are married to intensely pleasurable flavors, where innovative but simple meal preparation rules, and where the joy of a leisurely meal is embraced. Embracing the “Sonoma lifestyle,” with an emphasis on enjoying food, leads to a happier, healthier life. Everyone loves wine country and California, and now we are bringing this to your homes.
It’s vital to think about the healthy mind and its connection to cravings, hunger, mood and the body’s biochemistry. The idea of 12 power foods is a great way to ensure that the meals are nutrient rich. Whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, beans and citrus all provide essential nutrients and flavor. Taking advantage of these dream team combinations in meals is key in designing flavorful and appetizing menu plans that make the most of anyone’s calories and their health protective qualities.
However, many of us have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet – largely because unhealthy food tends to taste better (especially around the holidays!). But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are ten things you can do to begin eating healthier TODAY:
- Eat in a relaxed setting as opposed to eating under stress or on the run, which is when you tend to overeat or eat poorly.
- Eat without distractions because multitasking, texting, television, and the like interrupt mindfulness, causing you to eat longer and more, even when you’re not hungry.
- Eat mindfully by paying attention to what and how much you’re eating. You’ll eat better, eat less, and enjoy it more.
- Eat slowly so you’ll feel more satisfied on less food, so you won’t out-eat the signaling mechanism that takes twenty minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full, and so you can enjoy your meal more.
- Eat with others because research shows that when you share meals with family or friends, you are more likely to eat healthier, feel more nourished and connected, and lose weight.
- Eat with pleasure instead of micromanaging your meal or worrying about its effect on your weight.
- Eat wholesomely by choosing natural, unprocessed foods. The more a food is processed, the more nutrients and natural flavors are lost.
- Eat seasonally because the growing seasons can inspire your menus and give you flavorful rewards.
- Eat locally and sustainably as much as possible. Just knowing where your food comes from and how it’s produced makes you a more mindful eater.
- Eat with wine because, unless you don’t drink alcohol at all, a glass of wine enhances your enjoyment of a healthy meal, is heart-friendly in-and-of itself, and embodies the Sonoma spirit.
Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD is an internationally bestselling author. Her new book, The New Sonoma Diet, will be released January 2011. Learn more on www.sonomadiet.com.