Did your mother ever make you sit at the table until you cleaned your plate? I remember those days, particularly my inability to finish my soup, sandwich and milk for lunch. To this day, I blame the table trauma of mealtime for my inability to eat a bowl of soup! Looking back, I can certainly understand my mother’s strictness. Raising four children all under the age of 6 made it a necessity for her to prepare simple and balanced meals. Even now, determining what we eat, how much we eat and how often can be overwhelming. Plus, the schedule stresses of daily life often lead us to unhealthy choices. Did you know that the secret to planning a healthy meal is in the palm of your hand…literally?
As in most areas of our lives, balance is key. Usually, when schedules get harried and nerves fray, healthy eating habits are the first things to go. Right now over a third of American kids are overweight or obese. Studies show that the average child who eats a fast food meal one time a week gains six extra pounds a year more than kids who ate no fast food. If kids are gaining, so are we when we opt for quick and often unhealthy fixes. Creating a simple plan for daily meals will keep the nutrients in and the pounds off.
- Protein Power — In order to feed your lean body mass (your muscles) you need protein. A typical portion of protein is about the size of your palm (approx. 3 ounces). An easy way to make sure you’re getting enough protein every day is to include a “palm of protein” at each meal (think chicken breast, 2 hardboiled eggs, a broiled fish filet or a lean piece of beef, for example). If you are highly active, add in some protein snacks like almonds or a mozzarella stick to make sure you’re getting enough to feed your muscles and keep your metabolism humming along.
- Veggie Vigor - Vegetables are awesome in that they are nutrient dense, low calorie and highly affordable. A serving of veggies is approximately one cup (raw) or about the size of a clenched fist. Get a minimum of 3 fists of veggies, especially dark and leafy green (like spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus) per day. I like to cut up my veggies and keep them in snack bags in the fridge for a quick, crunchy fix.
- Fruit Frenzy — Fruit can provide essential vitamins but they can also be higher in sugar and calories. I recommend two single “fist” servings of fruit a day especially as a quick snack like a cup of mixed berries, a medium sized apple, or a half of a grapefruit.
- Carb Complexity - Oh the conundrum over carbohydrates. Are they good? Are they bad? Actually, both. Simple carbs like white sugar, white flour, white rice, etc., are starchy carbs that can spike blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. The more complex our carbs the better. All carbs are best consumed earlier in the day so a piece of whole grain toast with breakfast and a cup of whole grain rice with lunch are good options. Go for 2 fists per day.
- Oily Envy - Fats do play a role in our vitality so they can be added into a healthy diet in moderation. A good rule of thumb is to use your thumb to rule your fat intake. Limit saturated fats to the size of your thumb or about 1–2 tablespoons per day. Opt for mono-unsaturated fats like olive and grape seed oil as well as omega-3 fatty acid rich foods like almonds and walnuts. A small fistful of nuts makes a great and satisfying snack. I prefer to buy raw, organic almonds and roast them in my oven for 7 minutes or so. Once cooled, they taste like candy!
- Fill the Gaps — Even the most diligent and disciplined of us may not get the essential nutrients we need on a daily basis for optimal cellular health. JAMA (the Journal of the American Medial Association) agrees that a healthy diet must include supplementation to fill the gaps. I highly recommend a well-rounded supplement in the form of powder vs pill. Years ago I tossed my multivitamin pills and replaced them with a much more comprehensive and bioavailable powdered supplement that delivers a balanced array of the most advanced ingredients to give my body what it needs to thrive. (see below for more information)
Now is the best time to take simple steps to a healthier lifestyle. Begin by changing one meal at time. See if you can add a palm of protein to your breakfast meal for the next week. Then add a fist of vegetables to your lunch meal. Before you know it, you and your family will be enjoying the benefits of balance and no meal time trauma — I promise.
Remember, the power is in your hand!
Shake It Up — Another way to provide children and adults with optimal nutrition is to make a shake with Reliv Now® for Kids and Reliv Now® with LunaRich™ for optimal cellular health. Here’s a coupon to pass alongwww.My24kVIP.com vip code: gold for discounts on 24KTM (healthy energy/focus) and access to an entire line of exclusive performance and great gap-filling nutrition.
“May all go well with you and may you be in good health.”
Copyright © 2012 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.