Healthy nutrition has become a general topic. Yet, we all have our own idea of what constitutes healthy nutrition. First and foremost, I say that nutrition is personal. I know that you are wondering what I mean by that when there is a well-defined pyramid for foods to eat which was recently changed to the food plate. Have you ever noticed that the foods that you tolerate, your friend Jane is allergic to them? Does it mean that those foods are not nutritious? Absolutely not! It simply means that they are not good for Jane.
Before I go into detail about nutritious foods, I advise everyone to take count of all the foods that they think they may be allergic to or may not tolerate. It is great to have in mind all the foods that can be good for the body, but what if these same foods can cause you great harm? Our body always tells us its likes and dislikes. All we need to do is to pay close attention.
Let me share with you stories about allergies that I have discovered since I started my vegetarian diet. I love peanuts but they cause me eczema. Coffee tastes so good that I drool when my sister is drinking it but unfortunately it gives me palpitations, fibrocystic breast disease and ulcers. I consider lemons, grapefruits and oranges pure poisons because they cause me such acidity. So now you can see why I say nutrition is personal.
It is very important to keep track of what we do not tolerate even though it might be nutritious. What we do not tolerate may become our source of illnesses. Therefore, the goal is to avoid them the best way we can and to replace them with what is beneficial to our body, unless we can find natural ways to eliminate the problem. We have to keep ourselves continuously updated on alternative therapy.
The most important aspect of nutrition we need to keep in mind is that we need to get our daily percentage of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. We can look at nutrition as a way to absorb meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, nuts and seeds. There is such a variety of nutritious foods that we can easily substitute one for another without losing any substantial nutritive value.
As a vegetarian, I have learned to combine foods with each other within a 24-hour period in order to get the most out of them. Often, people think that one cannot get protein without eating meats. It is a fallacy because just mixing wheat with vegetables gives the complete protein count as well as eating rice and beans, in other words all the amino acids.
At the beginning of my vegetarian life, in order to eat nutritiously, I used to line up like-foods on paper so I could eat my fair share of nutrients. Today, I have established a pattern so I no longer need to write them down.
- Overall this is what has kept me going for several years now. I purchase dark green and orange veggies such as kale, spinach, watercress, broccoli, Swiss chard, green beans, garlic, squash, pumpkin, carrots and/or sweet potatoes since they are my favorites.
- Then, I choose fruits such as papaya, watermelon, peach, avocado, mango, apple, banana and/or grapes as part of my meals.
- For beans and legumes, I eat lima beans, kidney beans or lentils.
- I drink 2% milk and eat Greek yogurt, mozzarella cheese or eggs.
- For nuts and seeds, I eat almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and flaxseed.
- Grains are pure heaven to me so I focus on barley, quinoa, whole wheat, couscous, Ezekiel bread, oats or brown rice.
- For oils, I use extra virgin olive oil and canola.
- I drink a lot of tea such as chamomile, ginger, spearmint, peppermint and many more. Sometimes, I put a tablespoonful of sugar in my morning tea.
- I do not like water much so I recently started adding half a teaspoon of Bragg organic apple cider vinegar in it, on and off. What a difference it makes!
- For those of us who are not vegetarian, I recommend salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, cod, halibut, chicken, or turkey. Every once in a while, I myself, eat salmon or some other fish when I go to the restaurant or to a party.
Healthy nutrition is a goal well-worth having because it not only helps in providing optimum health but it also gives one’s body a nice contour. Have a pleasant journey while traversing the food aisles!