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There are so many different types of diets, talking about technical things like sodium hydroxy something, and polyunsaturated fats, and intestinal PH levels. I usually fall asleep when trying to read in such detail. I don’t think it’s necessary for me – an ordinary individual – to have to learn such things to get healthy.
Consuming Food or Flavour?
I am aware that I’m consuming food, but I’m equally aware that I’m consuming flavors. Sometimes the flavors seem more important than the real food. So, the packet that says eat this will taste like mushrooms, but you will be consuming that green stuff that looks like pool sludge and is so good for you nut you can’t bear to look at it or drink a smoothie of it.
When I’m hungry, I want to buy some food and eat it. I don’t expect to be a nutritionist or an expert on anything to do with food. There are three necessary acts, and I am an expert on those. Think of food, buy that food, eat the food. That should be all there is to it.
Diet – Noun & Verb
What is a diet? It’s both a noun and a verb. i.e., the noun is simply a list of the food you eat. The verb is dieting, cutting back on the food you eat, and adding particular food to make you healthier.
A Balanced Diet means the food you take in, modified for your particular needs, to deal with your general health, and give you more energy each day.
There is a set number of calories my particular body needs. If I take in (eat) more calories than that fixed number, then I’ll gain weight and become heavier; if I eat fewer calories than my set amount, then I’ll lose weight and become thinner.
7 Things You Need to Know
Even without calorie counting, I know we should eat proteins: vegetables, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, vitamins & minerals, water. So presumably, those are the seven things you need to know to have a balanced diet. I’ve got that, and I understand it, but not much more.
If we have a look at what’s under each heading, that might make more sense of things. I started with Protein, which is meat – beef, mutton, pork, chicken, fish, nuts, soya eggs, beans, pulses. It is responsible mainly for the growth and maintenance of tissues.
Carrots, Cabbage, Broccoli, Onions, Peas, Beans, Sweetcorn, Sweet Potatoes, Leeks, lettuce, and many others. Veggies are good for us in so many ways it would be impossible to list them all here.
Bread, flour, pasta, potatoes, rice, oats, and so on. These give you energy.
Nuts, seeds whole grains, fruit, beans, etc. These mainly regulate bowel function and health.
Milk, cheese, dairy produce, nuts, seeds, etc. It handles hormone production.
6. Vitamins & Minerals
Some veggies, some proteins, some nuts, and seeds. Assists cell growth.
You should drink about 2 liters of water. Keeps your body correctly hydrated.
Overview of the 7 Points
When I wrote this, Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 were relatively easy. Yet, when I got to items 5 and 6, it became very complicated, and I had to look it up. You can see, I kept my answers simple, but that was because the responses I got from the research were confusing to me, and food just for the eating and enjoying should be like that. Item 5 was accessible as I drink between 2 – 2.5 liters per day and think nothing of it.
Basic Food Knowledge
My point is that our knowledge of food should be fairly basic. Mine is. What it does is more or less covered above. However, these days it seems fundamental than you need much more comprehensive and detailed knowledge than that to stay abreast of what’s good and bad; what’s right and wrong. Furthermore, each day it seems to develop more levels and is being turned into an art form.
What you eat and don’t eat should be a matter of common sense, and if you’re older than 18, then you’ll already have stored quite a lot of information regarding how your body works, and about the food you put into it.
Maintaining a Balance is Vital
I know when I’ve overeaten, and it’s not a very pleasant feeling. I don’t like making a habit of it, but if I did, I would undoubtedly gain weight. If I don’t eat enough for my body’s needs, then again, I don’t feel too well because I don’t have enough energy. If I continued not eating enough, then I would surely lose weight and become lethargic and distracted.
Generally speaking, I think I have a reasonably balanced diet. It would be fair to label myself a pescatarian. I’m not fond of meat, but I do enjoy fish. Furthermore, I’m not fond of sweet things and desserts.
Let’s say I’m in a fancy restaurant enjoying a full menu. I’ll have a second helping of veggies, and, when it comes to dessert, I’d much rather eat my starters again – whether it was a bowl of soup, or a chicken liver pate, or even buttered asparagus. I’d rather have that than whatever is being served for dessert!
Also, I don’t eat snacks – I can’t see the point once you get the hang of that, you know all my food quirks!
A Balanced Diet – It’s All About Balance
A Balanced Diet in broad strokes is:
Breakfast – preferably containing carbs, fiber, and water would be good. That means cornflakes or weetbix or porridge oats with milk and assorted fruits and a glass of water.
Lunch – grilled chicken breast with two veggies, boiled potato and a glass of water.
Dinner – Large piece of grilled Halibut fish, with 3 veggies, steamed rice, herb sauce and another glass of water.
Snacks – would be apples, other fruit, more water. That day’s food is a very balanced diet. Some days I’ll eat more fish than I should and then I’ll cut back the following day. Some days I eat more bread than I should, and again, I’ll cut back on other days to restore the balance – it’s all about balance.
Walk and Stretch – Basic Exercise
It’s essential to exercise, but you can just double up on the walking you have to do during a typical day. You don’t have to join a gym and make a thing of it. Also, try stretching your limbs a little so that when making a gesture, extend it thoroughly so that you stretch and get the most out of it.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Hydration cannot be emphasized sufficiently. You need to drink – and that’s not sugary fizzy drinks, but water. You need to drink at least 2 liters of water to 2.5 liters of water per day to maintain balanced hydration.
Try to stay as natural as you can. When making a curry, don’t just cook the rice and stir in the topping from a little plastic bag to which you add water and some curry powder – that’s not curried! Make that curry from scratch – even make your curry powder – and yes, you can!
Make Your Pie from scratch.
If you have a chicken pie for dinner, please don’t sit watching TV; then, ten minutes before dinner is due pull out a couple of frozen pies and defrost them in the microwave. That’s not living healthy, and it’s not a balanced diet. Instead, make the chicken pie from scratch. It doesn’t take a very long time, and you’ll enjoy it so much more. The main point is, your body will enjoy it and get more nutrients from it!
Make too much food and freeze it for Later.
Make a beef stew or a mutton casserole – again from scratch. However, make one twice the size you need then, you can section it off and freeze it in little portions, and you see that way the work you put in making it natural has now paid off but have several of those natural dinners frozen and ready for when you’ve had a tough day!
Eat a Little Less
If you want to lose a little weight, then simply eat a little less until you find the right balanced diet to suit your body. Don’t think of it a being on a diet. That plays with your mind, and suddenly you’ve starved yourself into a stick figure.
Instead, think of it as adjusting or two so that you feel more comfortable and healthier.
As you try out these different adjustments, you’ll eventually find the balance you need for a healthy body and mind. The important thing is that you’ve done everything most naturally and found a better balance.
Fry or Roast, Grill or Steam
Whatever method you use to cook for yourself, you will always be able to balance your food plate. If you fried with butter, then you’ll boil your potatoes. If you steamed, then you can fry your potatoes – or such adjustments as these.
Looking After Yourself
Looking after yourself should be a lot of fun because you’re doing it for yourself. No one else will go to such length to look after you!
If you’re a snack person, then think in terms of a tin of tuna without oil or peanut butter and crackers; maybe a beautiful tomato or two with a slice of two of cheese or perhaps consider some sardines with pickles.
All the food mentioned in this article has flavor. Because, as I said in the very beginning, sometimes you’re not eating the food but rather enjoying consuming the flavor.
But looking at some of the food listed here doesn’t mean you’re locked into those foods. Occasionally at the end of the day, you don’t feel like making a big production of food. So why not sit back and relax and enjoy two or three snacks.
The lovely flavors alone will make you feel you’ve eaten more than you have, and it’s taken very little work for you to prepare them.
Keep the Balance
It’s perfectly OK for you to occasionally be a snack person, as long as you make sure that the foods you eat remain balanced. You can be a three-square meal a day person, or you can ‘go with your gut’ and eat several more tasty, healthy snacks, but whatever you decide to ensure the balance is kept.
I hope this has helped you by bringing things back to basics instead of confusing you.
Always remember this is all about you, so the way you take care of yourself is vital.
Eating on the Run
There’s a saying, “you are what you eat.” Interesting! I’m sure we know what it means. There have been times when I’ve ‘eaten on the run’ picked up, a sandwich, and literally left the house and got into the car while still eating it. It’s not an intelligent thing to do because you seem to love all the flavor as you run around to get through your busy day.
Eating on the run is most unsatisfying and a silly thing to do because you feel like you’ve not eaten and find yourself grabbing some more food as you dash here and there. That’s when things become unbalanced and when you start to feel out of sorts.
If that sort of thing happens again, rather you grab a stick of celery and a few apples. It will be healthier and more balanced. I started this article talking about seven things you need to know to have a balanced diet. However, I things we have unturned many more than seven things on our journey to be balanced. There are even more reasons, but we’ll list them for you next time. In the meantime, get used to these – try them out and see if you agree with me. Stay balanced.
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