Practical Diet Changes



Practical Diet Changes

There never seems to be enough time in our busy lives for our basic necessities, but food is what we need to grow. Our eating habits determines our long-term health and quality of life. The goal is to make our bodies an ecosystem for functional health, not hosts for weakness and disease.

At different times people have different goals for their bodies. Every once in a while a detox diet is needed for a system flush. Some might be trying to gain weight while others are trying to lose it. Also at different ages and based on the amount of activity and calories burned in a day, diet needs to be adjusted to accommodate those needs.

Every person needs to sit down with a paper and pen and write down what's important to them about their diet. The list can be similar to mine or very different. As a mom, this was my list:

  • Cleanse and Detox
  • Satiating and Fulfilling
  • Fast and Easy to Prepare
  • Budget Friendly
And for my baby, I though the list should be the same and also include:
  • Clean Foundation and Habits
  • Help Baby Grow into a Strong Kid
  • Yummy Variety


The most difficult part about planning meals was reprogramming how I thought about food and related to it. Growing up food was not about the nutritional value of each item and how the items worked together. Our cultural diet was more centered around traditional recipes, variety of flavors, and the enjoyment of sitting down and eating together with loved ones. While tradition and culture are to be respected, the diet doesn't have to stay the same. New traditions can be adopted into every family, especially traditions which can help the members live a longer and healthier life together with their loved ones.


Adjustable Diet Plan

A Starting Point isn't meant to be concrete or permanent. It's the place change is declared as a new lifestyle and can be revisited and adjusted as many times as needed for each person's unique preferences. No matter which diet choices are made, everyone needs to drink as much water as needed for their bodies to function best.

Breakfast
Breaking the fast. This is not meant to be a meal attack on an empty stomach. Be gentle with your gut first thing in the morning. If you can't have anything else, have a cup of warm water. It will not only hydrate the body, but also help flush the body and move things along. For us, I will break our fast with:
  • Warm water with lemon and ginger
After having the warm water, it's good to wait at least 20 - 30 minutes before eating anything. During this time, prepare the first meal of the day.

Meal 1 Options - Max Nutrients and Calories yet Light Work for Gut
  • Fruits
  • Smoothie
  • Gluten-free Vegan Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter
  • Veggie Scramble

Meal 2 Options - Satiating Bowls

  • Cold lentil salad
  • Quinoa with veggie variety and sauce
  • Brown rice with peas or beans stew
  • Upma with Lentils

Meal 3 Options - Comfort and Light

  • Simple soup
  • Cauliflower mash
  • Steamed green with tomato salad

Bedtime Comfort

  • Warm milk
  • Golden tea (turmeric drink)

The Grocery List

The best place to start is simple. Some things are staples and can stay in the pantry or freezer for a while. This makes it helpful to mix-and-match items for different meals. This list is not exhaustive, but includes the most basic items from which many of the recipes can be made.

  • 2-3 varieties of fruits
    • bananas - it's ok if they turn yellow.Peel, slice, and freeze them flat on wax paper
    • frozen berries - easy on-hand smoothie ingredient
    • random fruit to munch on
  • 3-4 varieties of vegetables
    • at least one leafy green
    • head of cauliflower - infinite creations
    • avocado - a fruit but usually eaten alongside savory dishes as a vegetable
    • random veggie
  • unsweetened plant milk
    • unsweet so it can be used as a cream substitute in savory dishes when needed
    • caution with soy milk: negative side-effects on growing boys due to high levels of estrogen
  • beans
    • chickpeas - both the peas and water are useful
    • black beans are great in soups and salads
  • lentils
    • red ones are great in soups, stews, and gf savory pancakes
    • black and green ones make good salads
  • nut butter - or allergy alternative
  • healthy grains
    • quinoa is nutritious and easy to prepare
    • semolina can be made sweet or savory
  • lemons or limes
  • spices
    • turmeric
    • ginger
    • cinnamon
    • pepper

Always make your later job easier by doing the work now. If buying dry beans, cook a portion ahead of time for the week. Wash and dry fruits and veggies before putting them in the fridge or fruit bowl. Grains can also be cooked ahead and stored in the fridge etc.

After a few weeks the change will become a normal habit. From there, ways to customize this beginner plan will come to you. Noticing the overall health and energy improvements will be the motivation to keep going. It will be an adjustment and it will be worth it.

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