Eating healthy does NOT have to be difficult or boring!
I felt it was ordinary to just eat whatever I wanted and I felt because I was young I would not be affected but that is not true. In the long haul, what you eat catches up to you in life. I am grateful that I have found The Starch Solution by John A. McDougall because this book has brightened my view! It has enlightened and empowered me to revamp my diet. No more just eating whatever! I want to know what’s in my food and what it is doing for me.
Along with this book came a new commitment for me, something I want to share with you today. This new commitment is dedicated to grocery shopping on a regular basis, buying healthy items in bulk, and monitoring the foods I eat because I want to be on Earth for the long term. I plan to spend time with my family and live life to the absolute peak so I need to be healthy to do so. I hope we share the same belief!
If so, we can both agree that nutrition is an important cornerstone. I believe this book was a great investment of time, I read it in a couple days and it was not a difficult read. 5 of the most influential highlights are as follows:
1. Diet is everything
What we eat affects everything we do.
If you are an adult or someone who is responsible for making your food choices, consider the following message and quote from the book:
Three components of food provide the fuel we know as calories: protein , fat, and carbohydrate. Starches like corn, beans, potatoes, and rice offer abundant carbohydrates and dietary fiber and are very low in fat. (Chapter 2, pg. 21)
What you eat determines what benefits or drawbacks your body receives so once you thoroughly understand this, you can make more educated food choices.
Are you analyzing the nutrition facts? Do you understand what is in the food you are eating?
Often times that may be a no, but you do have a choice to learn more about what you consume! Consider the following idea:
2. What we eat is how we feel & What we eat is what we wear
In the American diet, processed foods are very easy to come by but so are healthy foods if you are prepared beforehand. One who has not planned beforehand will be more likely to fall victim to a hunger temptation or a bad decision made easy for a high short term reward.
My job as a front desk agent for a franchise hotel often leaves me vulnerable to making bad eating decisions because I am offered food for free from guests or my coworkers. If your work or friends are generous to you or your family is great at cooking you will be put in the position to be tested. When you don’t have healthy alternatives on hand, it might feel easier and more rewarding to select the meat-lovers pizza over sweet potatoes and brown rice so anticipate these situations and be knowledgeable about the ingredients in the food you eat.
Stay prepared with fruit, a healthy snack, or a meal that can be made easily. Luckily, I found a blog post by Ayda Ersoy that gave more context into the food we eat and how it makes us feel. She said that, ”the foods we eat influence how we feel, and how we feel determines the foods we choose to eat.” It is a cycle and the importance here lies in considering our eating choices as they are the fuel for our day.
John A. McDougall does nudge the reader towards a vegan lifestyle (after informing based on the advantages and disadvantages of other diets) but if you choose to understand and use the knowledge in this book you can naturally lower your cholesterol, fat levels, and hunger for fattening and dissatisfying foods.
3. What are you really eating?
Answer that question for me and then also consider these next questions: How often are you eating? (and) Are you getting enough of the right calories?
These elements affect how we perform now and in the long haul. McDougall explains in the book by saying it’s not so much calorie counting and tracking your calories as it is picking the right foods to eat because with fruits, starches, and vegetables, you can get as much as you want. He says that:
”Healthy populations get most of their calories from starch. Throughout civilization and around the world, six foods have provided our primary fuel: barley, corn, millet, potatoes, rice, and wheat.” (Pg. 8, Chapter 1)
Theses healthy eating habits are also beneficial for animals because a vegan diet is based in symbiosis. We are harming less animals and choosing more wholesome and healthy plant ingredients to fulfill our energy and hunger needs. If you are meat eater, consider the impact you could make if you reduced the amount of meat you consumed. It would be amazing for our environment and you will feel amazing too!
One of the most exciting breakthroughs this book revealed for me was that:
4. With Starches You Can Eat Until You Are Full
Starches allow you to get really full and true fulfillment is great when you stack starches.
I love vegetables too but my biggest deal is the preparation so I know this is an area I will have to sharpen. McDougall says:
Eat more starch. Eat as much starch as you like. Don’t go hungry. (Chapter 13, pg. 210)
With other foods like pizza or Taco Bell, you eat a lot and feel bloated and regret you did it but with starches I have experienced no heartburn while I have definitely filled up like a balloon.
There’s just something about burning clean fuel which feels better and more genuine than fried or highly saturated fats.
To wrap up the value in this book, the author provides that last section as a gift.
5. It Helps to Have Recipes and Ideas
It helps to know what you can eat to keep your diet in check. Not that I may never use the recipes because I am a very plain eater but I may use one of them to spice things up! It helps to know great combinations of food and have it all in one place, the facts and the flavors about the foods.
The best part is, “when you choose fruits, veggies, high fiber whole foods, and water, you are stimulating your brain’s neurotransmitters to adjust the chemical balance to improve your emotional and mental health, while providing the right fuel for your body.
I know I am not perfect but at least understanding more about the power of nutrition has been very enlightening. I encourage you to learn more about the foods on this planet and what can be the best combination for your taste and nutrition. I challenge you to learn more about what is in the prepared foods you are eating.
All in all, my goal is just to inform you to be more conscious of your diet choices. I would like to recommend Forks and Knives (on Netflix) or a great book called The Starch Solution. Not that this book will frighten you but it will inform you.
I just want to persuade you to be more conscious of the food choices you are making. Each food matters for your energy and health and productivity in the day. The book provides an extensive list of ingredients, recipes, and tips for someone who needs an introduction or a refresher.