Not everyone can always be cooking healthy. Some of us travel, others live with members of their family and cooking a special menu is not an option or just some others do not have the time required. All of these disadvantages do not mean that you can not feed yourself in a healthy way.
We will begin establishing a base explaining what means eating healthy. There are two essential things you should consider:
- Obtain the necessary nutrients to help your body to have the necessary materials for growth and self-maintenance
- Avoid excessive overeating of carbohydrates, sugar and salt
You’re probably wondering what happens to the calories, vitamins and proteins … these are details to be talking about later, now we try to focus on how to to start eating better. Therefore, we will focus especially on what we need to get started.
How to maintain a healthy diet when you are traveling and the only food accessible is junk food? How do you make sure your body gets what it needs when you don’t have time to cook or you because someone has this responsibility? How to get a healthy diet if you are a student and your resources are limited or maybe you are part of a large family?
In order to answer all these questions we must first look at the primordial elements. What does your body need to stay healthy?
What kind of nutrients do we talk about and how can they be obtained exactly? There are two fundamental requirements that each body needs:
- Construction materials
Without the first you can not even begin. Without the second one there would be no growth or development and not even the basic maintenance of muscles and joints would be possible and they would suffer a lot. To obtain them, we will need a diet that provides us with 6 key ingredients:
THE BALANCE OF FOOD SUPPLY
Carbohydrates are needed for energy, the proteins to build and repair, fats as backup energy, vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy the body functions and, finally, water… to keep you alive.
The trick is to get a balance between all these ingredients. Any type of diet, including junk food type, will have carbohydrates and fats. Most likely it also contains some protein/amino acids.
Instead of obsessing over each ingredient in part, better concentrate on the following:
Water. Always make sure you hydrate yourself properly. This will not only help your body to generally works well but also when we digest which is very important especially when you do not eat very healthy foods. Learn how to drink more water!
Carbohydrates and Fats. If your diet is very rich in carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pasta and rice) and also you consume fats, you probably have to consider if it’s possible that you are ingesting more than you consume. Control your food portions by eating half the plate (or do not eat anything) if you do not do physical effort during the day. Shaolin monks eat the heaviest meal of the day at breakfast time to get the energy needed for that day’s workouts. Their meals are lighter as the night draws nearer. Try to reduce your food portions in the same way and see how it works according to the energy input, proportional to physical and intellectual activity, that you need daily.
Vitamins and minerals. Try to eat vegetables and fruits whenever you have the opportunity. I repeat, do not obsess, ingestion of these foods will provide you with some of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for its growth and repair.
Proteins. There are more misconceptions about proteins than about any other key ingredient for a healthy organism. The ideal is to eat foods that are low in fat, and proteins that are easy to digest and are in sufficient quantity. But if you do not cook, you do not know how to cook or you do not control your diet. Then what you can do is eating very varied because almost everything contains one or another kind of protein or the materials needed to synthesize them. Including the iceberg salad and the tomato. The report of the World Health Organization about nutrition states that the following foods are high in protein: brown rice, tomato, potato, green pepper, corn, green lettuce (iceberg), celery, cucumber, oat, carrots, broccoli and black beans.
EAT WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN
Everything mentioned above has provided you the main idea for your nutritional strategy: eat what you can, only when you can control what and how much food you have to ingest in proportion to your physical and intellectual activity. “Bad” food will not be a problem because we will rarely consume it. Instead, the wrong amounts will overload our system with calories that we will not need and we should not process.
In short, you can eat almost everything you want, but taking into account that:
- Your diet has to be varied in the long term and making sure you do not end up with a junk-type diet for months (therefore, avoid anything that might lead you astray; think that now a small step in the wrong direction means a deviation of hundreds of kilometers from the desired goal in the near future)
- You should not eat more than what you need for the activity you do; keep your portions small for those days when you don’t have much activity
Broadly speaking this is what you need to get rid of all those obsessions you have about food, especially macrobiotic diets, of the “true” proteins and the “best diets for athletes”.