Here are two organizing principals for making your eating life satisfying, health-promoting, and easy to manage.
1. Low glycemic load foods:
Build your food habits around low-glycemic index choices. Glycemic index is a measure of how fast the carbs you eat break down and release sugars into the bloodstream; you’re aiming to feed yourself the kind that break down slowly and release glucose more gradually. Simply stated, this keeps your blood sugar low and even throughout the day and thus positively modulates energy and appetite. Over the long run keeping your blood sugar steady will promote healthy function of all your biological systems, which in turn gets you good health, body composition, energy and mood. There will be much more about this to come in this blog space. Here’s a good website to get GI values of many foods.
Keep your carbs unrefined! That means fruits, whole grains, and vegetables–especially the low-starch types, which provide LOTS of nutrition for very few calories.
2. Get more meals for your kitchen time:
Busy-ness is a fact of life and meal management can easily fall into the overwhelming category, regardless of its importance to our health. If you have time to live in the kitchen overseeing artful production of exactly the right balance of foods to make up the nutritious diet, great. If not, improve your shopping and cooking time to meal ratio! Thinking strategically about shopping and kitchen time enables the production of several meals that promote good health and body composition. If you make sure every dinner provides you with a lunch you can carry to work the next day, you’ll avoid eating out (and eating out of balance). Martha Rose Shulman writes for the Fitness and Nutrition section of the New York Times and I admire her approach to ‘parsing’ one kitchen adventure into several meals. Check out her recently posted spinach recipes, as well as her “Recipes for Health” archives that let you search by whatever ingredients you have on hand. All look easy and yummy and health-promoting.