Wenona Hulsey

CREATING A BALANCED DIET, PART TWO

Two previous posts related to my own personal journey towards creating a healthy and balanced eating plan for everyday use. For this post, I’ll be attempting to rely a little bit on the experts in formulating my own thoughts on what can and should be done to successfully put in place a healthy eating plan. I don’t think there will be any time or space to provide you with menus and recipe ideas, but my instinct tells me that, like me, you will also be relying on your own taste buds, not just your unique dietary requirements, to come up with a workable and wholly enjoyable plan.

That’s the good thing about creating a balanced diet for everyday of the week. It’s never going to be boring and bland. In years gone by the very idea of dieting was loathed and feared. Apart from it being boring it lacked substance. We now know that no longer do people need to go on such stringent diets. It tends to do more harm than good in more ways than one. There are, of course, extreme circumstances where both doctors and dieticians are working in tandem to create a strict plan which must be followed by the grossly obese and heavily overweight patients.

But even these stringencies have been proved to be nothing but fallacies. With the balanced diet, in the sense of an enjoyable and wholesome weekly eating plan, and not so much in the sense of a strict diet where a great number of sacrifices have to be made, the balance goes in different directions. The eating plan must complement everyday life, whether its work, play and, hopefully, lots of exercise. Some of you might not believe this just yet but there’s even an emphasis on color. Think about this for a moment. Imagine having to look at the same four walls everyday of your life. The same with food. Imagine having to stare at the same steaming and tired old oats every morning for the rest of your life.

Is it any wonder, in part, why the poor are so malnourished and unhealthy? Now, this tragedy of malnourishment is not something that is confined to the poor. Middle-class men and women are also prone to this. It is the common result of eating too much of processed foods which are entirely bad for them. The malnourishment in question here refers to those poor folks’ bodies not getting any of the nutrients, minerals, proteins and enzymes that are essential to ensure its continuous growth and healthy survival.

Breakfast, lunch and supper

And everything else in between, so the saying goes. For each day of the week, you should attempt to take something different. If you had to eat the same meals every day, logically speaking, you are not going to be getting the essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates required to sustain your body and mind. You should know by now that while there are food shortages in some parts of the world, unnecessarily for tragic reasons, the world is abundant in terms of the variety of healthy food choices you can make.

For each meal of the day, breakfast, lunch and supper, feast yourself, in modest proportions, on something different. It’s true what they say too; variety is the spice of life. But for curries, you do need to go easy on the spices.

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day

Is it any wonder then why so many men and women feel so tired and miserable at the end of their working day? Many of them started off on the wrong foot. They didn’t quite get out of bed on the wrong side, but they did skip the kitchen in their rush to get to work on time. Many of them did not get a good night’s sleep either, and left it late to get to bed anyway, tired as they were the previous night. On the subject of breakfast, which is a must, vary your intake of cereals for each day of the week. Along with those serials, take one or two fruits.

These are great substitutes for, let’s just say, sugar coating your porridge with processed and refined white sugar.

Lunch on the go

Once upon a time it was said that lunch should actually be dinner. Lunch should be the big meal of the day. One of the main reasons for saying this was so that we wouldn’t be retiring to bed with a heavy stomach. While still active during the day, the body could also burn off those excess calories, something it supposedly couldn’t do at night-time. Lifestyle changes and choices, unfortunately cannot allow for this. Apart from breakfast, all wholesome and healthy, lunch and dinner should be as square as possible. Whether it’s to be the main course of the day, so to speak, the portions should still be small in any case.

Finally; supper

Likewise with breakfast and lunch, go for as much variety as possible. The beauty of supper, as per most culinary traditions from around the world, is that folks can be as extensive as they like with their choices. I’d stick to free range chicken and fresh river fish, not endangered, every other day of the week. On the non-meat eating days, I’d be going with vegetable-based stews during the winter time and generous salads and seeds during the summer months. And be as creative with your veggies as you possibly can.

You are still not going to believe this, but colors make all the difference. Go green on one day, and yellow and orange and red on other days.

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