Small Steps

Originally posted January 13, 2014

Have you ever tried eating something that taste like cardboard? You are not alone. We all have in a search to eat healthier. It doesn’t have to be.

I tried changing everything at once. That didn’t work out so great. So, I stepped back and looked at the problem. People like the foods they are accustomed to eating. Every food is a developed taste. The solution was to start with one thing at a time and work through the different issues. I could not have imagined eating the way I do now at one time. I had my comfort foods that had to be revamped. Do I miss any of things I once ate? Certainly. Right up to the time I give in and taste it. The taste is not as good to me as it once was.

The next question was where to begin. I changed from over-processed white food to whole grains and natural sugars. This was done over a long period of time making small changes and trying many different options. I learned that everything labeled whole wheat isn’t 100%. I learned that there are catch words to look for in the contents and that these change as the public learns the latest ones. I slowly returned to eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Cooking my own vegetables gave me the control over what and how much was in them.

My philosophy about the food dilemma is really very simple. Eat foods as close to nature as possible. Make as much of your dishes as time allows in order to control the amount of salt, sugars, and fat are included. Don’t make yourself crazy – small baby steps. Remember that the prepared foods you buy need a balance. Check the labels and you will find that if it is low sodium it will be higher in sugar, fat or both. The same holds true with any of these triplet of ingredients.

I like baking my own breads and desserts. There are many ways to make them tasty and healthy. Whole wheat flour takes more liquid or other adjustments. The secret is that there are many, many different flours available today that fit wonderfully in certain recipes. Have you ever tried rice or almond flours? The number of websites where you can find great recipes with unfamiliar ingredients grows constantly. Many have been in the process much longer than I and provide useful information on the subject.

The subject of eating out always is in question. Thankfully, many places have nutrition stats online. They can be checked before going. That way I have a plan before I get there. More and more restaurants are willing to do special ordering – ask. Some things are safe at most places, like salads sans dressing. There is always oil and vinegar, but a small amount of  honey also makes a great salad dressing.

Hope these tips help someone during their struggle in changing from eating empty calories to really enjoying food the way it is intended. This is the last of this series for now, as promised. Thanks for staying with me through these writing. Most of the time, I am writing to myself. However, if someone else finds some value in it, that is an added blessing. Next time, a fictional story.

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Author: Pamela K. Young

I have not only lived many chapters in one life, but many lives in one body. The person I am today is far wiser than the me of young adulthood. My life is like your life with its ebb and flow. We are all connected in some way. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, but what makes me, well, me is the way I wife, mother, and grandmother. I am a liver transplant survivor. Whatever devastation you have survived, we survived in our individual ways. I create with words and photos. I am a writer and photographer.

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