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Feature Articles
 Best of the Low Carb Blogs
 Updating an Old Favorite
 Cooking with Pumpkins
 Self Care in Difficult Times
 Eat Your Way to Wellness
 Spicy Halloween Dishes
 Take a Bite Out of Aging
 Our Personal Complicity
 Your Fall / Winter Wardrobe
 Makeup Tips for Halloween
 Halloween without the Sugar
 Halloween Safety Tips



Expert Foods

                   Making Sense of Nutrition Labels by Jonny Bowden, M.A., C.N.S.

Healthy eating is one of the cornerstones of any wellness program.

For years, those of us who have been concerned with the creeping epidemic of obesity have been told that the answer is to simply "eat fewer calories." Kind of the culinary equivalent of "just saying no."

Problem is — this strategy doesn't work very well.

Many of us overeat because we are eating the wrong foods. Our bodies are overfat, but undernourished. We suffer with cravings, mood swings, and energy fluctuations. This, in turn, creates more stress in our lives — which takes us further and further from the path of wellness and balance.

There is a better solution to the problem than just cutting calories. It's a solution that's based on one of the central tenants in my book, "Shape Up: The eight week program to transform your body, your health and your life."

Simply stated, it goes like this: "Give the body what it needs, and virtually every condition will improve."

This includes — but is not limited to — the condition of overweight. The body has a remarkable, almost mystical ability to heal itself, if you give it the raw materials it needs to nourish itself: Real foods... pure water.

Simple, really.

Follow these six steps to eating your way to wellness, and you may find that cravings, overeating, and mood swings become a thing of the past. Your health will improve; your weight will settle to a place at which you can be comfortable and fit; and balance will be restored.

You will indeed be eating your way to wellness.

  1. Don't skip meals. Every time you skip meals, your body interprets this as an emergency of sorts, and it releases increased amounts of stress hormones. These stress hormones are your body's way of passing along the information to all systems that there's trouble ahead. Your primitive digestion system interprets this to mean that you should store fat for the emergency your body thinks is coming. Important brain chemicals needed to feel good are depleted. You are set up for imbalance.

  2. Eat a protein at every meal. A protein serving is about the size of a deck of cards. Choose from fish, lean meats, turkey, chicken, and eggs. Organic foods are likely to have lower levels of toxins, hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and pesticides. Organic eggs from free-range chickens have more of the heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

  3. At every meal, eat a little bit of healthy fat. This can include nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut or coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, avocados, or even a little fresh creamy butter. The difference between "good" and "bad" fats is not the difference between "saturated" and "unsaturated", it's the difference between "damaged" and "undamaged." Naturally occurring fats from real foods, which haven't been subjected to high heat, chemical processing, refining, and hydrogenation are rarely the problem.

  4. At every meal eat fibrous vegetables. This includes broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, and peppers, but there are dozens of others. If you're an egg eater, try a vegetable omelet for breakfast, or some freshly made vegetable juice. Although tomatoes are technically a fruit, you can use them as part of your vegetable allowance, since they fit nicely into most breakfast menus.

  5. Eat some berries every day. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries — all are loaded with fiber, are low in sugar, and are a virtual cornucopia of healthy stuff like antioxidants and phytochemicals.

  6. Get 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day. You can do this with extra fiber in supplement form, adding flaxseeds to everything, eating a ton of vegetables, some fruit, slow cooking oatmeal, and the occasional serving of beans, or some combination of all of them. Just do it.

When you plan your eating according to these guidelines, you will find that calorie counting is not as important, since your appetite will begin to self-regulate. You will be choosing from foods that nourish the body, and soul, and sustain and replenish the systems in your body that lead to good health. Weight will settle to a comfortable place, and energy will increase. As you begin to eliminate foods that are over-processed and refined, and replace them with the real foods your body needs, your sense of balance and harmony with the things around you will be restored.

These foods may take a bit longer to prepare, but the benefits to your health and wellness are incalculable.

Real foods, pure water. Take with a daily dose of sunshine, exercise, and loving relationships.

It's a virtual prescription for health and well-being.

                                               Visit the Jonny Bowden Solutions website.

Copyright © October 2005  Jonny Bowden and Low Carb Luxury



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