For many people “diet” is a 4 letter word. It has such a negative connotation and makes us think of all the wonderful foods we are depriving ourselves of. Dieting, makes us feel as though we are punishing ourselves and that food is not meant to be enjoyed. Our thoughts and feelings need to shift from losing weight to getting healthy. We need to change our thinking and make the whole idea about good nutrition and feeling good.
What is the purpose of food? It is fuel for our bodies. Good nutrition, gives us energy and focus to do our daily activities without a struggle. When we provide ourselves the ingredients and nourishment it needs, our bodies and minds thrive and become less sluggish and perform at peak efficiency. Imagine a day with the perfect amount of energy and clarity. We can achieve that without “dieting”. We can eat smart, and be mindful of our health.
There are many different nutrition plans out there. The big question is what should be considered a good plan for ourselves and our families. Some are just fads that don’t have long lasting benefits and some have a lot of merit. After much research, the Mediterranean diet is evident to be the most effective in maintenance of good health. And it is apparent that while this plan is not the quickest way to lose weight, it is the one that helps us to keep it off long term the best. It is shown to reduce the incidence of diabetes, heart disease, strokes and even cancers. It is not a quick fix, rather a long-term benefit to our good health and overall well-being.
What is a Mediterranean diet? It is not a flavor profile, it is what you eat. Meaning the kinds of foods you are eating. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats, like olive oil and avocados. You can take these foods and eat American one day, Indian another and Italian another.
We have enclosed a handout that shows you how to “eat the rainbow”. We should be eating something from each category. Each food category represents sources for nutrients broadly divided into proteins, good fats and carbohydrates. When you eat a variety of colors you get micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will promote proper functioning of our body systems. Think of it in terms of gas in your car is macronutrients and the oil is micronutrients. You need both for optimum working of your car. You are a human machine and unlike a car, you are irreplaceable.
The benefits of a good diet and proper hydration are shown to: increase metabolism, fill you up, aid in weight loss, flush out toxins, healthier skin, help digestion, & relieve fatigue. It is also important to refrain or limit yourself from sodas. They have no benefit to our bodies and can cause a great deal of harm. You should drink half our ideal weight in ounces of water.
In the near future, I will be providing more detailed information and facts. For now, let us keep it simple and “eat the rainbow”. Let us all work together to eat as much as we can from these food categories. Concentrate on eating the right foods and you will be full and healthy. Create healthy habits, not restrictions.
Dr. Geni Abraham
Please check with your doctor before starting any new weight loss and or health plan.