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What Does a Healthy Diet Look Like?

Low carb, fresh, unprocessed foods are your healthiest choices.

Food Groups

  •  Vegetables
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Starches

FAQ Answers

Potatoes are in the starches group, not the vegetables.

Legumes are carbohydrates (not true vegetables).

Legumes (beans in the high carbohydrate group) are:

  • Chick peas (garbanzo beans, aka what hummus is made of)
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Baked beans
  • Northern beans
  • Black eyed peas

Legumes are high carb foods to be mindful of if trying to lose weight. If you want to include them in your diet, consider increasing your level of activity and daily exercise.

Beans in the vegetable group that are low carb and true vegetables:

  • Green beans, green peas
  • Sugar snap peas and pea pods

Your Daily Consumption

The healthiest foods you can consume are low carb vegetables.

They should make up approximately 70% of your daily food intake.

Vegetables have the widest variety of balanced nutrients for the body and many of them are good sources of Protein, Vitamin C, Calcium, and healthy carbs.

Healthy proteins like meat, fish, and eggs, which are contain low to no carbs, should make up about 15% of your diet.

Remember that many vegetables offer good sources of protein.

Try for 10% fat to be included with your diet.

It's easily attained when using oils to cook with and when making salad dressings, sauces, and general preparation of foods, not to mention good fats like avocado and nuts. Just remember that nuts are generally high in carbohydrates so eat in limited portions.

Limit pure carbohydrates to about 5% of your diet, and limit that to good healthy choices like a sweet potato, nuts, raw honey, and fruits.

  • 70% Vegetables
  • 15% Proteins
  • 10% Fats
  • 5% Carbohydrates (you will get the rest of your carbs needed from the vegetables you eat)

Throughout this book I will make reference to health issues, conditions and symptoms. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Excess weight and obesity which I consider a symptom of a health issue
  • Bloating
  • Gerd and heartburn
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue and feeling sluggish
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Thyroid disease
  • IBS
  • Crohns
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Allergies and more!

My personal opinion is that excess weight is a health issue. So anytime I refer to health conditions or symptoms, I am including excess weight. While there are charts telling us what a healthy weight is based on height, age, and gender, I do think those are a mere guide. Only you and your doctor can determine what your healthy weight is.

What we do know, through various studies, is that those of us carrying excess weight are more prone to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and high blood pressure to name a few.

Too much fat around our vital organs can interfere with proper function and threaten your health. People who lead more active lives whether through deliberate exercise programs, labor intense careers, or just constantly on the move also take deeper breaths bringing in fresh oxygen to all the cells and organs of the body. This is so important and you can read more about that in Chapter 57.

Eating a healthy diet so that you are nourishing your body with necessary nutrients for a body that can function at its best is for everyone. Exercise and leading an active lifestyle will bring fresh air into the body and will exercise the heart muscle even for those who don’t need to shed pounds.

Those within a healthy weight range still need vital nutrients, exercise, and activity to remain as healthy as possible, maintain flexibility, balance and enjoy a good quality of life as you grow older.

I remember a co-worker who was in a terrible car accident some years back. Her doctor told her she weathered the accident much better than most would have due to the fact that she was in such good physical condition. She was very fit and this not only helped her to escape more injuries in the accident but helped her to heal much quicker. There are many reasons to be as fit as you can and that won’t be the same for all of us as we each have our own challenges and exceptions. Being fit and healthy does not have one look. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there were stories of some of those who drowned. Some, due to being obese, were simply unable to physically save themselves. Due to limitations you may not be able to get to a size 8, but I hope that each of you are striving to be the best that you can be!

If you have something that currently works for you, for example, many people eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning and find this keeps them regular. If this is you, continue to do that and only incorporate suggestions from this book that resonate with you for your best health. We are all unique. Oatmeal, as an example, use to work for me prior to my thyroid disease. Now it does not and I avoid it with the exception of perhaps once or twice a month.

For those of you who do not like deliberate exercise here are some suggestions to create a more active lifestyle:

  • Join a community team like softball, bowling, basketball with your city, church, or local organizations.
  • Take classes like ballroom dance classes
  • Join a bird watching group
  • Join a hiking group
  • Start your own lawn care service on the weekends using a push mower
  • Get into the habit of walking the dog or start a dog walking service
  • Go dancing on the weekends!
  • Join a YMCA and take advantage of the pool, the basketball court, and classes.
  • Volunteer to pick up trash in your community
  • Volunteer for Habit for Humanity and help build a house
  • Even if you do formal exercises throughout the week, once a week forego the treadmill and do something fun like one of the activities listed above or make a list of area and nearby parks and each weekend pick a different one to go visit. Walk their trails, and take along a Frisbee!
  • Find walking tours in your area for various things. We like to go to all the open houses in our area on the weekends.
  • Start riding bikes again!
  • Do more around the house.
    • Make your bed every day and change the sheets every weekend
    • Stop using a riding lawn mower and go back to a push mower
    • Wash your windows once a month
    • Sweep the floor and the porch every day
    • Start a big project like cleaning out the garage and stand while going through the boxes rather than sitting.
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