12 Nov Shake Things Up – How Variety in your Diet can Help Your Body
Food is a wonderful thing; it’s cultural, it’s reminiscent of home, it’s comforting, and it fuels our body. It allows us to tackle our days, our dreams, and our passions. And, for the most part, we know what we like to eat, right? Usually it’s what we’re used to, what we grew up with, or what’s easiest.
However, it is incredibly important to eat variously from that infamous food pyramid of our youth. A range of foods helps protect against chronic disease, ensures we receive necessary vitamins and minerals, and prevents boredom. Additionally, if you’re looking to lose weight, ‘shaking things up’ is crucial! Our bodies become accustomed to habit and, after reaching a plateau, it’s difficult to progress. However, simply changing what you eat can assist.
For example, if you love red meat (which is an excellent source of protein but also high in fat), try substituting other sources of animal proteins like chicken and fish. Chicken is low-fat but high protein and, with the right marination, loses much of its ‘dry-ness.’ Fish is full of protein and healthy Omega-3 fats (which protect brain and heart heath).
Further, if you typically eat meat every day, try a day without! “Meatless Monday” is a real and beautiful thing; it helps provide that necessary nutritional variety and meatless meals can help lower cholesterol/protect against cardiovascular disease.
However, this does not means just eating a salad…You can get necessary protein from plant-based substitutes like potatoes (sweet and regular), mushrooms, beans (garbanzo and black), lentils, tempeh, tofu (in the pan, cook out the fluid first and then add flavoring to ensure spices and sauces stick!), and nutritional yeast (crunchy and yummy! Sprinkle onto rice, salads, etc.). The best way to make sure you’re getting in a good variety of foods is to see if there’s a ‘rainbow’ on your plate – the more colors, the better!
Ultimately, it’s true that we might not necessarily live to eat and, rather, should eat to live. BUT, food is delicious. And why shouldn’t we enjoy what we’re putting into our body? Get those nutrients, get that variety, and, remember, everything in moderation! Even dessert- go on, treat yourself!