Becoming Choosy

In Diet and Weight, Don't Eat White!, Excercise, Family Doctor, Food and Health, Mindful Eating on September 26, 2011 at 11:55 am
Shelled almonds on doctorfoodtruth

I believe in keeping things simple.  When I challenge a patient to change their health habits, I usually pick one thing for them to change and give them a simple, easy-to-measure goal.  Once we agree on the goal, we arrange to check on their progress in the next few weeks or months and shake hands on it.  Of course, sometimes they’re just not ready for a challenge and we agree to wait instead.

Once they see success and get a taste of how health habits directly affect how they feel, I usually encourage them to a little bigger goal.  Instead of bringing their cholesterol down 30 points or losing 5 pounds, we might aim for a bigger weight loss goal or a shift to mostly vegetables in the diet.

Again, my hope is always for an achievable goal that they believe in as much as I do.  As I remind them, I’m not going to be following them around to slap their hand or drive them to the gym.  It really is always up to the patient.

The final step, the advanced study program at my office, is learning how to markedly improve your health with proper food choice.  Learning that they can succeed is always the first step – so many people have just about given up goal-setting for their health by the time we talk.

Next comes making a substantial commitment to their health and future with a real lifestyle change: exercising regularly, avoiding beef and pork, maybe cutting the “white” out of their diet.  By the time a person has succeeded with this step in affecting their health, they come to truly believe my little mantra “Change your food, change your life!

The final, advanced step is becoming choosy about what becomes part of you.  My friend over at Small Bites, Andy Bellatti, reminded me of this with a couple of his great Tweets today:  Monounsaturated fats (avocado, olives, almonds, pecans, etc.) highly anti-inflammatory. Proof that whole foods is way to go!  &  High intakes of monounsaturated fats decrease cardiac and diabetes risk much more than low-fat approaches.

Here is what I think of as the last and still-evolving step in becoming healthy – becoming choosy with what powers your body.  Choosy to the point that I choose almonds over peanuts for a snack due to the Omega-3 content.  Choosy to the point of picking the higher calorie guacamole over salsa because I know how beneficial avocado is.  Choosy in the eggs I buy, the restaurants I frequent, and the fruit I eat.

This “everything matters” approach may be too much for some.  I don’t saddle my patients with everything I know about nutrition (which keeps growing daily thanks to friends like Andy!) but I do offer it to them.

The food choices I make absolutely make me.  There is no other way to look at it.

Your energy, sleep, mood, memory, digestion, and even personality are tied to your food picks.  Better be choosy!

Eat Healthfully, Live Fully Healthy!


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