Healthy Relationship With Food and Eat Without Guilt

The primary reason people go on a diet is to manage their weight. Watching what you eat, and how much you eat are an important part of it. A lot of people start off determinedly and resolve to lose weight in a stipulated time frame. But somewhere along the way, for some reason, the diet goes for a toss, and most are back to eating what they should ideally avoid, and realize they are not losing the desired weight. It’s when they start feeling guilty about not following a healthy diet plan, that they are back to following it again. This cycle usually goes on. The trick lies in eating whatever you want, albeit in smaller quantities, without being washed over by guilt. How do you do that? Let us see in detail.

Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food As Adults
With so much emphasis being laid on healthy and unhealthy foods, it truly becomes difficult to base our choices on what we should eat, how much we should eat, and when we should eat it. A common misconception is that following a diet means eating only healthy foods, which are usually bland and tasteless. When we realize that eating a favorite food of ours will make us gain weight, we either ignore it completely, or ignore the diet, and gorge on it. Both extremes are wrong. To enjoy what we eat, without feeling guilty, and without it affecting our weight, is the main step towards developing a healthy understanding about the type of food we eat.

Start by changing your mindset towards food. It cannot and will not happen overnight. Overweight people, many a time, perceive food as their biggest enemy, which is wrong. We are humans, and we need food to survive. We must realize that we should eat food because our body requires it, and not turn to it in times of stress, trying to satisfy emotional hunger. Try to follow these simple tips which will help you enjoy what you eat, without feeling guilty in the process.

Moderation is the Key

Make a conscious effort to have a little bit of a particular food you have been asked to stay away from. Enjoy every bite. A small piece of cake, once in a while, will not do much harm. In fact, it has two benefits, firstly, your cravings might stop, and secondly, you are getting to eat what you so dearly love.

Get to Know What You Eat

Try to get your hands on the nutritional content of the food you are about to eat. It’s not just how many calories the food has, but look for elements like protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, etc. If a certain food is high in fat, try to substitute it with something else, or cut back on the serving size. You can also experiment with different, nutritious recipes, which will ensure that your everyday meals do not get boring, and at the same time, you are eating healthy. Spend some more time in the supermarket, and get home healthier food than what you usually buy.

Make a Note of What You Eat

It will help you to decide how much and what you have eaten, and how much should you consume in the near future. Seek variety in what you eat. Make it a point to consume three servings of fruits and vegetables everyday. You can even plan and make a list of dishes you would like to have every week, and shop accordingly. Once you know what you intend to have, preparing it in a healthier way will be much easier, and you will be able to regulate your diet.

Seek Help

Adhering to a diet will seem a simpler task if you have a friend or acquaintance along, who is also following a diet regimen just like you. This way, you have someone who can help you to get back on track, if you are erring in your diet plan in any way. Another option is to seek guidance from a nutritionist. He/she can help you make the right food choices.

Remain Positive

The most important part, I would say. Do not think of food as your enemy. This will only make matters worse. Strive to alter your attitude towards food. Do not keep thinking “I should not have this food” or “I cannot have this food.” Instead, phrase it like “I really like it. Let me have a small piece, just for today. I won’t have it again till next week.” And stick to it! This way you have conditioned your mind to eat what you most enjoy, without feeling guilty about it.

Helping Children Develop a Healthy Relationship with Food
Teaching your children healthy food habits will go a long way and be very useful to them as adults. This is especially true in today’s ever-changing world, where we are so busy, and have little time to pay attention to what we eat.

Mealtimes should be Regulated

Make it a point to sit down together as a family to have your meal, at least once a day. Stay away from cell phones and watching TV while you eat. Engage your child in different topics, ask him about his daily routine. Make mealtimes fun, so children look forward to it.
Involve Your Children during Meal Preparation

Take them with you when you visit the supermarket, and ask them to help you choose food that is healthy. Let them select a different color of fruits and vegetables every day, this adds to the variety. When you cook, ask them to help you in the kitchen, and ask for their opinions on how to cook a particular dish. They may not have an answer to that, but they will feel involved and be a little more interested in eating what is prepared, since they have helped you out.

Take a Cue from Their Eating Habits

You will know when your child is full when you monitor their mealtimes. Do not force them to eat. Coercing them to finish every last morsel in their plate will drive them away from food.

As you can see, it is not very tough to develop and maintain healthy food habits. They key factors are self-discipline, changing your approach towards food, eating in moderation, and following a dedicated diet regime, while attending to your cravings once in a while. Another important thing to note – exercise! If you get in shape, you will love your body. And when you appreciate yourself, eating right to keep yourself that way will be much easier! And all this requires time and patience.

Healthy Thai Food

Thai food has a unique taste, and people usually end up loving it. This article explains the health related facts of Thai cuisine, and it also contains some healthy Thai recipes.

Thailand is usually known for its huge elephants and pristine beaches. Thai food has its own unique flavor. It is not only tasty, but also has a strong aroma, which makes your mouth water long before you actually start eating. Unlike the majority of other foods, it does not have a single overpowering flavor; most of the time, it is sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter at the same time. It is also very healthy. You will notice the use of ingredients like lemon grass, turmeric, coconut milk, etc., in Thai food, and all these ingredients have loads of health benefits. But just like other cuisines, it also has some dishes which are loaded with butter and cheese.

Tom Yum Goong – Soup
Ingredients
3 kaffir lime leaves
5 sprigs cilantro
1-2 limes
5 mushrooms
1 lemon grass
4 cups water
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup shrimp
3 chili peppers

Process

Boil water in a 2-quart pot. Meanwhile, clean and devein the shrimp and set them aside. Cut lemon grass into 5 – 6-inch long pieces. To release flavor from the lemon grass, crush it a little with the back of your knife. Add the lemon grass to the water and let it boil for 5 minutes. In the serving bowls, add the juice of 1 whole lemon, fish sauce, and crushed chili pepper. Add only the leafy part of the kaffir lime to the pot. Cut the mushrooms into half and add them to the pot along with the shrimp. Now, turn off the heat immediately. Pour the soup along with the shrimp into the serving bowls. The soup will appear cloudy due to the lemon juice. Finally, season it with cilantro, and serve.

Gai Yang – Barbecued Chicken
Ingredients

1 tsp coriander (ground)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lime juice
½ cup coriander chopped fine
4 pounds chicken drumsticks
8 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp pepper white (ground)
1 tbsp red chili flakes (red chili)
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp galangal, chopped
2 tbsp chopped shallots
1 tsp kaffir lime rind
1 tbsp coriander root, pounded or chopped
16 small dried red chilies
2 tbsp lemon grass, chopped
1 tsp each white pepper corns and cumin seeds, roasted and powdered
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted and powdered

Process

Mix garlic, ground and chopped coriander, chicken drumsticks, pepper white, 1 tsp salt, red chili flakes, lime juice, and garlic cloves, in a bowl. See to it that the drumsticks are coated thoroughly with the mixture, and marinate them overnight. Next day, barbecue the drumsticks over charcoal fire for about 30 minutes over moderate heat.

This dish is served with Nam Prik Dang, which is a red curry paste. For making the curry paste, blend the rest of the ingredients, until a fine paste is formed. Refrigerate the paste until necessary.

Kao Niaw Ma-Muang – Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango
Ingredients

3 mangoes, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp tapioca starch
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1½ cups uncooked short-grain white rice
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 cup white sugar

Process

Take a medium-sized saucepan and add water along with the rice in it. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Now, let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Meanwhile, add 1 cup sugar, 1½ cup coconut milk, and ½ tsp salt, to another saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then set it aside. Add the cooked rice to the coconut milk mixture. Cover and let it cool for about 1 hour. Prepare the sauce by adding 1 tbsp sugar, ½ cup coconut milk, tapioca starch, and ¼ tsp salt to a saucepan and let it boil. Serve the sticky rice on the serving dish, and arrange the mango slices on top of the rice. Lastly, pour the sauce on top and sprinkle it with sesame seeds.

Healthy Breakfast Foods

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many of us skip this important meal giving the most ultimate excuse, ‘I haven’t got time’. A good breakfast not only rejuvenates your body to start a new day, but has several health benefits as well. Scroll down to know about the healthy breakfast foods list.

I am sure all of us are aware of the fact that we should not skip breakfast as it keeps our energy levels up to remain active throughout the day. But how many of us follow this? In fact excuses for not having time to have breakfast are many. We prefer to spend more time dozing in bed, thereby getting late or even if we have time, we just don’t bother at all to eat a healthy one. Some of us feel, a few cups of strong tea or coffee is the best way to start a day, but we forget that there are better choices to these beverages to begin afresh a new day. Breakfast is a must for good health as it aids in giving a nutritionally complete diet.

Before we know the healthy breakfast food products, it is necessary to know ,’why breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. In the morning, after a gap of 10-12 hours after the last meal (dinner), the glucose level of our body drops. So breakfast is important because it breaks the fasting period, refills the glucose levels in the body, and provides essential nutrients to keep us active throughout the day. For people who are always on the go and do not have time to prepare a breakfast, these quick breakfast ideas can help them start their day with a nutritious and filling meal.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Preparing a breakfast is not at all time-consuming if we can plan well. Given below are the different types of food to give you strength, concentration, improved performance and also maintain a healthy weight.

Cereals
Wheat or whole grain cereals like muesli or bran, whole grain rolls, wheat biscuits, bagels, low-fat bran muffins, crackers or melba toast. Whole grain waffles, with fruit toppings and yogurt or ricotta cheese and cinnamon is also an ideal breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal is also a good breakfast idea. You can either have the instant oatmeal or cook oats and milk. To make it yummy, add fresh fruits like pears, blueberries and peaches. You can even add sliced almonds. According to your taste, add sugar, little honey and cinnamon. This is tasty and healthy as well, as it contains complex carbohydrates, fiber and proteins.

Brown Rice
A bowl of brown rice is quite filling and contains fiber and essential nutrients. For this delicious item you need, brown rice, honey, soy milk or almond milk, water, nutmeg, fresh fruits and cinnamon. Put all the ingredients except the fruits in a medium-sized pan and cook, while stirring continuously till the mixture turns creamy. Serve it hot topped with fresh fruits like sliced banana or apple.

Dairy Products
Milk is a good source of protein. Some prefer to have full-fat milk, but the best choice is to have skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Other dairy products include low-fat yogurt, cheese (cottage or natural cheese).

Fruits and Vegetables
The benefits of fruits and vegetables are numerous. The antioxidants present in them help prevent diseases like stoke, heart attack, vision problems, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc. It is a good idea to start a day with a glass of fresh fruit, herb or vegetable juices. Eating a whole fruit is more beneficial due to the extra fiber in the skin. Fruit salad with honey or a few spoonfuls of low-fat yogurt and fresh and raw vegetables with flavored yogurt are other options you can include in your list. You can even add grated or chopped fruits to your cereal.

Sandwich and Toast
Sandwiches are healthy and filling. For a healthy sandwich, choose breads which have high fiber content and are low in calories. In case of regular breads, whole wheat varieties are the best choices. For sandwich spreads, you can opt for mayonnaise, salad dressings, salsa, horseradish, and vinegar. There are various choices for making sandwich fillings. Some of the healthy options include turkey, salmon, shrimp, tuna, canned chicken and veggies like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mushroom, sprout, spinach, etc.

For those who prefer to have toast for breakfast, it’s good to have wholemeal bread instead of the white one. Use thin scraping of butter, margarine, or healthy toast toppings such as peanut butter, low-fat cheese, etc. You can try other alternatives like rye bread, pita bread, granary bread, as well.

Eggs
Egg is the most nutritious protein breakfast. You can have eggs in various forms; poached, scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled or an omelet. Egg whites are more healthier. You can make scramble eggs tastier by adding a little olive oil, and pepper. It goes well with a slice of toast.

Soy Products
Soy products like tofu or soy milk, soy dogs, soy bacon, soy burgers are good choices as they are cholesterol-free and are good sources of protein too.

Fruit Smoothies
Fruit smoothies require minimum preparation time and are very nutritious. Here are some healthy fruit smoothie recipes and protein smoothie recipes for you.

Breakfast Ideas for Children

Breakfast is particularly necessary for children and adolescents. If the habit of eating a breakfast, is inculcated in kids in their formative years, it will help them in the long run. Studies have shown that, the benefits of a healthy breakfast for children and students are numerous. Children who eat breakfast regularly have better concentration and performance levels in their daily tasks, are active and alert, have the power to withstand stress and engage in physical activities. According to researches, children who skip breakfast weigh significantly more than those who eat breakfast. Moreover, eating a nutritious breakfast, means children would not indulge in unhealthy snacking during the day.

Kids are more likely to eat breakfast on a regular basis if easy-to-prepare food are available at home. Besides, you can even engage your children in making simple recipes. It’ll be a fun experience for them, and they will also enjoy eating it. Here are some easy-to-make food for kids, which they will love.

  • Porridge (use quick oats)
  • Muffins or crumpets
  • Cereals such as wheat biscuits, muesli or bran cereals, with low-fat milk, topped with fresh fruits like banana, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit salads
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • Homemade French toast
  • Whole grain pancakes or waffles
  • Brown rice cakes with toppings of fresh fruit slices

In adults, eating a breakfast on a regular basis keeps them physically active, controls weight gain, lowers cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast are more resistant to insulin, which in the long run increases the risk of diabetes.

Healthy Breakfast for Weight Control

As mentioned above, the benefits of eating breakfast are closely related to weight control. So for all weight watchers out there and those on a diet to shed those extra pounds, check out the importance of breakfast for weight loss.

  • Breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than breakfast eaters
  • It cuts down on your cravings to eat unhealthy mid-day snacks
  • It boosts up your energy levels to remain active
  • Eating a breakfast assists in making healthy choices in your diet throughout the day
  • Skipping breakfast is linked with low energy levels, lesser physical activity, eventually increasing the risk of weight gain

Knowing the healthy breakfast food products is not enough. Develop the habit of eating a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast in the morning, to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Diet Snacks

These days, you hear people saying that it is good to consume some healthy snacks in between meals to prevent binge eating. But what qualifies as healthy snacks while being on a diet?

It is said that the secret to a healthy diet is having a healthy snack that keeps you full, and controls binge eating. By eating some low-calorie food between meals, you can avoid feeling the need to hog during meal times.

A snack that keeps you full, gives your body the required nutrition, and does that without adding too many calories through unnecessary fat, is a healthy snack. So, high-fiber cereals, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods fit the bill. You could also try something that has a high protein content, but does not add too many calories. Remember to lay off anything that is fried or high in sodium. Chips are not healthy snacks!

Healthy Snacks While on a Diet

Whole-grain Snacks: Simply put, if you eat a brown variant of something that is originally white, you’ve started eating healthy already. So, you can swap the white bread with the brown, and the white pasta with brown pasta. There are also special whole-grain pretzels and crackers that are both, tasty and healthy. Whole-grain foods have a high fiber content, and do not add unnecessary calories to the body. Other whole-grain food items could include, granola bars and high-fiber cereals. Oatmeal is a good option for snack-time eating as well.

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables also offer the same advantages as whole-grain snacks. However, make sure you’re eating the right ones! What you need is, fruits and vegetables with a high fiber content. So, tailor-made to suit these demands are leafy vegetables, like, spinach and celery. Carrots are a good diet snack too! Fruits include oranges and apples (don’t remove the skin of apples, as it is the main fiber source). These, not only are low-calorie foods, but they also fulfill the requirement of essential minerals and vitamins of your body.

Nuts: Nuts are another great option for a healthy snack-time food. Nuts add a great deal of proteins to your body. However, you will have to be a little frugal while eating nuts, as they are also a big source of fat. Yet, they are acceptable, as they contain mono-saturated fats, which are considered lesser evil. Besides, a limited amount of fat is required by the body to fuel its daily activities. So, why not eat nuts! Nuts like almonds and chickpeas can be eaten, but in moderation.

Other Unclassified Foods: While other foods can be grouped into categories, these are the ones that couldn’t find a group. A list of other healthy foods, include, air-popped popcorn (with low sodium and no butter while popping), yogurt (made from low-fat milk), white meat fish, like, tuna and salmon (which are boiled/roasted), and chicken (again preferably boiled/roasted).

Remember, a healthy diet snack is one that optimizes calorie consumption. One gram of protein has lesser calories as compared to one gram of fat or carbohydrates. So, it is a good idea to substitute the fats with proteins. However, while you optimize this, you have to keep in mind that all the nutrients are required by the body for its daily processes. So, it is not advisable to go completely off fat or carbohydrates, and eat only proteins.