Don't make a list of foods to avoid
Maybe you've started off on a new health or dietary approach by making a list of all the foods and beverages that you are going to avoid. This approach is not very effective in the long term for a number of important reasons:
- You end up feeling deprived. It is impossible not to notice all the things you used to eat and drink and then you end up feeling as if you're missing out.
- You haven't found replacements for the things that you love. Nothing seems to be as tasty as the things you are "not allowed" to eat anymore.
- Others are eating the things you love to eat and drinking the beverages you are trying to avoid. This adds to your feelings of deprivation, as you feel left out and alone in your quest for health.
- The commercialization of food has made it difficult to find foods that are tasty, nutritious and don't cost the earth. This is primarily due to the fact that most people aren't looking for such foods and also because there aren't many people who have mastered the art of taking healthy, fresh food and turning it into a healthy meal or even delicious "healthy" sweet treats.
- You may become confused about which foods and beverages you should avoid and even why you should be avoiding them, because reading food labels has become quite a confusing experience. Unless you get some guidance, you may not know what the manufacturer is talking about on the label.
Start focusing on what to include
A far simpler approach is to start focusing on what you need to include in your diet. When your focus shifts to addition versus subtraction, you have a completely different mind-set.
Instead of constantly looking for what to leave out, you are now looking for what you can include. You stop feeling deprived and feel empowered instead.
These are some examples of the items that you can start adding to your diet:
- More fresh vegetables and juicy fruits instead of prepacked foods – and if you make healthy salad dressings, pestos and nut dips, your fresh produce is tasty as well as healthy.
- Fresh nuts and seeds instead of roasted, flavored nuts – which you can combine with sun-dried tomatoes for a great on-the-run snack or with some goji berries, raisins, or cranberries for a healthy sweet hit.
- Baked instead of fried corn crackers – and if you make some salsa and hummus you can have a tasty mini meal with great fats instead of the corn and potato crackers most people eat, which contain damaged trans fats.
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices instead of sodas – a simple trick is to take some sparkling water, add some fresh orange or pineapple juice as well as some fresh berries, mint and a few slices of fresh lime. Watch the envy while everyone else drinks normal, artificial sodas and you sip naturally colorful, interesting "cocktails".
- Use herbs and spices to make fresh salad dressings and sauces instead of dressings and toppings which are filled with additives. Make fresh salad dressings with chopped herbs, or tasty pestos or even simple hummus with some chopped chives or coriander stirred through the final product.
- Use best quality, cold-pressed olive, nut and seed oils instead of damaged, shelf-stable oils. Make your own flavored oils by adding some crushed sprigs of garlic and rosemary.
- Best quality, 70 percent dark chocolate instead of additive-filled chocolate bars. Melt some of this good quality chocolate and stir it through some fresh coconut and allow to set in the fridge for a few hours.
- Flavorful, fruity herbal teas instead of boring tea and coffee – there are delicious herbal teas available, some of which are naturally quite sweet.
- Snacking on dried fruit and nuts instead of lollies/candies or crisps – goji berries with macadamia nuts, sun-dried tomatoes with walnuts, cashew nuts with fresh dates. Dried cranberries, pineapple and mango are great occasional treats as they are pretty high in fructose content which isn't healthy in large quantities.
The "bad foods" end up "falling" naturally out of your diet
The wonderful result of taking this approach means that you end up "losing" the foods you've been trying to avoid, as there is no longer space for them in your diet. After all, you can't eat all the nasty items as well as the healthy additions – you'd be busy all day and feel pretty ghastly too!
Slowly, but very surely, the items that you know are not good for you will automatically fall away, because they've been replaced by the healthier alternatives.
It isn't as if you even have to try very hard, as you'll be bringing home the foods and beverages you're adding. By default, the ones you don't want in your life will stay where they belong – on the shelves at the supermarket!
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