Today’s post is from Susan Neal, RN, MBA, MHS. Susan is an author, speaker, and wellness coach who is on a mission to reclaim the health of the body of Christ. A personal health crisis with ten medical diagnoses and two surgeries led Susan to examine her health in a new way, and in today’s guest post, she shares some of what she has learned with these healthy eating guidelines.
Do you feel tired and wish you had more energy? Do you struggle to remember things or gather your thoughts? The following low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory eating guidelines will help you improve your clarity of mind and energy level. This type of diet is recommended for improving memory as well as preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
1. Drink clean water.
Other than two cups of coffee or tea, filtered water should be the only beverage consumed.
Your water requirements depend upon your size. Various sources recommend: “Drink half your weight in ounces every day.” Using this formula, a 130-pound person should drink eight glasses of water. (130/2 = 65 ounces; 65/8 ounces (1 cup) = 8 glasses.)
If you feel hungry, drink water. Scientists reported that two 8-ounce glasses of water is an effective weight loss strategy because many times when a person feels hungry, they are actually thirsty.
2. Eat fresh vegetables.
About 50 percent of your food should be fresh vegetables. Eat a couple servings of raw vegetables every day. Have a salad for lunch.
3. Eat low-sugar fruits.
Eat one fresh, raw serving of low-glycemic fruit per day. Low-glycemic fruits include green apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums, and grapefruit. Avoid fruits high in sugar such as melons, grapes, ripe bananas, and dried fruit.
4. Eat a healthy source of protein.
Another 25% of your daily food intake should be an animal or vegetable protein such as beans, nuts, and lean meats.
Purchase grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free meat, eggs, and poultry. Wild-caught fish is exceptionally nutritious. Try to eat it once a week.
A variety of nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
5. Eat God’s grains.
Do not eat the modern-day hybridized wheat because the gluten is hard to digest. Eat nontraditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth, pearled barley, wild and black rice, and organic oats.
6. Avoid processed foods.
Avoid sugar, flour, rice, pasta, and bread. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-glycemic grains.
Check labels and try not to eat foods with more than five ingredients. Do not eat candy, crackers, bread, jellies/jams, refined potato products, sugary cereals and drinks, and anything made with white flour.
7. Watch your sugar intake.
Check labels and do not eat foods with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
The American Heart Association recommends you limit your calories from sugar to no more than half of your total calories. For most women in the US that should be no more than 24 grams of sugar or 100 calories per day. For men it is 36 grams of sugar or 150 calories from sugar per day.
8. Eat foods to nourish your gut microbiome.
Eat cultured foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and cultured plain Greek yogurt since they contain natural probiotics. Add one to two tablespoons of these foods to a meal twice a week or eat the yogurt as a snack.
Take a daily probiotic supplement if you have taken antibiotics in the past year.
9. Replace undesirable ingredients with whole foods.
Replace sugary snacks with nuts, nut butter, dark chocolate, and plain Greek yogurt with berries. Replace condiments and sauces containing MSG or high-fructose corn syrup with spices, vinegar, and herbs. Replace fried foods with baked foods.
10. Curb the sweet tooth with healthy snacks.
As you eliminate wheat, sugar, and processed foods, the craving for sugar may arise, so slice a green apple and add almond or cashew butter to each slice. It tastes sweet; conversely, the almond butter is high in protein.
Melt 70% dark chocolate in a pan on the stove and add different types of raw nuts until well coated with the chocolate. Place cookie-shaped mounds of nut clusters on wax paper.
Add a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in a cup of water with a couple of drops of stevia.
While shopping at a grocery store, shop along the edges of the store, and stay away from the center where processed foods experience an extended shelf life. A long shelf life means the nutritional value of the food has been removed. Otherwise, the food becomes rancid at some point. If a food spoils, it is beneficial, but if it does not spoil, it contains no nutrients.
Don’t be intimidated by these healthy eating guidelines. Tackle one each day until it becomes routine. If you eat healthy 80% of the time and not so healthy 20% of the time, you’re doing better than most Americans.
Each morning assess your body to determine how well you ate the previous day. If you follow these guidelines, your clarity of mind and energy increase. You will be more productive if you eat God’s healthy foods.(opens in a new tab)
Susan Neal, RN, MBA, MHS is an author, speaker, and wellness coach who is on a mission to reclaim the health of the body of Christ.
She combated a health crisis at the age of forty-nine with ten medical diagnoses and two surgeries. Her doctors did all they could but she was still not healed. Susan used her nursing and health science background to heal her body. She regained her health and now she wants to help you regain yours. Want to learn more? Check out Susan’s books: Solving the Gluten Puzzle: Discovering Gluten Sensitivity and Embracing the Gluten-Free Lifestyle and 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.