Thursday, February 5, 2009

Transitioning to a Healthier Lifestyle

I've been asked numerous times by people "where do I start?" When we're caught up in the normal SAD (Standard American Diet) way of eating, it can be overwhelming to think of changing our eating habits. Obviously it would be nearly impossible to make the switch overnight.

So my suggestion is to make a transition. Start with maybe only one or two things that you can do, and purpose to follow your plan for a set amount of time before moving on to the next step. You might be ready to move on after a week or two, or maybe it will take a month - or even six months, before you're established in the first changes and ready to add more.

If you're starting at ground zero, let me suggest to you that the two most important ingredients I think you should try to eliminate first are High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Hydrogenated Oils. Be sure to check the ingredient labels of all the prepackaged food you purchase, to make sure it's clear of these items. Some unsuspecting things you might find these ingredients in are Non-Dairy Creamer and Cool Whip -- they both contain HFCS and Hydrogenated Oils. Margarine and Crisco are both purely Hydrogenated oils, so those go out the window never to return. Real butter and oils are much healthier for you, and taste better anyways.

Of course our ultimate goal is to severely limit our consumption of prepackaged foods, but during this transition process you can allow yourself some of them - just make sure it's clear of the aforementioned ingredients. Often looking at other, more natural brands, will be your solution.

For example most commercial flavored yogurts are very high in Corn Syrup, HFCS, Sugar, and Glucose Syrup. Talk about a sugar load! ;-) But the Brown Cow yogurt company sweetens their flavored yogurts with Honey and Pure Maple Syrup. Yes it costs more, but if you can find it on sale or use coupons, you can still have an occasional treat of yogurt without defiling your conscience because you've eaten things that were your contraband list. :-)

Take it easy.... one step at a time. Make a plan that is doable, then stick to your plan. Find a friend to keep you accountable! Tell each other that for the rest of the month you're going to avoid HFCS, and then follow up with each other. You'd be amazed at how easy it is to say "Oh, it's just one little bit... it doesn't really matter just this once!". But it's not easy to make excuses like that when you're accountable to someone. Try it! ;-)

For more information on HFCS, check out this link , or search or

For more information on Hydrogenated Oils, see pages 14 & 15 of Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon; search; or

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