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10 Rules of Good Nutrition

Rule One:
Never skip breakfast!

Your body wakes up in a slowed-down state. If you skip breakfast, your body won't have the energy it needs to boost your metabolic system. To meet your body's demand for energy, it will turn to its own muscle mass (not fat!) for energy. Your metabolism slows down even more, as your body conserves energy for a potentially long, starved state. Your next meal - lunch or dinner - is not burned for energy, but stored as fat. Eating breakfast daily gives your body a chance to boost its energy and raise its metabolism.

Rule Two:
Eat every 3 to 4 hours!

You'll want to keep your metabolic system working for you for the rest of the day after breakfast. To prevent your blood-sugar level from dropping and to keep your metabolic rate high, you need to eat at regular intervals. Your blood-sugar level normally crests and falls every 3 to 4 hours. As your blood-sugar level begins to fall, so does your energy - along with your mood, your concentration, and your ability to handle stress.

Letting too much time pass between meals causes the body to slow down metabolically. When you allow too much time to pass between lunch and dinner, your dinner (healthy or not) is perceived as an overload; the nutrients are not being used optimally, and your lowered blood-sugar level leaves you sleepy and craving sweets. When you eat every 3 to 4 hours, your body has a chance to metabolize those calories efficiently! You'll burn the calories for energy instead of storing them as fat. (a small meal, for example, is a 6 oz serving of light/fat free yogurt w/ 1/2 cup Go Lean Crunch Cereal).

Rule Three:
Always eat a carbohydrate with a protein!

Every meal (and snack) should include both carbs and proteins to keep your metabolism running fast. Choose healthy carbs such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, brown rice and whole wheat pastas. Choose healthy proteins such as chicken (skinless), cottage cheese, milk, turkey (skinless), egg whites, fish and lean red meat.

Example: Eat Wild Rice and broccoli (carbs) along with a baked, skinless chicken breast (protein). Or, Sweet Potato and asparagus (carbs) along with a 4 oz. piece of salmon (protein). *the recommended daily allowance is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. That translates into 50 grams for females weighing 140 pounds for example.

Rule Four:
Double your fiber!

You can increase your fiber intake by eating wholesome foods prepared in a wholesome way:

  • Eat whole grain breads and cereals instead of white, refined types. Look for "100 percent whole wheat" on the label with the word "whole" as the first ingredient on the list. Tip: I love LaTortilla brand whole wheat tortillas, Nature's Own Double Fiber bread and Thomas' Light Whole Wheat English muffins.
  • Eat fresh veggies and fruits.
  • Choose rawer or lightly cooked veggies.
  • Add a variety of legumes (such as peas or beans) to your diet. Tip: Low sodium black beans can be added to burritos, quesadillas and salads.

Rule Five:
Trim the fat from your diet!

Fat is a nutrient that the body needs in very limited amounts! Fewer fats in your diet mean less fat on your body and less cholesterol in your blood. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, "good fats" should be included for heart-healty benefits. Tip: Opt for liquid oils such as olive, canola, safflower, sunflower, and flaxseed. Use 2 teaspoons of these oils in your cooking and food preparation each day. Also select leaner cuts of meat and low-fat or fat-free varieties of dairy products to lower your intake of saturated "bad fats".

Rule Six: Eat your vegetables!

Vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates that provide a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, and other substances to protect against disease. Fruits and veggies are also valuable no-fat, no-cholesterol sources of fiber and fluid.

Generally, when fruits and veggies are loaded with color, they're loaded with nutrition!

Rule Seven:
Get your vitamins and minerals from food, not pills!

It won't hurt to take a supplemental vitamin (I like the Viactive chocolate chews) in conjunction with a health diet. However, balanced, wholesome meals and snacks at regular intervals should be your focus!

Rule Eight:
Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day!

Water reduces fat deposits in the body, flushes out waste and toxins, helps maintain muscle tone, moisturizes skin, and even suppresses appetite.

Water makes up 92% of your blood plasma, 80% of your muscle mass, 60% of your red blood cells, and 50% of everything else in your body. What an important ingredient to your body's makeup!

As you begin to meet this need by drinking more water, your natural thirst for it increases.

Rule Nine:
Consume minimum amounts of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol!

Cut back on your daily use of sugar by eating more fruit to satisfy your natural craving for a sweet taste. Sugar abuse is not worth robbing yourself of precious energy and stamina.

Rule Ten:
Never go on a fad diet!

Diets don't work; they modify behavior only temporarily. Break the diet mentality with a nutrition consciousness that works for life!

 
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