A Healthier Trip to the Kitchen

hummus-and-vegetablesA few days ago I was talking with someone and she shared that she had eaten a late lunch and therefore wasn’t terribly hungry when the dinner hour rolled around. She was however hungry enough to have a little bite to eat, so she chose to have celery sticks filled with a processed cheese spread. Upon hearing this I thought, “Hmmm - I didn’t know that was still available at the market.” An hour or so after our conversation I found myself still pondering the cheese spread. I finally realized that a different more nutrient-dense option, like raw almond butter, roasted red pepper hummus or tahini sauce for her celery, may never have occurred to her. Making different food choices is a mindset and more about crowding out rather than cutting out. Crowding out is a term used in nutritional circles to describe how to eat in a healthy way so that you eventually overcome the habitual consumption of unhealthy foods.

Here’s how crowding out works: All you have to do is to add healthier choices to whatever else you’re already eating. Before you dig into what you really want, eat something with some natural fiber in it – it could be an apple or maybe some slices of cucumber. Fiber helps us control our cravings and our weight because it fills our belly yet yields minimal calories. It also slows down the digestion of food so you get a slow steady source of glucose without the crazy blood sugar roller coaster ride which can lead to more cravings.

When you increase your intake of nutritious foods, such as dark leafy greens and whole grains, your body has less room for processed, sugary, nutrient-deficient foods. And the sweet part is that once you start adding these foods into your diet, your body will naturally begin to crave those foods. The only trick is to organize your life so that you have access to these healthful foods at all times, especially when you feel like snacking or when you’re traveling. It takes a little practice to make this happen, and maybe even a special shopping trip, but it’s definitely possible. So next time you’re rooting around for something to eat, pause a moment and THINK about how your food choices can better serve your beautiful body, keep your immune system strong and heal your cancer.

Health and hugs,