Healthy Eating by Kara Messenheimer

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Kara is my older sister who lives in Portland, OR with her husband, Signore Dave, their two dogs, Delilah and Archie, and a chicken who has survived a lot. She has a rocking garden and knows about all the best tv shows and books to read. You can check out her blog at  http://karaofmuchknowledge.tumblr.comIMG_2924

Healthy food is this weird unknown for people sometimes. It seems that often people are always trying to “eat healthier”. But what does that really mean?

I know many people who know they should eat healthier and try, but the choices they make seem either extreme or unobtainable. Too often eating healthy looks like a diet to people, and diets are  difficult to stick with or “make work”

I think that eating healthy really needs to be something that is actually doable, easy to achieve and tasty!

So what is eating healthy? And how can people do it on a daily basis without feeling like they are on a diet or changing everything in their lives?

Eating healthy is really straightforward to me. It involves “real” foods. Meaning foods that are not processed or altered. I would like to encourage trips to the produce area in your grocery store. Start identifying what you are eating! What does it look like? How does it grow? Is it a fruit, a vegetable, or a grain?

It doesn’t involve restricting yourself. It means making better food and food choices.

I started this process a number of years ago by starting to read ingredients on what I was purchasing. If I didn’t know what something was or couldn’t pronounce it, I skipped it. I started buying fresh food, fresh whole wheat bread, pasta and brown rice. Leafy greens. I hated salads though and found them a huge waste of time so I started finding recipes on kale, chard, and even spinach! The more I “explored” recipes and foods that I hadn’t cooked before, the more I was enjoying it all. And the more I wanted.

Cooking from scratch, cooking with whole foods or “real foods”, just cooking in general will probably be more time consuming and take more effort than what your current method is. I know there are some nights I don’t feel like it or have time to do it. But it is worth it!  By putting time into your meals you enjoy them more! And, yes, you will be “eating healthy”! Sure, there will be some moments when you run out for the easy cheat meal and that’s alright, there’s a learning curve.

This means cakes and cookies can still count as “eating healthy” Desserts and yummy stuff are ok when you know what’s going into them and that they aren’t filled with preservatives. Even healthier since you are likely to be sharing them with friends so that you can show off your mad baking skills! (you can start by inviting me!)

This is a starting point! Starting to identify your food, what goes into it and the process it takes to cook it is the base for so much more. I hope to write more soon about making other “healthy” lifestyle choices but this is where to start. Go produce shopping for a new to you vegetable, grab some meat of choice (not already cooked), and find a couple new recipes to try out. See what you like, what you hate, and then switch it up and try something else!

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