When some people hear the term “healthy food” they usually have a series of misconceptions. So I thought maybe it’s time to knock down some myths about this style of eating, and try to convince you to accept this lifestyle. First of all, much like my dad, they believe healthy and unsavory are synonyms, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the classic recipes (like Mashed Potatoes or Meatloaf), can become healthy if we add ingredients like cauliflower or spinach into the mix. You can find nearly a hundred of products and sauces that go pretty well with a piece of meat or any type of fish. Remember: Eating healthy doesn’t mean not eating the things you love; it just involves a spark of creativity and some intuition to turn everyday meals into a culinary feast.
In recent years, our lifestyle as species can be summed up in a mantra: Faster means better. In terms of productivity, we are sacrificing our own health in the pursuit of economical or productive achievements, forgetting about ourselves in the process. With 24 years behind my back let me tell you I learned this is not a good method for living. And I learned it the hard way.
Three years ago, I moved from my father’s house and started living on my own. I used to eat out and almost never tried to cook for myself. Mar del Plata, the city where I live now, is full of Fast Food Places and Food Trucks. This, of course, is one of the dangers of being young: You make bold, stupid decisions. After two and a half months of “living” this way I discovered I had less and less energy with each passing day. The answer, as you can imagine, could be found in my way of eating. I had to start a regime and let me tell you this: Healthy food is not only excelent for your body, but for your mind. You need more productivity? Eat a well balanced salad once in a while; it has been scientifically proved that it really helps not only your body, but your brain. Many vegetables, like broccoli and celery, can increase your intelligence and reduce memory loss. Fruits are really important too. Oranges are pretty good to reduce your fat levels and apples are beneficial for people with respiratory problems, like asthma.
Going back to the misconceptions, here’s another one: “Healthy food is really expensive”. That’s not exactly true. There are many cheap options from where to choose: Eggs, for example (boiled or scrambled, but don’t fry them!) are perfect for breakfast, with some oats or cereal. What’s for lunch, you may ask: How about some lettuce, cheese and beans sandwiches? Ideal for a break between work or school. And last but not least, one of the most balanced options for dinner is baked chicken with broccoli, and, if you’re feeling inventive, pour some honey on it, it will give it an extra touch. Delicious! Between these meals there are some pretty balanced selections for snacks, like pineapple or walnuts.
Once again, it’s just a matter of how to find the right food for the right price. And if you must spend a few dollars more, consider this: A healthy meal is like an investment. It may affect your pockets right now, but in the long term you’ll see the benefits. It’s always better to use olive oil instead of butter, or replace whole milk with yogurt, or even add some spices to your meals once in a while. The best ones out there are without a doubt cinnamon, thyme and rosemary, among many others.
Another classic error about healthy food: Lots of people believe that, as soon as the summer starts, that’s the right moment to start eating nutritiously. Of course you can do that, but if you take my advice and try to eat better every single day, you’ll get accustomed to it. A rice omelet, with carrot and onions is the perfect choice for the winter. As soon as the flowers starts to blossom in spring, you should do the same with your diet and start adding more salad into it. Remember to try to eat even lighter during the summer, a classic option for this time, among other alternatives, is an andalusian gazpacho, look it up, is worth it! In autumn, a common meal is a pumpkin cream with scallops and smoked bacon. The perfect compliment for each of these recipes (and the rest I’m sure you’ll discover along the way) is one or two glasses of water, that’s the more natural beverage you’ll need.
Here’s one last and important tip: As a society, we must learn to add the matter of healthy food in our lives, and as early as we can in our child’s minds. Don’t pretend that they will embrace a change in their eating habits overnight, but remind them is vital to them to accept those changes in order to have healthier lives. An apple a day is a hundred times better than one or two candies.
As for you out there, the one who is reading this article right now: Don’t be afraid to make a 180° degree spin in your culinary habits. It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself. Don’t forget to include physical activity to balance your body and mind. Making these kinds of choices can be definitely confusing, especially considering all the products and pills that promises to reduce your fat levels or give you a thin figure in just a matter of days. There are no shortcuts to achieve a healthier life. But if you doubt, have a chat with a specialist, find a group of friends to talk about this, choose a plan to improve your eating, try to stick to it and enjoy the benefits. Never forget: In order to live better, we must learn how to eat better.