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You Are What You Eat

By Sandy Schroeder

I worked with a fellow who had a droll sense of humor. He used to grin and say, “You are what you eat,” as he offered me a bag of nuts! He was funny and fun to work with, but his message was true. Whether we realize it or not, we really do become what we eat. We might become stronger, weaker, leaner, fatter, or healthier, depending on the food we consume, according to the nutritionists.

I remind myself of this when I am biting into my favorite fast food double burger, and then I switch back to leafy greens, Greek yogurt with dark chocolate, red pepper hummus, and black bean tacos. They all taste great, too. I just have to stay on track most of the time.

If you find yourself caught in a similar back-and-forth, good and bad eating routine, this may be the time to move further in the right direction.

Try a Weekly Food Diary

For a week, jot down all of your meals and snacks. At the end of the week you may be amazed how many times you opted for franchise burgers or pizza, processed frozen or canned foods with a heavy mix of chemicals, and heavily sugared cookies, pastries or doughnuts.  A recent poll of the top 10 foods consumed in the U.S. featured pizza, tacos, pasta, pastries and ice cream as leading players.

When I survey my weekly run of foods, I find I have to do a new shopping list and post menus for the next week that concentrate on more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean poultry, white fish, salmon, whole wheat breads, and low fat milk, and cheeses.

Start with the healthy favorites at your house and keep looking for more ways to serve them. Epicurious.com is a good site to find savory recipes that help you make the most of those choices.

How You Eat Counts Too

Chewing slowly to thoroughly pre-digest your food will help your body get all of the nutrients from the food, and fill you up faster with less calories. It also helps to dine with someone other than the computer or TV, and prepare meals at home, or pack lunches for the office to emphasize fresh foods with less fat and sugar.

As you improve your techniques, you may be quite pleased to be what you eat. I usually find I have dropped 5 or 10 pounds and have a lot more energy. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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