Proper nutrition is a fashionable trend in people’s lives, which allows you to eat tastily and at the same time be healthy, and keep your body fit. A healthy diet does not mean a boring menu and the rejection of delicious dishes. Just the opposite. It implies a balance that can be achieved if there are different foods and as much as the body requires. So your body can get the necessary nutrients so that we can be healthy and active. That is why no food is healthy or unhealthy in itself. It all depends on the size of the portions and the frequency of meals. You can eat everything but in the right quantities. But you need to change your lifestyle gradually so as not to harm yourself.
Why is it worth changing to a healthy diet?
A common reason why people switch to a healthy diet is the wish to gain the desired size. According to statistics, 54% of men and 59% of women are overweight. It mainly appears due to negative eating habits, unhealthy diet, consumption of large amounts of high-calorie foods, and low physical activity.
Undoubtedly, a healthy diet is a wide term, which includes many factors. The change to such a diet is suitable for those who decide:
- lose weight and get rid of excess weight;
- lead a healthy lifestyle;
- play sports and keep fit;
- avoid health problems caused by malnutrition;
- adopt healthy habits.
As soon as eating habits change, results will be immediately noticeable in the form of a decrease in body volume.
What to do to eat healthy and balanced
Nutrition should be healthy and balanced. For this you need:
Eat as needed
From food, our body receives the necessary nutrients and energy. The need for them depends on age, gender, lifestyle, health status, and many other factors.
The formula is simple: you need to eat as much as the body requires and consumes.
Energy is spent on basic activities (breathing, digestion, thinking, heart function, etc.) but it is also needed for movement. For example, adolescents have greater energy needs than older people; during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the need for nutrients increases; manual laborers need more energy than office workers. The average daily energy requirement is 2000 kcal for women and 2600 kcal for men.
In nutrition, not only the received energy is important, but also the fact that it comes from different nutrients and the proportion of these substances is balanced. Each nutrient plays a different role in the body, and different food groups contain different essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Today, many people are trying, for example, to reduce the number of carbohydrates consumed, which can lead to a deficiency of some important nutrients.
You can eat everything in moderation
There is a common misconception that every tasty food is either harmful or leads to obesity. In fact, everything is not so bad: you can eat everything, but in the right quantities and with the right frequency. You need to be especially careful with very salty, sweet, and fatty, as well as with alcohol.
A varied and balanced menu should include products from different groups, but you need to vary the products within the groups. For example, different vegetables and fruits contain different vitamins and minerals in different amounts. If you eat a variety of foods, you can get the right nutrients, and the body will be healthier and will work better.
Very often, routines and habits become the cause of a monotonous diet. The diet needs to be reviewed from time to time so that you do not eat the same thing all the time. Nutrition can also be monotonous because a person has consciously decided not to eat certain foods or does not like them. In this case, you need to carefully monitor that the necessary nutrients still come from other sources.
Steps to change to a healthy diet
Step One: Breaking Old Habits
In the first stage, there are tips, thanks to which you can take a step towards a new life. By following these rules, you can lose weight well.
Removing junk food
The first thing to do when changing to a healthy diet is to completely exclude junk food from the menu, which includes:
- sugar and products that contain it;
- pastries and flour products of white color;
- sausage, sausage products, semi-finished meat products;
- fast food;
- sweet juices, sodas, and lemonades – you can replace them with coffee drinks;
- mayonnaise, ketchup, and other artificial sauces.
These products have low nutritional value and the body does not receive any benefit. In addition, they are highly caloric. Another factor is that most of these products do not give a feeling of fullness, so you will constantly feel hungry and eat an extra norm of food.
You should exclude alcohol
This must be done not only because strong drinks belong to the list of harmful products, but also for a number of other reasons:
- alcohol affects the neurons that are responsible for controlling appetite, so you want to constantly eat;
- even because of a small dose of alcohol, a food breakdown occurs;
- alcohol retains water;
- metabolism slows down, so weight loss is slower;
- alcohol often comes with snacks that add calories and weight.
Getting ready for a lifestyle change
If the goal is not only to get a beautiful body but also to maintain the result for a long time, then you need to remember one very important rule and always follow it – a healthy diet should become a way of life. Therefore, you must immediately understand the fact that eating habits will change forever.
Many people think that you can keep a healthy diet, lose weight, and then return to the usual mode again. But it doesn’t work like that – such changes are also dangerous for the body.
The second step: we accustom ourselves to the healthy diet
At this stage, you will already have to carefully choose products and distribute them throughout the day. In addition, other habits are developed here that will accompany you constantly.
Setting up a drinking regimen
It is important to start drinking water regularly. Thus, water takes part in all biological processes occurring in the body and suppresses the feeling of hunger. It also contains only 0 calories.
About 6-8 glasses of liquid with a volume of 250 ml should be drunk daily. At first it will be difficult, but then it will become a habit.
Setting up a diet
This step is considered one of the most difficult, but it is also one of the most important. This is where breakdowns happen or a rigid diet begins. So, you need to eat according to this regimen:
breakfast – 07:00;
first snack – 10:00;
lunch – 13:00;
second snack – 16:00;
dinner – 19:00;
light snack an hour before bedtime – 21:00
The time in the example is given taking into account the fact that a person wakes up at 06:00 and goes to bed at 22:00. But the schedule can be adjusted to fit your schedule. The basic rule of a healthy diet is to eat every 3 hours – the portion of food should be small.
Properly distribute proteins, fats, and carbohydrates throughout the day
Here the principles are:
The best breakfast is porridge.
For lunch, you will need complex carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables in a small amounts. It can be a side dish with meat or fish and vegetable salad (stewed vegetables).
The ideal dinner is poultry or fish (you can use eggs) and vegetables (fresh or cooked).
After 16:00, you should not eat fast carbohydrates and fruits. But there is an exception to this rule – green apples.
Increase physical activity and reduce stress
Often health problems are observed due to a passive lifestyle. This may be a deterioration in the functioning of the cardiovascular system, as well as joints. Therefore, it is important to go in for sports: dancing, fitness, exercise equipment, cycling, etc. The minimum time for physical exercises should be at least a quarter of an hour.
If there are restrictions on doing sports, regular walking for half an hour is also suitable.
What foods should you eat?
First of all, you need to understand what foods should be included in your diet and how to properly compose a daily menu. But before that, you need to figure out what components food consists of:
nutrients that a person needs in large quantities – they are measured in grams. Thanks to them, the body is saturated with energy. They include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates;
They are useful components that are needed in a much smaller dosage. They are measured in milligrams. They are important for the proper assimilation of food, growth, renewal, and development of the body. These are vitamins, minerals, and biologically active substances.
Both types of components are necessary for the full development of the body and its ability to absorb all the usefulness of the products consumed.
Healthy Eating Tips
Everyone can follow the principles of a healthy diet. Read the rules below and take them as a basis for planning your meals – and the first step towards a healthy diet and lifestyle will be taken.
Be active – move more, sit less
Energy intake and expenditure must be balanced. To maintain normal metabolism and good health, it is imperative to move and reduce the time spent during the day in a sitting position, especially behind various screens.
Start your day with breakfast
Breakfast should be plentiful enough to recharge your energy for the whole day. At night, the body consumes carbohydrate stores that have accumulated in the liver, and in the morning they should be restored. If you do not eat breakfast, the body will begin to degrade its own reserves, which can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the body’s functioning, for example, a decrease in working capacity, learning ability, and concentration. The carbohydrates that we get with breakfast are used immediately, and the body does not store them as fat. Breakfast should be rich in slowly absorbed carbohydrates. Various portions of cereal are well suited, especially whole grain cereals. Sandwiches are also suitable, and for breakfast, it is quite possible to afford a small delicacy.
Plan your day so that you have time to eat at least three times a day, as regularly as possible, to avoid overeating caused by a long break between meals. If necessary, between the main meals, you can snack on fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and yogurt. In terms of dental health, you should not eat more than five times a day. Keep in mind that a cup of coffee or juice or a cookie that you drink/eat between meals also counts as meals. The last large meal depends on the time you go to bed, however, as a rule, dinner should be no later than 18:00-19:00. You should not go to bed completely on an empty stomach – if necessary, no later than a couple of hours before going to bed, you can have a little snack, for example, eat a vegetable.
4 rhubarb recipes
Rhubarb. A little history
A perennial plant of the Polygonaceae family, measuring up to one meter in height, rhubarb is classified as a vegetable by botanists. Its stems are edible but its leaves are toxic because they are rich in oxalic acid. In France, it is harvested from April to July in the north of the country.
Native to Asia, rhubarb has been used by Russians and Chinese for over 5000 years. It was in the 18th century that the English used this ornamental plant in the kitchen. In 1947, New York Customs classified rhubarb as a fruit because of its predominantly sweet use.
- Low calories (15kcal/100g)
- Rich in fiber, rhubarb is known for its laxative properties. It is perfect for lazy transits.
It is often found in desserts, but it can also accompany meat or fish. Simply fry some slices in a little oil. It is widely used in savory dishes in Poland with potatoes, in Afghanistan with spinach, or in Iran with lamb stew.
- Cooked in compote, jam, tart, crumble, mousse. Alone or in a duo with apples, red fruits, or bananas.
- Raw cut into portions with sugar
- As a refreshing drink or sorbet.
How can it be prepared?
- Cut the end of both sides of the rhubarb stalk
- Peel the rhubarb by pulling the fibers with a small knife (or 1 vegetable peeler): cut the top of the stalk crosswise in order to catch the fibers well then pull along the entire length
- Then rub the rhubarb stalk with the blade of the knife to check that there is no fiber left
- Wash and cut into sections.
- Let the rhubarb drain in a colander with sugar of about 10% of its weight for a few hours. Keep the juice that you can reincorporate into your preparations.
Compote rhubarb raspberry mint honey
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Rest: 1 hour
Ingredients (for 8-10 people):
- 500 g rhubarb
- 150 g acacia honey
- 500 g of raspberries
- 3 tbsp. chopped mint
- Cut the rhubarb into sections.
- Put the rhubarb, honey, and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan, and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally until thickened.
- Add the raspberries and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Pass the preparation through a potato masher. Add the chopped mint and chill for 1 hour.
Banana and rhubarb jam
Preparation: 10 minutes
Ingredients (for 6 people):
- 850 grams of rhubarb
- 600 grams of sugar
- 3 small bananas
- the juice of a lemon
- Prepare the rhubarb stalks and cover them with 600 grams of sugar.
- Cut the bananas into pieces and squeeze the lemon juice.
- Put everything in a saucepan and cook until the jam thickens
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Ingredients (for 6 people):
- 280 g of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 170 g of butter
- 150 ml of milk
- 250 g of flour
- 1 packet of baking powder
- 600 g peeled rhubarb
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Put 100g of sugar and 70g of butter in a baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes (until the butter is melted). Take out of the oven and put the rhubarb cut into sections on top. Line the bottom of the baking dish with this preparation.
- Mix up the 100g of soft butter with 180g of sugar, add the eggs.
Then add the flour, the packet of baking powder, the milk, and liquid vanilla. Mix up well until the dough is smooth.
- Pour everything over the rhubarb preparation and bake for 30 minutes
- When the cake is cooked, wait 10 minutes before turning it over on a plate. Taste.
Rhubarb and red fruit crumble
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Ingredients (for 6 people):
- 500g of washed rhubarb, peeled, cut into 2 cm sticks
- 90g of oat flakes,
- 25g of red fruits
- 150 g + 100 g of brown sugar,
- 2 sachets of vanilla sugar,
- 150 g of salted butter,
- 2 tbsp. of ginger
- 120g flour, powdered
- Peel and cut the rhubarb into sections and cover it with 100 g of brown sugar. Leave to drain for 1 hour so that they release their water.
- Meanwhile cut the very cold butter into small pieces and gradually add the flour. Mix with your fingertips so as not to soften the butter too much and thus obtain a coarse shortcrust pastry. Then add the oats, sugar, and ginger.
- Preheat the medium oven, thermostat 5 (190°).
- In a pie dish spread rhubarb and red fruits. Cover with the crumble and cook for 20 minutes. The crumble should be golden.
Sour orange or Seville orange tree
The bitter orange is the fruit of the bitter orange tree. Its botanical name is Citrus aurantium (Rutaceae family). The bitter orange tree is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia. It is also found in Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. The cultivation of this tree and the culinary, aromatic, and medicinal uses of its bitter fruit have conquered Asia and Europe.
In the Mediterranean basin, sour orange has been cultivated since the 13th century. Various essential oils are produced from this tree:
- the essence of bitter orange is obtained by the cold expression of the zest;
- petitgrain essential oil is obtained by distillation of the leaves,
- neroli essential oil, by distillation of the flowers.
These bitter orange essences are used to flavor various drinks and culinary preparations and are also used in the composition of perfumes. The pharmaceutical industry uses it to mask the unpleasant taste of certain drugs. These essential oils are also attributed to their sedative, digestive, antidepressant, and antispasmodic properties.
The fruit: the bitter orange is used in various recipes in the form of bitter orange jam. You can also use its juice for sweet/salty sauces or coulis. Finally, its juice and its bark are used in the composition of many recipes for alcoholic drinks such as orange wine or stronger alcohols.
Bitter orange jam
- 700g of bitter oranges,
- 2.5L of water,
- 1 lemon juice,
- 2.5 kg of sugar
- Wash the fruits and cut them in half.
- Remove the juice and seeds by squeezing them. Cut the skin into small pieces. Put the pips in a muslin bag and put them in a bowl, with the juice of the oranges and the lemon, the water, and the skin. Leave to macerate for 24 to 48 hours, covered.
- Put in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the skin is cooked (approx. 1.30 h.). Remove the small bag of seeds and squeeze gently. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved.
- Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil quickly until caramelized. Remove from the heat and put in jars immediately.
- Cover with the lid and turn the jars upside down for about an hour for conservation.
It is to be eaten as is on a slice of bread but it can also be incorporated into multiple recipes for cakes, cookies, gingerbread, and chocolate mousse. It can be put in meat sauces for sweet/savory dishes.