Day One: How Can You See Clearly?
As discussed in this week’s podcast, your eyes are the headlights to your body. And your body is the vehicle for your divine message. As you know, many people have shared their empowering and inspirational messages without functional eyes/eyesight, but you still want to take care of what you have. Self-care is an expression of gratitude.
In this week’s podcast, Create A Generational Love Cycle, I share several self-care actions you can do to keep your headlights working properly, which are eating balanced meals, achieving and sustaining a healthy weight, incorporating consistent activity, protecting eyewear, avoiding smoking, and knowing your family history and risk factors. If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast yet, please listen to it. Today’s blog is about balancing meals.
As mentioned in this week’s podcast, one in ten Americans does not get enough fruits and veggies. Some health care professionals still use the food pyramid, and many more people turn to an individualized approach, My Plate Plan, for healthy meal planning. When you use the My Plate Method or Plan, you:
- fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables (specifically nonstarchy vegetables such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, and others).
- Fill your plate with whole grains. Whole grain contains fiber and other essential nutrients such as Vitamin B (protects the heart and nerves, fiber, iron (improves oxygen exchange in the body), magnesium (protects heart and nerve health), and antioxidants (keep your cells healthy, including the cells in your eyes). In addition, whole grains (and not the refined grains) contain fiber. Fiber plays a critical role in maintaining blood pressure, cholesterol, digestive health, and other bodily functions. Yet, approximately 5% of Americans are getting the recommended fiber intake. For example, women should be getting 25mg of fiber a day, and men should consume 38mg of fiber daily.
- Eat a variety of proteins. You do not have to have meat at every meal. Instead, you can alternate with beans, lentils, peas, and soy products. A serving of protein is approximately a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
- Transition to low-fat dairy products or nondairy products such as coconut (home-made ice cream), almond, and soy milk.
The more balanced your meals are, the more balance your blood sugars, cholesterol, and other nutrients (i.e., potassium, calcium, and others) will be. You don’t have all of this sugar and cholesterol clogging up the tiny blood vessels (highways), leading to your eyes.
Here are three suggestions to help balance your meals.
a. Ask yourself some open-ended questions followed by more specific questions. What is stopping me from having balanced meals? Am I worth the energy, money, and time to enjoy a balanced meal plan and the positive consequences such as energy, focus, and healthy weight? Do I deserve healthy eyes? What is the role of food in your existence? Are you using food as an emotional crutch? If so, after consuming large amounts of the food, is your problem solved, or did you add or create another problem? Your actions come from your beliefs and thoughts about yourself. After you find the root of your unbalanced meals, then you can move forward with action.
b. Incorporate a food group-inspired meal plan. I’ve mentioned this technique before, and if you love being organized, a themed- meal plan is the way to achieving balanced meals. For example, Mondays & Fridays are Omega- 3 days. Omega 3 helps decrease the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration. So, on Mondays and Fridays, my family and I have fish. (i.e., sauteed salmon and brown rice on Mondays and fish tacos on Fridays). I substitute sour cream with organic plain yogurt (dairy) for the fish tacos, and I add greens to the tacos (kale, spinach, or swiss chard). Tuesdays are Mexican-inspired in which I serve beans (pinto, navy, and other refried beans). Wednesdays and Thursdays are grains and often are my one meal for two days. On Saturdays and Sundays, we eat more traditional foods with a healthy kick, especially Sundays. When you base your meals on the different food groups, you are less likely to miss key nutrients.
c. Include greens at each meal. No one said you had to stick with traditional breakfasts. This morning, I ate some of the stir fry I fixed this weekend and added sautéed spinach. My son eats a healthy variety of vegetables, but I have to be more creative with my daughter. They like my broccoli, cheese, brown rice combination, and spinach dip (plain yogurt, parmesan cheese, spinach, and mozzarella cheese).
d. Include fruit at every meal, or at least at snack time. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and wonder if you can eat fruits, including grapes, check out my blogs on Diathrive. Always eat fruit with some protein (i.e., peanut butter and apple, peaches and cottage cheese, fruit, and a slice of low-fat provolone cheese) to help balance out the sugar you consume.
Remember to keep your individualized meal plan flexible. If I am in the mood for something else, I will fix it with no guilt. But, at least I have a general theme in my head and a monthly and weekly schedule of ideas.
Eating balanced meals doesn’t need to be hard. As with anything, the more you do something, the more you do it without thinking. Likewise, the more you believe you deserve something, the more you will do it.
So, what do you want to leave on autopilot? And will this autopilot protect your eyes or put them in more harm? The healthier your headlights are, the more you see where you are going.
As always, before changing and starting any health plan, please talk to your healthcare provider. The information I share in this blog does not take the place of medical advice.
Make this lifetime great! You deserve it.
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Catch my new podcast on caring for the eyes on Anchor or your favorite podcast medium.