Healthy eating
It's a jungle out there....

When it comes to food and nutrition, that is.

With thousands of different fad diets, diet books, and nutritional guidelines, it can seem nearly impossible to figure out what you are really supposed to eat for good health.

Low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, Vegan, Paleo, organic, grass-fed, free-range - and that's just what's on the label!

Not to mention things like eating alkaline foods vs. acidic, whole foods vs. processed, or whether or not you should avoid GMO's. Some diet books even advocate eating certain combinations of food together - or not.... For example, some authors say you should only eat carbs with fat and protein, and others say you should never eat these things together!

Is it any wonder that we are becoming a nation that is completely neurotic about food?

Well, I'm here today to clear up all this confusion - once and for all. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have heard my two rules for healthy eating before, but I don't think I've ever explained them fully, so today I'm going to do just that. Since I have touched on many related topics before, I will provide links below for further reading on those topics if you are interested.

Firstly, let me just say that I am not discounting any of the approaches mentioned above. I am more and more aware that everyone processes food differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. I know people who have been unhappy, miserable, and sick on a Vegan diet, and others who seem to do quite fine with it. Some people can't tolerate gluten, and others don't seem bothered by it. And so on.

However, I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from following the 2 simple rules for healthy eating that I have listed below. No matter what other dietary preferences or needs you may have, incorporating these 2 rules into your eating habits will bring you better health and well-being in the long run.

But this post is especially for those who are just confused and fed up with all of the conflicting information out there about what is healthy when it comes to food. If this is you, I give you permission to go ahead and throw out all your diet books! Don't pay any mind to the media attention to whatever fad diet comes along next. Don't worry about whether you should be eating more of this or less of that. Instead, just commit to eating by these 2 simple rules. Doing so will undoubtedly benefit your health in more ways than you can imagine.

Today I would like to address one of the most misunderstood and maligned foods out there these days. You may have heard that bread is the root of all evil, gluten is the cause of all modern health problems, or you should avoid carb-heavy foods like bread as much as possible. But as you will learn in today's post, this isn't necessarily true....

My husband and I have been watching an excellent NetFlix series based on Michael Pollan's new book, Cooked. (It is really well done, and I highly recommend it if you are at all interested in food, cooking, or health!) Last night we watched the episode on bread, and it got me thinking about all of the misinformation that abounds about this ancient and time-honored foodstuff.

Read on to learn why bread is not as evil as you  have been led to believe, and how you can eat all the bread you like, while enjoying the true health and nutrition provided by this unique traditional food.

Healthy diet myths
If you're interested in health (which I assume you are, since you're reading this blog) :-) you've probably looked into a variety of different diets and eating plans.

One of the most popular diets right now (and maybe even one you  have tried) is the Vegan diet, and while it may work well for some people for a period of time, despite what "vegangelicals" will tell you, it's not necessarily the healthiest diet for everyone long-term.

How do you know when your diet isn't working for you? And if it's not, what changes should you make to ensure you are eating the healthiest foods for you?

I ran across this very interesting interview with author and blogger Kevin Gianni, who spent many years on a raw vegan diet. Here is his take on this type of eating, and how to find balance in your own diet and health journey - as well as how to listen to your body in order to determine what foods and types of eating really work best for you individually.  

Watch the video below to learn what Kevin says about healthy eating myths, "cheat days," blood tests, health fads, balanced eating, and even the healthiest types of wine.

1. Eat Whole FoodsStep 1...
It's no secret: Pretty much all of us could benefit from eating less and exercising more. Just look around you, and that's easy to see! However, unfortunately it doesn't seem that easy for most of us to do.... If it was, we wouldn't be the most obese nation in the world!

If you struggle with weight loss, but can't seem to stick to a diet (or workout plan) long enough to make a difference, you may be approaching the problem all wrong. Instead of trying to make a huge change and overhaul your entire life and diet so you can lose, say 30 lbs, try a smaller, more incremental approach.

In fact, rather than focusing on losing a certain amount of weight, instead, try making a few simple, gradual healthy changes to your overall lifestyle. Not only will you build a healthier body in the long run, but you will end up losing weight naturally - without even feeling like you're trying! For example, did you know that not getting enough sleep causes weight gain? In fact, you could lose a few pounds per year just by sleeping more - how awesome is that?!?

Here are 7 simple tips that you can begin incorporating into your life today, to help you achieve and maintain your desired weight, while building a healthier, stronger, more resilient body in the process.