In the book Minimalism, by The Minimalists, they broke down health into two simple things: what you put into your body (eating) and what you do with your body (exercising). These are really the only two things you can control regarding your health. Now, I know, you can also avoid activities that put your health at risk. Of course, you should not put yourself into high-risk situations and hurt or possibly kill yourself, but the minimalist approach believes this is a no-brainer and need not be mentioned. Of course, you want to be safe so you can be healthy. Let’s focus on the things we can do to improve our health, the Minimalist way. Today, we are going to talk about the first simple thing you can do…EATING!!!
Foods To Avoid, Reduce, or Eliminate
“You are what you eat” is a quote as old as time, but holds some merit. You want to make sure you are putting good things into your body if you want the best possible outcome for your health. A system of eating is important to your overall health, so starting with where you are today, here are some foods to either avoid, reduce, or eliminate to start improving your system:
- Avoid processed and packaged foods – Try to eat fresh foods as often as possible.
- Avoid sugar at all costs – I know this is tough, as everything has sugar, but do your best to eliminate or at least cut down sugar as much as possible.
- Reduce or eliminate gluten, breads, and pastas
- Reduce or eliminate any drinks besides water – I know this blows too, so I suggest you aim to make water your primary drink and then work towards reducing and eliminating those you can. ex. I mixed a very small amount of sweet tea with a full glass off water if I want something different than water.
- Reduce or eliminate dairy – Again, another tough one to cut totally, but you could reduce your dairy consumption. You could even move from whole fat milk down to 2%, 1%, or even skim milk. Personally, I use 1% milk for my protein shakes and I am surviving!!!
- Reduce or eliminate meat – This is a tough one for us carnivores, and personally, I have NOT eliminated meat, nor do I think I ever will. But if you are eating meat every night, maybe it is time to cut back some. Try to limit your meat consumption to no more than 2-3x a week.
Foods to Eat More Of
- Water – Drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each day
- Green drinks – Ex. green tea is really good for you, though not personally one of my favorites.
- Fresh smoothies – Mix up some vegetables and fruit with some ice and create an awesome, healthy drink.
- Vegetables – Try to incorporate vegetables in every meal!!!
- Beans and legumes – Not my personal favorite, but I try.
- Fruits – Try to eat 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. I like bananas, apples, and pears!!!
Food should be treated as nutrition, not as entertainment. Sure you can get together with friends and enjoy a great meal, but the primary focus of the food itself should be for nutritional purposes. You may be thinking, “But I enjoy a bowl of ice cream, a good steak, and a slice of pizza.” In the 5and2Guy’s opinion, that’s fine. I had a bowl of ice cream this past Sunday…the 5and2Guy way, but this is not the standard. Pay special attention to what you put in your body. Get plenty of protein, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. If you are a meat lover, mix in some lean meats a couple times a week, but don’t go overboard. Work on improving your system of eating. You will begin to NOT miss the bad foods and start looking forward to the healthy ones!!!
Next week we will talk about the second simple health thing we can do…the Minimalist approach to exercising. No, that doesn’t mean, NO exercising, or exercising very little. Check out next Friday’s post to get a clear understanding of what this approach is all about.
If you want to read this great book, Minimalism, pick it up on Amazon via my affiliate link here: