Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The 1-2-3-4 method of planning healthy meals

Food and the 1-2-3-4 Method of healthy selection



Is your daily diet an adequate and healthy one? Here is a simple method called the 1-2-3- 4 (pronounced one two three four) method that may ensure that. If your daily diet includes the following divided over three or four meal or snack times it is  very likely a  healthy one:

1 Serving of Fruit (or Salad if fruit is not available)
2 Servings of protein rich food such as eggs, milk products, lentils or fish
3 Serving of vegetables with one of them uncooked as salad
4 Servings of carbohydrates rich food grain preparations from wheat, rice, corn etc.

These make ten items of food that may then be divided in four meal times with one or two being substantial meals and the rest lighter meals or snack. This would make breakfast, lunch and dinner with one snack time that would vary with persons, daily routines and customs. Those who have early breakfasts prefer a mid-morning snack. Those who have late evening dinners may prefer a snack with tea, and those that have early evening suppers may choose a late night snack. Please do not have more than one snack time besides the three meals if you wish to have the best chances of good health. In arranging meal plans, refer to your childhood, albeit with any improvements you can add from your own experience of life, because your body developed on that and it is likely to be most compatible with your personal and unique biology.

After choosing your meal times divide these ten items of food over the three meal times and a snack and bingo you have a healthy meal plan for yourself and your family.

In case you are overweight or obese then cut down on the carbohydrate rich foods but not the others. In case your meals includes a root crop such as potatoes or yam, it is a bridge food that counts as both a vegetable and a carbohydrate food and you may then cut down a bit from both the vegetable and food grain servings.

As regards the first item on our list, fruit, there is much wisdom in the old adage - an apple a day keeps the doctor away. For warmer parts of the planet a banana a day works just as well. However, from time to time replace this with other fruits and berries for variety whenever available as local produce. Some people do not like fruit but they will do just as well by replacing this portion with salad then, Some raw food is needed to get our supply of live enzymes and healthy gut flora.

Nuts are very healthy and are a bridge food that include both protein and carbohydrates, therefore if you have a good serving of nuts such as coconut, almonds, peanuts then you may cut down a bit from servings of both the protein and carbohydrate portions of the other ten items. Those living in colder portions of the planet shall find many nuts from trees in their area, those in warm coastal regions coconut and the rest peanuts. Mother earth has something lovely for all her children in nuts as a treat that can be stored for up to a year until the next harvest arrives in tight containers placed in a shaded dry cupboard.

To make food healthier, avoid processed foods, have variety to ensure your body find all the various nutrients, micro nutrients and an whole array of plant chemicals, some medicinal that help to to keep a human healthy. Do try and make your meals starting from basic ingredients and do use a healthy cooking oil. With vegetables, fruits and salads, prefer those from local areas, mostly seasonal. Do include leafy green vegetables such as spinach as often as possible, at least three or four times a week. Local and in season vegetables are healthiest because a climate that is compatible for growth of a certain food makes that food most conducive for other life that lives in those conditions.

If you add a weekly day of partial fasting to this when all carbohydrates and salt is skipped or restricted to just one meal, it will add to the health of most persons. If you are a religious person you may make this a day as a special thanks to your favorite vision of Father Universe, Mother Earth, God, a saint, angel, god or goddess. Another weekly day chosen when you bring some fruits, nuts or dry food rations, to some poor or deprived persons in your area as a service to humanity shall surely bring many blessings your way. Feeding birds or wild animals with stuff suitable for them is a way to share a bit in the chores that Mother Earth is busy with constantly and she shall surely appreciate it.

Some light beverages such as tea, coffee, cold drinks or a hot cup of milk at the most two to three times a day should make for a day full of good foods and drinks full of blessings of Mother Earth that provides all our food, water and even the air we breathe, while Father Universe brings sunshine and gravity etc. that makes life possible.

While mother Earth prepares more than adequate amounts of food for all her children, all life on the planet it gave birth to, she has left it in the hands of humans as to how to distribute it. Unfortunately humans are not doing it very well so that there are some suffering from hunger and malnutrition because of insufficient food; others are suffering from obesity and disease because of excess intake. Any human that helps to improve this distribution, for example by helping those who are hungry, helps towards restoring balance and becomes a worthy person in the eyes of Mother Earth and Father Universe that they are surely proud of.

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