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What is a Balanced Meal?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 9:43 AM

Another Post from Jocelyne Gross NTP A.C.N. 
What is a Balanced Meal? 
There are a lot of different ideas on what to eat and there are many different diets. 
Traditionally, before the days of industrialization and highly processed foods, a meal (including breakfast) basically consisted of Protein, Carbohydrates and fat all in one meal which forms a complete balanced meal. When all those ingredients are present (we are speaking of high quality, unprocessed foods) it is the full spectrum of nourishment the body needs to grow, rejuvenate and repair. 
Talking about protein, in today’s world the quality of the meat and cow dairy products (and our food in general) has declined to a point where the meat and milk we consume are not the meat and milk of yesterday. Most of us are having difficulty digesting our meat and are sensitive to cow milk products. Another point is that we consume too much meat. It is not necessary and was not traditional to have meat daily. There are different sources of protein that can come from plants that need to be incorporated into our diets. With plant protein there is also good and bad sources. We can definitely help you with that dilemma on your consultation. 
Let’s define these categories.
From the book “Food To The Rescue” by Dr. Jennifer Shell, D.C. 
(My notes in parenthesis) 
PROTEIN: It is the fuel and building material our bodies need to grow healthy muscles and minds. Kids need half a gram to a full gram of protein for every pound they weigh until eighteen years of age. Adults need about one-half of our body weight in grams. If you’re not overweight. If weight is an issue, scale it back a bit. 
CARBOHYDRATES:
A- Simple Carbohydrates; These are foods that change into sugar (white flour, white sugar, breads, pasta, cereal, Etc.). The body uses them for energy, but they burn up quickly, which leads to a fast drop in energy, mood, and focus. Our bodies store any extra as fat, so they are big contributor to weight gain. They are to be avoided or limited as you become more comfortable with making menus. 
B- Complex Carbohydrates: These carbs break down into sugar much more slowly (mainly vegetables, and some whole grains which are minimally processed. Again, grains of today are not the grains of yesterday so best not to consume on a regular basis. It is interesting to note that if the grains are consumed with protein and fat, it further slows the break down with less problems). This slow burn will lead to a steady mood, good focus, and energy. We have to have complex carbs to make energy. A good target is to get family members to eat in the range of sixty to one hundred carbohydrate grams a day. The better we get at this, the lower the number of carbohydrate grams should be. 
Approximately one hundred years ago, two-thirds of carbohydrates Americans ate came from complex sources like potatoes (today’s potatoes are starchier and GMO, best to purchase Organic or consume sweet potatoes as an alternative. I recommend minimizing the consumption of potatoes and increase other vegetables), vegetables and whole grains and that does not mean “whole grain” Wonder Bread, folks. If you crave sugar or even complex carbs, you’re probably not getting enough protein. 
FATS:
A. Bad Fats; Partially or fully hydrogenated fats are bad fats. They are also known as “trans fats”. Look at the labels on salad dressing, sauces, and peanut butter. Bad fats are everywhere. They are dangerous. (All fried foods in restaurants are fried with bad fats). 
B. Good Fats; Beneficial oils and essential fatty acids make up this group (Cold pressed and organic Olive Oil, Coconut and Palm Oils, Avocado Oil, Organic Butter from grass-fed cows, also the fat in meat). These oils help protect our hearts from heart disease, and they help regulate blood pressure. They help fight inflammation, pain, and swelling. Also, good oils super-charge our kid’s brains and make them smart. 
(I recommend that if you are going to make changes to your diet to do it on a gradient). 
• To start, pick one thing to avoid and slowly eliminate it: wheat, corn, bad fats, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, soy (soy is best consumed when fermented liked in Soy Sauce or Tempeh) or sugar. 
• Be patient and persistent 
• Plan! Plan! Plan! (when you are busy and do not have good food or snacks on hand and find yourself hungry you are more likely to fall on bad habits and snacks) 
• Educate the family as much as you can, tailored to their age and understanding 
• Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Dust yourself off and hop back on. 
Thank you for caring enough about yourself and your family to want to change and for seeing the need for change.


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