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In Response to RE: The Balancing Act by inharmony
Your first sentence said it all! Everything in balance is what we should strive for...our bodies work that way on their own and we shouldn't fight it. It's the way to stay healthy and it's called maintaining "homeostasis."
When we favor a particular food or ingredient or "treat" above others and "slip in" seconds, larger portions or exclude counterbalancing "good foods" in our meals, we lose that balance and that's when we tend to get sick or feel disturbing symptoms.
I read a helpful book many years ago called Diet For A Small Planet.
The author was Frances Moore Lappe` and the book was part nutrition and part cookbook. It gave a cogent argument for practicing vegetarianism and then laid out some delicious recipes which combined proteins in order to receive the same amino acids as meat proteins...in other words, "complete" proteins containing all of the essential amino acids necessary for growth and nutrition. The recipes combined dairy + grains + beans/legumes. Mexican foods are great at this! Corn tortillas, beans & cheese and a bit of salsa and you're good to go!
Not everyone can practice vegetarianism, though, and there was an interesting article in "Bon Appetit" magazine this month on "Flexitarianism!" To me, it means I may have good intentions, but it's hard to pass up a good cheeseburger or taco every once in a while! It also means you can have turkey with the family on Thanksgiving without ruining your diet/nutrition plan. It's all about making choices and committing to "balance."
I use spices and condiments similar to "inharmony" but I try to grow my own herbs/spices as I enjoy fresh and I do not use any pesticides. Perhaps "inharmony" does this as well. I also make my own EV olive oil infusions.
I use EVOO daily and try to follow a "Mediterranean-type" diet for it's health benefits. Another thing I add to my diet as a result of research on health benefits is "Brisling sardines" from off the coast of Scotland...they seem to have the most/best quality Omega 3's of all the sardine products. I also feed them to my dogs (and it makes them sooo happy!) for their heart health and to maintain a healthy skin and coat. We have this treat about once a month. The dogs get them plain, but I like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over them and serve with a salad and crusty bread. An extra benefit is the high calcium content...their bones disintegrate in the canning process and provide the high levels of calcium.
Another thing I have incorporated into my diet is "almond milk." Excellent nutrition, no fat and the calorie count is low, low, low. I have a problem with soy milk due to GI upset, so I tend to avoid it. I don't avoid milk products, because I like yogurt, cheese and sour cream...and a bit of butter for some recipes. I use the almond milk in cereal, high protein smoothies & shakes, and as half the volume of regular milk (I use skim) in some recipes.
I also use a lot of nuts/seeds in my diet as well. Dr. Oz snacks on walnuts that are soaked in water. This is said to remove enzymes that are not conducive to a healthful state. I soak them twice and add a bit of sea salt to the second soaking for flavoring. You can allow them to air dry or keep refrigerated for a delicious and filling snack. I buy shelled nuts in bulk and keep in my freezer.
A "bit" of wine is OK, too, especially the reds. Don't overdo it, though.
I'm a pretty healthy girl, but I agree...this winter weather has been a killer! I'm not walking outdoors as much, but I'm going to the gym three times a week (balance is everything!) to try to lose the extra pounds I've picked up and to firm and tone.