Menu Mending For Your Personal Eating Plan: Part 3

Self

Challenges to changing one's diet.

Changing one's diet is not easy, but it can make for a happier future. Making the changes gradually might ease the transition.

Maybe stick with a conventional dinner and revise breakfast or lunch for the first week or two. As you and your family adjust to new foods or new ways of eating, add more vegetables, beans, and whole grains to the meal that is the focus of change.

If you have decided you want to cut back on any of the following—meat, dairy, eggs, or gluten—be sure to make dishes your family enjoys that are similar, for example, rice pasta with your traditional sauce or a favorite soup with one new vegetable. You can even be sneaky, such as making French toast with whole grain bread or baking French fires instead of frying them.

By keeping some of your favorite meals on the menu, you can also gradually add some new dishes along with the tried-and-true. By mixing the old with the new, you may find there is less resistance to the changes.

Over time, the conventional picture of what your plate looks like may change. Instead of red meat, potatoes, and a veggie, you may prefer a stir-fry with chicken. You can experiment with ethnic dishes, casseroles without meat, legume dishes, and more fruits and veggies in general.

Not only will your body love you for these positive changes, you will also cut down on cleaning greasy pots and pans. That alone may be worth menu mending. Just proceed with caution in order for your body (and your family) to gain acceptance. You may not win all the time, but don't give up!

Don't be afraid to experiment. Sign up for ethnic cooking classes that use less animal products. Find a cooking buddy to try out new dishes.

Encourage your family and friends to venture into the world of mindful mending and conscious cooking. Your increased energy and improved health will be well worth the efforts you make, even if some don't work.

I changed my diet more than 30 years ago and I am still experimenting as I learn new techniques and uncover new facts about food in my research. Staying healthy is a full time job, but feeling good and looking good are two good reasons to tackle the job with confidence and enthusiasm. You can't lose!

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