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Well, we all have to do it.  That we can all agree on. From there, actual eating habits are much harder to agree on, even ones labeled as healthy.  So, the following is based on my wife's and my experiences, things that have worked for us (one or both of us).

We both have been overweight in the past.  I grew up that way and remained there until I was 30.  My wife has had numerous illnesses and the medications to treat those problems were a big contributor to her gaining considerable weight for a while.  She finally found out she was also gluten intolerant (celiac desease) and therefore had to cut out anything with gluten in it.  Considering gluten is a natural protein in wheat, barley, rye and a few other grains, gluten can be found in many foods.  Even things like soy sauce, A-1 steak sauce, virtually any desert, any breads or pastries of any kind that you would find in the normal store location and many processed foods.  So, not only did we decide to get on a healthier diet, we had to include restricting ourselves to foods that are gluten-free.  Because I think it is important, I'll make the point here that, though I wasn't celiac or intolerent of gluten, I knew it would be a lot easier for her if I ate what she ate rather than she having to cook two separate meals daily.  After reading about gluten and it's impact on the body via the intestinal system, the benefits of not eating it were a bonus.  So, my point here is, that gluten is harmful to most of us, we're just not as sensitive to it as the minority, like my wife, who have extreme sensitivity to it. 

The cool thing we realized was that the things we needed to stop eating or eat in considerable moderation because of her gluten-free imposed restrictions were pretty much the same as those we needed to reduce as part of a healthier life style.  Here are some of the key changes we made:

  • Eliminate Sugar from everything possible.  That meant no purchased desserts unless they were gluten-free, naturally sweetened with fruit, stevia or xylitol.
    There are alternative natural sweeteners that are not toxic like Aspartame or Sucralose .  They are Stevia and Xylitol.  Both are natural substances.  Stevia is an herb, native to Paraguay, which the FDA tried to keep out of the US for many years (no doubt because of the sugar industry lobby), since if it were mass produced in this country, it would wipe out sugar (see the web site).  Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol in many fruits and vegetable, and also in birch trees; it has been manufactured in Finland for many years, but, again, carefully controlled by the FDA because of it's threat to the sugar industry (while I have read about the FDA's foundless control of both Stevia and Xylitol, consider my comments here simply my opinion.  Google the names yourself and you will find plenty of information).
  • Drink lots of water daily.  What "lots" means in quantity depends on the person.  6 to 8 12oz glasses a day is a rough estimate.
  • Focus our meals around protein from light meats (chicken, turkey, fish, pork, soy, etc., nothing red), raw (salads) or partially cooked vegetables, whole fruits, gluten-free pasta and breads (in small proportions).
  • Limited amounts of wine (for excitement :-) )
  • Raw nuts
  • Coffee or tea, either straight or sweetened with stevia of xylitol.

That's a rough list of the key elements of our current eating plan.  I'm trying to stay away from the term "diet".  Our philosophy is to minimize the caloric content in the things we are eating, and eat what we want.  Occasionally we treat ourselves to something "sinful".  But, then, immediately get back in the regimen.

We believers in the precept that there is only one basic way to fitness - exercise and eat healthily.