With the new year's arrival, many of us are expectedly contemplating ways in which to better ourselves for next 12 months. That's good. But while ambition for betterment is undoubtedly the place to start, it's essential that we don't overwhelm ourselves with change. For shifts in behavior to stick – ultimately morphing into habits – a progressive, thoughtful approach will certainly yield the greatest long-term outcome.
I'm pleased to say, however, that changes don't have to be major to deliver meaningful results. In fact, several small, seemingly unimportant shifts can actually lead to lasting life-improving gains.
Coming at it in the same fashion I would approach athletic training, dietary shifts are best done in small increments, which compile to produce significant results. Here are six small shifts I recommend.
Swap out flour-based products for whole, pseudo grains.
Back in my full-time, professional Ironman triathlon racing days, I'd load up on pasta, conventional bread, and pizza – all refined carbohydrate-based. This was not such a good idea.
Refined carbs consist of starch. And that's about it. Whereas, pseudo grains also comprise of good quality fats, protein, and fiber, which is a powerful combo that will help to stabilize blood sugar and maintain a feeling of satiation longer. This being the case, you'll be able to stay focused and will not have to endure an energy dip and sleepiness that traditionally follows the consumption of refined carbs.
Some examples of pseudo grains: buckwheat (not actually wheat and contains no gluten), amaranth, wild rice (not actually rice, but a seed), quinoa, and millet. They can all be found in the bulk section of health food stores, Whole Foods Markets, and most grocery stores.
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