20 Tips for Healthier Meals and a Healthier Lifestyle

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Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

The most important element of life is being healthy, because no matter how beautiful, smart or rich you are, if you are not healthy, you won’t be able enjoy anything as much as you could. And that is pretty much what our whole purpose is. "The purpose of our lives is to be happy." - Dalai Lama.

So how can we maintain a healthy life, and an overall feeling of happiness, and basically make the most of our time here on Earth? Well the following list will give you some suggestions on how to do that, and I hope you will be able to incorporate at least half of them in your meals and weekly routine.

1. Go greek. Starting to eat like greeks will help you count less calories, be in a better shape and also contribute in fighting diabetes in the sense that its chances of appearing will decrease. Put accent on more soluble fibers and every type of nuts. 

2. Always read the back of the box which contains the list of ingredients. Most producers to sell their food just put together a nice box, a really good commercial and think it is enough to make you buy the item. And in most cases it works, even though that sort of food may be full of chemicals. So be careful and pay attention to the most important part, which is reading the label with the things that helped make that food. Do not be one of those people. Always have in mind what you are putting into your stomach. 

3. Exercise more. Eating healthy is only half the job if you want to achieve an overall state of wellness. So try putting an accent on exercising more as well? Cardio exercises, like running or bicycle riding are the most important sports in your life that also help your cardiovascular system. 

4. Give up alcohol for a month. Drinking alcohol may get you gastritis, hepatitis or even cirrhosis. Try giving it up, if not for good, at least for a while and maybe replace it with other drinks, preferably natural ones, made by your hands. 

5. Less cookies, more fruit. Need I to say more why? :) 

6. Do not boil all the vegetables. Some vegetables are better tasting if you boil or cook them, but you lose the sight that by boiling them you also lose a great part of vitamins that already exist in them. Try to include them in your dishes in raw form when possible.

7. Cut the soda. Just like alcohol, soda has a negative effect on your gastric mucosa that will deteriorate in time and could even leave you with a hole in your stomach. In the medical field that is called an ulcer. Not to count the huge amount of sugar that you are drinking with your soda (even if it is the “zero” type), which can easily pave the way towards developing diabetes.

8. Stop eating in front of the television. Eating in front of the TV may get you to eat more without being really conscious about the amount or the number calories. How many times have you finished a huge bag of chips without even realizing while watching a movie? :) 

9. Skip processed snacks or fast food, prepare your meals ahead. We all are very busy people, but if you try to take a few hours from your schedule to prepare meals for a few days ahead you will eat healthy and skip all the chemicals inside the different bags of processed and frozen foods. 

10. Start introducing home-made smoothies in your snacks or even at breakfast. Fruit and vegetables are best combined when you transform them in a smoothie. You can also take them with you at work. They are both nourishing and good as a break. 

11. Drink lots of water. Our body is mostly made of water, so if you do not supply it with more, for it to get more oxygen, then who will? 

12. Try to eat vegetables at every meal. Either it is a salad, or boiled, they should never be absent. Meat is mostly made of proteins. A high protein diet is good, but only for the people that are trying to gain muscles or kilos on the long term. If you are trying to maintain your kilos or lose them, then you should get more vegetables on your plate. 

13. Less sugar in your diet. Sugar, diabetes, things that cross our path every day, and we still prefer sweets. They are tasty, but you have to try to eat it less in order to be more healthy. 

14. Every 2 hours have an 100-calorie snack. Either it is a yogurt, or a low calorie smoothie, some type of fruit or some biscuits. It is good for your stomach to have a more increased activity. 

15. Research the benefits of eating garlic. It is a very good anti-inflammatory and known to cure a lot of “small” illnesses (for example, old school people were saying that by eating garlic one can get rid of being cold). 

16. Flax seeds and flax seed oil. There is a large variety of these type of seeds that you can find in the supermarkets and that you can include into your meals. Why do that? Well, I will be short and limit myself to telling you that they counteract toxins that come into your body and “move” into your arteries and veins. The oil, especially, is the one that ties the toxins to itself and helps the body eliminate them. 

17. Soy protein and whole grains. Soy protein is a protein that can be found in tofu and derivatives of soy milk (butter, for example). The reason why you should include this type of ingredient in most of your meals (especially if you have a high cholesterol problem) is that it beats the accumulation of fat (just like flax seeds do) into your body. Also, by inserting whole grains into your diet, you can avoid eating white bread for example and the many chemicals met inside it (try whole grain bread, barley or quinoa). 

18. Cranberries and cranberry juice. By drinking this particular type of juice you can start avoiding cardiovascular problem as well as use it as “medicine” (of course, I am not saying not to go to your doctor for some problems) to prevent urinary tract infections. 

19. More sex. Sex makes your hormone level to equilibrate in your organism, helps the synthesis of the endorphins, the happy hormones, and also gives you quite a workout, if you know what I mean. 

20. Once every two weeks eat whatever you like. If you have a strict diet that you follow in which you include only healthy food and that is combined with pshysical activity, then you should know that you can "reward" yourself once every two weeks with the freedom of eating whatever you like for a single day.

What type of healthy meals do you prefer or what "magical" ingredients have you discovered lately that are known for their beneficial effects. Do share by commenting below.