Planning the diet

 Starting the Plan

 Any change in life can be a little intimidating and maybe even downright scary, but you can succeed at any goal with the right mental attitude.

 If you approach the DASH diet as if it is something that will be hard, something you know you will fail at, you will. But if you approach the DASH diet like an adventure into greater health and wellness, something you know you will succeed at, you will.

It all comes down to what you believe. The unhealthy habits you have had up until now are also part of your belief system. You believe that eating fast food will save you time and money.

But if you switch your thinking to believing that eating fast food will end up costing you a lot of time and money in illness, you may begin to see a crack in the desire to consume those foods.

 Healthy foods become much more attractive after a few days. Our bodies become addicted to high fat, rich foods. But after a few days, your taste buds will readjust to the nutrient rich, fresh foods and you will find a much greater level of satisfaction in them.

You will begin to taste much more subtle flavors. And believe it or not, you will begin to crave HEALTHY FOOD!

You can achieve anything you believe you can achieve. Think of a time when you just knew you would succeed, and you did. Changing your lifestyle is like that. You simply have to believe that you can, and you will.

 It sounds simple, but underneath, it really isn’t. There is often a great deal of resistance to change for anyone. You must have compassion for yourself and be gentle with yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t really want to change, even though you know you need to. It’s OK!

Beating yourself up is not going to help you. You have to take change one day at a time. Even though it is difficult to change, just keep doing it. Allow yourself your moments of weakness, and forgive yourself for it. Forgiving yourself is the easiest way to continue on with anything that requires a great deal of change to   accomplish. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a totally new lifestyle. Give yourself a break and just keep trying.

Motivation to Change

 Life is a beautiful wonderful thing. But so are doughnuts, right? If you have children, a spouse, family, friends, or even a pet, think about what life would be like for them without you. Think of what it would be like for them to see you suffer with illness and possibly die.

When you compare the look in your child’s eyes when she kisses you goodnight, to the taste of a chocolate glazed doughnut or a hamburger, it is obvious what feels better and is more important.

You deserve to be there for your kids, your grandkids, and yourself. There are so many things in life to learn and do. There are places to go, people to see. The world is waiting for you and your gifts. Why leave it before you have to?

 Cleaning Out the Kitchen

 After about a week of transitioning into the higher fiber diet, you should be ready to fully commit to the DASH diet plan. Now it is time to rid your kitchen of all the high fat, high sodium, low nutrient foods. This is an essential step for several reasons. The obvious reason is that when you clean the kitchen out of all unhealthy foods, those foods will no longer be in the kitchen to eat. The less obvious reason is because when you do this ritual, it is a signal to your subconscious that you mean business.

First look in the refrigerator. Take out all full fat dairy products. This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc. Next, you are going to get rid of any high fat red meats. Meats you can leave are chicken and fish, lean beef and pork. Any processed cheeses must go. In fact, most processed foods must go. Get rid of high sodium condiments such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, etc. Check the labels for sodium and fat content. Anything that has 5-6% or more of the daily allowance of sodium per serving must go.

 What can remain in the refrigerator are fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats. Anything that does not meet that criteria must go.

In the freezer, get rid of the ice cream, the TV dinners, the frozen sweets. What can remain are frozen, no salt added fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low sodium veggie-burgers, low fat frozen yogurt, soy ice cream, or rice ice cream and the like.

Next, go to the pantry. Get rid of the white rice, the white bread, refined pastas, chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, and anything that is a refined, simple carbohydrate. Get rid of candy, soda, etc. Again, check the labels.

You will have to get rid of most canned foods because they contain high levels of sodium and a lot of fat. Foods such as canned chilies and many types of canned soups have MSG added.

 Check the labels for MSG and sodium content, and get rid of anything that has a sodium content of more than 100 mg per serving. Get rid of anything containing MSG.

The foods that can remain in the pantry are whole grains such as brown or wild rice, whole grain bread, quinoa, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, millet, and barley. You can keep canned beans that have no salt added. You can also keep all your dried beans, lentils, and other legumes.

By now the kitchen should be pretty cleared out. It might look completely empty. Don’t worry about wasting money because the amount of money you will save in the long run by protecting your health will be well worth it.

More information about THE DASH DIET here