We all know eating healthy foods is what’s best for us. If only it were that easy, right?
I think most people fail at their eating goals because they can’t seem to find a plan that works for them. I’m not talking about diet plans, because often they are not sustainable, and it’s only a matter of time before we give up and grab whatever.
So here’s my encouragement — use a shopping list to eliminate what would be best left on the shelves and not brought into your home.
I have found a great tool called Michi’s Ladder, which breaks food into “tiers.” Tier one starts with the optimal food choices, and it goes down to tier 5, the least healthy choices.
While there are certainly other great strategies out there, the one that’s best is the one you will do.
I encourage you to give Michi’s Ladder a try by using it as your shopping list.
I’ve listed the Tier 1 foods list in its entirety below to give you an idea of the kinds of foods to shop for, and attached a PDF of the whole ladder for easy reference while walking the aisles in the grocery store. Michi’s Ladder is not a diet. It’s a simple substitution plan.
To lose weight, try swapping the foods you eat for similar foods in tiers 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you’ll increase your chances of losing weight. There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they’re either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume.
Note on frying: Foods should be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, poached, baked, or broiled. Frying automatically drops even the best foods into the lowest tier.
Michi’s Ladder — The Pious Tier
Apples with skin
Cereal, whole grain
Cottage cheese, nonfat
Peanut butter, raw
Pears, with skin
Refried beans, nonfat
Salsa, no sugar
Tea, no sugar
Tomato sauce, no sugar
Turkey breast, low sodium
Yogurt, no sugar
Here’s to a healthy future! Healthy eating is one of the six foundational practices for living your best life!
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor, Amen Certified Brain Health Coach, and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.