Last week I gave you a sneak peek into a day in my cup, on my plate, and in my bowl. Read it here if you missed it. This week I’d like to share with you my nutritional non negotiable's. The advice I pass along to my clients.
Before I go any further, the most important thing I want to stress is that everyones body chemistry is unique. How one person responds to eating a certain way is completely different than how another person might respond. YOU have to figure this out. Play detective. Tune in. Pay attention to how your body responds to eating certain foods. And ignore the “diet/cleanse/program” your friend/sister/coworker is doing.
Do you. That’s what will work the best in the long run.
Here are my nutritional non negotiable’s that can be beneficial to everyone:
Hydrate often. With water. First thing in the morning. I’ve started drinking a glass of water while waiting for my water to boil for tea. Then before I’m allowed to have a shot of espresso with rice milk, I have to drink another glass. After the espresso, more water. And yes, I am in the bathroom constantly. But who cares, I’m hydrated as hell and feelin’ good.
Eat as many whole foods as possible. Whole foods, meaning foods with as few ingredients as possible. Usually the foods around the outer edges of the grocery store. And if they do contain more than 1 ingredient, they should be words you can pronounce! No exception.
- Speaking of whole foods, eat vegetables every day. Even better, with every meal, even breakfast. The majority of people don’t get enough veggies…so be better than the majority and eat your greens.
- Limit your sugar intake as much as possible. I get it, sugar is really addicting and sugar cravings can be intense. Cravings are usually based around a habit. The sweet dessert after a meal. The afternoon sweet treat pick me up. If this sounds familiar then take a moment and think about your habit loop (cue/routine/reward). Here’s an example: Every evening after dinner (cue), you spend a few minutes cleaning up, washing dishes, and prepping some food for the next day (routine). Afterwards you plop down on the couch with a pint of your favorite ice cream (reward, the satisfaction of your treat and for cleaning up after dinner). In order to break this habit, you need to identify your cue and make some changes. Or you just quit the sugary shit cold turkey.
Eat protein dense food with every meal. How much? For women, 1 palm sized portion. For men, 2 palm sized portions. Protein helps with satiety, the feeling of being full, as well as aids in cell production, transportation of substances throughout the body, and assists in growth and repair. And makes you sexy and strong.
Carbs, eat them. They aren't the enemy. Go for the slower digesting carbs such as yams, brown rice, oatmeal, 100% whole wheat.
- Avoid low fat and no fat foods. Our bodies and brains need fat. Fat is needed in the body to support metabolism and the health of various tissues, our immunity, hormone production, and vitamin A and D absorption. It helps to keep you full between meals and it ups the satisfaction value of most meals (avocado on a salad for example). Eat nuts, seeds (flax and chia are super nutritious), olive oil, fish/fish oil, avocado, grass-fed animals/eggs, olives, coconut, seaweed.
Take care of your gut. It’s your second brain (ever have a gut feeling?) and comprises about 75% of your immune system. Take a probiotic (discuss this with your doctor) Drink kombucha (see my favorite brand below). Eat raw fermented foods. Pay attention to any foods that cause your gut distress, bloating, or gas. And then avoid those foods.
- Eat the WHOLE egg, not just the whites. Please. Egg whites have no taste (my opinion, not fact), and besides, the yolk contains all the vitamins A, B12, and D, as well as calcium, folate, and omega-3s (fact).
- A few final points. Enjoy what you put into your body. Stop labeling food as "good" and "bad". Remember, food is not a punishment OR a reward. It's simply something to nourish and fuel your body with. Be mindful about what you eat. Meaning, stop and think about it for a second before shoving it in. This takes practice. And no big deal if you slip up and shove in chips and chocolate like I did this past week. Happy Eating!
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