What do you do when you want to eat as clean and healthy as possible but you truly struggle with digestive issues. Once upon a time I could scarf down a BAS (BIG ASS SALAD) , go for a run, and not even have to think about the bouncing around of food in my gut. These days the sight of a big ole raw salad makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. When you have a sensitive stomach, eating raw is not always your best bet. And reaching for digestive enzymes to help alleviate the gas, bloat, and discomfort isn’t going to solve your problem either. Simply stated, it’s not necessary to eat an all raw diet in order to get your enzymes and be healthy.
The truth is that a lot of raw food is so hard to digest. You can go back in time and say, “well they never cooked their food back in the caveman days.” And you’d be right! Because they didn’t cook back in the caveman days and when they weren’t being chased by the wild, they were lucky to be eating twigs and berries and the raw leg of whatever they caught….amongst other completely unappetizing foods and bevs. They ate what they could get their hands on for survival. These days we are hardly just surviving. We have an abundance of food and a plethora of ways to prepare them……not only for the purpose of variety, but truly to ease the process of digestion particularly for those of us with a tender tummy!
If you have a cast iron stomach and can eat whatever you want…..good on you. That’s great. Go for it. Your raw broccoli is hurting my innards just watching you chomp down. But for those of us who experience distention and pain either from how the food is prepared or from simply eating too much at one sitting, cook your food. You need to be able to digest and assimilate your nutrients and if your body is all stressed out from cramps, you won’t be doing anything of the sort.
I’m not a fan of a big ole salad as a meal. How you eat your food is just as important as what you eat. So food combining, as far is this is concerned, is debunked. Because a tender tummy and a big ass salad will not work out well for you. However, if you can combine your food such that you can have your salad and eat it too, you may be able to get away with having this, that, and the other thing.
Solution: Net your stomach. When eating a salad, have a complex starchy carb with your meal. My go to is almost always sweet potato…..and I have a few bites prior to eating my veggies or salad. The blandness of the starch settles and calms the stomach due to it’s soluble fibers. The insoluble fibers you’d get from your salad greens and hard to digest veggies can cause cramping that can ruin the rest of your day. If you’re not a tuber kinda person, sprinkle some brown rice, quinoa, roasted or steamed parsnip and/or carrots, or other starchy veggie or grain on your salad and go to that first.
Another thing I have found extremely beneficial is to eat pulpy veggies. Those that when cooked, offer a gooey pulp in the center. Examples again would be sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, parsnip, and the ever forgotten okra. These veggies are so soothing to the intestines. NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT BROCCOLI !!
We have the tendency to be all or nothing when it comes to our diet. When it comes to healthy eating, it’s not just about WHAT you eat…..but about HOW you eat. And How you eat will always show up for you in how well your body digests and assimilates nutrients and eliminates waste. If you’re experiencing upset in the gut, then something is out of balance and your diet is working against you.
There is balance in EVERY style of eating. Whatever style or label of eating you partake in, remember that if you are experience GI disturbances, you’re not in balance. You don’t need to adapt, you need to adjust. Netting my salads has been a game changer for me and allows me to eat more veggies with less IBS issues.
Give it a shot and see if it makes a difference. Sometimes it’s the approach vs the actual components that makes all the difference in the world.
An example of 'pulpy' veggies: Roasted Zucchini and Carrots
Routine Routine Routine!!!!
Routine is the leader when it comes to getting stuff done, when it comes to achieving a goal, and when it comes to consistency within our physical bodies. That can work both ways. A routine that cultivates a properly functioning digestive system will help you through your days with minimal attention to the process itself……because it is merely taking care of itself. That’s what we want.
Digestive health problems are the number one cause that adults call in sick to work and why kids miss school. It’s the biggest complaint in the medical community and it’s the biggest complaint here in my office. Which makes sense because digestion is my THANG!!! That’s right….I sorta help undo the damage that you have blindly eaten yourself into…….but that’s another post entirely. For now, let’s take a look at the “do’s” that those who have optimal digestion take part in.
Some of these things are so basic that it should be innate. It’s puzzling to me sometimes that this in and of itself isn’t a class taught at the elementary level. There is nothing more important in the world that our bodies function optimally, painlessly, and freely. We should not really feel much sensation in our systems other than normal digestive processes of assimilation, absorption, and elimination. And even that should be effortless. Like breathing, we know it’s happening but we aren’t put on alert every time we take a breath.
Creating a routine and a habitual system that keeps your gut in check is the key to stoking your digestive fire. As with all aspects of health, and based on our individual needs, not everyone has the same exact requirements. But we have the same foundation and with a bit of tweaking to your needs, you can customize a system that is most effective for you.
For the most part, I work with clients who predominantly experience functional digestive disturbances, i.e: constipation, IBS, and food sensitivities. Functional digestive problems such as those listed above are primarily due to a stimulus that causes things to either slow down or speed up or anything uncomfortable outside of the normal digestive process. Either way, it alters how the bowel “FUNCTIONS” thereby reducing or increasing its transit time or creating spasms resulting in a great deal of discomfort. In a perfect world, we would have bowel eliminations no less than one time a day. When doctors tell you that it’s normal to have 3 eliminations a week, well, they’ve never been constipated. Only in this country is it normal…..it is, however, less than optimal. The truth is, if you eat, you simply must eliminate….aka….POOP!!!
So with no further hesitation, here is what YOU can do to halt your visits to the doctors, drug stores, and endless searches on Google for the secret remedy:
Don’t wait until the new year to make the changes. You are here today and deserve to feel your best right now. You can make simple changes, such as the ones listed above, and day by day start to see significant changes. Tweak it as you go along. If you need supplements to get you through the transition, by all means, take them. Those who struggle with significant long term constipation will need more than just water and sleep. But those will be reduced or eliminated as your natural rhythms start to kick in and normalize themselves.
To find out more on how to restore you digestive health function naturally, contact me at the link below
You’ve had your salad, your water, and your essential fatty acids. You’re eating clean and working out on a daily basis. You’re getting colonics, Chi Nei Tsang, acupuncture, rolfing, and chugging psyllium like it’s been blessed from the Appalachian mountains [insert puke]. And day after day you’re still doubled over and gritting your teeth to do on a daily basis what mother nature intended for you to do….without even having to think about it. POOP!!
You’re not the first. You’re not the last. You’re not the only one. Talking poop is simply just not a subject that most people feel comfortable talking about. For some reason, people are more open to talking about their sex lives than their bathroom habits. And yet, in my very humble opinion, simply does’t makes sense since our digestive systems are not more taboo than our respiratory system and yet we have no problems talking about when we can’t breathe.
Going to the bathroom is something that we should be doing every day….several times a day. In a clean-out-the-pooper kinda way. You should be emptying your colon every single day and not experiencing constipation, gas, bloating, or other functional bowel issues. Provided you’re giving your body what it needs, having regular bowel eliminations should be a mindless thing. But for those of you, us, who have had digestive health issues….AKA…..either constipation, IBS, food sensitivities, it can be hard to get away from the physical discomfort that takes us over every time we eat a meal or even drink a glass of water.
So what gives? Below is a list of the most common culprits for constipation and what you may want to consider as an option….that is if you actually want to feel better.
Do you struggle with IBS? Constipation? Digestive health concerns in general? Are you struggling with dietary compliance or lifestyle challenges that interfere with you feeling your best? Don’t let these things stop you from living in a body you love living in……one that is free of pain, inflammation, and constant struggle. Ease your body and ease your mind by restoring your digestive health. It’s the first line of defense to freeing your body.
The text that came through from my highly educated nutritionist friend yesterday as I asked her the question “carbs or fats for running fuel.“Her response was something to the tune of, “you’re not fat adapted and so you can’t use that fuel for energy during your run.”
There is a whole lot of information out there regarding fats and carbs and what’s right for whom. Should you use a LC/HF diet for weight loss and/or is it good for endurance training? Should you rely on glucose and have a higher carb diet? Or should you STFU and pay attention to the feedback your body is giving you and stop paying so much attention to the world wide web, the books, the blogs, and the “experts” in the industry who toss around science, studies, and of course, their “un”biased opinions on the matter. I say this because I too have been judgmental on the subject and have been made painfully aware both in my personal experience with dieting and with those I’ve worked with and have in my personal life…….diet is a choice. And if we are free to choose our religion, our politics, and how we walk this earth, then we are free to eat what we choose within the time period we are here regardless of what others say……no matter how solid their science may be.
For years I have gone back and forth between higher fats and higher carbs regarding how I workout/train, how I was physically feeling regarding digestion and autoimmunity, or based on what others in the same arena are doing……not in a real way paying attention to the feedback loop my body is giving me. We are bombarded with the most insane information out there that is truly cutting edge but rarely, if ever, sticks. Diets simply do not work. And I’ve come to my own personal belief system that they are not supposed to work. They are designed to literally have us go crazy so that we can fall in to the hands of an expert. Really now, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. And if you stick to the basic premise of Michael Pollens quote, “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants,” you simply cannot go wrong. You see, mother nature has this all figured out for us already. We are not supposed to step on her toes and interfere with nature. We spend way too much time trying to reinvent the wheel when, as it turns out, cars drive perfectly well with their circular motion. Pretty much every well intended valid dietary regime out there is based on wholefoods. And if it isn’t, well those are the ones you ought to steer clear of. So it doesn’t really matter what program you follow…..paleo, keto, LCHF, macrobiotic, veganism, vegetarianism, IIFYM, food combining, intermittent fasting. Whatever it is that you follow, if you take the components of that program, make it wholefoods, tweak it to suit your lifestyle, body composition, health conditions, and fitness goals, you win every time. This happens by tuning and tapping in to the biofeedback your body is giving you and truly connecting with how your body is feeling. This in turn allows you to adjust the components whether it be the macros, calories (which by the way, if you’re following a macro based diet, you’re still counting calories—-don’t fool yourself), or the food itself (grains, dairy, eggs, etc) You get the point.
Through my years of working in nutrition, I have found that we are our own best experts. And each and every time, by listening intently on the messages our bodies are giving us, we will have the answers at our finger tips…..or on the end of our fork. Yes, we all need guidance. I have a coach who helps me. I have friends who are educated and trained in nutrition and exercise physiology who help me work through the nooks and crannies when it comes to the subjects I’m not clear on. But really the answers they give send me back to the basics…. “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.” Basically…..Just Eat!!
We need all macro nutrients. But we don’t always need all the macro nutrients all the time at all the meals. There’s nothing wrong with having a lower fat meal anymore than there is anything wrong with having a lower/no carb meal. If your system is feeling bogged down, backed up, or heavy, you certainly don’t need to load up on a bowl of oatmeal or rice to add insult to injury. However, if you’re going out to do an intense workout or a long run, those carbs might come in handy.
Keep it simple. Know your body. Play with your food. And eat according to what works best for you. For years I was gluten free and never felt any better for it. I recently added back some sprouted grain Ezekiel bread, which happens to have gluten in it, and I feel amazing on it. In fact, if anything, I feel a lot better. Does this mean I will be eating gluten at every meal? Heck No!!! I have no interest in making radical changes in my diet. Only to listen to the feedback, pay attention, and ever so gently make changes as the need be. Variety is not really my thing as I tend to stick with what I know works, but within that window it’s nice to have options.
The nostalgic kid in me loves bagels, cream cheese, and lox. So having some smoked salmon this week has been simply delightful. This week I swapped out my veggie omelets for smoked salmon, over easy eggs, and sesame Ezekiel toast. I ALWAYS have veggies at every meal
Do You Run???? What’s your food/fuel of choice?
Do you go lower carb and higher fats?
Do you intermittent fast and eat post training?
Or do you just listen to your body and allow what your gut is telling you?
Getting back on track is the one of the first thing we think of come Monday mornings. Usually through social gatherings or just taking a day of loosening up a bit on the dietary regime, we may have had a few more munchies, a few more cocktails, and have taken a few less steps. And that’s all good. It’s called balance and it’s called living in the real world, with real people, and real life circumstances.
As much as I like to indulge a bit here and there, I have never been one to go all out and just splurge. I mean, I’ve definitely had my days with my head in the fridge, but the days of going all out and splurging until I feel sick just don’t come around anymore. As one who engages is regular workouts and running, I can say that my tank occasionally will run on empty. At that point I will deliberately eat a bit more of what I’m already eating. Having a pretty balanced diet, I will occasionally indulge in a burger or some fish tacos, but I don’t necessarily consider this junk food, but rather just something I don’t include in my daily eating. When you’ve battled certain health conditions and you dial in your program to suit your needs and get you back on track, it’s easier to say no to temptation in order to not have undesirable setbacks.
That said, this weekend I did go out and enjoy a free meal over at True Food Kitchen in Fashion Valley Mall. My intention is always to order something that is at least as minimally processed as possible and not leaving me feeling like a hibernating bear. Full, Fat, & Fatigued. But simply satiated and satisfied. I choose to stay on track during the week pretty much to a T in order to feed my body for my workouts and make sure I am nourished properly. Then I allow myself a meal out on Saturday or Sunday with the intention of it being that one meal and getting right back on track. A full on day of grazing can create the set up of not only feeling awful, but a continuation of overeating and indulging that can make it hard to get back on track. For this reason, I’m not a big fan of doing refeeds or planned cheat meals that are so common in the fitness and athletic world. But rather if I know I have a big event coming up, just eat more of what I’m already eating.
So today, after having had my meal out yesterday with friends, I am back on track with my sassy salad consisting of simple crockpot chicken, steamed veggies, avocado, and hemp seed oil and coconut aminos.
Allowing yourself some wiggle room once or twice a week is a great way to reset your metabolism and allow your mind and body a little break. For me, it reminds me of how much I appreciate how my body responds to my own food. My digestion is better and I experience minimal GI side effects. Often eating out, even healthy food prepared in restaurants, can cause my stomach to turn for days. That makes my decision that much easier. Not everybody experiences either digestive or other body discomfort from eating out. That is my own personal challenge which actually does help me stay on track.
Happy Monday Munching!!
What’s on your plate??
Milk got you all bogged down, doubled over, bloated, and experiencing all sorts of symptoms of inflammation? Yes, me too. I was never good with milk. To be honest, I was never really all that good with the substitute milks either. The coconut milk binge everyone is one these days (cause it’s dairy free) often times has me in worse condition than the dairy based products would have affected me. But still, I’ve mostly lived my life being dairy free for over 20 years with the occasional dessert here and there or greek yogurt phase.
These days I have pretty much given up all dairy including their healthierversions like coconut, almond, rice, and even, contrary to the title of this blog, hemp milks. I used to use these as bases for smoothies and all sorts of recipes to eliminate the potential side effects of dairy. However, truly they were no better for me. And since I was never a huge consumer of it anyway, it wasn’t that much of a change. Except for the fact that I absolutely love lattes. I gotta have them. They are somewhat of a soul food for me and I don’t even know why. Perhaps it’s the creaminess. Perhaps it’s the sweetness. Perhaps I have just created this habit over the years and it’s just something I do as part of my morning routine. Whatever it is, it’s not something that I want to give up anytime soon. But you cannot really make a latte without milk. But much like every other hack and tweak out there, you can create a version to suite what best digests for you.
I gave up drinking coffee back in 2014. Literally I was in Las Vegas, poured a cup of coffee, and dumped it down the drain after one sip. I had been experiencing some skin rashes and felt after years of being sometimes a 3 cup of coffee a day kinda person, that it was time to perhaps heal from the Inside Out. Coffee has so many known benefits, but can be extremely stimulating to the nervous system. Someone who has a lot of stress, as I did at that time, should not be stimulating their nervous system with tons of coffee. Thankfully as it turned out it wasn’t caffeine that caused the rashes but the actual oils in the coffee bean itself that ‘contributed’—not caused—the reaction. After pretty much trying every single tea on the market to mimic coffee, I settled on Yerba Mate and haven’t looked back or had one single cup of joe since April of 2014. I know I make it sound like I kicked a major drug habit, but if you ever wonder why you do something, try not doing it for a while and the actual reason why you need to stop and/or shift. Coffee, the warmth and energy it offered, was comfort for me.
I still have my big-ole-pot of caffeine in the morning. Just a milder version. And I still make my lattes. Just don’t use milk nor it’s vegan substitutes. I’m pretty much of a get-all-your-food-from-wholefood frame of mind. All those vegan milks have so many fillers and thickeners in them that sometimes they can be just as problematic than if you were to just leave them out. So when I want a frothy latte, I just use whole hemp seeds. It gives it the foamy frothy top that you would get from steaming your milk and makes your “coffee” drink thick and warming. For me, that’s my go-to first thing in the morning. Sits well in my stomach and gets me through my morning workout until I can get an appetite going for breakfast.
It’s simple and contrary to most coffee drinks out at the coffee shops, it’s low in calories and packed with healthy fats to satiate you and feed your brain, and energize your morning routine. Compared to a 16 ounce Starbucks Caffe Latte, you are getting more bang for your buck in nutrients and less fat and calories for your waste line. Something about healthy treats speaks volumes to me.
So as we venture into the cooler months ahead of us, you’re going to see the coffee shops loaded with heavy coffee drinks and pastries in the name of welcoming the festive holidays. It doesn’t mean we need to wear it on our bodies or deplete our wallets. Some of these drinks cost the upwards of $5-6 dollars….. A DAY!!!! I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous.
For my Yerba Mate/Coffee latte this year, I’m leaning heavy on the ginger department. It’s calming to the digestive system and offers that spice I like so much.
So all you need/to do is:
Use a heat appropriate blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. Start slow and then build up to a high speed for a good 30 seconds to make sure hemp seeds dissolve. And just drink. Honestly this is officially my favorite way to start my morning. But don’t limit yourself.
The options are open and the tummy issues are over. There are some things that most people are simply not willing to give up and as the coffee business is booming out there, java is clearly one of those. If you can simply tweak your brew a bit, you may see that you can have your treats and skip the horror of the dairy induced side effects.
What a perfect day it is. Truly the weather here in San Diego couldn't be more appropriate for the first day of Autumn. This truly is my favorite time of year. Yesterday I walked in to Trader Joe's AND Wholefoods ( I sorta have a grocery store addiction) and saw that all the winter squashes were ready for the season. Normally I eat sweet potatoes all year long, but when it comes fall and winter, I get really excited about the variety of starchy veggies to play with. Kabocha squash and Delicata squash are my favorites. They are hearty and extremely satiating yet not so heavy in the calorie department. Basically what you get in a sweet potato you can double down on with these guys.
Often in the wee hours of the morning on days that I don't train, you'll find me in my kitchen throwing down a latte and doing some food prep as early as 5 am. This morning I opted to get some of my favorite veggies roasted and stored away for the next several days. Having something to grab and go makes lunches easy to pack and when I get home after work, it's as easy as tossing some left overs in a skillet to heat up with minimal work or clean up. The path to health and wellness is paved with ease and convenience.
I will be posting some great food finds and autumn recipes as we head into my favorite season. AKA Pumpkin Season. It's my favorite time of year to do some additional baking and cooking. This morning I made some cumin roasted kabocha squash. Kabocha is Japanese pumpkin. It looks like a green pumpkin pretty much. It has a nice starchy texture and pairs well with earthy seasonings like cumin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. One of my favorite ways to have it is to cook it with eggs over easy. Something about that combination is so satisfying and hearty this time of year.
I also made some balsamic roasted brussel sprouts and some olive oil S&P green beans. Honestly either of these veggies go well with the kabocha, sweet potatoes, or even some brown rice. I've yet to come across a veggie that I don't like; however, preparation is everything. Having your favorite seasonings, a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar or braggs or coconut aminos can take boring steamed veggies to the next level. Personally I like to roast as it brings out the natural innate flavors of the veggies. Fall and winter time is a good time for some hearty cooked food to warm and feed our bodies and souls.
Let's not forget leave out that these veggies are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and easy on the waistline. So dig in and enjoy.
What are some of your favorite seasonal foods to fill up and not fill out on?
I have spent years debating with clients on the merits and myths of food combining. Or on any dietary theory in general. There are studies, I’m sure aplenty, and “master gurus whom taut the merits behind food combining and the fact that if you don’t adhere to this strict protocol, food will rot and decay in your intestines leaving you with fermented and putrefied intestinal waste. Totally sounds like a topic that I want to research. Well not exactly. However, considering the work that I do, it is a topic that gets a little bit of attention.
Truth is that I’m not exactly sure who comes up with this stuff. There are a gazillions of dietary theories out there on weight loss. A ton of plans to help you achieve your optimal body and diets that help to eliminate every ailment under the sun. So combining your food accordingly seems to make sense too. But mostly it feels like a book to sell, a blog or write, or simply another dietary fad. I’ve seen then all. I’ve experienced most. And I’ve witnessed epic failure amongst the masses.
Reading between the lines is big black print that says “restriction.” It simply is another method of restricting your food intake. And anytime you lessen the load on your digestive system, you are going to experience less digestive upset. This rule also applies to the common sense, old school, proven time and again process of just eating smaller portions. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because I don’t subscribe to the theory itself doesn’t mean that YOU as a person can handle the load of all foods being combined in a certain formula…. (fruit 20 minutes before a meal, don’t eat protein and starch together, melons this way, broccoli that way, etc.) We see this a lot in the “cleansing Industry” or “naturopathic medicine.” In the years I have been treating and coaching clients, I have hardly seen one case where combining foods according to how it’s laid out in the books has been either effective or sustainable. But where I do see the difference is where people drop the processed junk foods, eat a whole foods diet, and eat smaller portions overall…..basically it comes down to common sense eating.
Yes, if you have a compromised digestive system, it makes sense to simplify your meals. Instead of having a burger on a bun with cheese and bacon. Have a lean source of protein with a whole grain sprouted rice and a vegetable. You are still getting protein, starch, and fiber in one meal but you’re not getting the yeast and binders in the bread or the lactose/casein in the cheese….not to mention the grease in the bacon. It’s not the fact that you had a carb and a protein together. It’s the fact that when you eat simply, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to process, digest, assimilate, and eliminate your macros and your micros.
We need to come to a place where we are responsible eaters and stop relying on “protocol” as our get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s challenging to make these changes. But it’s so worth it when you own the fact that you are in control of how your body feels.
Food combining is a relative system….meaning that it relates to your body specifically. What my friends can eat, I cannot and vice versa. Some people do better not combining starches with fruits. But not everyone. It has nothing to do with the food itself and how it breaks down in the gut. But perhaps YOURsystem needs a simpler combination of food.
We could all benefit from eating simpler, less processed, whole foods. Before you go and start getting all sassy and complicated with an already difficult topic, start by eliminating the obvious. Once you do that, you will see that the combinations are perfect just as they are and the only tweaking is based on your individual needs.
So go ahead and have your chicken and rice or your green smoothie with fruit. I promise you that by keeping it real, you will feel a whole lot better.
Salad of greens, berries, almonds, and chicken. This is an example of a whole food meal. Nothing processed. Nothing outlandish. And nothing you cannot pronounce. Simply real whole foods. There is nothing here that the digestive system needs to separate and detoxify and work harder to assimilate. But if you start adding croutons and packaged salad dressings or dried fruit with sufites and sugars, then you are adding complication to the meal. Think on that next time you create a meal for yourself. Ask yourself, will my body be at ease in this process of digestion.
It's way too easy these days to throw down with a protein bar or shake and call it a wholefoods diet. After all, they've got their greens and superfoods in it. I have no problem with the use of protein powders at all. I use them daily whether it be to add to a latte drink that I make, a smoothie, or to pump up my pancakes. But when I look at the grocery store shelves, the aisles at the Wholefoods and other health food stores and see that they have an entire section dedicated to supplemental food, I have my answer as to why so many people have digestive health problems. They are throwing down these bars daily, sometimes 2-3 a day, and calling it a meal.
Let's get real about nutrition once and for all. Mother Nature (I refer to her a lot) did not intend for food to be dehydrated and stuffed into a cellophane wrapper along with some psyllium, powders, coconut oil, and a chocolate coating and consumed for lunch. It truly takes away from the whole purpose of whole foods. Are we really so busy that we cannot take the time out once or twice a week to responsibly prepare some food and snacks so we don't have to rely on these extremely expensive and nutrient deficient food items? Has nutrition taken on a whole new meaning? With all the labeling of diets, counting of macro nutrients, and seeing where your carbs fit in to the whole picture of having a cosmetically appealing body, we have lost touch with what it means to be on point with our diets and truly connected to our bodies.
True wholefood's diets consist of an abundance of plant based foods including fruits, vegetables, starch vegetables, and whole grains. There is plenty of room for natural proteins from responsibly and humanely raised animals and natural non-hydrogenated and trans fat free healthy fats. It comes from a place where once upon a time it was all we had. Naturally grown whole foods feed the body in a way that processed foods simply cannot even touch on. It's a source of nutrition that the cells of our bodies recognize, absorb, and use for repair and growth. Instant fuel for our muscles, immune system, hormones, nervous system, and whole body functioning. Consuming a diet based on pure real natural foods helps us stay lean, balances our physical and mental well-being, and keeps us in a state of homeostasis. Our digestive systems stay regular.....which is a true sign of health from within. We sleep better at night. We are in a better mood. Our skin stays clear. And we have energy for exercise and daily activity. There really is no getting around the fact that that is what the human body was designed to consume.
Yes, there is always room for indulgences here and there. But the packaging of snack bars and the like which are labeled as "whole food nutrition" is just a label and a license to allow you to feel good about eating a processed food. I'm not saying that there isn't a place for these foods. But you would serve your body so much better eating an apple and almonds than eating a protein bar full of stabalizers, sugar, fake protein, and binding fibers. And all that the former requires is the washing of the apple and a handful of nuts. Cheaper, healthier, and much more satiating. True Whole Foods at its finest.
When we say a plant based diet, the meaning behind that isn't to be confused with being a vegetarian. It's simply the base for the diet. 60% of the diet is comprised of plants like fruits, veggies, starchy veggies (sweet potatoes and tubers) and a small amount of whole grains (whether you choose gluten free or not is entirely up to you). The next 20% of your diet is made up of natural proteins from natural chicken, turkey, beef, game, wild fish, eggs, and organic dairy should it server your body well....whatever your preference. And the last 20% comes from healthy fats in the form of whole eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, macadamia nut oil.....just to name a few because there are plenty more. Avoid canola oil at all costs. It's highly refined and is very unstable.
When you stick with a whole foods plant based diet, you need not slap labels on your menu. It doesn't matter if it's Paleo, ketogenic, low carb, low fat, high carb, high fat, grain free, gluten free, or whatever else you have tried eliminating and labeling in the past. It's so much easier to see where your sensitivities are when you remove the most common culprits.....that being processed foods. So before you go and start doing food allergy testing, taking tons of supplements, enzymes, and miracles pills....before you go and hire expensive coaches and doctors......look at the most obvious. Usually the answer is right on the end of your fork. We complicate things by putting our blinders on and we wind up spending way too much money on programs and diets that don't work.
One of my favorite quotes and influences on my diet is by Michael Pollan....."Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants." It's the definition of a sound diet and where we need to head in order to truly get back on track with our health, our weight, and our overall well-being. There truly is not another way.
Grilled Chicken Salads.......same ingredients only I had raspberries on one and blueberries on the other. One had hemp seed vinaigrette and one had raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Both had leafy greens carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and sliced toasted almonds with 3 oz of natural chicken. This is a perfect example of having mostly plants, a little protein, and some healthy fats. This meal gets me through from lunch til dinner without any fluctuations in energy, hunger, or mood.
Eat Well My Friends. Your Health Truly Does Depend On It.
And that's Food For Friday.
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