I can totally tell you are overwhelmed. There is so much information bombarding the internet these days regarding various dietary habits that are best for you. And, to make it even more challenging, many are contradictory in nature. How in the world are you supposed to implement any beneficial food habits if you are frozen in confusion?
I get it because I’ve been there.
The good news is there are 3 practices you can apply right now to your current eating habits. These simple principles will cultivate vibrancy and energy and they will work for you regardless of your current dietary habits.
Eat more traditional/whole foods and less processed foods every day.
It means eating fresh foods as close to the original form that they were grown or raised. This means moving away from things in boxes and plastics. It means staying away from any foods that our grandparents never heard of (hello high fructose corn syrup!). It also means staying away from foods that seem traditional but are “frankenfoods”. These frankenfoods are GMOs, genetically modified organisms. The top GMOs are non-organic corn, soy, canola oil and beet sugar.
What’s the big deal with processed foods anyway? They have been stripped of most of their nutritional components. Sometimes they are fortified, which means synthetic nutrients are infused back into the food. These added nutrients are structurally altered and missing the matrix of nutrients found in the original whole food. What this means for your body is that it is dealing with parts rather than the whole and things get imbalanced as a compensatory mechanism. These altered nutrients are often unrecognizable for your body and therefore not bio-available (meaning your body cannot even use them).
When it comes to GMOs a growing body of research links genetically-modified food consumption with sterility, allergies, infant mortality, organ defects, childhood illnesses, and cancer. No fun, right?
Eat the rainbow. This means making sure you are eating colorful food with every meal.
Sure it’s pretty and may remind you of fairies, but what is the nutrient value in such a practice?
The components that give real food their color are called phytonutrients. A growing body of research is showing the hidden benefit in these phytonutrients, including each color connecting to different cellular and metabolic pathways in the body. In other words, different colors impact our bodies in different ways. Even more amazing is the synergistic effect of combining various colors in a meal. To find out more, you can look into the work of Dr. Deanna Minich and her Whole Body Detox.
Make sure you are eating all the macronutrients each day. This means eating your proteins, carbs, and fats everyday.
Over the years you may have noticed the trend to avoid fats and now it is becoming trendy to remove carbs. Some are going so far as to do a ketogenic diet which switches the body from using glucose as a main fuel source to using fats (ketones). This ketogenic diet includes eating only 20-30 net carbs a day.
Jumping on the bandwagon of any dietary strategy that suggests you remove a major macronutrient from your body can put the body in a state of shock and stress. Sure, it can adjust, but many times the adjustment is a physiological mechanism to compensate for what is missing. This compensatory strategy can be a stress response which will pull on your hormonal and neurological systems to handle this stress. This can spin into a cycle of deeper imbalances. Yes, there is a time and place to do a more extreme dietary practice for therapeutic reasons. But for day-to-day nourishment and balance, it is best to keep each meal in the range of 30% of the food from fat, 30% from protein, and 40% from carbohydrates – ideally non-starchy carbs, like kale or broccoli.
Overall, the combination of eating colorful, traditional, macronutrient-balanced foods will lead to you feeling more alive, vibrant, and balanced.
You can start today with your next meal.
Do you have more than one color on your plate from real food?
Are all the macronutrients present?
Is everything on your plate something your grandparents would recognize?
If you said to yes to all three, then you are good to go!
If you would like more help discerning best nutritional practices, please reach out to me for your free health consult at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.531.1764. I would love to talk to you!