As Holistic Nutritionists, we see each person as unique. What’s good for one person may not be good for another. Healthy eating is really a lifestyle, not some end-goal accomplishment. A healthy diet can be omnivorous, vegetarian or even vegan. With that said here are some tips we like to recommend for creating a healthy diet that are good for most people and what we like to teach in our classes and workshops.
What’s On Your Plate?
Choose home made foods over corporate made foods. Focus on eating more natural, unprocessed, whole foods in your diet. Vitamins and minerals play a role in almost every function in your body. The best way to get a nutrient dense punch is Eat more fruits and vegetables! They should fill at least half your plate. Put emphasis on getting more leafy green veggies into you diet. They are full of enzymes that help support your digestive track and full of fiber to help things Move and promote gentle detoxification to flush out those unwanted toxins. Think “Eat a rainbow.” It’s a simple way of reminding yourself that a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet will get you the vitamins and minerals you need. Adding unrefined sea salt, sea vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains (& alternative grains) are all great ways to get more nutrients, rich in minerals into your diet.
Eat Fermented Foods Every Day
Your gut bacteria is an essential aspect of your over all wellness. Our gut bacteria out number all other cells in our body by 10-to-1! Eat some type of probiotic foods everyday. Find ways to incorporate small amounts of fermented foods into your diet such as yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, brined pickles, miso or drink some kombucha. Regular daily consumption of small amounts of these types of foods can be even more effective than a probiotic pill. They contain several strains of healthy bacteria to support a healthier digestive system. Think gut is the foundation of a strong immune system. Soaking and even sprouting or fermenting nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans/legumes is an important step to eating optimally and for some people with digestive difficulties, it could be an essential step toward digestive health and nutrient absorption. Move away from disruptors of intestinal flora balance and choose foods that include fewer pesticides and avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Eat Good Fats
We are now starting to realize the important role fats play with hormone balance, nervous systems, cognitive function, and vitamin absorption. Ditching trans-fats all together is a good first start. “Fake fats” can be still found in fried foods, snack foods and processed baked goods. Fats like margarine or canola oil have been shown to contribute to chronic diseases of the heart and mind. In the kitchen healthy cooking fats are unrefined coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and even grass-fed butter are all great options over polyunsaturated fats. Adding a few good oil supplements to help balance omega 3’s and 6’s (fish oils, walnut oil, flax and hemp oils). The best way to Eat fat is from whole sources such as nuts, coconut, seeds, avocados and olives, which ensure you that the fats you are consuming are fresh. Think of all the extra vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein you will get when you consume fats in their “whole foods package”. Fat is required to Move fat soluble vitamins, aid in mineral absorption, support immune and cardiovascular health, promote a healthy nervous system, regulate body temperature and aid in balanced hormone production. Good fats are antiviral and antifungal and provide flavour and stability in food. If your concern is weight management, fat in a meal can actually help to slow down nutrient absorption so we are able to go longer between meals.
Get Rid of Processed Sugars – You Are Already Sweet Enough!
One of the biggest actions you can do right now is get rid of refined sugar. New studies are revealing that it's the processed sugars in our diets that are making us fat and sick. Sugar raises our “feel good” hormones – Dopamine - giving us feelings of pleasure but eventually it wears off causing a “crash”. This imbalance in our brain chemistry makes us Think we now want more sugar and now you are trapped in an addiction cycle. Choose natural sweeteners that contain nature’s nutrients that can help to offset the havoc that processed sugar can throw your body into. Choose to Eat raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, or stevia leaf. Read labels. Learn where sugar lurks. 1 bottle of pop can contain up to 15 sugar cubes – this is 3 times the recommended daily allowance of sugar in just 1 drink! Once you Move sugar out of your life, it’s amazing what healing can take place. You can normalize your weight, balance your blood sugar, reverse type 2 diabetes, balance your hormones, regulate your mood, and reduce pain and inflammation of all types.
Hydration depends on your activity, your weight, your constitution and even the climate you live in. Some simple ways to boost your hydration is to Eat hydrating foods such as homemade soups, fresh veggies and fruits. Move away from dehydrating yourself by consuming too much alcohol, salt, excess meat and caffeinated drinks (Coffee, Tea and Pops). The best way to Think about your hydration is to look at the colour of your urine. It should be pale yellow. Dark yellow means you need more water and clear means you should lay off the excess water.
Incorporate some type of exercise – even 5 minutes into your daily life. It has to be more than just going to exercise. Find something that brings you some Joy into your life and you will want to do it more. Going for a daily walk with your dog, hiking to see the beautiful view, or listen to some of your favourite music and dance in your bedroom. Find ways to light up your radiant circuits (our bliss molecules) and to laugh at least once a day from the belly!
Creating Good Habits
The 1st good habit you can start today is to chew your food! 50% of carbohydrate digestion begins in your mouth. Do this by taking the time to sit down to Eat your food. Eating needs to be done in a stress free zone.
Stress = fight or flight, it does NOT = rest and digest.
Make time to properly fuel and nurture your body and make your self a priority.
Create The Life You Want to Live
“There is no little white pill, there is no #1 diet, and there is not a #1 technique. We are all unique and beautiful individuals, all working towards a common goal. If you want to live a fulfilling life, you must develop for yourself a strong and affirmed identity. Then you must ride that identity towards your desires” ~ Britte Nielsen ~ RHN ~ Co-Founder of Core Potentials Academy ~
With Warm Love,