I did a talk last week on Nutrition Basics, covering concepts like cellular nutrients, biofeedback, macronutrients, etc…
Something I’ve noticed on my own journey and with most of my clients is that it’s REALLY, REALLY easy to over-consume starchy carbohydrates and fat (think nuts and nut butters, cheese, ice cream, etc..), but it’s really REALLY hard to overeat protein and non-starchy veggies.
Well, whaddya know!?
The very things most of us should be eating more of (I’d also add Omega 3 fats to that list) if we want to have better overall health, energy, digestion, metabolism and body composition or weight balance.
So here’s just a challenge for you to help you adopt some healthier ways to get more of the good stuff into your body:
- GOAL: Add 2-3 servings of non-starchy veggies to every meal – even breakfast. HOW? I buy those plastic containers or bags of various types of greens: Baby Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Power Blends, etc.. or the equivalent amount of bulk whole kale, collards, chard, etc..and toss them into a pan with a little olive oil, ghee or pastured butter, maybe some chopped onion, garlic, some peppers or tomatoes if I want more color. I eat them with eggs, maybe turkey sausage or bacon and loads of hot sauce. Sometimes I’ll use a spice blend or a squirt of fresh lemon juice to bump up the flavor and cut through some of the bitterness too. I also add greens or cauliflower crumbles to my smoothies too to bump up the nutrition. My personal goal is to get at least 9 cups of non-starchy veggies in per day. Seems impossible? It’s not, but start where you are. If you’re starting at 2 servings, aim for 5 or 6 with the greens trick, then try for 7, 8, 9 etc… If you want a shortcut, you can use a greens powder like this one, but real food is best.
- GOAL: Swap non-starchy veggies instead of all the starchy sides. Things like caulirice for regular rice or grains, cauliflower mash for mashed potatoes, Zoodles or Coodles (thinly sliced cabbage) or spaghetti squash for pasta. Not only are you getting fewer carbohydrates with these swaps, you’re also getting WAY more nutrition, because these veggies are more “nutrient dense” – meaning, they pack more of a nutrient punch per calorie PLUS more fiber and water which is good for digestion and metabolism. (A good snacky swap is kale chips for potato chips and on the healthy fats side, flaxseed crackers for crackers and pretzels.)
- GOAL: Snack on protein and veggies ONLY until you reach your goal or break the over-snacky cycle (if that’s you). If you’re working on body comp and find that you tend to snack mindlessly on carby, crunchy foods or you overdo the nuts and healthy fats, make a plan for yourself to only snack on protein and veggies. This way you break through the habit of noshing mindlessly and you realize that if you’re REALLY hungry, you’ll just eat the dang chicken breast or celery sticks and/or you’ll start to connect to the possibility that your eating is more of a habit, craving thing, and NOT true hunger. Very powerful connection to make for lifelong change. HOW do you do this? Stock up on plain turkey breast deli meat (Like Applegate Farms), make a bunch of plain chicken breast and slice it, cut up some celery sticks, cucumber slices, jicama sticks, etc.. and have them handy in the fridge. When you go to reach for the chips or nuts, detour to your protein/veggie snacks. Not as appealing, huh? Good! If you’re really hungry, you’ll eat them, if not, you won’t.
Another healthy habit to challenge yourself on is drinking more water. I add lemon, sometimes cucumber to mine to make it fancy.
Drink more – most of us are not drinking enough and this healthy habit can really help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation in the body and it also helps plump up collagen and fascia fluidity for smoother, younger looking skin.
I down a tall glass (3 cups) while my coffee is brewing, another while taking my supplements and 3-4 cups at the gym (with BCAAs and Magnesium in it) and at least another 3-6 cups in the afternoon and evening (2 tall glasses). When I’m diligent with this, I have way less bloating and puffiness in my hands and face and I just feel better – more balanced, less edgy and hangry.
So…are you up for all — or some of these challenges? Are you working on other challenges instead? Tell me more and let me know how you’re doing. What do you need support with or what would you like me to write about or offer in future posts? I’m all ears :)!