April 21, 2020
Eat Simply: How Nutrition Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
This blog post was written by Kristin West
Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, one of my big messages is to “Eat Simply”. What do I mean by that? Eat foods that are in their simplest form. Think about fruits, veggies, meat, fish, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils. With those foods, you get what you see. There aren’t 25-70 ingredients making them up. They are one ingredient!
What’s the big deal with processed foods anyway? Well, many of the artificial ingredients and preservatives can have a negative impact on metabolism, mood, energy, and the digestive system. Many of the processed foods also come with highly refined flours and sugars which can put your blood sugar on a rollercoaster, leaving you feeling sluggish.
Some of the most important choices you can make in your diet are as follows:
1) Make water your primary beverage and avoid sugary drinks in addition to artificial sweeteners. Use raw honey, monk fruit or stevia if necessary.
2) Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Vegetables provide your body with abundant sources of nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent disease and fight inflammation. Make sure to cook them in a healthy fat such as avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil to maximize vitamin absorption. Watch out for store-bought salad dressings that contain inflammatory oils like soybean oil and unwanted preservatives and sugars. Making your own dressing can be as simple as grabbing avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of honey, some herbs and spices of your choice and combining them all together in a mason jar!
3) Be a label reader! That is truly the only way to know what is in the foods you are eating. Of course with fresh produce, you don’t even have a label to sort through. If it takes you more than 5 seconds to read the ingredients then you are probably better off leaving it on the shelf. I recently looked at a pre-made trail mix that had 72 ingredients! Yes, that’s right seventy –two! I was shocked. It’s a much better choice to make your own using freeze-dried fruit, dry roasted nuts, and some dark chocolate chips.
It’s easy to drift into auto-pilot mode when eating but always pause and take a moment to think about how what you are eating will affect your body. After all, you are what you eat so make sure you are laying a solid foundation for yourself that will support your health both now and later!