Are you eating Healthy? Is it keeping you from losing weight and Stealing your Energy?
Tired of counting calories and obsessing? There is a lot of health information available on the internet, in the media, and from well-meaning family and friends. But some of that information may be doing you more harm than good. Each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best, and their advice is going to help you. Right?
Most of us have been part of the intense focus on how much you eat. That is important, but it has gotten more attention than it should. While how much you eat does affect your weight and even your energy level, it’s not the “only” part of what makes you healthy or thin? There are proven benefits to what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong. Limiting calories, carbohydrates, or fat can certainly help people lose weight. But everyone is unique, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.
Many of us are seeing that the focus on how much, we eat doesn’t work in the long-run. In fact, many of us are confused and overwhelmed with what really is the best way to eat for a healthy weight, energy and overall wellness. Yes, you should look at your calorie (and portions), carbohydrates and fats, but there’s more to it.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what most people should aim for:
Eat the rainbow. A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Eat organic as often as possible using the EWG Dirty Dozen List. Pesticides and other chemical residues on or in our produce can cause havoc on the metabolism and other physiological pathways.
Enough protein, from lean animal sources or plants. Make sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).
Moderate amounts of whole grains and legumes provide satiety, fiber and a lot of micronutrients like B vitamins, magnesium and selenium. Unless you are gluten- sensitive or celiac, whole grains can be a powerhouse of nutrition. Legumes and beans also provide many important amino acids.
Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated”). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” - you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. Healthy omega fats are best. Processed oils like Canola and Soy are usually GMO and not healthy. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.
I tell my clients to aim for a protein and a fruit or a vegetable at each meal as a minimum for satiety and nutrition. And, of course, volume is a big deal. Eating just 25% less at a meal can make a big difference in your weight and your wellness.
How you eat and drink
Also pay attention to how you eat and drink. It’s called “mindful” eating. Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought. Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from digestive issues like bloating?
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savor every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes. This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full? Thoroughly chewed food is also easier to digest, which makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
What about drinking your food? Smoothies and shakes can be a healthy, amazingly easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!), but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness. That’s because sometimes it’s considered the “drink” with your meal instead of “your meal.” A large smoothie usually has plenty of calories to be considered a meal.
In fact, a green smoothie/shake can make a nutrient-dense meal, and I actually recommend an organic green protein shake to my clients because it’s a more economical and time-saving way to get a variety of green nutrients like chlorella and wheat grass that are so healthy. But, they use them as a meal replacement several times a week. They add a few other things they enjoy and need like bananas or other whole fruit or maybe some supplements. Whole fruits are better than juice because juice just adds a lot of calories but no fiber.
Best to not gulp it down too fast. Slow down, enjoy it (practice mindful eating. If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does, try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seed in addition to some whole fruits or veggies.
It can be confusing and overwhelming to decipher all of the health information available. Especially if you want to lose or maintain weight, have more energy and enjoy overall wellness. When you consider not only how much (calories and portions) you eat but also what and how you eat it (mindful eating), you will be on your way to a healthy weight and healthy life.
Here is smoothie recipe, I know you will love. Be creative and add different nut milks, regular, organic, grass-fed cow milk or goat milk plus different fruits each time. You can add flax or hemp seeds to replace the chia seeds for variety, extra omegas, and fiber. You can also add my favorite organic smoothie mix, Amazing Grass for some extra protein and detoxifying greens. Enjoy your meal!
Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 chopped peach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).
Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.
Blend, Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.
Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease