I was having lunch with a friend this week and they were telling me all about nutrition things they see in their online feed. It started with someone starting their day with a caffeine tablet rather than consuming food, or even coffee. It went on to someone else shouting about how they started losing weight when they stopped eating large salads, and it kept going. I am sure you have heard and seen this and more online!
I am here to talk about nutrition in a different way today! Yes, here I am also talking online, but it’s not about crazy FAD diets. It never has been. If you have lived through the 80s and beyond you have SEEN THEM ALL! This friend mentioned some that even those she knew had tried, and the consequences of those diets – which ranged from hair loss, and lack of skin color, to major heart issues and beyond.
What is nutrition really about?
BALANCE. It’s really that simple. This is what the issue is with FAD diets. They eliminate many or most major nutrient categories.
Your body NEEDS NUTRIENTS. It’s as simple as that – so what does that mean?
What is a nutrient and what is not?
Processed food (food that is NOT from nature and comes in a bag that is made in a facility) has almost no nutrient value – it typically has zero micronutrient value and is heavy in poor macronutrients. What does that mean?
Macronutrients are carbs, protein, and fat. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Processed food contains almost no micronutrients and the ones you might find on a label are from the process of adding them back in because whatever it was made with was STRIPPED of the nutrients. So it would literally have none if they didn’t toss them back in. This is NOT how your body intended to get nutrients, and it’s not helpful to your body or beneficial.
What does that mean then in terms of your body health?
You will develop nutrient deficiencies, which means you will have things like hair loss, poor nails, digestive dysfunction, and possible higher inflammation which can lead to heart issues, blood sugar issues, brain issues, and more – IF YOU ARE EATING A LOT OF PROCESSED FOODS.
How to fix this
EAT REAL FOOD. Yes, I say this in every post. Not only should you eat real food, you should balance out ALL your macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbs. You need them all. They all have very specific functions. The great news is that if you are eating a variety of REAL FOOD, your micronutrients will be more abundant naturally.
What does this look like?
1. Breakfast – DITCH THE NOTION OF TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST. So you still may love the idea of a traditional breakfast – OK so do eggs. Cereal is a NO. HUGE NO! Eggs, yogurt, fruit, nuts, and maybe some grain-free baked goods if you must. Ditch those processed sugar carbs in cereal and traditional muffins. There is no balance between carbs, protein in fat in that processed breakfast, it’s ALL straight sugar carb. If you don’t want to do eggs daily with this other combo – think of leftovers even from the night before – or do some research and check out some other larger prep-ahead meals that can be rewarmed. I share this site – deliciouslyorganic.net with my clients. Another fellow NTP who shares recipes. I always recommend her non-gluten/wheat (grain-free) recipes for breakfast.
2. Lunch – Yes you can have a salad. But if you are finding that this salad isn’t quite enough – you need more protein and some good quality olive oil on it. But if that is still not enough or gets boring to you – check out my post on non-lettuce lunch ideas, or again – use deliciouslyorganic.net and get some ideas. Leftovers are always a plus for lunch in a pinch. It would be best if you had LETTUCE as a carb or other vegetables as the carbs, and then protein and healthy fat – that is BALANCE.
** Yes you read that right – vegetables and fruits are WHOLE FOOD CARB SOURCES. Carbs don’t only come from processed bread and pasta. You can also try some potatoes and rice a few times per week.
3. Dinner – VEGGIES. The number one thing lacking in children and adult diets that I see is VEGETABLES. These are your healthy carb sources. Many people also lack fruit – another great carb source. Both of these are RICH in micronutrients, as well as fiber for digestion. This is the type of fiber you want for digestion. In addition to over half your plate in veggies, you want to have well-sourced meat (check out my post on sourcing) that covers 1/4 of the plate, and you can add in rice, potato, or more veggies in rotation weekly.
The more colors you get per meal on your plate, and over the course of the week, the more likely you are to get all the micronutrients and the macronutrients you need. You need BALANCE. You need healthy fat, you need healthy carbs, and you need rich protein sources.
Need help? I do FREE consults to share about what I do and to see if working with an NTP/RWP is right for you.