Nutrition is by far the most complex, confusing, and frustrating topic there is in the health and wellness world. There are many things to consider, including your body, your goals, food sensitivities, alkalinity, your performance levels… and so, so much more. The easiest way to start – making sure you have a well-balanced meal, every meal.
How To Build A Meal
- Protein – Obviously. This is the building block of your body, and your meal. It fills you up, repairs your muscles, and composes things in your body like hair and collagen. Beans and quinoa are two of the best sources, and easy to make ahead of time and add to any dish, even salads.
- Carbs – Good Carbs. Carbs are your friend, especially if you are active. They are your energy source. Sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, or whole grain bread are great options. *Potatoes and fruit are just fine if you are gluten free. Key here is to avoid the “white carbs” like white bread and potatoes. Those have their place in performance, but not everyday diet.
- Healthy Fats – We are talking unsaturated, found in things like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado. There are plenty of studies that show how adding these to your diet can improve brain function and actually help control weight fluctuation.
- Veggies/Fruits – These are always necessary. Although the last three are macronutrients, veggies and fruits give you all the micronutrients you may be missing elsewhere. Load up!
Other Nutrition Basics
- If it was made in a factory, it probably isn’t good for you. This is where you get unsolicited preservatives, added sugar, added sodium, and other chemicals harmful to your health.
- Ditch the dairy. It’s hard I know, but studies show it causes inflammation and digestive issues. Start with switching your cow’s milk out with a non-dairy version, swapping butter for olive oil, and cutting back on cheese intake.
- If meat is your thing, buy the best meat you can find. All-natural, organic, cage-free is the idea. No antibiotics, less additives, no hormones. It’s definitely more pricey, but worth it. Consider going meatless a couple nights a week to save on cost.
- Water, water, and more water. Hydration fuels everything. It keeps your muscles loose, your skin plump, and your digestion on point, and your mood elevated. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces MINIMUM… more if you are active and sweating.
Attitude is Everything
The biggest thing that will help you improve your diet, is your attitude towards your food. Every time you consider what you are about to eat, think about what that particular food is providing you. Is it sweet potatoes for fuel, or black beans for repair? You may find yourself re-considering something that will only provide you trans fat and refined sugar. And remember, no one’s perfect. Don’t stress yourself out, and experiment with what works with your body. Happy eating! Namaste Yall.