There is no better way to improve your health than through optimal nutrition. Your diet does not have to be perfect 100% of the time but by adopting the following 10 steps into your life, your body will respond with amazingly great health and energy!
Tip #1: Raw is Better
Cooking destroys many of the nutrients and natural enzymes in our foods. Eating raw is one way to ensure that you are getting all of the beneficial nutrients. Try eating 60-70% raw. For example, at every meal make sure that there is at least 60% raw foods on your plate (ie salad, raw veggies). Also try incorporating raw snacks into your daily regime such as raw nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and veggies or try a raw green smoothie!
Tip #2: Say NO to white!
One great way to jump start your eating healthy lifestyle is to eliminate white foods such as flours, sugars and most dairy. These foods are generally considered to be nutrient robbers and greatly acidify the body.
Tip #3: Go Gluten Free
Take your No White Food one step further and eliminate gluten as well. Gluten in implicated in so many disease processes, it is no wonder that so many people are now going gluten free. The gluten free grains include rice (brown and wild is best), quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, teff, tapioca and some oats.
Tip #4: Timing is Everything
Eating smaller and more frequent meals has been shown over and over to be the healthiest way to eat. One trick is to use one cupped hand for your snacks and two cupped hands for your meals. Make sure to eat every 3 hours so your body does not go into starvation mode and store everything as fat!
Tip #5: Eat Your Breakfast!
Even if you are one those people who do not "feel" like eating in the morning, do it anyways! "Breaking the fast" will kick start your metabolism and set the stage for the day. Remember that eating protein for breakfast will allow your body to burn 35% more calories throughout the day. Skipping breakfast leads to blood sugar imbalances, cravings, weight gain and sluggish energy. Not hungry? No problem...start with a protein shake! There are many things you can add into your shake to make it a super food shake. Include items such as chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax seeds, raw greens, bee pollen, organic berries and a vegan protein powder.
Tip #6: Go Easy on Dairy
Most dairy is highly inflammatory and mucous forming in the body. Not to mention the hormones and antibiotic residue found in non-organic dairy products. The best choice for those who choose to continue with dairy is 0% Organic PLAIN Greek yogurt. Top it with raw nuts and berries for a great, high protein snack.
Tip #7: Choose Meatless more often!
Decreasing the amount of animal protein will greatly decrease inflammation in your body. It will also enhance digestion and eliminate many digestive symptoms. If you are consuming meat decrease the amount to no more than 3-4 ounces at one sitting and choose healthier versions like organic chicken, turkey, wild fish and grass fed bison and beef. Try starting with a Meatless dinner one night a week and increase from there.
Tip #8: Limit Fruit
There is no doubt that fruit is very healthy for our bodies, however it is still high in fructose which can spike insulin levels in the body. Tropical fruits are usually much higher in fructose than domestic fruits or those without a peel. Fruit should be limited to 2-3 servings per day and it is best consumed on its own to prevent digestive issues from arising.
Tip #9: Stop Counting
Focusing on the nutrient quality of a food rather than the calories attached is a better way to think about food. If we are eating to "nutrify" the body rather than count the calories or points attached will allow for much better nutrition. Calories are not all created equally nor are they all used the same way in the body. 300 calories of junk food will have a very different effect in the body than 300 calories of fruits and veggies.
Tip #10: Quit Dieting!
If dieting to you means doing something drastic for 3-4 weeks and then just going back to eating how you used to, you need to start with a shift in your mindset first. True health benefits and fat loss can only be maintained through healthy lifestyle changes. Begin to look at eating healthier as something positive you're doing for yourself - not what you're depriving yourself of.