You would think with me being a Health Coach that I mostly talked about nutrition; however, nutrition is pretty straight forward and is pretty simple once you understand some simple aspects.
First: the food and drinks you consume should help you feel better. If something makes you feel sluggish, angry, tired, etc. then you should not be consuming it no matter how “healthy” everyone says it is. Most likely you have an allergy or a sensitivity.
Second: nutrition isn’t complicated. I promise. You have your three Macro nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Then you have your Micro nutrients: all your vitamins and minerals. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to eat a balanced combination of foods that provide your recommended intake of your macros and micros. It’s not super important that you hit your numbers every day (if you’re keen on tracking these things) as long as you average them throughout a relatively short time span. Here’s a visual to help:
Looking at this plate you see that for most people vegetables and whole grains need to make up the majority of what you eat. Keep in mind that protein isn’t just meats. Here is an amazing site that thoroughly explains non meat sources of protein. I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t eat meat, just offering up options. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz. Plus, getting protein from plant sources also increases your vitamins and minerals you consume because plants have more nutrition to offer than animals. You’ll also notice that it includes fats and oils. These can be a dipping sauce or dressing for veggies as well as whole foods. It’s best to make the sauces yourself so they don’t have all the added bad ingredients we’re trying to avoid. There are quite a few foods that can be included in fats and oils such as avocados, fish, walnuts, and flax seed. Notice the drink isn’t milk, it’s water. Staying hydrated is very very important for your body to function properly. It’ll also help your body to digest your food properly and for your cells to assimilate the nutrients. How much water should you be drinking? Here are two articles that help explain the answer to that (I’ll also be answering that question in another post on another day). 1 2 The last thing I want you to notice is the wording along the edge of the plate. That is a reminder that being healthy is more than what you consume. The Circle of Life is very important to your health and to make the biggest impact you have to have balance in all areas.
No where on that plate is there highly refined and processed food. That being said, I follow the 80/20 rule. Do your best (not perfection) 80 % of the time. Then 20 % of the time allow some “soul food”. Life is meant to be enjoyed (remember Joy is one of the sections in the Circle of Life). I have a cup of coffee every day. The coffee isn’t bad, the creamer that has quite a bit of sugar in it is. I also enjoy a single dark chocolate Dove candy every day (my “Daily Dove”). Lastly, I eat breakfast at Denny’s with my family on Sunday mornings. It’s a ritual we enjoy together and not one I’m going to be changing. I don’t worry about what I eat Sunday mornings because why ruin my 20% time by stressing about what’s the healthiest choice?
So when evaluating your nutrition you need to ask yourself: Am I eating foods that make me feel good physically? Am I consuming a variety of non processed foods so I get my micros over the course of several days? Am I allowing myself times where I consume “soul foods” without feeling guilty? Pretty simple stuff. Application of these concepts can be hard if you don’t understand cravings or you grew up eating mostly boxed meals and don’t know how to prepare and combine whole foods to create nutritious meals.
Having a health coach becomes very important when you’re working on your nutrition not because it’s a complicated subject but because it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not get the variety your body needs and because without a good understanding of how cravings work, sometimes willpower alone isn’t enough to work through unhealthy eating habits by yourself. Take a moment to message me to schedule your free first coaching session! Make sure you write down the questions you most want answered so you don’t forget before your appointment!