You cannot talk about improving your health without looking at your diet, start from the inside and work your way out. Eating well affects everything – hair, nails, skin, mood and physique. It doesn’t matter if your health goal is to loose weight, get more sleep or just feel better, you must start by looking at what you fuel and nourish your body with.
First off, I must start by saying I am NOT a nutritionist or have any authority in this matter. My advice here is based on my personal experience and advice that I have either researched or received from an expert. As you know I do not promote Dieting. Our goal is to improve our health, going on a diet is not a long term solution. Our body needs a complete diet, what our body does not need are preservatives and the non-nutrient ingredients found in processed food. Essentially we must go back to basics – eat food that comes from the farm and made fresh.
I would love to say that I have this down, but life is busy. The best way to accomplish this is to meal prep. Spend your Sunday afternoon cutting vegetables, pre-cooking meals and have everything in the fridge ready to grab. This has been my plan for the last 5 Sunday’s – we did do this 6 Sunday’s ago and it was a great week, but we have not made it a priority the last few weeks. The best part of planning your week is it eliminates the stress of what to make and eliminates the need to get convenient food.
So, if you are like me and not great at keeping to the structure of planning your week, there are a few strategies that have helped me. My favorite solution is Farmboy’s Fresh Food section. At least once a week I stock up at the Salad Bar (yep I pay extra to have someone else chop my veggies – crazy I know!) and get the essentials to keep in the office; Almonds, Apples, Bannana’s, and Kefir. The fresh made section is a great solution to getting good food fast and keeps you from picking up a pizza or hitting a drive-thru when you are on the go. Keeping nuts or seeds in your purse is a great way to get any energy boost and curb you appetite between meals.
Smoothies are a great way to get in the most nutrients in one neat package. With my Nutra-Bullet I get the nutrients from the whole fruit and vegetable. My go to smoothie recipe is;
1 cup of mixed berries (frozen & organic)
1 cup of spinach
1 tsp of Spirulina Gandalf Powder
½ tsp Matcha
1 cup coconut water
What is Spirulina? Good question, thanks for asking! Spirulina is a variety of microscopic algae found along a desert coast of Hawaii. From my research the Spirulina farmed in Hawaii is naturally rich in minerals and free from contaminating agents such as heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides). I started using Spirulina because it has such a great combination of Protein, Vitamins, and Minerals that my diet is lacking. This smoothie boosts my energy, and helps me get through a long day. I have also noticed a difference in my nails, hair and skin since I started drinking these on a regular basis. I encourage you to do your own research and see if this is the right addition for you. Spirulina can also be found in capsule form.
Matcha is a powdered form of green tea, so you are getting the full benefits of the whole leaf. This also means that the caffeine content is higher – so I keep my consumption to earlier in the day. However I do not get the gittery buzz I get from too much coffee, more of a calm-alertness. The whole leaf provides a more potent source of nutrients, and is rich in antioxidants show to assist in regulating blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, anti-aging and boost your metabolism. I use the brand Two Hills from Good Heath Naturally in Cherryhill Mall.
I choose coconut water because it adds to the flavour and has some health benefits. Coconut water is low in carbohydrates and sodium and rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. There are many other benefits such helping you to feel full. It hydrates the skin from the inside. Due to it’s high concentration of fiber, it aids in digestion. However for every site that promotes the benefits of coconut water, there is a site that warns of high calorie counts and the benefits of eating a whole food diet to get better health benefits. The long and short of it, coconut water is adding a bit more to my smoothie than water and my active lifestyle supports this addition.
Look at your current diet and ask yourself am I getting enough out of what I am eating? Are veggies taking up half your plate? This week try to eliminate 1 thing from your diet that provides no health benefit i.e. pop, fast food… Try to make a meal plan and for each meal choice make sure it is packed with foods that will benefit your body, think nourishment and fuel when making your choices. Remember you are making choices, not sacrificing.