1. Nutrient Dense Diet
There is no one size fits all approach to your diet. I think a lot of us have jumped on some type of fad diet without taking in the unique needs of our individuality. Properly prepared, nutrient dense, whole foods that are as close to how they appear in nature as possible are key to the foundations all others are built upon. Look for a diverse Rangel of local, seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables. A nutrient dense diet focused around quality whole foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for healthy, without too much saturated fat, added sugars and sodium.
Think Variety. Think Locally. Think Seasonally. Think Quality.
Aim for the rainbow on your plate.
Take your family to the local farmers market.
Eat locally and seasonally.
Strike up a conversation with your local farmer.
We can pride ourselves on eating a nutrient dense diet but if we do not digest it properly there could be major imbalances in our bodies. Think of the digestive system as a north to south process, starting with the brain and traveling all the way down into elimination. Did you all know that it starts in your brain? Simply thinking about what we are going to eat, smelling it cook and seeing the plate once it is prepared has begun the digestion process. Proper digestion fuels every cell in our body. Our cells make up our tissues, our tissues make up our organs, our organs make up our systems and our systems make us. Thus the need for digestion is key in the process of living your healthiest life.
“WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.” But equally as important: “WE ARE WHAT WE ABSORB.”
Express gratitude before each meal.
15-30 chews per bite.
3. Blood Sugar Balance
Did you know on average, the American consumes about 180 pounds of sugar a year. Back in the 1900’s an average American ate about 18 pounds of sugar per year. This statistic alone is drastically affecting our health. Blood sugar regulation is fundamental to life and if it is not working effectively, then optimal health cannot be achieved. Blood sugar regulation affects all aspects of human physiology. One of the main disruptions that occur is energy, if you notice your energy levels are taking a dip throughout the day or you have an urge to nap, blood sugar regulation is definitely something you’ll want to take a look at. Ideally we want to give the body small amounts of sugar, preferably converted from fats, rather than large dumps of sugar from carbs.
Increase your fiber and fat intake.
Eat whole food carbs instead of processed.
4. Fatty Acids
How many of us have tried or heard about low fat diets? We know now that fatty acid deficiency is epidemic and leads to so many concerns including cardiovascular issues, immune issues, allergies, skin problems and depression. Fats found in animal and plant based foods are key to supporting our systems so our bodies can run smoothly. Healthy fats provide more energy per gram than any other nutrient.
Fatty acids do so much good for our bodies including, keeping out brain sharp, our body energetic and our skin glowing. It also helps to absorb key nutrients in the digestive system. Fats also help keep us full throughout the day so we are less likely to grab that candy bar when we get stressed at work. And, let us know forget that it will make your foods taste great!
Swap out your canola oil for olive oil.
Make your own trail mix.
At restaurants, order oily, cold water fish.
Add chia seeds to your smoothies.
5. Mineral Balance
Humans do not produce minerals, we must get them through out food. But, why are minerals important? The facilitate the transfer of nutrients across cell membranes, they regulate tissue growth and provide structural and functional support to name just a few. The main causes of mineral imbalances include a poor diet that lacks essential nutrients, so you can see why the first foundation is a nutrient dense diet. Calcium is a major player with regards to mineral balance and a lot of us think a calcium supplement or more dairy will be enough. In reality most Americans get enough calcium in their diet but they are lacking the co-factors that allow the body to use and absorb the calcium. The absolute best way to get some of those co-factors to help support your calcium balance is hydration, consuming enough fatty acids and proper digestion. Hydrating ensures blood is fluid enough to efficiently move calcium through the body to other tissues. Fatty acids not only help increase the calcium levels but it also helps transport the calcium throughout your body. Remember, we can’t synthesize minerals, we must ingest and digest them.
Consume shellfish, including oysters clams and mussels.
Add cruciferous vegetables to your plate.
Ask me about supplements.
Prioritize the cofactors, not just the calcium.
Water is the most important nutrient in the body but considered one of the most common deficiencies! A few interesting facts about water; you can go about 8 weeks without food but only days without water. Water is found in every single tissue in the body. If you only make one change after reading this blog, HYDRATE. We need water to help cells build and communicate, keep our body temperature stable, help transport nutrients and waste, lubricates joints, moistens oxygen for easier breathing, and empowers the bodies healing process, just to name a few. I can not over emphasize the importance of getting enough water through your system each day.
Add sea salt and lemon to water.
Surround coffee or alcohol with water.
Find a water bottle that suits your needs.
Track your water with an easy online app.
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