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Eat Your Way to your Inner Glow

Making dietary changes is a goal of almost every person in our society today, however, when it comes down to it, it's just plain hard to stick to. Either we aren’t enjoying what we eat, we feel strapped for time to create a balanced and nutrient-rich meal, we don’t cook at all, we make too many changes at once and it gets overwhelming and unsustainable, or we simply don’t know what to do to actually feel better and maintain a healthy weight. One thing is for sure: you are what you eat!

You may have noticed that what you eat affects how you feel. Shortly after eating, or even long-term, we can make connections that what we are eating is either causing some issues or giving us a vibrant, energy-filled life. We may be able to make connections to our headaches, sleep disturbances, poor energy levels, and even mood if we just start to monitor what happens after we eat certain foods such as sugar, dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods high in fat, and sodium, and even for some people meat or fibrous vegetables.

Remember to make change slowly so that you can adjust and keep sustainable habits that will last your whole life. Making too many changes at once or taking uninspired action leads to burnout and eventually backsliding into previous habits. Sustainable habits are often years in the making, so be patient.

Always focus on what you should be eating to naturally crowd out the foods you probably shouldn’t be eating. Never say never to a food group. Just because you may choose to go gluten- or dairy-free doesn’t mean that you’ll never have gluten or dairy again. It just means that the majority of your day-to-day diet will be made up of different options.

Ready for lifelong change, gorgeous?? Let’s dive in:

  1. Eat real food. Include lots of foods that have no ingredients label, such as fruits and veggies. And when you do have an ingredient label on your food, make sure that you can pronounce all of the ingredients and that they are real food sources (i.e. marinara sauce containing tomatoes, olive oil, and salt.)

  2. Get colorful. We love to “eat the rainbow.” Each day challenge yourself to eat at least one vegetable or fruit source that is a color of the rainbow until you have eaten all of the colors that day.

  3. Add vegetables to your plate. Whether fresh or cooked, one great tactic to increasing your healthy, disease-preventing nutrient intake is to aim to get at least one vegetable on your plate at each meal. Colors are antioxidants and other nutrients. Each color of fruit contains different types of antioxidants, so naturally, the more colors you consume, the greater variety of micronutrients your body will receive.

  4. Keep your pantry stocked with “extras” to top your meals that boost the nutrient load on your plate. Foods such as various seeds, nuts, nut butters, herbs, spices (turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc for anti-inflammatories), beans, and superfoods (spirulina, bee pollen, goji berries, frozen pomegranate) are easy to throw onto your oatmeal, toast, salad, smoothies, and more, and they offer extra taste and texture.

  5. Cut back on gluten or go gluten-free. Gliadin is a component of the protein gluten that many people are sensitive to, yet don’t know it. Health professionals and scientists are connecting this link to health issues, and many people experience relief of symptoms or a complete recovery. Even small symptoms such as afternoon fatigue and brain fog can sometimes be a thing of the past once gluten is eliminated! So many resources are available now to create delicious and nutrient-rich gluten-free foods. I do recommend trying to use almond, coconut, rice, arrowroot, chickpea, and cassava flours to get the most protein to simple carbohydrate ratio. And try to stick to real foods, not just subbing processed gluten-rich foods for processed gluten-free foods (crackers, breads, bagels, etc.)

  6. Minimize your cheese consumption. We're not saying you have to go dairy-free, but cheese is highly over consumed these days. Full of fats and lacking fiber it tends to make digestion sluggish and constipate a person. Plus, some people even have sensitivities to dairy they are unaware of, but may manifest in the form of skin issues, digestive upset, headaches, and fatigue. Aim to instead gain fats from sources such as avocado, olives, nuts, and fish. Try goat or sheep cheeses, as they tend to be more easily digested and tolerated. Add more recipes to your meal rotation that are either dairy-free, use only a sprinkling of it, or are using a harder cheese like parmesan as these have a lower fat content than a soft cheese like cream cheese. (Note: “Fatty foods” can sometimes have a negative association with them, but our bodies thrive on the healthy unsaturated fats and even some forms of saturated fat. However, when our diet is loaded with saturated cheese daily it adds to the workload of the liver and can cause secondary problems since the liver is our detox powerhouse.)

  7. Keep “healthier” desserts around for when your sweet tooth kicks in. Not all desserts have to be full of butter, sugar, and white flour. In fact, there are tons of yummy ideas being created and shared on social media platforms every day that contain minimal to no sugar, healthy fats, fiber, and loads of delicious flavor to satisfy your craving for sweets without derailing your hard work. Experiment with “raw” desserts or find gluten-free or dairy-free versions. Dessert is never totally “off-limits” in a truly nutrient-rich mindset!

  8. Create a tea-time ritual. Teas are a satisfying source of hydration and full of damage-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols. Many herbal teas support the functioning of certain organs or detox systems. Replace a portion of your coffee intake with green or black teas, or sip on some herbal tea to warm and cleanse your body.

  9. Pause to think. Ask yourself: a) Is this style of eating enjoyable & sustainable to my lifestyle? b) Is this food supporting the body and life I strive for, or is it leading me to a lesser quality of life? Many of us get a great amount of pleasure and satisfaction from what we eat. So, it's very important to make sure you’re including incredibly delicious meals and snacks into your routine. And yes, a sustainable diet and lifestyle is all about balance. Many professionals hold the 80/20 rule for every aspect, including diet. I personally like to bump that ratio up to 90/10, meaning 90% of my diet should be nutrient-dense, real, whole foods and 10% can be the less healthy foods I shouldn’t be eating regularly.

Remember, these are only suggested starting points and tips that you can choose to try and/or adopt as if fits into your lifestyle. ALWAYS respect what your body is telling you through your energy, aches, cravings, mood, sleep quality, etc.

For even more sustainable behavior change suggestions on diet, plus more in-depth exercises join us COMPLIMENTARY for a special 3 day event!

3 Days to Your Inner Glow

April 30- May 1st at 11am PST


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1 Comment

Yumi Vega
Yumi Vega
Nov 09, 2022

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