Do you have expensive rims on a Pinto?
As a kid my friends and I would laugh at the idea of putting rims on a Pinto (if you remember those) when we would see cheap cars with what appeared to be expensive accessories, like rims. We’d get the biggest kick out of this.
Approaches to nutrition and diet can often be this way, layering certain “accessories” on a poor foundation or unhealthy habits. For example, intermittent fasting while eating junk for most meals or taking all kinds of vitamins and supplements but continue unhealthy habits like consuming too much sugar and/or alcohol.
Another example of this is “organic” processed food. Just because it claims to be organic or all natural doesn't mean it really is, nor does it make it healthy.
In my experience building a solid foundation first, implementing some fundamental ideas before taking on too many nuances, will help you establish healthy habits. This starts with consistency.
This concept has been hammered home as a father. I have seen that creating consistency in my daughter’s life is key. I’ve found that when she has a certain level of consistency she’s more emotionally and energetically stable. The biggies are sleep and nutrition.
I’ll give some lifestyle tips to cultivate deep, restful sleep in a later post but here are some foundational nutrition tips that work for me and a lot of my clients. Please bear in mind I’m not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, so if you have any medical issues check with your physician first or better yet find a solid nutritionist or naturopath to converse with about this.
Eat three meals at the same time every day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I offer this suggestion I’ll often get met with the response, “well, I’m not hungry then”. Here’s the thing: they don’t have to be big meals, just keep it consistent. You’ll be surprised how your body will begin to adapt to the change.
Make sure each meal has some kind of protein, leafy greens and healthy fat.
Add in a healthy, mid morning and afternoon snack as needed to keep you from binging on sugary or salty snacks. The snacks should follow similar guidelines and contain protein and healthy fat to keep your blood sugar balanced. (I often do a smoothie for myself and my daughter. The recipe is below. Other suggestions: apple or carrots with nut butter, a handful of mac nuts or almonds.
Eliminate sugar and sugary drinks, including those with artificial sweeteners.
Greatly reduce or eliminate processed carbs and alcohol, especially if you're trying to lose fat...If you can eat it straight out of a bag without any prep you probably shouldn’t!..And yes, even the junk that says “organic”.
Pay attention to your body post meal or snack. How is your energy level? How is your mood? Are you craving sugary or salty foods 1-2 hours after eating? If so, investigate your last meal and reference the list. Was there a protein source? Did it have a healthy source of fat? Was there sugar or some form of processed carbohydrate?
Once you’ve mastered these basic tips then, if you'd want, attempt to take on a more involved “diet / lifestyle” (Paleo, Ketogenic, Vegan Diet) or adding in supplements or practices like intermittent fasting and restricted feeding.
Keep it simple, build a foundation, and then add the accessories.
I hope this is helpful.
Please share your thoughts!
Do you have any snack or meals recommendations?
1 cup of greens (kale, spinach, etc)
1 cup blueberries (I use frozen, organic blueberries from Costco)
¼ - ½ cup of dark cherries (same as above)
½ banana or 1 apple banana (Big Island’s finest)
2 tablespoons nut butter
*I’ll often add spirulina and freshly milled chia and flax seeds.