I wasn’t always a nutritionist, I didn’t always have the knowledge I do now. There was a time I gave very little thought about what was supposed to be my body’s fuel (aka food). Fast food breakfast, microwave lunch, “who knows what that is” for dinner.
Then at some point I started paying attention to how I felt in the morning and throughout the day. Every baby step I took, I noticed I felt dramatically better! Although some of them sound almost too simple, each step had a huge impact on my physical strength and weight loss. I was especially amazed how my mental energy stayed with me throughout the day. Those afternoon lulls are pretty much history for me!
I’ve outlined the same process I went through when I finally decided to start feeding my body what it needed.
You might notice that each step has something in common: They are all meant to help get more REAL food into your day. In my last blog, I briefly talked about five “health foods” that are actually dangerous (and what to eat instead). All of the alternatives have the same thing in common, REAL food.
Why am I talking about this again?
Because real food has nutrients! That’s why eating more real food is the first step toward a nutritious diet. How can we eat nutritiously if we’re eating bread with the same ingredients as yoga mats?
Simply start by choosing one step today, any of them. Master it before you decide to take on the next one.
Step 1 was my first-
1. The first step I ever took was just deciding to not eat fast food or convenience foods anymore! That’s it for one whole year; that’s the only change I made!
2. Buy a cookbook! Learn and try to make new delicious recipes at home.
3. No more hydrogenated oils in anything you eat!
4. Replace processed/packaged food with more whole (REAL) foods. Ex: vegetables, nuts, chicken, apple, etc. Instead of fake foods!
5. Introduce salads weekly, increasingly. You can get so creative with different styles of salad that it never gets boring!
6. Prepare more meals ahead of time. Then bring packed lunches or healthy snacks with you wherever you go and have meals planned for the week.
7. Variety! Try new vegetables or fruits. Mix up your plate with many different colors. Each color pigment has different health benefits!
8. Go to a farmers market. It’s cheaper! The food is fresher and taste much better. Also, it contains many more nutrients since it doesn’t have to travel as far. Foods lose nutrients over time and sometimes they even spray chemicals to preserve the foods while being transported. Moreover, the farmer can help teach you how to prepare vegetables the best ways.
9. Drink more water. Add lemon slices or cucumbers and mint to mix it up. Also, drink more tea…especially green tea!
10. Use a Food Journal and Log everything you eat!! If you don’t measure, you don’t know how much you’re actually eating.
Remember, pick the step that you find easiest right now. If you pick the hard one, that’s just one more reason to keep you from moving forward, and feeling better!
Let me know what happens 🙂
Laura Conley is a nutritionist at Heritage LifeFit Fitness. During her twelve years as a private fitness and wellness coach, she specialized in functional fitness, sports performance and holistic nutrition. Laura strongly believes that by incorporating the body, mind, and spirit we can all truly transform and thrive.