Great nutrition is the foundation of great results. Your main focus is going to be on eating high-quality protein, healthy fat, nutrient-dense greens, and real fruits and vegetables.
Processed foods laden with chemicals, artificial colorings and preservatives are NOT on this plan.
Other things you won’t find in a healthy meal plan: added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, inflammation-causing grains (like white bread or other baked goods), and most dairy.
Inflammation is the root of all disease in the body.
That’s why the overall goal of your diet is to feed your body with nutrient-rich foods to help reduce inflammation so your body can heal and restore itself.
As your body begins to balance out, you’ll notice increased energy, better quality of sleep, better digestion, and increased fat loss.
“When life gives you lemons, ask for something higher in protein.” – Anonymous
Simply put, we wouldn’t exist without protein. Protein plays a lead role in nearly every function in your body.
It’s part of every cell in your body and is used to help build muscle, organs, and other tissues. It’s also important for brain health and to help make enzymes, hormones, and other necessary chemicals.
Not only that, eating the right amount of protein will help to boost your metabolism and keep your weight in check.
AND….protein can also help you avoid gaining unwanted weight in the first place. This is because when you’re eating enough protein, you’ll feel more full for a longer period of time, and have less of an urge to eat junk food.
In fact, studies have shown that when women eat around 30% of their diet from protein, they eat 441 fewer calories per day.
Generally you’ll be eating about 30% of your calories from protein – which is ideal for fat-loss and maintaining lean muscle mass.
You’ll be eating high-quality proteins like grass-fed meats, wild fish, and free-range poultry.
If you’re thinking that eating like this may start to get expensive…. it really doesn’t have to!
A lot of times you can find items on sale- just buy in bulk and freeze them! Also- make sure you check out local farms and farmers markets.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to get a much better deal because you’re buying direct from the source. Not only that, but it’s always great to support our local community ☺
The Not-So-Sweet Truth About Sugar...
Added sugars (that don’t occur naturally in the foods you are eating) can be absolutely detrimental to your health.
We’ve already talked about how inflammation is the root of all disease in the body…
I’m talking about diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, digestive disorders, arthritis, and the list goes on and on.
Consuming a high amount of refined sugars is a LEADING cause of inflammation in your body.
Did you know that soda and other sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in the American diet!?
Here are a few not-so-sweet facts about sugar:
Sugar promotes inflammation in the body – the root cause of disease.
Large amounts of sugar will suppress your immune system. (Imagine how your immune systems suffers if you’re eating processed sugars every meal.)
Sugar suppresses the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in the body.
Sugars will raise your insulin levels- which over time can lead to a whole host of diseases.
Sugars have a massive negative effect on energy levels throughout the day.
Impacts your hormones and your ability to deal with stress.
Artificial sugars like Splenda and Aspartame are no better for you, either. They have been proven to have countless negative effects on your body and especially in your brain.
Sugar in itself is NOT bad. In fact, we need a certain amount of it to even survive and be able to think straight.
The problem really stems from the quick rise in our blood sugar levels when we consume large amounts of sugar on a regular basis.
When you eat healthy carbs- like a sweet potato or an apple, you’re also eating the fiber that comes along with it. Digestion is slowed down, so even though you’re eating sugar, your blood sugar levels do not raise as fast. Your body can easily handle it.
If you drink a Coke, there’s no fiber or anything to slow down the digestive process, and your blood sugar levels spike to unnatural highs.
So- for starters, we’re going to keep it close to nature.
We’re going to stay away from ALL white and refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
Acceptable substitutes (in moderation, of course) are raw coconut palm sugar, raw local honey, dates, and Green Leaf Stevia.
The first three are slow to raise your blood sugar levels, so they’re ok in small amounts. Green Leaf Stevia is a much less processed form of Stevia and does not have an impact on your blood sugar levels. It has been around for centuries. It’s about 30-40 times sweeter than regular sugar… so make sure you only use the smallest amount!
Remember- this is a LIFESTYLE approach, not a fad diet. I don’t want you feeling deprived in any way- so it’s all about finding healthier alternatives to what you’re already eating! ☺
The Skinny on Fat…
We hear it all the time- fat is BAD for you! Drink skim milk instead of whole. Get fat-free yogurt instead of full-fat. Have an egg white omelet. Trim the fat off your meat and remove the skin before you eat it!
But is this really the best advice? Here are the real facts about fat…
It’s important to understand that eating fat does not make us fat.
If you’re looking for the shady criminal to blame- look no further than the processed carbs, sugar, and HFCS that find their way into almost everything we eat.
Plain and simple: eating SUGAR makes us fat.
Now it’s definitely important to not overeat on your healthy fats, as too much of anything will have an impact on your waistline.
Please keep in mind that the keyword is healthy fats.
Healthy fats include things like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass-fed butter and ghee, animal fats (duck, beef, pork), Omega 3’s (found in fish), etc.
The “bad” kinds of fat you want to stay away from are trans fats.
Most trans fats that people eat have been cooked up in a laboratory kitchen where scientists “hydrogenate” certain oils so they have a longer shelf life.
Trans fats are found in a LOT of packaged foods- like baked goods, donuts, pie crusts, cookies, crackers, margarine, and a lot of fried foods.
Basically look at your labels- and if you see anything labeled “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” get rid of it fast.
In addition to trans fats, you also want to stay away from refined oils that tend to be high in Omega 6’s (which throw off the ideal Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance) like peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and corn oil.
Not that you know what kinds of fat NOT to eat, let’s talk about why the right kinds of fat are GREAT for your body.
Healthy fats are incredible for your body. They are important for:
Supporting your thyroid
Strengthening your bones
Strengthening your immune system
Reducing your risk for Cancer
And the list goes on….
If you’re thinking that eating more healthy fats will increase your cholesterol and put you at an increased risk for heart disease, get ready for these facts:
* There is NO significant evidence that dietary saturated fats are associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
* “No study to date has adequately shown any significant link between dietary and serum cholesterol levels or any significant causative link between cholesterol and actual heart disease” – Nora Gedgaudas, Primal Body Primal Mind (pg. 80)
* About half of the people admitted to hospitals with heart disease have normal cholesterol levels.
AND….in 2015, the DGAC (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee) has recommended that limitations on dietary cholesterol be removed from their guidelines for Americans. WIN!
I encourage you NOT to take my word for it, but to do your own research and explore the links above.
You’ll be blown away by what you find and also by the myths that will be shattered when you read the science.
The great news is…. that grass-fed beef, real butter, and bacon (all in moderation, of course) are back on the menu!
How much water should I drink?
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water” – Lauren Eisely
Staying hydrated is one of the BEST ways you can possibly take care of your body. Water is essential for every single cell in our body to function at its highest level.
Water helps increase your energy levels, promote weight loss, flush out toxins, improve the quality of your skin, improve digestion, can help relieve joint pain, and can even help relieve headaches!
Your body is about 60% of water… and just a small 2% decrease can significantly impair performance and the way you feel.
Your goal is to drink at LEAST half of your body weight in ounces each day.
Example: If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of water each day.
I hope that helps.
Yours In Health,