Every waking minute of every day we are bombarded with mixed messages about what to eat and what not to eat. It is hard to wade through the myriad of “knowledge” that can be found in the big wide world. Fast food, comfort/reward food, snack food, convenience food, fad diet plans with their very own packaged food, junk food with bogus health claims on the package, sugary sodas that will add sparkle to your life, artificial sweeteners to make you thin and happy, even that “all natural” high fructose corn syrup is healthy because it comes from corn.
I’ve done some reading on the philosophies of Dr. Fuhrman. His food pyramid is based on the principles of high nutrient eating: Health = Nutrients / Calories (H = N / C). Low-calorie, nutrient dense foods are at the base of the pyramid, and high-calorie, nutrient poor foods are at the top. As nutrient density decreases, the quantity of room in the diet decreases. It makes so much more sense!
The base of the pyramid – the foundation, foods consumed in the highest quantity – should be the foods with the highest ratios of nutrients to calories – these are vegetables. Ninety percent of the daily diet should be made up of nutrient rich plant foods, whose calories are accompanied by health-promoting phytochemicals: green and other non-starchy vegetables; fresh fruits; beans and legumes; raw nuts, seeds, and avocados; starchy vegetables; and whole grains.
Now I’m not claiming to a vegetarian. I do eat animal products. However, I do limit what I consume. Dairy is out due to allergies. Eggs, fish and poultry are next. I treat them more like a condiment. It works for me.
I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, but I have done a ton of reading (if only I could shed a pound for every page I’ve read!) on health and nutrition over the past few years and I am finding what works best for my family and for me in terms of getting and staying healthy. Exercise is amazing for our health for so many reasons but vibrant health and fat loss begins with a healthfully stocked kitchen and the willingness to change the way we eat.
Here is some of what I have learned and what I strive for…
Every meal, every day~
1. Eat lots and lots of colorful vegetables and/or fruit, every meal, every day. Don’t shy away from the green leafy veggies. They are wonderful! Nutritional science proves that colorful plant foods contain a huge assortment solid nutrition. Eating an assortment of nutrient-rich natural foods gives me access to these health building blocks and prevent the common diseases.
2. Get protein from of beans or quinoa, and on occasion fresh eggs, fish, or fowl. Plants actually have enough protein for your body.
3. Choose appropriate portions of healthy fats from avocados, olive oil, virgin coconut oil, flax seeds/oil, (raw) nuts.
4. Drink lots of water.
5. Remember NO wrapper is best!