In my last post, I discussed how I hate to discuss weight loss. Its much better to put the focus on just eating real food, focusing on eating as much nutrients as possible. This is how results actually happen.
This is ultimately how you get healthier: better skin, weight management, decreased anxiety, sleeping better, and just overall FEELING BETTER.
(Yes! I eat pasta! It counts as real food!)
If you were to track how you feel on a daily basis. Like keep an observational journal of your day, what would it look like?
- Do you feel rested?
- Do you feel stressed?
- How much energy do you have and when do you have it?
- You anxiety levels
- Mood swings
- Etc, etc, etc.
Then, keep a log of the food you ate and when you ate it. Not calories, but the actual food you are eating. Was it home cooked? How much of it was takeout or processed, etc.
If you were to do this on yourself, what would yours look like? This experiment allows you to discover a lot about yourself. You would see patterns relating what you are eating with how you are feeling. You could potentially pinpoint why you feel tired all the time, lack of energy, not sleeping well, why your skin is mess, why you feel bloated, or why you are not losing weight.
Or if you are eating the right things for your body, you would see that certain foods give you energy, you feel motivated to do things, feel calm, level headed, stubborn weight is finally coming off, your skin is clearing up, etc. You would see that when you ate more nutrient-dense foods (not processed), you were feeling good.
Nutrient dense foods mean that you are only eating things that your body actually needs. Things that come from nature. Real meat. Real vegetables and fruits. Bread with ingredients like flour, water and yeast. Nothing that was made by a food scientist or comes from a pill. Yes, you need carbs/fat/protein, but you also need vitamins and minerals and the rest of the 1000’s of micro-nutrients that you can only get from real food. These are things that make sure your cells are made properly (those things that literally make up your entire body), your metabolism is working properly, your bacteria is working with you (not against you), you are supplying yourself with enough antioxidants and building blocks to allow your body to defend itself or fix any problems.
This should seem obvious, right? You are literally made up of what you eat. You are probably thinking “duh Lia!”
However, I have seen that a lot of people don’t make this connection between how they feel daily (and why they can’t lose weight) with what exactly they are eating daily. Or they think that a multivitamin will cancel out a bad diet (nope!). But once the connection is made, that’s when CHANGE happens. Its actually really cool when I see those little connections being made after I have people do this experiment. That’s when they start eating less sugar, including more vegetables, or even something as simple as just having a real breakfast everyday, or drinking more water. Noticeable positive effects begin immediately. Then motivation to keep going occurs. Because most people just want to feel good everyday. Happy and thriving.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much nutrition is in the food you are eating. When you are supplying your body with ample nutrients (more than just protein, for example), suddenly the clouds dissipate, you can think again, energy comes back, face clears up, bloat goes away, and you start to feel better. If you need to lose weight, that starts to come off too. Your body is smart. It knows what to do when its supplied with the things it recognizes as real food and the nutrients that are in it.
That’s how you feel good. That’s how you lose weight and keep it off. Real food first.
So, how do I do this?
Here are my go-to’s when I am feeling: low energy, anxious, not sleeping well, break outs, or just overall bloated and crappy. Here are the things you can start incorporating right away to start feeling better right now.
- Eat more home cooked food. You can’t get real nutrition from things that come from processed/manufactured/take-out/fast food. Generally, when I am feeling crappy, its when I start relying on more boxed or takeout food than usual.
- Eat more vegetables. Especially green leafy things, like spinach, kale, collard greens, and especially the Cruciferous ones like cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower and broccoli. I instantly feel a burst of energy, when veggies are back added.
- Add in mushrooms. Honestly, I used to hate mushrooms. Well, maybe not hate. But it wasn’t something on my radar. Then I learned how good for you they are (like detoxifying/cancer destroying/natural source of Vit D) things. I started to buy them more and figuring out ways to add them to things. (Also, did you know that button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms were the same thing? Just one is a bigger version…mind blown when I heard that).
- Eat more berries. Like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. Berries are a crazy concentrated source of antioxidants (plus they are delicious!). Organic if possible because they are loaded with pesticides (but if not, then no worries). Frozen is a very cheap way to go if you can’t get fresh. Great to add into smoothies, oatmeal, or just as a snack.
- Add in nuts and seeds. All nuts like, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts…and seeds too, like sunflower and pumpkin. They are very filling. In addition to protein and being a good source of fat, they also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. I literally eat nuts as a snack by the handful, like chips.
- Focus on adding things in, not taking things out. If all this seems like a lot to do at once or if you don’t eat a lot of veggies now, then start slow and try to add at least one/day. Then build up from there. It much less overwhelming and daunting, if you do it slowly. Us health coaches call this the”crowding out” theory. By adding good things in, you will naturally crowd out the bad things. This is much more sustainable approach to eating healthy. Which is ultimately what you want. Focus on the good things coming in. That’s it. If you eat other things, that’s fine too. Just work on adding good things in.
If this seems crazy simple and you came here to get some magic trick that you have’t heard before, I am sorry. But the reality is simplicity is what actually works. Get back to basics! Practice cooking new things. Buy one new vegetable this week (or a vegetable). Drink more water. Pack some nuts to bring to work. Pick something to try this week that you think is doable. Then try one more next week. Add another one the following week. Soon, you will be eating this way without really thinking about it. Then, you can get fancy and try the more exotic stuff, like superfoods and adaptogens and all the other crazy stuff you see us health nuts carrying around or making (which I plan on addressing next!).
If you don’t know where to start, then shoot me a message! I would love to help! I love this stuff so much, that all I want to do is to help others and get them to a place of just feeling good (whatever that means to you).
Or, if you feel like you are already doing these things and you still feel like something isn’t right, talk to you doctor. Or perhaps you might want to consult with a health coach, like me to see there is something you missed!
I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you there is something you think I missed!