With the ringing in of the New Year, we have an opportunity to reboot, renew, and energize our blueprint for wellness. If we remember healthy living is a way of life, not a fad diet or miracle diet pills, we begin to understand that our health is in our hands and a product of our choices. We must learn discipline when it comes to healthy nutrition and learn to choose foods we consume wisely to make a healthy diet.
So with that said, let’s take a look at what constitutes healthy nutrition. As an owner of a health and wellness business, I always tell my clients that a healthy lifestyle is comprised of 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise (fitness). We definitely are what we eat and the body does not lie. The quality of our nutrition has a greater impact on our health more than any other factor. Nutrition provides elements from which our bodies are constructed, repaired, and energized. The quality of our nutrition determines the quality of our health. Supply 50 percent nutritional needs and gain 50 percent health. Supply 90 percent/gain 90 percent. It’s up to you.
I recommend what I do, clean eating, for my clients as a method of cooking and eating that focuses on one-ingredient foods such as natural whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and water. People who eat cleanly avoid refined sugars, flours, processed oils (such as hydrogenated oils), and preservatives. As a result, a clean eating diet is largely free of trans fats or excessive amounts of any fats. It is also full of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals; just what you need. When I began the clean eating journey, I lost 9 pounds in one month.
Clean eating diets typically entail five to six small meals each day, spaced apart by about three hours. This schedule aims to keep your blood sugar level even throughout the day. Each meal ideally contains both a lean protein and a complex carbohydrate. The diet calls for plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well and drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. I eat my fruit before 12:00 p.m. so my body works off the sugar by the end of the day. We need natural sugar from fruits for macro and micro nutrients.
Does this mean that you won’t be cooking? No. Clean eating is not a raw diet where food is not cooked. Instead, you start from a place as close to nature as you can get. Baked goods, hearty soups and dishes, and indulgent items are not prohibited, but are made using whole food ingredients (produce, meats and milk, which are the crux of clean eating). The best way to shop for food is with a plan of what you will eat for the week and healthy recipes.
I always honor my hunger. If I am hungry, I eat! It is as simple as that. Don’t delay meals or you risk overeating or eating uncontrollably when you do allow yourself to eat. Willpower does not include restricting food intake. Hunger is the body cuing you that it needs fuel! . It is important to identify the meal pattern that works best for you. Some people do best with small frequent meals (3 smaller meals and 2-3 snacks) while others prefer larger meals (3 larger meals and 1-2 snacks). Try not to have more than 5 hours pass between meals and snacks, especially if you exercise to maintain energy levels, metabolism, and prevent periods of hypoglycemia.
Food for thought, keep a food diary of what you consume daily and count those calories. Check out one of our clean eating recipes below from the Fortitude Bistro Cookbook. It’s full of protein, low fat, and vegetables, and low in calories.
Organic Turkey Sausage & Steamed Veggie Cups
From the Fortitude Bistro
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1. 1 zucchini (sliced)
2. 1 yellow squash (sliced)
3. ½ lb fresh green beans
4. ½ white onion (sliced)
5. ¼ tsp Himalayan Sea Salt, cracked pepper, Italian Seasoning Blend, and garlic powder
6. ½ lb organic turkey sausage (cooked and sliced)
Place ingredients 1-5 in a large bowl, add seasoning, olive oil, and toss, Place vegetables in a steamer 15-20 minutes until crispy soft. Remove from heat, add turkey sausage and serve in small salad bowls or soup cups.
1 Serving size = 4 oz
190 calories per serving
21.32 protein grams
9.16 fat grams
Learn more at www.fortitudehw.com.