The meaning of "healthy" is a pretty confusing topic to most of us. We are bombarded by pills, diets, labels, false advertisements and blatantly wrong information the second we enter any sort of food establishment, grocery store included. As a nutrition student, even I have trouble deciphering between what is fact and fiction. But here are a few motto's I try to live by in order to simplify the very complex world of food and general wellness.
1. Variety is key. When you look at your plate do you have different food groups? Different colors on your plate? This might seem trivial but it can really help you to create a well-balanced meal for yourself. Plus, having different colors, textures, flavors, and food groups will help you to truly enjoy your meal and making eating healthy a more enjoyable experience. It will keep you conscious of what you are putting in your body.
2. “Stick to the outside aisles” is what my dad always said. I never really understood what this meant until I started to grocery shop for myself. All of the fresh items are found in the outside aisles. Food that needs to be refrigerated is what we want in our bodies! Foods that bacteria and microorganisms want to eat and decompose, is what we want to eat, too! Foods that can last a really long time without refrigeration don’t really make sense...but if bacteria does not want to eat it, we probably should not want to either.
3. Focus on nutrients, not calories. Yes, the amount of calories you consume is important for weight loss, but more often then not, the nutrients you are consuming can directly be impacting your weight loss or health goals as well. Your body is craving nutrients, not calories. Yes an apple has more calories than a cookie does. Which one will keep you fuller longer? The apple will because you will have fed your body the nutrients it was looking for. If you do not feed your body the nutrients it is looking for it will continue to prod you to keep eating until you feed it what it wants.
4. Stop being scared of fat! Fat is awesome, referring to healthy fats! It plays a major role in our health, hormones, and even our metabolism! We always reach for the low fat items, but is that really the best choice? Fat as a macronutrient, provides our bodies with the most energy compared to carbohydrates and protein. Start your day off with a high (healthy) fat, high protein meal. You will be fuller for longer and you will have started your metabolism for the day and really made it work to digest those foods!
by Jessica Fischer