Healthy doesn’t mean boring bland salads, or mind-numbing workouts you hate. Health is about finding something that gets you super pumped and excited about your overall wellness. I’m a holistic nutritionist that loves taking the ordinary, and making it kick a$$! It’s time to get creative, step outside the box, and discover your own way to thrive. My mission is to help you find that path.
Eat this; don’t eat that. Count your calories; don’t count your calories. What’s next? If you find yourself going crazy over what to believe is good for you, than you’re not alone. With an increasing amount of nutrition and health information coming at you from blogs, social media, the news and even your friends—sifting the health trends from the LBDs of nutrition can be super overwhelming.
What are the LBDs of nutrition? Just like that Little Black Dress (LBD) that never goes out of style, there are foods that you’ll want to keep an eye out for when trying out that new health trend. Now, I’m not trying to discourage you away from trying new things out. Simply ask yourself these questions before going all in on a new nutrition or diet fad:
1. Is it enough?
Often, fad diets or health trends ask you to seriously cut down your calories. The #1 flag I usually have for health trend is how black/white is it? Is it eliminating a whole food group? Is it good vs. bad foods? Is there any room for moderation or indulgences? While this can seem like a great idea to help you find your optimal weight, it’s generally not a long-term solution. Calories=Energy, and energy is something we all don’t want to run low on. I recommend consulting with a nutritionist or a dietitian to find out exactly how much fuel you’ll need for your day. Everybody is unique; therefore their fuel needs are unique as well.
One of my favorite quotes from Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos is “Don’t count your calories, make your calories count.” Instead of focusing on numbers, try focusing on incorporating more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods include kale, dark berries, and Vega Essentials. Sometimes I’ll even combine all three into one of my favorite smoothies.
2. Low fat, no fat, high fat, oh my!
I’m sure all of us remember the “no fat” trend, when taking the fat out of our foods was supposed to make us healthier. When fat is removed from processed foods it’s replaced with something else—usually sugar or highly processed artificial fillers. Healthy fats play such an essential role in our body, from the way we move, by lubricating our joints and inflammation management all the way down to the structure of our cells. When choosing good quality fats from whole foods sources you’re really doing much more good than harm. Some of my favorite whole food fats come from avocados, flaxseeds, and quality oils, such as coconut oil, just to name a few.
3. No carbs
Carbohydrates were given a bad rap. Let me clarify this once and for all: it’s all about quality. Choose whole food sources of carbohydrates rather than highly processed and refined white breads and pastas. You can make some simple changes around your household to include more healthy carbohydrates, such as swapping out your white pasta for whole grain pasta, your white rice for brown rice and your cookies, for Vega Snack Bars. Carbohydrates can serve as fuel, and those of us that like to be active, whether it’s a Saturday hike, chasing after toddlers, or your morning yoga. We’ll need than fuel to keep us going and keep us on our toes. Some of my favorite functional carbohydrates include dried fruit, and fresh fruit smoothies, yams or a solid bowl of oatmeal in the morning.
4. Get back to basics
Stick to your staples. One fad that will never change is eating more whole foods such as:
- Whole Grains
- Healthy fats
You can’t lose when you add more plant-based foods into your diet. These foods are the perfect example of choosing nutrient dense foods. When eating more whole foods you’re increasing your intake of many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. And you definitely can’t go wrong with that. Sometimes simple is best, and all you need to do is add in more of the good stuff, and the not-so-good will find it has no place in your diet. If you’re finding it hard to add more fruits and veggies into your diet, try making dishes with vegetables as the foundation such as a veggie stir-fry! Or blend spinach into your morning smoothie.