You’ve got to feel better before you can look better. Often times folks put all their focus and energy into losing weight, or building muscle, without putting much thought into good health. I show my clients how to nourish, nurture, and care for their bodies with healthy lifestyle choices. This will very quickly lend itself to results such as: more energy, better mood, the disappearance of aches and pains, and others. Clients will celebrate and discover what true health actually feels like. And yes before long, those results will begin to show on the outside as well. Clearer skin, shiny hair, slimmer bodies, and other noticeable changes can take place.
So let’s start with nutrition. With many “healthy eating” plans out there, how do you know who to follow, who to listen to? The answer is you. Success is found when you discover what works and what doesn’t for your own body. This is exploring your own bio-individuality. The bookshelves and the media are bombarded by the latest diet craze, or the newest health buzz. (Gluten free, low fat, calorie restriction.) Don’t worry about the latest fad or hottest diet. You don’t have to follow any one plan by the letter. You may be inspired by one or more diets like paleo, vegetarianism, veganism, anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean, and so on, but you were not created to fit into someone else’s box. Eat the foods that serve to build your health, make you strong, and leave you feeling vibrant and energetic. Here are 7 no nonsense, no hype, valuable tricks to healthy eating:
- Eat as many vegetables as possible. Puree and sneak them in sauces, add them to your morning eggs, juice them, blend them, incorporate them into casseroles, stews, soups, and salads. Don’t think of them as the side dish. Make them the star of the plate. Have a little meat with your veggies, rather than the other way around. You’ve more than likely heard the expression, “eat the rainbow.” That’s because there are many important nutrients and health benefits with the varied colored veggies.
- Eat real food. Eat foods that come from nature, not from a lab. Most foods that come in a box, can, jar, or bag have been processed, and have lots of sugar, sodium, chemicals and harmful additives. Whole foods are foods in their most natural state. “Rice Krispies” are quite far from the original grain of brown rice before it was stripped of its nutrients, and processed to death. Foods like chips, boxed mac n cheese, cereals, cookies, and canned soups and sauces will tear down your health, cause disease, weight gain, and other diseases of Western Civilization. Buy organic whenever possible to avoid dangerous toxins and chemicals.
- Ditch the sugar. If you hear nothing else I say today, please hear this. Sugar is enemy #1. It is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. It causes weight gain by creating an insulin response thereby locking the fat into your fat cells and throwing away the key. It causes Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Arthritis, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Emphysema, Periodontal disease, Alzheimer’s, and many other chronic ailments. Sugar is catching up to smoking as the leading cause of cancer. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress. Cancer cells feed on sugar, and literally starve without it. Look for grain free baking recipes that use raw local honey, or pure organic maple syrup for sweeteners. You can find a few of my favorites on my recipe page, http://laurelmarshall.com/recipes/.
- Don’t skip breakfast. This is something your grandmother probably always told you. She was right. If you wait too long to eat, your blood sugar dips, you become ravenous, and often make poor choices. Your body needs proper fuel to get started. Fruit and veg smoothies with some added protein is a great way to start your day. Have for example, an egg with some sautéed greens, and half of a grapefruit. Here is one of my favorite smoothie bowl recipes:
Good n’ Green Smoothie Bowl
Place ingredients in the blender in following order:
½ ripe avocado
sliced frozen bananas (approx. two)
1 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 large handfuls greens (spinach, kale, chard, or combo)
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond, coconut, or hemp milk
1 T hemp seeds
Blend until smooth. Pour in bowl and add any of the following toppings.
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. Ever been really hungry, and start craving foods that you know will make you feel lousy later? Have you ever gone too long in between meals, and experienced that mid day energy dip? Carry a bag of walnuts, or low sugar nut bars. If you can, pack a cooler with apple and cucumber slices with lemon and cayenne, or maybe some hard-boiled eggs and fruit. This will make it easier to continue on passed the In n Out drive-thru.
- Stay hydrated. I don’t mean with Gatorade or other sports and energy drinks. Many Americans don’t get nearly enough water. Shoot for drinking half your weight. What I mean is, if you weigh 150 lbs., try to get at least 75 ounces in per day. Try putting some cucumber and lemon slices, or oranges and mint. Get creative. Water doesn’t have to be plain.
- Don’t be afraid of fat. Healthy fats are essential to a healthy body. Fat is actually a really good thing. It plays several roles in our bodies. It allows our cell walls to remain flexible and permeable. We need it for mental health. Our brain is actually made up of 60% fat. The brain runs on glucose, but is built on fat. Fat is actually the body’s preferred source of fuel. It is needed for energy, and necessary for digestion. Healthy fats include avocados, salmon, eggs, nuts, and oils such as, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil. Walnuts are especially essential for brain health. I don’t think its a coincidence that they resemble a brain too. If you do use butter, always choose organic grass-fed butter, and avoid margarine and canola oil spread.
If you can make some progress in some of these area, you are well on your way to a better, healthier, more vibrant you. Start by making a commitment to yourself. Purpose to make yourself a top priority. When temptations, or pivotal choices are set before you, ask yourself: “will this serve to help me accomplish my goals, or keep me stuck?” Commit to taking the best care of yourself that you possibly can, but always remember perfection is for amateurs. When you understand your body, and begin a practice of listening to it, you will quickly realize that perfect is not the goal. Instead the goal is feeling good in your body. This is what leads to confidence, looking lean and fit, and finding true happiness, because healthy looks good on everyone!
For more support, contact me for a free health consultation to discover what program works best for you.
My Health Coach Program
My Thrive Program is designed to support busy moms and professionals that struggle to find the time to nurture their mind, body and spirit, let alone prepare nutritious and delicious meals for themselves, and their family. I want to empower women to take their health into their hands, and be their very best self. As a Health Coach, my mission is to help my clients make incremental lifestyle changes that help them to not simply survive, but to thrive!
Contact me for a free health consultation!
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist