July 30, 2016 | Posted in:Eating Well

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I don’t believe in “good” or “bad” foods. I believe in eating what’s right for you, your life and your family. That depends on who you are, what you’re eating and how much of it.

There are some elite athletes who have included pizza delivery as a regular part of their diet…or consumed up to 20% of their weekly calories from added sugar. In most cases, you can accomplish your goals and maintain your health while including a little junky food. However, there are just as many people who are very affected by added sugars, refined foods and more.

That being said, I do have a philosophy that we stick to in our house. These are our “food rules,” in list format. Stay tuned for blog posts going into more depth about the reasoning behind each.

FOOD-RULES

There are also very specific “proportions” of food intake I recommend (protein:fat:carbs) for different goals – these are NOT included here. For more information on those, contact me about nutrition coaching! Even without thatinformation, you can make a big change to your diet just by keeping this rules in mind.

My philosophy on eating is summed up perfectly by Michael Pollan in his book “In Defense of Food.” They’re general rules and apply no matter what goal you’re working towards – including fat loss, muscle gain, weight maintenance, longevity and just plain ol’ feeling good!

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”

On the outside, these seven words may seem simple. Here are some “quick notes.”

EAT FOOD

– More Than 6 Ingredients? It’s not food, it’s a product.
– Can’t understand or easily identify an ingredient? It’s not food, it’s a product.
– Is it more than 2 steps of human processing from it’s original form?
(Flour, for example, is harvested as a grain [1], ground [2], then bleached [3] and sometimes enriched with vitamins/minerals[4]).
– Is it found in nature in its current form? For example, you cannot find low fat cow’s milk or dairy products in nature. They do not exist. Lowfat dairy products are not food – they are a product.
Eat to Nourish.

NOT TOO MUCH

– Eat only when you’re truly hungry.
– No second helpings
– Or, second helping of vegetables only.
– If you’re having alcohol or dessert then don’t have a starch with dinner.
– Avoid using food as a treat or relaxation method.

MOSTLY PLANTS

Pretty self explanatory! Aim to consume a mostly plant-based diet.

And some more items…

Cultivate your taste for things other than sweets.

MINIMIZE SUGAR

– Even natural sugar sources like agave, honey and dates.
– Even artificial sweeteners like stevia and splenda.
– Try to eat more vegetables than fruits, or at least an even amount.
– Choose less sweet fruits over sweeter ones (ie apples, papaya, berries). Save sweeter ones for treats (watermelon, cantaloupe).

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE CARBOHYDRATES
– Fruits and veggies can make up a large portion of your daily carbohydrate requirements.
– Refined grains, pasta and bread are not nutritionally necessary when other foods are present in your diet.

BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
– Being healthy is an uphill battle in our social climate.
– Being passionate means you’ll keep learning, helping you to make the right choices happily.
– Your family will feed off your passionate energy and will understand that new changes are important.
– Being passionate about losing weight and being passionate about being healthy are not the same thing.

MAKE IT SOCIAL
– Meal time is primarily for nourishing your body, secondarily for nourishing your friends and family.
– Eat with your family and friends.
– Focus on the people around you just as much as the food around you.
– Eating shouldn’t be about filling your tummy or gorging.

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