We hope your year is off to a great start!
In the New Year, we want to start with a theme that is all too important when it comes to food, and that is foods’ primary role in our lives.
Let’s face it, we have an eating culture with an abundance of food that is more accessible than at any other time in history for every reason we can possibly imagine.
Food is everywhere, on every corner, served at almost every hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, holiday, religious… occasion; occasions are created out of everything to create a draw and or promote consumption. It’s a social and an economic dynamic; and while most people are eating for energy (it’s only natural), they are eating anything but healthy energy.
The food industry is nearly 6% of the GDP and is 13% of the average household food bill (1). It’s no wonder that we don’t have a mindset for “fueling” the body for forward movement, but rather “eating” for pleasure, social engagement, entertainment, stress management (in the form of coping) etc… And fueling is in last place!
The thing is, fueling the body with healthy energy really needs to be in first place when it comes to why we eat. That’s not to say food shouldn’t be pleasurable, even entertaining from time to time. Eating as a method for coping with stress? Well, let’s just say there are better ways.
So is there any question we need an entirely new mindset around eating?
If we’re going to start eating for the right reasons, at the right times, in 2016 and, to a much lesser extent, engage in eating based on today’s cultural norms that can make us fat and sick; we need some new guidelines.
The following guidelines have fueling as objective number one; and which, by the way, are especially important if you’re eating predominantly nutrient-rich, healthy “superfoods.” It is really easy to overeat healthy foods once you’re eating beyond true hunger.
Here are 7 Somewhat Flexible Rules of Fueling Your Body That Will Change the Way You Eat in 2016…
1: Meet the body’s nutrient needs for the purpose of health and function first. These needs precede all other reasons to eat, including all those cooking shows you may watch, holidays, times of day, stress etc.
2: Eat plant-based foods first, starting with leafy greens and green vegetables, which should be at the base of how YOU eat. They provide the body fuel (carbohydrate) and the building blocks for body maintenance, protein and fat. They also have the fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals for cleaning, catalyzing, protecting the health and function for all bodily systems. They need to be predominate in your diet if you want to stay healthy and perform well.
3: Eating is always about fueling the body first, eating second. They are different mindsets. Why fueling? Because, the body’s’ greatest need, in terms of grams, is for healthy energy carbohydrate first, then protein and fat; and these macronutrients must come packed with micronutrients— fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals for health and satisfaction and a healthy immune system.
4: The fueling mindset always pays attention to true hunger. You wouldn’t fuel your car based on the time of day; you would fuel it as the gas tank is depleted and or based on upcoming needs. If the tank is full or it’s “nutrient needs” are met, unlike a car who’s tant would just overflow on the ground; in the case of the body, excess fuel will be stored as body fat.
4.5 Overeat even the healthiest foods, with the exception of leafy greens and green vegetables (since these nutrient rich foods are so low in calories at 100 calories per pound) and it is very easy to over eat. If you do overeat these foods beyond true hunger, you will put on weight.
That is largely why so many people eat macro and therefore micronutrient-poor diets—designated low in carbohydrate and animal based. They are trying to continue common eating patterns without over fueling the body. The problem with that logic and approach is that they put their health in jeopardy eating foods that are devoid of healthy carbohydrates, let alone all of the micronutrients mentioned above.
4: Use of green drinks and protein powders (natural products) will always augment and change eating patterns (in terms of how much food you need). Each scoop of “food” has already been processed or “chewed” so to speak, and is readily available for digestion. You get more nutrients with less volume.
The one thing natural products do is meet your nutritional needs without the usual volume of water, the bulky structure of the fiber and the chewing that accompanies the digestion of that fiber as well as the nutrients it contains. Meanwhile, water, fiber and chewing are all essential key factors in the satiety that foods in their natural state provide.
The value natural products bring (whole foods processed and packaged by man in or as close to their natural state as possible) is that very often fueling with foods that are already and carefully processed to a degree (not refined), in ways that combine foods that would otherwise be hard to get (value added), prevents conditions like bloating. They are also great when sitting down for a meal is not possible and / or you don’t want a full stomach or want your personal energy tied up in digestion.
That said, consuming natural products without the volume or fiber in the food or the sensation of chewing can lead to overeating when you do sit down for a meal or eat solid (not liquid or pureed) food. So you have to find the balance and learn how to effectively augment the way you eat when consuming natural products.
Nutrient Rich Superfoods helps you do that by 1} providing consumption strategies with every natural product we provide and 2] explaining how they fit with an otherwise healthy eating style that meets your fueling and eating objectives.
6: When eating a nutrient-rich diet, the main benefit can also be its biggest issue to contend with in modern life. The food is “dense” with nutrients and therefore your needs will get met relatively fast. Naturally nutrient-rich foods have carbohydrates as their most abundant macronutrient as well. Hence, the more nutrient dense foods you eat the less you need to eat, so you have to be extra careful when it comes to your eating patterns so you don’t over fuel the body.
7: Keep in mind that if you’ve been eating nutrient-rich foods for a significant period of time, your body becomes “nutrient rich,” therefore, you’ve probably got well over a hundred thousand healthy “food” calories stored in the body already. And, the body recycles its protein to a significant degree. So, there is already “food in the fridge” (in the tank or on the body) so to speak. When eating, in many cases, you may simply need to “top off the tank” when you eat and may not actually need a full meal. Superfood Infusions and other natural product formats are great for these times.
So there you have them; seven somewhat flexible rules of healthy fueling. Put them into practice, and notice how they will change the way you eat!
Fueling the body with healthy energy during the day will nourish, detoxify your body, stabilize and strengthen your immune system among others and ultimately optimize the way you eat.