Eat Real Food.
That’s it in a nutshell. If it comes in a package, if it can’t be made in your own kitchen or grown in your garden, it’s probably not good for you. Our bodies are designed to work off of pure fuel and that pure fuel is real food.
My food philosophy comes from years of informal study, devouring every nutrition book I could get my hands on from an early age; biohacking my own body, trying different ways of eating, sleeping, and being and then taking hormone and blood tests to see what worked on me and what didn’t; and formal training, getting my Nutritional Therapy Certification through the South Puget Sound University in Lacey, Washington.
Living your best life ever means a series of building blocks so that everything works and runs efficiently. The foundation for this is nutrition but there are lifestyle practices that are equally important. Things like sleep, community and active movement are key for living your best life, both now and in the future.
I believe that food is medicine, that simple, easy meals taste the best and that to live a life where laughter happens every day, you have to fuel for that life by giving your body foods that nourish it and help it run optimally.
Specifically, your Best Day Ever starts with:
Adequate rest – This might not be 8 hours, but it’s most likely more than you’re doing now. Seven hours of uninterrupted sleep is ideal.
Limited alcohol – Yes, this is a tough one for many type-A personalities and social butterflies but alcohol slows down our metabolism and disrupts our sleep, making us foggy the next day. You may not even know you’re in a fog because that fog has become your ‘normal’.
Limited dairy – Cheese tastes delicious. If I was marooned on a desert island, I would probably be fine if I had an endless supply of cheese and sourdough bread. Our bodies do not love cheese or most dairy for that matter. So, your best day ever doesn’t include a lot of cheese or milk or cream. It can include kefir and some greek yogurts.
Veggies at every meal – If you focus on the veggies first, the rest of the food falls in line. Aim to get 50% veggies at every meal and then fill in the protein and fats after that. Some delicious grass fed butter (Kerrygold) on most veggies makes them taste amazing or olive oil + salt/pepper + lemon juice? Yum!
Healthy fats – Healthy fats often come in the form of a supplement, from fish oil to evening primrose oil to Barleans Total Omega and our brains run off of fats. Unless you’re eating fish daily, you’re probably not getting enough. Get a supplement and start moisturizing your skin from the inside out and helping your mood swings and brain functioning.
No sugar – No sugar at all. Ever. Sorry. I know you love it. I love it too. That’s why it’s more addicting than cocaine (really; check the citations at the bottom). Cut out honey too. I want it. You want it. And it just keeps our body dependent on sugar and craving sweets.
Supplements – Generally, I’m a fan of getting all of our nutrients from food and, in some cases, this isn’t possible. Some vitamins that we are often low in are Vitamin D (unless you’re in Hawaii or California or Arizona, you’re probably low in D), iron, and B vitamins. You can confirm all of your levels with a test you order yourself here or ask your Doctor to order them.
Wheat is not your friend – Gluten free is a trend but really, most gluten free things like gluten free bread or crackers are just substituting one grain for another. The reason wheat is not your friend doesn’t have so much to do with the actual wheat (though the wheat we eat now is not the wheat our grandparents ate!) as much as what the wheat is usually in: pasta, doughnuts, bread and sweets. Try to stick to the ancient grains like farro, amaryth, quinoa and more. They often have amino acids our bodies crave and some building blocks for protein.
Community is key – Study after study has shown that community and a close group of friends extends life, makes you happier and even can make you skinnier (or, fatter). Checking with friends helps you reach your goals faster and more consistently too so if you’re starting a new habit, doing it with others makes it easier.
Ultimately, my nutrition philosophy is baby steps to better. If you’re eating biscuits and gravy for breakfast, washing it down with coffee and International Delights Creamer and then drinking 3 Diet Cokes and enjoying those breadsticks with lunch and dinner, I won’t ask you to cut everything out cold turkey. We’ll work to change out some of those Cokes for tea or sparkling water, change out the International Delights Creamer for Nutpod + stevia and add some protein for breakfast. If you’re already gluten free, drinking water, and eschew all sugars, then we’ll focus on your lifestyle habits like sleep and meditation. I’m a believer in progress, not perfection.
Veggies at every meal:
Community is key: