First Step Towards Improving Your Nutrition: Just Add the Good Stuff

salad-green

So many people I speak with are locked into the dieting mentality of:

improved nutrition = sacrifice

“Just eat fewer calories of the same processed food and you will lose weight.” But, that could not be further from the truth. To me, it’s actually the opposite. I believe improved nutrition means eating more — more of the good stuff.

One of my inspirational figures, David Wolfe (designer of the NutriBullet), was the first person I heard offering the advice of “just start adding the good stuff and it will push the bad stuff out.”

What is the good stuff?

  • Raw, organic vegetables and fruits
  • Minimally processed foods (anything with fewer than 4 ingredients and no ingredients that you cannot pronounce)
  • Superfoods
  • Water

Does this mean no more pizza or sweets?

Absolutely not! I use the 80/20 rule when eating. Make 80% of my diet the good stuff and the last 20% I enjoy the play foods.

So many people get concerned that they will no longer get to enjoy a meal if they are eating healthy. I have found that I enjoy the play foods so much more now and I eat them without guilt or concern for my health. I also crave the “play foods” far less and there is a biological reason why.

The standard American diet includes tons of Macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and very few Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and water) which your cells need to thrive. The result is we are overfed, but at the same time starving.

Your body then thinks that there is no good food available and goes into starvation mode.

Starvation mode = store fat and eat as much as you can

Imagine you are a hunter gatherer. You will have moments of feast and famine (no 3 square meals a day). Your body has evolved to adjust to these situations. In times of famine your body is trying to conserve energy and store fat. But, famine doesn’t just mean no food, it also means the foods that do not contain the nutrients that your body needs. When the food you are eating lacks the necessary micronutrients for your cellular functions, your body goes into starvation mode.

Once you start adding nutrient dense foods (raw, organic vegetables and fruits) to your diet, your body will react in the opposite mode and as long as you are not consuming too many calories, you will use stored energy and have fewer “play food” cravings.

Take Action Today!

Make the Salad the Meal (a phrase from another inspirational individual, Joel Fuhrman)

Go to your local market and buy your favorite organic vegetables, include plenty of leafy greens and make a big salad.

What about the dressing?

I like to use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar as my dressing, which has no sugar and lots of great detoxifying properties.

If you cannot stomach a salad without your favorite dressing (yet), I recommend the fork trick (taught to me by my amazing wife):

Have the dressing on the side in a separate container. Then dip your fork in the dressing before the salad. This will greatly reduce the amount of dressing and ensure you get the flavors you enjoy with every bite.

Small, sustainable changes are the key to long-term success. Discipline yourself to pick something to change, like add a big salad to one meal a day. Then pick a time period to try it, a week is a good place to start and evaluate at the end.

Remember, these are changes, not sacrifices. As soon as you feel like you are sacrificing you will most likely fail. So, try to change something else.

Please let me know what you think below, have you been through a successful or unsuccessful attempt to improve your diet? What are some actionable change you recommend that worked for you.

You can also contact me if you would like a more personal discussion.

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