Many of us like to think that we know what healthy eating looks like, but after seven years as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, I know the truth. Most people are NEVER taught how to appropriately feed their bodies to maintain and improve their health. Shoot… I didn’t learn the correct way to eat until AFTER I became a nutrition coach. That’s today I’m sharing the Top 5 Lessons I Learned While Becoming a Nutrition Coach.
Choose Your Foods Wisely
For many years, the weight loss community had us duped into believing that the most important element in any diet was HOW MUCH you were eating. Here’s the truth:
It's NOT about how much you eat, it's about WHAT you eat.
Put the right kinds of foods on your plate, and you often don’t even have to think about how much you’re having. What are the right kinds of foods?
- LOADS of greens and other nutrient-dense veggies
- Low sugar, high-antioxidant fruit
- Balanced portions of healthy fat and high quality protein sources
- Good quality fiber
- Gut enhancing probiotics
- Spices, which contain a variety of health-enhancing properties
- Water, water, and more water!
Healthy Foods Are Not Always Healthy for You
Would you risk your life for a cheaper meal? If non-organic fruit and veggies are a part of your diet, you’re taking a gamble on your health. Let me explain. Non-organic produce contains pesticides, some of which are known to be carcinogenic to humans. While occasional exposure may not adversely affect you, regular consumption will increase the levels at which they remain in your body.
Skeptical about Organic Versus Non?
I get it. I was too… That is, until I recently sought guidance from Holistic Nutrition & Health Coach, Danielle Kutchuk from Samadhi Yoga Gruha. Without getting deep into the details, I needed help with a health issue that, if left untreated, could lead a much scarier diagnosis. Here’s how she explained the bottom line to me: Because pesticides are toxic, your body is constantly fighting them off. That leaves your immune system with less resources to fight off other threats, such as viruses that may turn into something much worst (i.e. cancer).
That certainly got my attention. I made the switch and will never go back.
Lifestyle Factors Affect Digestion
I can write entire blogs on the different lifestyle factors that effect the way your body processes food. But for now, I’ll simply list them:
- Inadequate Sleep
- Exposure to Stress
- Working Too Much
- Being Overweight
- Lack of Physical Activity
- A Diet Devoid of Vitamins & Nutrients
- Poor Posture
[Was that last one a shock for you too? Me too!]
When you eat throughout the day and what you have at any given time is determined by a few simple facts.
- Our metabolisms are generally higher in the middle of the day, around lunchtime.
- Drinking water and taking probiotics 15-30 minutes before a meal prepares your body to properly digest the food you eat.
- Splitting your meals and snacks apart by approximately 3.5 to 4.5 hours allows your body time to process and begin eliminating food (not to mention burn fat) before you take in anything new.
There are more special tidbits that I’ll save for future blogs, but for now, just starting with these three can be a game changer.
“Boring” Is a Matter of Perspective
As a lifelong foodie, I can admit that healthy eating does not always seem fun. In fact, it can feel quite boring when you’re faced with saying goodbye to your go-to carbolicious favorites (i.e. pizza, pastries, etc.). I can also say from experience that at first, it’s super difficult. I’ve even gone so far as to ask myself “What else is there?” Not to undercut my clients’ all time fav: “I gotta live!” But I actually tend to become more creative when I’m on an eating plan. I tend to:
- Scour the web for new recipes I can alter to fit my needs
- Search diligently for restaurants in my area that offer options for me
- Prep more meals at home, which saves me more money and time in the long run
But here’s the biggest takeaway, coming from somebody who has been a lifelong binge eater and candy lover:
No item of food is worth compromising my health over.
That lesson has come back to me time and time again. I used to experience lethargy even after sleeping 9-10 hours a night and mood swings that left me anxious one minute and supremely sad the next. After committing to a healthier way of eating, I feel more energetic, rested, and grounded than I ever have before. The temporary discomfort was worth the 10x in my daily levels of happiness. What is YOUR happiness worth? Click here if you’re interested in learning how to implement changes in your diet and lifestyle, so you can be healthier and happier.
Did any of what I wrote here surprise you? Let me know in the comments below! And remember to share this blog with your loved ones and friends.