I used to think eating “clean” had more to do with not eating too many calories and avoiding “bad” foods.
I was the girl that ate a big salad for lunch every single day, avoided “treats” at all cost during the week and followed rules like:
- No eating after dinnertime.
- Absolutely no snacking, drink water if you’re hungry.
- Allowing a treat but only if I had exercised that day, because then well, I earned it.
The truth is, I had no idea how to actually choose nourishing foods.
Very often I see that we can become very mindless or habitual with our food choices, and don’t stop to ask ourselves how our food is actually making us feel.
Do you enjoy the foods that you eat? Do they make you feel good? Does your food give you energy? Is your digestion stable or do you experience gas, bloating, heartburn?
Here’s a few tips / pointers on how I choose nourishing foods throughout my week:
- Pay attention to how food makes you feel. If you eat a bowl of oatmeal at breakfast, do you feel tired later or does it give you energy? What happens when you pair it with protein?
- Not all protein is created equal. We should eat a balance of essential amino acids from various sources of protein. If you’re only eating chicken & doing protein bars & shakes, you’re lacking in essential amino acids.
- Pre-packaged, processed foods are going to lack in essential vitamins & minerals. If you’re eating a lot of processed foods you’ll likely be deficient in nutrients such as potassium, bioavailable copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, etc.
- Eat produce in season when possible. These foods will have more nutrient density than produce that’s not in season.
- Start researching what you can get locally. Do you have a neighbor that has chickens & you can get eggs? Are you near farms? Farmers markets?
- When you cook, make extra for leftovers! This makes choosing real food over something processed so much easier.
- Remember how our ancestors ate 50+ years ago. They weren’t cooking with vegetable oil, they used real butter, real milk… metabolic issues that exist now weren’t a thing, then. Yet how we eat has drastically changed over the last 50 years.
- Buy organic fruits & veggies, especially those you are eating the skin such as potatoes, berries, grapes. How can you shift your budget so you can invest in organic meat & dairy? As food prices climb this is tricky but I remind myself that I’d rather pay the farmer now, then pay the doctor later.
Is there anything you would add to this list? How have your eating habits & choices evolved over time?