Ever wonder what the food philosophy of a nutritionist is? Whatever works!
I eat clean, unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible. That means additive, preservative and artificial-free! This is the absolute benchmark for good health, but beyond the basics, there are a few tricks to optimize your nutrition.
I quit sugar and artificial sweeteners. My diet is 90% sugar free, with the exception of some low-GI fruits.
I'm 90% gluten free, with the exception of occasional sourdough or rye bread.
So what do I love to eat and drink?
- Veggies, especially my greens.
- Low-GI fruits; berries, apples and pears are my favorites.
- Gluten-free whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat.
- Organic sources of animal protein (grass-fed meat).
- Organic and natural dairy products (in small amounts).
- Clean whey or rice protein powders.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Wild fish.
- Almond milk.
- Herbal teas; Rooibos Chai, lemon ginger and chamomile are my favorites!
- Filtered water: 2 liters a day.
- Spices. I add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, chili, vanilla powder, turmeric, paprika, sumac, Himalayan salt and pepper to all my meals.
- I cook with coconut oil and olive oil, the latter on low heat.
- Sauces I use to jazz up my food: mustard (French/Dijon/wholegrain), tamari (soy sauce alternative; make sure it's gluten and sugar free) and apple cider vinegar.
How often do I eat?
I eat five small meals a day and two snacks in between my main meals. Do you also experience the 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. slump? Well then, you need to learn to master the art of snacking!
What do my meals look like?
My main meals contain a complex, gluten-free carbohydrate, a quality protein and a good fat. These macronutrients have corresponding appetite hormones that act as messengers to the brain to control our appetite. My snacks always contain a protein component.
What do I avoid?
I say no to:
- Sugar. Sugar turns into fat, it is inflammatory in the body and messes with our hormones.
- Artificial sweetener, found in soda, gum, “sugar-free” anything, for the same reasons as the above.
- Frequent alcohol use. I indulge in a glass or two of wine once per week.
- Refined carbs.
- Soy milk.
- Caffeine in excess. I love to have one coffee a day, but no more. Coffee isn't good for you, especially when you’re stressed!
- Gluten. Gluten can be inflammatory in the body, which is why many people feel much better when they reduce their gluten intake. Enjoy gluten-free grains and starchy veg like quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, sweet potato and pumpkin.
I start my day with lemon water or apple cider vinegar to cleanse the liver and de-acidify my body. I also enjoy a seasonal cleanse.
Once your body is free of all the sludge that's weighing it down, it will be able to perform at its optimum. You will think better, feel better, look better, burn fat better and you'll be able to listen to the real needs and wants of your body.
I also quit the fad diets. Calories and carb counting are no longer a part of my life. They only added extra stress and weight to my body! They're never going to fix your weight problems.
I'm now a conscious eater. I chew my food, I embrace the flavors and textures, I notice when I'm full, and I practice positive thoughts associated with eating. I'm grateful for every plate of food.
A nutritionist’s top diet tips:
- Start your day with a good breakfast that consists of a protein, good fat and a complex carbohydrate. A smoothie is the ultimate breakfast because you can pack a smoothie with so much goodness and all the necessary vitamins and minerals you need.
- Pick one day of the week to go shopping and get prepared. Use a couple of hours to prepare some healthy snacks to freeze.
- Eat until you're 80% full
- I never eat when I'm stressed — the blood diverts away from the digestive system in times of stress.
- Can you read and pronounce the ingredients? If not, don’t buy.
- Limit dairy to twice per day. I personally can't live without Greek yogurt and cottage cheese! Just keep moderation in mind, and choose good-quality organic options.
- Reduce table salt; use Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt instead.
- Get more good fat from olive oil, avocado, flaxseed and coconut oil. The body needs the good fats to make hormones!
- Indulge in your favorite foods once or twice a week; balance is key. Life is too short. I like to commit to one indulgent meal a week.
- Water, water, water all day long. Filtered is best. I often add chlorophyll to my water, since it's an amazing blood cleanser.
Respect your body.
Give it love and praise. Like many young women, it took me a long time to achieve this. But the good news is that with some self-work and self-love, you can do it. I now feel like I can do anything, and part of what I want to do is share this feeling with you!
Affirmation of the week: I love and care for my body, and it cares for me.