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Does healthy eating need to be complicated? It seems like everyday there is a new diet coming out, or a new study on a food. The Food Revolution brings together some of the top experts and speakers to give us useful and relevant news once a year. Eating healthy food should be simple. Here are some insights and tidbits to help make healthy eating clear and simple.
How to Eat
What does eating mindfully mean?
It means you sit quietly without distractions like a phone/book/tv etc and experience the food you are eating. This will likely feel weird at first, and it may be hard. Sitting down in a relaxing environment and mindfully eating will help your body digest and allow you to feel more satisfied. Try it out!
The more you chew your food the better. The purpose of our teeth and saliva is to start breaking down the food so that our digestive system can get nutrients out of it. How often do you inhale your food and barely chew it? Even a few extra chews per bite helps. The slower you eat and the more intentionally you chew your food the more satisfied you will be after your meal. Give it a try.
Don’t Rely on Willpower
The fact is that not everyone has the same relationship with food. Some people are more susceptible to food addictions than others. Check out the quiz here to see how you rate.
Eating and following a certain diet shouldn’t be about willpower. If we rely on willpower most of us will fail. You can tell a person they will get $100,000 if they can hold their breath for 2 minutes. The problem is that unless we are trained the normal brain won’t let us be deprived of oxygen no matter how much we want to. Our brain won’t willingly let us to die, it will force us to breathe to get oxygen.
There is a very similar situation happening inside our gut. The bacteria that live there want to survive. How do they do that? By sending signals to our brain that make us crave certain foods that our gut bacteria need to survive.
So how do we eat without relying on willpower? One of the most important things we can do is to have everything prepared and ready to eat. This way we don’t need to make decisions when we are at our weakest, the easiest option will be in front of us when we are hungry. Healthy eating involves planing ahead and doing batch cooking. I describe how to do batch cooking with lots of tips and ideas here.
What to Eat
Eat more COLORFUL foods. Think Leafy Greens, Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries, Beets, Carrots, Yellow Squashes.
- Eating a handful of berries every other day can slow your brains aging by 2 years.
- Tomatoes are much more bio-available slow simmered with olive oil.
- Spices like cinnamon have anti-cancer benefits
- Did you know that a human eye can spot a carrot over 200 feet away!
A diet high in leafy greens and vegetables has shown to slow cognitive decline. Leafy are like anti-depressants, but without the side effects.
Leafy Greens are so low in calories you can eat as much as you want and they provide micro nutrients and fiber which help you feel satisfied.
Adequate intake of dietary fiber is associated with digestive health and reduced risk for
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
For every 10g of fiber in diet there is a 7% less risk for breast cancer. (study)
Why is fiber important for our health? The bacteria in our guts feed on the fiber. If they do not get enough fiber from our diet they start dying off. Diets rich in fiber promote a gut microbiome full of diversity that in turn keeps us healthy.
Processed food and meat are lacking in fiber and nutritional value. To get more fiber in your diet focus on these foods instead
- Whole Grains
Blue zones are places or communities in the world where people live the longest. By studying the healthy eating and lifestyle habits of these people we can learn something.
Beans are a Dietary Staple
Many blue zones have a diet high in beans. Our goal should be to learn how to prepare beans that taste so good that we will to eat them all the time.
Soy is Good for You
Soy is one of those confusing foods. One day its in the news that soy is bad for you, and the next day its a super food.
Consider the fact that soy is a staple in the diets of the people in the blue zones. In Okinawa they eat an average of two servings per day.
There are now studies that confirm soy does not promote breast cancer, but actually helps prevent it. A large study looked at over 73,000 Chinese women and concluded that consuming soy reduced breast cancer risk by 58%.
Keep in mind that we should be eating organic soy in reasonable amounts.
Super Simple Beginners Guide to Clean Eating
What to Eat Less of
Sugar is the new tobacco and some people haven’t put the pieces together yet.
Sugar in all its forms is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of our chronic disease sucking the life out of our citizens and our economy and increasingly the rest of the world.Dr Mark Hyman
When trying to eat less sugar aim for natural dopamine sources such as exercise, social support, and music.
The Essential Guide to Healthy Cereal
I’m not going to tell you to give up meat and become a vegan. BUT it is important to become aware that the quality of meat matters in multiple ways.
Factory Farmed Meat
- The majority of meat comes from animals grown in factory farms.
- Factory farmed meat is horrifying. Cows, pigs and chickens are crowded into spaces where they can’t move. They are fed an unnatural diet which makes them stressed and sick.
- Factory farms have a 100% turnover rate every year. Give that a second thought. EVERY single person working on a factory farm will quit before the year is over and new people will be hired. Factory farm workers get post traumatic stress syndrome PTSD.
- Factory farms are an absolute disaster for the environment. That concentrated manure has to go somewhere and it makes its way into our food. Are you eating sewer sludge?
The good news is that you don’t have to give up meat because you disagree with these practices. Sustainable pasture-raised meat can be a healthy food when eaten in moderation.
Consider sourcing your meat from a service like Butcherbox. You get 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and/or pork delivered to your door with free shipping. Sign up here for a special deal of 2lbs of Ground Beef FREE in every box for the life of your membership!
How to Uncomplicate Healthy Food and Chronic Disease
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Focus on eating plant-based whole foods and the not so good stuff occasionally.
Doing some prep work can really help get around the brain science of relying on willpower when it comes to unhealthy food addictions. Find delicious alternatives to your favorite foods. Make healthy eating fun, Make it easy for yourself to grab the good stuff.
Your body will thank you for learning how to eat healthy with more energy, and a happier brain.