Editors Note: This post is written by contributor Gina Ryan. Gina is a licensed nutritionist and Wellness coach from Hawaii.
What should I eat?
As a nutritionist this has to be the most common question I encounter and on the other hand the answer I am about to share with you is commonly the most ignored. Why? Because it is so easy and people believe healthy changes have to be difficult.
Let me begin by putting you the eater in the seat of authority. You are your own best expert and I trust you will not only hear what the answer to “what should I eat?” but will run it through your own filter of being. Only when you use your own mind-body as a filter do you ultimately make healthy decisions for your own body.
Step up the quality of your food
Yes that’s it in a nutshell. I use the term step up because it is not usually possible to make all the changes you may desire all at once. In stepping up the quality you will lose the need to make a perfect change and thus eliminate falling into good/bad or black/white thinking. Perfectionism will undermine even your best efforts because there is no perfect and you will never reach the goal of being perfect so just let go of perfect right now and enjoy stepping up.
Some step up quality clues
- in its natural state
- naturally flavorful
- made with love (just think about it)
- grown with integrity for workers and or animals (free range,wild)
- add your own qualities that speak to food produced/grown with care and consciousness
It has been shown over and over that when people eat lower quality foods they will eat larger quantities of them. Now we can begin to understand what is really going on when the cultures who traditionally ate higher quality foods had lower rates of disease than those eating the lower quality processed food diets. This goes way beyond how much fat or carbohydrate is in a particular food, the quality of the fat or carbohydrate must be taken into consideration rather than totally eliminated.
If there ever were a magic bullet for the world of nutrition it might just be ‘quality’
Quality foods will naturally be more nutrient dense and contain much less of the xenotoxins from man made substances which act as anti-nutrients and have had the least negative impact on the planet. Another bonus of eating high quality foods is you avoid the food additives that not only cause allergic reactions but cause you to actually crave the same product hence eating more and more.
The choice now becomes easy, no need to eliminate any one food or group simply pick the highest quality one and by all means enjoy it.
Examples of higher quality choices
- sugars- try using maple syrup, brown rice syrup, raw honey, barley malt, agave, sucanat
- fats- try the best quality olive oil you can afford, ghee, coconut oil, flax seed or hemp seed oils, and always use real organic butter over any man tampered with oil made to look or act like butter
- dairy- make it real cheese, yogurt, milk, cream etc. organic and raw
- meat- wild, fresh, unprocessed, organic, hormone free
- grains- organic, unprocessed, whole
These ideas are just a start be on the lookout at your market and again remember not to think in a black or white manner, life really is lived in the grey places. We really can make relevant changes over time by choosing to simply step up the quality of our foods.
Lastly let me state that quality foods add to your metabolic power. Food is energy and information, so by choosing quality you add to the metabolic process rather than bogging it down. What can you do in your diet today to step it up?