So your challenge for this week should you choose to accept it is to:
- Add more real foods into your diet – Especially Vegetables!
- Drink more water
So What is Real Food?
For this challenge real food is:
- Vegetables – you can never eat to much of these
- Fruit – great for when you crave something sweet
- Organic dairy – as long as they work Ok for you. Try to buy organic where possible and always choose unsweetened.
- Organic eggs & grass-fed meat – what the animal ate while alive can have a massive impact on your health so choose smaller better quality meat just where possible.
- Seafood – try to go for wild caught over farmed where possible
- Real whole grains– such as brown rice, quinoa, rolled oats, millet or buckwheat
- Healthy fats – think avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, butter
- Beans, Nuts & Legumes
Why Vegges are So Awesome
Try and see if you can incorporate vegetables into your meals at least once per day. Regular consumption of vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer disease
- Some of the functional declines associated with aging
And they have the best calorie to nutrient ratios out there. Full of all the stuff your body wants with none of that stuff your body doesn’t want.
Not sure how to add more vegges to your diet? Here are some tips and download the vege recipe idea ebook I made just for you HERE:
- Add vegetables to things you are already cooking. Pastas, pizzas, scrambled eggs, casseroles and risottos could all benefit from a few more vegges. Try adding spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus or mushrooms.
- Add them to soups. Got some favorite soup recipes? Thing they could do with a couple of extra vegges? Or need some inspiration? Check out my simple recipes to add more vegges here.
- Add them to salads. Salads can never have enough vegetables. I add so many raw vegges to my salads, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms and whatever else I have in the house. Check out my Everything Salad in the recipe book here.
- Have them as a snack – Raw vegges make awesome snacks. Celery, carrots, broccoli and snap peas can make awesome snacks. Try making your own hummus to dip them in.
- Have them on toast – Check out my favorite avocado on toast recipe here.
- Use vegges as your base for breads, pizza bases and pasta. – Yep you read that right. You have to check out my Panini recipe using cauliflower bread! Try the recipe from here.
- Put them on the BBQ. – I love BBQ vegges. Add them on the grill at your next BBQ. Mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, asparagus, squash and eggplant work really well.
- Add them into a green smoothie. Try drinking your vegges! Need some inspiration? Check out a couple of recipes to try here.
So What Isn’t Real Food?
Research sown that nutrient deficiencies and poor nutrition choices are linked to some of our leading killers today such as heart disease and cancer. As well as obesity, which is becoming an epidemic in the western world. The thing is that processed foods are actually nutrient depleting as well as often filled with chemicals and toxins that just don’t help your body thrive. These are not real foods. So for the 30 days see if you can reduce (or cut out completely):
- Refined sugars & artificial sweeteners, so anything with processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup or any aspartame, splenda etc. It’s a whole another article to explain to you what these do to your body.
- Refined carbohydrate such as products made with refined white flours.
- Packaged foods with hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats. These just wreak havoc on your body and suck you energy levels.
- Fast food such as McDonalds, KFC, etc.
- Packaged foods that have really long ingredients lists.
Ok so if we have to cut out some of that food above what are we going to replace it with?
Have a favorite food that you know if not doing good things for your body but just can’t quite give it away? Email me or let me know in the facebook group what it is and Ill send you over a healthy alternative to at least give a try!
Why Drinking Water Can Change Your Life
Yep that’s a big call.
But drinking water can change your life.
As I studied nutrition at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, I was so fortunate to learn from some amazing teachers. One that I always loved to listen to was Kerri Glassman. In one of our classes she told us a story of one of her clients who ate really well when he was home, but he travelled a lot for work. And whenever he was away for work he found himself drinking lots of soda, eating a big steak dinner with the guys from the office and then skipped the gym the next day. So Kerri suggested that next time he went away he was just going to swap the soda for water. That’s it, still eat the big steak dinner, skip the gym and do whatever else you want just add in the water.
So her client decided that was easier enough to do and so replaced his soda with water. He drank the water throughout the day and then when he got to dinner didn’t really feel like the usual big steak dinner any more. So he went for the salmon and veges instead. Then when he woke up in the morning he found he had more energy that usual. So he thought why not fit in a quick gym session too.
All because he just added in the water.
So why is water so powerful?
Even mild dehydration can start to affect you mood, your energy levels and can start to make your body think that’s its hungry or cause cravings. So you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to keep your energy levels super high. It’s such an easy strategy but one too many of us struggle with.
Keep a bottle of water with you so you can sip on water throughout the day and watch your energy levels improve! It’s really worth giving it a go!
Some additional benefits of adding in more water is also:
- It helps to make you feel full and so people who drink more water generally consume less calories throughout the day. Also your body doesn’t know the difference between being hungry and thirsty, so next time you feel like a snack try some water first and see if that actually makes you feel less hungry. You could just be dehydrated.
- In several studies drinking a glass of water before each meal leads to participants feeling more full and eating less calories and losing more weight than those that skipped the water.
- Water can actually aid digestion and help speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that even being 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in your metabolism. So skip empty calories in sodas and just add more water.
Convinced to add more real foods & water into your life?
Start slow, think of replacing just one of your usual drinks whether that’s coffee, juice or a diet soda and adding more water. Just add vegetables to one meal per day. And as always let me know if you have any comments or questions. Either email me or comment on the facebook group.