Nutrition is an individual journey. We owe it to ourselves to determine which foods and what style of eating works best for our bodies. Just like learning any new skill, nutrition takes practice.
The goal should be to develop an approach to eating that makes you feel great, maintain a healthy body, and achieve your goals. We all run into moments of weakness around food, but if your current diet makes you feel angry or sad on a daily basis it’s time for a change.
Let’s take a look at some different ways that eating better can make you feel better:
- Improved mental function
Our brain is the control center of the body and just like our muscles and organs it requires fuel to keep it going. In fact, some studies have shown that the brain uses up to 20% of our body’s daily energy.
Focusing on eating to improve our brains function is a great way to feel better. The brain loves wild fish like salmon and mackerel. That’s because these fish contain omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. DHA helps our brain send signals to our body and improves our memories. Try adding 1-2 servings of wild caught fish each week to get an optimal dose.
The foods we eat determine the way our body and mind perform. Next time you reach for that donut try to picture how your brain will run using the donut as fuel. Instead look for some fresh veggies and hummus, a handful of nuts, or a stick of turkey jerky to give your brain some jet fuel to run on.
- Add Muscle, Burn Fat
The battle to fit back in those jeans from college starts and ends in the kitchen. No amount of exercise can overcome an unhealthy diet. Figuring out the right foods in your diet is the key to unlocking your ideal body composition. Imagine how good it would feel to go out on your anniversary wearing the suit from your wedding rehearsal! Protein is known for building muscle but it can do more for your body than help you recover after a workout.
Set the bar at breakfast. A high protein breakfast is one of the best ways to improve body composition. Studies have shown that consuming 30g of protein at breakfast helps with satiety and improves glycemic control. This means less desire to snack on high carbohydrate or sugary snacks later in the day. One study showed that participants who ate a high protein breakfast on average consumed 441 calories fewer each day!
- Foods that light you up
Eating is often thought of for fueling performance, but food plays another important role as the building block of our cells. Certain foods help build healthy hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re looking for a youthful glow and to get carded until you’re 50 try these 3 superfoods:
- Avocado. Rich in vitamins A, D , E, and many phytonutrients; avocado promote supple skin, help prevent environmental damage and prevent signs of aging.
- Bell peppers are high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for forming collagen which holds hair particles together.
- Lentils contain Folate, a B vitamin needed to repair cells in your fingernails and skin.
- Get Creative
Preparing meals from whole foods can be a fun and relaxing part of the day. Learn how to season dishes using herbs, spices, and complementary pairings. This eliminates “empty calories” from your diet that show up in sugary sauces and dressings.
Eating is a time for bonding and camaraderie, get together with family and friends to create a new dish. Focus on great conversation, chewing your food, and turning off the TV and electronics. By giving new meaning and tradition to your meals, eating can be a source of enjoyment beyond just the food.
To have a better understanding about the basics of correct eating, click here to contact us and sign up for our one hour nutrition seminar on May 20th at 3 PM.
Buy in bulk: If you do not have a membership to a Costco or Sam’s Club I strongly encourage you to check it out. It may feel like its a larger amount of money upfront, however, over the long run you will save some serious cash!
Buy meats in bulk, to save time you can prepare them all in advance. Separate out what you will use for one week, then freeze the rest. Eggs will be better priced as well if you go through a lot of them weekly.
Get a good mixture of veggies/fruits. If you are worried you will not use fresh produce before it goes bad, chose some frozen options. Either way you can get more for less.
Rice and Oatmeal are great to buy in bulk. They will stay good for months. I can get a bag of Jasmine Rice and it will last me a couple months!
Keep your meals simple: If you can be ok with eating the same types of meals throughout the week, it will help cut down on costs. You will be able to utilize the items you have bought in bulk for a couple weeks. This will also cut back on how much time you spend preparing foods.
Then once you run through those items you can switch things up. To change up flavors you can experiment with different seasonings and condiments. Just be mindful of what condiments you choose, as some can be higher in macros.
Stick to the perimeter of the grocery stores: By shopping the perimeter of most grocery stores you will load up on whole/real foods. Lean meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits/veggies, unprocessed foods will be more reasonably priced.
When you choose foods throughout the isle you end up paying more. These foods have been made in a factory and are highly advertised you are paying for more than just “food”. You end up paying for the packaging, the marketing, and the people making these foods.
Your body will thank you for filling it with more volume/nutrient dense foods and so will your waistline.
Watch the Weekly Ads: This money saving tip can end up costing you more time than anything. However, if you choose to shop at multiple stores to get the best deal you can see weekly grocery costs go down. Only set back is you may spend more gas money driving to multiple stores.
Check out a local farmers market: When farmers markets are open this is a great opportunity to save money on locally grown foods. You can buy items directly from the growers, removing the middleman and cutting back on costs!
Plan your meals around seasonal items: You can usually find “in season” fruits and vegetables at a lower cost. When items are in season, you will save on price increases from having to have items imported in.
Choose frozen food options: When certain fruits and vegetables are not “in season” buying them in the frozen foods section verses the fresh section will actually save you some $$!
Make a list: Prepare a detailed list of all items you need for the meals you have decided to prep for the week. Stick to the list 100%, try not to find yourself buying items you really do not need. I definitely should have taken my own advice on this one yesterday!
Pay with cash: Set a limit on what you will spend for the week and only take that amount of cash into the store with you. Now you will have to make sure you are not buying more than you need and you may have to be a little more picky with the items you choose.
Let Supplements be just that, supplements: Supplements usually come with a pretty big price tag. Supplements are not meant to replace food. If you can get the majority of your macro/micro nutrients through foods, you won’t need to add in a ton of supplements.
Keep supplements to the basics. A good daily multivitamin, fish oil, & anything else your doctor recommends. Here are the basics I like to include:
- -MCT Oil
- -Whey Isolate Protein for post workout
- -Karbolyn for post workout
- -Daily Multi
- -Fish Oil
- -Creatine Monohydrate (for performance)
Trader Joe’s is a great place to shop for seasonal items as well as some other gluten free type foods. I can typically save money on things like Coconut Spray Oil, Gluten Free Oatmeal, Cleaners, and certain vegetables/fruits.
Aldi’s is another good one a friend of mine reminded me of. They seem to have reasonable prices all the time.
Hope some of these tips can help keep some $ in your pocket