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7 Best Habits for Optimal Human Nutrition


There is so much to be said for the dangers of diet culture and the plethora of weight loss advertisements this time of year. Even though January is almost over all month long I have been thinking about all the people who are crash dieting and over exercising to achieve their New Years resolution= FAT LOSS. It's amazing to see the many different diets that have been researched and published as being the "best"....mediterranean, Atkins, keto, vegan, Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory, weight watchers, paleo, flexitarian ... just to name a few. Some are based on research from food scientist, while others come from Doctors or medical professionals who have testimonials of patients success.

With so much information out there and the billions of dollars used to market products from the food manufactures it can be hard to discern what's truthful and what really works. Yet, that is why I am loving Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food.  He attempts to address the question of what we “should” eat. 

"The book is not a guide to certain foods that will make you healthy, but much more of an examination of both the philosophy and the science of what food has become in the United States. Pollan takes the stance that our amazingly complex approach to food and food products is very likely getting us into more trouble than it is saving us from."

As I continue to read this book every night I have become inspired to write about what I believe to be the best tips for healthy eating and quality nourishment. My inspiration for these tips and habits comes from my years of reading about the human body and the role of food. I have also gone on many different different diets myself just so I could be my own test pilot. Finally, I have read countless books about nutrition and continue to learn from expert professionals in the field. The list below truly represents what I believe quality guidelines to follow. If you focus on these 7 habits I believe you can experience vitality and maintain a healthy body weight.

1. Eat with the seasons

One of the primary advantages of eating with the seasons is the increased nutritional value of the food we consume. When fruits and vegetables are grown in their natural season, they are harvested at their peak ripeness. This means that they have had the opportunity to fully develop their nutrients and flavors. On the other hand, out-of-season produce is often picked prematurely and transported over long distances, resulting in a loss of flavor and nutritional value. By eating with the seasons, we ensure that we are getting the freshest and most nutrient-dense foods available. What's more is that we are supporting local farmers and reducing our environmental impact because eating out-of-season produce requires long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and overall pollution. 

2. Variety is the spice of life:

Each season brings with it a unique assortment of fruits, vegetables, and other produce. By embracing this diversity, we can enjoy a wide range of flavors, textures, and colors in our meals. This not only makes eating more enjoyable but also ensures that we are getting a broader spectrum of nutrients. In the summer, we have juicy berries, crisp cucumbers, and vibrant tomatoes that help compliment the heat. While in the fall, we can enjoy hearty root vegetables, sweet apples, and earthy mushrooms to compliment the cold weather.

3. Include plants at most of your meals

This is by far and away the most common subject agreed upon across most fad and trendy diets as well as evident in cultures with the healthiest people. Everyone benefits from eating plants because they are chalk full of nutrients that are necessary for metabolic processes and cellular functions in our body. Plants refers to both vegetables and fruits but also represents herbs and spices which often add flavor. They can also be prepared in many different ways so you don't have to feel bored by always eating steamed broccoli.

4. Slow down and chew:

Have you ever times how long it takes for you to eat a meal? I noticed that the average times it takes me to cook meal is around 25-35minutes yet my boyfriend finishes his plate in less than 10 minutes. Chewing is one of the first steps in the digestion process and when you skip this part you create issues in your gut like belching, farting, bloating or just general uncomfortableness. I dare you to try and chew eat bite of food 20 times before swallowing. I encourage my clients to focus on savoring what they are having and see if their taste buds can come to life by slowing down and chewing all the way.

5. Taste the rainbow:

I remember once seeing a presentation about nutrition and one of the slides showed a bunch of fast food and then also a slide full of whole foods with fruits and veggies. The biggest difference was the absence of color in the fast food plate as it appeared to be mostly yellow, white, brownish hues of food stuff. This was a perfect visual representation that color represents the micronutrients found in various foods. Greens and reds represent foods with tons of calcium and vitamin C. 

6. Cook from home the majority of the time:

Ultimately the secret to eating healthy is found in your very own kitchen. When you cook at home you are in control of what goes into your recipes and meals. You have the ability to choose fresh raw ingredients which helps you limit the amount of additives and preservatives found in prepackaged premade items.  You are also in charge of your method and can bake in the oven instead of deep frying in a fryer. Cooking at home promotes proper portion control better versus the oversized plates served at cheap restaurants. Meal time at home is also an opportunity to bond and connect with family and aids in a shared experience if others help you create the dish. In the long run it also saves money and is more affordable than eating out and ordering delivery. 

7. If your Great Grandmother can't pronounce the ingredients or doesn't recognize it as a food then don't buy it or eat it: 

If our grandmother saw you feed your kid a packet of yoplait's Go-Gurt she sure would be curious what you were feeding them and you would likely have to explain that's like yogurt. So one step in reforming your appetite is going from processed food to real food. Learning to move from processed industrial food to the real thing is fairly simple. Start flipping things around and read the food labels. If there are words listed under the ingredients you can't speak out loud without fumbling to say then chances are your body doesn't need it or won't benefit from having it. Packges and labels are misleading and pray on consumers to not have much of an understanding. They market heavily towards trends...like the time I noticed a gluten free sticker on a jar of peanut butter.  Since when does the public need to be told that peanuts don't contain wheat or flour so therefore don't have gluten in them- they don't but they hope you'll feel good about your purchase because you are trying to be gluten free ever since you read that article about the dangers of it.


And that's it. Simple easy guidelines to follow that one day turn into daily habits to allow you to thrive. I believe nutrition should be simple and not complicated. I believe diet culture and the food industry to be dangerous for our mental health and lend to us having a poor understanding of what food really us for us. I believe food should be nourishing and sustain us rather than break us down or dampen our vitality. I hope you found these 7 tips to be practical and you will start implementing at least one of them today. 


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