Summer vegetables are bursting with flavor and the colors are all so inviting. Brighten up your plate and your health with the bounty of produce available to you this time of year. Approach your daily nutrition goals by thinking about eating from the rainbow of colors available in summers produce. Each color has it’s own health benefits… Continue reading
Are you balancing your fats? In today’s diet and fast paced world many of us are not getting enough healthy fats. The Western diet consists of too many processed foods and therefore is heavy on the omega-6’s. Continue reading
Chasing the winter blues away with food? Yes that’s right. The right diet can lift our mood just as the wrong foods like sugars, processed foods, artificial dyes and additives all detract from your overall health. It is almost February and many of us are tired of the grey skies that come with the long winter months. Sun deprivation leaves our bodies lacking vitamin D. Make sure your diet has mood enhancing vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B6 and B12 as well as healthy omega fatty acids.
Here are a few recommendations for helping to lift your mood by focusing on your diet….
Vitamin D – Fish such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, small fresh water fish such as sardines, grass fed butter, sunflower seeds, eggs and mushrooms.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Fish liver oils such as cod, oily fish, flaxseed oil and walnut oil. Here I prefer to supplement my diet with a great quality fish oil such as Nordic Naturals.
The vitamins and nutrients founds in nourishing foods are part of a healthy diet and impact our mood. When you eat a healthy diet, your body reaps the benefits. For example, eating fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains throughout the day help you keep your body fueled and your blood sugar level on an even keel. You will also be getting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Combining carbohydrates and proteins enhances the availability of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter said to have a calming effect. Take a look at your meals and try to balance them with lean protein (roughly the size of your palm), vegetables (1-2 cups), healthy fat (1 TB) and healthy carbohydrate (size of your fist).
Enjoy all the benefits that eating real food has to offer your body!
Clean Eating 101
When you first think about clean eating you might say “I wash my fruits and vegetables”. But clean eating is more than that. It is about sourcing our foods from farmers and businesses that have our best interest in mind rather than their wallets. These farmers and businesses take the extra steps to keep harmful chemicals, pesticides and growth hormones from the foods they use in their products. They essentially go against the grain in society to make a superior product that has greater nutritional benefits for our bodies. What consumers are not aware of is that these chemicals all add to our toxic load. When we have more toxins in our system than our body can flush out we began see the onset of disease and the side effects and symptoms that accompany it. Of course exercise plays a huge role here as well, but I’ll keep this post about of the quality of our food. Eating clean can help strengthen your immune system, improve you mood, help maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation and promote your optimal health. Here are some simple ways to implement clean eating into your life…
Focus on eating locally grown fresh, organic foods. Buy local foods – Check out eatlocalgrown.com for great ways to support your local Farmers Markets, Grocery Stores/Co-ops, Restaurants, Artisans and more. I am fortunate, my local farmers market is opened 9 months out of the year. My local farmers even have farm tour events so that you can really get a true idea on how your foods are being grown and cared for. I really encourage you to get to know the farmers in your community.
Reduce processed foods in your diet. If they are processed use items that contain ingredients you can pronounce. If you cannot pronounce it then it is most likely a man-made chemical or preservative. Highly refined foods that have a long shelf life have all the “good for us” vitamins, minerals and nutrients removed from them. The manufacturer then adds in artificial ingredients to boost the flavor so that the food tastes like the box or package describes. Choose items with 5 ingredients or less. I like the philosophy “If it comes from a plant enjoy it and if it is made in a plant leave it”!
Focus on the Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15
Avoid inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy. Gluten can be found in wheat, barley, rye and *oats. Living Gluten Free I could write posts for the next year strictly on this subject!
Avoid GMO’s – GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Non GMO Project
I help my clients by offering one on one workshops in their kitchens to expand their culinary creativity, understand what manufacturers are adding to their foods, help with complete pantry makeovers and discover just how delicious eating clean can be! Click here to contact me and set up your workshop.
Wishing you good health through clean eating! ~ Sherri