One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to eat more healthfully. This month we bring you our top 3 recommendations for healthier, tastier eating.
Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food put it best when he wrote, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Our recommendations come from understanding what these simple statements mean, and experiencing the results we see in our own and in our patients’ lives.
1.) Eat Food
My desktop dictionary defines “food” as:
|foōd| noun - any nutritious substance that people eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth.
The key to understanding this one is in the word “nutritious”. The most nutritious foods are the ones that look the same in the grocery store as they do in nature, or are commonly known as “whole foods”. Pollan adds, “Don’t eat anything that lists more than 5 ingredients, contains ingredients you can’t pronounce, or contains high fructose corn syrup.” My favorite guideline is “don’t eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” The less amount of processing that a food must undergo the more nutrition it maintains.
A great rule of thumb to keep in mind the next time you go grocery shopping is to shop the edges of your store. Whole foods tend to hang out around the periphery of the grocery store; fresh veggies and fruits, meats, fish, eggs and dairy, etc. Shop the middle for oils, spices, occasional canned goods, paper products, household items, and pet food.
2.) Not Too Much
Eating in moderation just can’t be beaten as a great standard to live by. As a matter of fact, we over-EAT our way into ill-health. Numerous studies have been done showing that regardless of nutrient content eating fewer calories can be the single best diet intervention to improving health in the United States. One way to make it easier to have smaller portions is to use smaller dishes! Oh, and don’t go back for seconds!
Cutting back on quantities doesn’t mean minimizing the flavor and enjoyment of food. It’s actually more important to eat the foods packed with nutrition and bursting with flavor so you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Eating less will significantly contribute to your energy and sense of well-being, and to your overall, healthier lifestyle As stated previously, these super-foods come in the form that nature intended…whole foods. Enjoy!
3.) Mostly Plants
Have you noticed every “new”, cutting edge, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-heart disease, super-food has one thing in common? They are all plants. If you could do one thing to help prevent disease and support a healthier life it would be to eat more plants. Clearwater’s principle is that two-thirds to three-quarters of your plate, three meals a day, should consist of fruits, veggies of all colors, and whole anti-inflammatory grains (such as brown rice, or quinoa).
Clearwater’s featured recipe this month is a Hearty Veggie Soup, which is a great way to incorporate more of these healing plants into your diet. Make some homemade, gluten-free bread, soak up the broth, and enjoy!