“What should I eat?” This is a question that is posed to me repeatedly by clients. Listed below, are my simple dietary “must-haves” that should be added to your daily diet.
- Quality proteins – Fiber One and Clif Bars do not count. These are low quality sources of protein. Quality proteins include items like eggs, lean grass-fed meats and dairy. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, nuts and seeds (almonds, chia and quinoa) are excellent sources of protein. Try to avoid the packaged and processed as much as possible, just like you would with anything.
- Quality fat sources – Over the course of time, the media and limited research have turned fats into a dirty F-word. The fact is that the body needs fats to survive and properly function. Good sources include things like EVOO, coconut milks and oils (great source of vital saturated fats and the oil is great to cook with). Again, eggs are a great fat source and completely nutrient packed. Avocados, flax and chia seeds, walnuts, cashews and the list goes on.
- Nutrient-dense foods – Nutrient-dense defines a food that packs a whole lot of nutrition into a small amount of food. Colorful fruits and most vegetables fall under this category. As always, the more that something is processed and rendered, the less nutritious it becomes. So, the closer that you can get things to their natural state, the better. If you can grow it yourself, then even better!
- Balance – The biggest thing that one needs on a daily dietary basis is balance. Diets that cut out entire food groups just don’t work. Or fads that promise quick and huge results. Your carb/fat/protein ratios should be a lot closer than you think. I like to try to make about 1/3 of my calories FAT, and a quarter to a third protein. Great nutrition (good sources, of course), and I’m less hungry all day long. The sugars get limited, for the most part, to natural sugars (fruit, honey, etc.). Again, (I can’t repeat this enough) try to limit the processed stuff whenever you can. Lastly, remember that there also has to be a note of desirability to what you eat every day. If you hate everything you eat, you are less likely to stick to the plan long term.
Eat well! Live well!