The road to a healthier body and mind is often riddled with the potholes of faddist dietary regimes. In our earnest attempts to care for ourselves, we are willing to do pretty much anything – even if it leads you further away from a positive relationship with food.
The science of nutrition is ever evolving; in reality, though, the truth about what foods will bring us better health has changed very little. Eating whole foods will always win out over focusing on the nutrient du jour. As a dietitian, you will never find me counting calories or carbs with my clients. My primary goal is always a focus on making the cleanest, most nutrient-dense food choices possible – choices that fit in with our hectic lives. In fact, time and time again, my first step with clients is simply to reorganize their plate.
Just how simple is this trick? Imagine feeling energized when you wake up, with skin that glows with health. Your body will be better protected against chronic inflammation and digestion will improve. And you won’t have to stop eating your favourite foods or embrace a new crazy dietary scheme.
You simply need to increase the fruits and veggies you eat so they cover half of your plate – every time you eat, with no exception.
This is about making plants the cornerstone of your lifestyle…no matter what your dietary base is. Fruits and vegetables come filled with healing plant-chemicals that protect your skin from the sun, fight inflammation and help you recover from sport. They hydrate, tone the digestive tract and satisfy your hunger without providing excess energy. There is no other group of foods that will restore and protect your health more than good old fashioned fruit and veg. Sound do-able? Here is how to make this powerful, transformative strategy a reality in your daily life.
- It all starts with your shopping cart; fill it up with fruits and vegetables before you buy any other foods. As a basic rule of thumb, buy 21 pieces of fruit per person per week and 5lbs of vegetables per person per week. Make it your job to eat them. Keep it super colourful and vary your choices with what is seasonally available.
- Double up the proportion of vegetables in every recipe. Whenever possible, substitute a vegetable for grain flour-based options. Think kohlrabi slices instead of crackers; cauliflower rice instead of couscous.
- Add a large side of greens or gorgeous salad to veggie-free dishes. Keeping baby veggies and pre-washed options on hand make this a snap.
- Starting your day with a green smoothie is an easy way to get more plant-based
- Puree frozen fruits as a dessert in place of ice cream. Bake delectable summer crumbles as the farmers markets burst with warm weather fruit.
- Keep a fruit bowl on your counter or desk so it is the first thing you see when hunger strikes.
Embrace the incredible power of fruits and vegetables for greater energy, flavour and a healthier, happier you. Keep it simple – and love what you eat!
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