Healthy eating can be complicated because we are faced with the challenge of having too many options and too little time. So many health trends are out there, such as paleo, vegan, low-carb, gluten-free (click here to read how gluten can affect your health). I’m sure you can help me complete this long list. Too many options make it overwhelming to lay out the best healthy eating plan for your, or you may have tried a few diets on occasion but you find it’s not something you can enjoy and live with long-term.
This blog will benefit you if you want to know more about one of the crucial pieces I incorporate in my private coaching that makes a difference for my clients within a few weeks. Clients often express wanting to optimize energy level and tone up (without dieting), but the challenge is not knowing what nutrients and foods to incorporate into their meals. In my opinion, balancing your nutrient intake through food have a much greater impact on your health than simply meeting adequate nutrients standards.
The old-school practice believes there’s no difference between supplements vs. whole-foods, however, quality does matter. Fresh, whole foods are rich in nutrients, called ‘phytochemicals’. They are often easily used by the body to keep your immune system healthy and protect your cells against damage. The widely used term ‘anti-oxidants’ are the richest when the food is fresh, and these nutrients work together to protect the body from harmful free radicals created by our natural metabolic process and environmental toxins. Some of them you might be familiar with, such as lycopene in tomatoes are protective against heart diseases, anthocyanosides in blueberries are powerful in fighting against cancer, and glycosinolates in cauliflowers can activate liver detoxification. There are over 100,000 disease-preventing nutrient in fresh fruits and vegetables! Eating whole, plant-based foods gives you the vitamins, minerals, fibers and these delicate phytonutrients in their intact, most active forms.
What is a whole-food, plant-based die?
The National Institute of Health defines the plant-based diet as ‘a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages … refined and processed foods’. Study after study has shown many benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet, including a reduced risk and severity of chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Who Can Benefit from Eating More Plant-based Foods?
Here are some benefits my clients noticed as they incorporate more plant-based meals into their daily routine:
1. Eases Sore Joints
Knees hurting, especially in cold, damp weather? I’ve been there, too. At one point, I couldn’t walk up the stairs. One surprising reason is worth your time looking into: what are some inflammatory triggers in your diet? Saturated fats from dairy, meats, and processed foods becomes a highly inflammatory agent, arachadonic acid, and causes inflammation and pain in the body. Here is a free 3-day wellness journal template to help you connect with how your food intake affects your energy and how you feel.
2. Aids Weight Loss
Without doing a diet overhaul, try this food tip for a couple weeks: swapping out that store bought pasteries with some apple slices + nut butter or veggie sticks + hummus. These 2 ideas can be especially energizing as afternoon snacks and you can switch it up depending on if you are in mood for something sweet or savoury. Plant-based meals and snacks contains more metabolism boosting nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, keeping you fueled without the empty calories. Also, plant-based foods usually take you longer to chew which means your body will become more aware of its satiety signals.
3. Smooth, Clear Skin
This is a bonus surprise! Filling your plate with more dark leafy greens and skip meat once a week doesn’t sound too hard, but you are giving your liver a nice little breather. Our liver is constantly battling with toxins, some of are natural end products of our own metabolism, but others can come from our diet and the environment such as dietary antibiotics, heavy metals, hormone mimicking compounds. You might notice acne tend to show up when you haven’t been taking care of yourself, and this is because your liver is a bit sluggish. Take a break from meat once a week help our liver to reset its pace. Plus, fresh produce give your skin plenty of beautifying nutrients such as vitamin A (help skin to heal and repair) and vitamin C (stimulate collagen production)
4. Clean, Sustained Energy
Wondering how to skip the dreaded 3pm slump? When your energy is drawn to your digestive system after a heavy meal, your body is overwhelmed thus leaving you little energy to stay focused. Try to have more veggies at lunch, you will be giving your body a energizing does of B vitamins while reducing the stress on your stomach.
Not sure where to start or if you can stick with a plant-based diet?
Remember this is not about becoming vegetarian nor is it about dieting; it’s about adding functional nutrients to boost your health and performance. Make the shift gradually at set a pace that’s practical and comfortable for your lifestyle. In my practice, I help clients boost energy through adding functional foods and nutrients and we always leave room for the things you truly enjoy.
If you are feeling stuck with how you are eating now, or if you are pushing through the day with very little energy, we can find an effective plan that brings out the best version of you in just a few weeks. I invite you to try out my plant-based recipes and incorporating more of the following plant-based protein options from below.
Ready for the next step? Contact me (or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org) to book a free personalized nutrition discovery session and find out the best energy foods for you!