Nutrition Made Simple

Eat real food and good nutrition just happens naturally. Do you agree? That good nutrition can be that simple? Or are you feeling overwhelmed? Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be “made simple”. That’s why I chose Nutrition Made Simple as the name for my wellness coaching business.

Every where you read (look), there are articles (and news stories) telling you how to eat properly. Or, to try this diet or perhaps you should skip this list of foods. I’m here to tell you that it can be a simple subject. I admit that at one time (actually for quite a long time) I too was one trying all the diets to see which one fit me best. I researched the properties of food to no end. It was exhausting! I was frustrated. Perhaps this has been your experience too.

Well I’ve made it past all those difficulties. So, don’t worry. It can become simple for you too.

Listen to this: The only reason that nutrition has become such a difficult subject is that foods have been (and continue to be) introduced that don’t qualify as real foods. 

Just to explain what I’m saying and to get the message across, here is a sample list of foods that don’t qualify as real foods. (Sorry that I’m one of those people giving you another list. But stick with me, soon you won’t have to refer to any lists or any food or calorie counting charts.) The list:

  • margarine and hydrogenated oils
  • boxed cereals, chips, pastries (loaded with preservatives, sugar and unhealthy oils)
  • Soft drinks and soda (contain addictive preservatives and chemicals)
  • microwave “ready to eat” meals (such as pizza and even many “diet” offerings)
  • cured meat products (with added preservatives)
  • packaged breads, biscuits (with added dough conditioners, extra gluten, preservatives, unnatural yeasts)

I could have added more to the list, but I don’t want to lose you. Please continue reading this article. In no way am I suggesting that you cannot eat these foods. It’s just that there are better choices. Yes, much better choices!

Because, when we eat real foods we don’t have to think about nutrition. Good nutrition just happens naturally.

You are going to have to trust me on this one (and stick around for future articles). When we eat natural “real” foods our bodies will guide us as to what we should eat and we can even throw away the calorie counting and food rules for good.

There is only one simple rule. The only rule you should strive to follow is to eat real foods as close to their natural state as possible. (This will be defined for you later…or simple check out the recipes on this website for ideas.)

What about cravings? Most of our cravings are unnatural and are highly encouraged by the foods that we choose to eat. It’s the chemicals, flavor enhancers, etc. in unnatural foods that drive our appetite. They make us desire more fat or more salt or more sugar. Remember that famous slogan: “Bet you can’t eat just one”? (Mike drop.)

More so, these unnatural foods are are out of balance. They simply don’t contain the nutrients (protein, vitamins, minerals) and fiber we need. As a result, we become out of balance: our appetites don’t get satisfied and our bodies don’t receive the needed nutrients.

Here is the good news. We can train our bodies to crave natural “real” foods. How do we do this? By eating real foods and avoiding those that are unnatural. It’s just that simple. 

Here are some simple, natural “real” foods you can focus on to get you started:

  • smoothies
  • fresh pressed juices
  • salads (make as colorful as you can, avoiding heavy oils that just add calories)
  • whole cooked grains (brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa, millet)
  • soups (full of vegetables and legumes/beans)
  • fresh fruit
  • nuts, seeds
  • lightly steamed/baked vegetables – yes, even baked potatoes, but don’t load them with butter/cream…instead, try adding vegetables as toppings

So, is it time for you to make a change? Try a simple meal plan this week.

  • For breakfast eat cooked whole grain cereal such as oats.
  • At lunch have a large salad, loaded with leafy greens, colorful vegetables, nuts/seeds and a cooked grain to make it a meal.
  • Snack on fruit in between meals if you are hungry.
  • For dinner, I’m going to suggest more VEGETABLES. Cooked with a whole grain or baked potatoes. Beans and rice with a side salad. 

Did you notice I didn’t include meat? My purpose is to encourage you to eat all the other food groups! (If you eat meat, then I’m sure you don’t need any encouragement – other than…I think it’s important to choose wisely.) I’ve tried many “diets” and it just so happens that I feel best when I don’t eat meat. It’s been almost two years, but what I remember the most is that I would eat the meat and be done. I would be satisfied and skip all the vegetables and other foods I should have been eating. We miss out of many nutrients when we skip fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, legumes  and whole grains. Here is another nugget of truth: You can get all the protein and fat you need also by eating this way (without meat) and get a load of other important nutrients. So, for the purposes of these posts and recipes, they will all be WFPB (Whole Foods and Plant-Based).

Eating this way is low in calories, but high in fiber – which means you can easily get your “fill” of nutrients while keeping your calorie intake lower than eating the standard American diet. Yes, you might still crave the “other” foods, but if you think you are still hungry after a meal…just eat more! Eating more fiber to fill up your stomach will satisfy those cravings and they will soon dissipate. This is the truth and it’s truth worth savoring! I hope you learn to savor real foods and enjoy them to the fullest!

I know this has been quite a long article, so I’m going to bring this one to an end. Let me know what you think. Your feedback is most welcomed. Let me know if this is the beginning of a new lifestyle change for you. Yes, I call it a lifestyle change instead of using the word “diet” because we all know that diets don’t work. They are just too complicated! Just stick around and I will prove to you that nutrition can become a simple thing. 

I want to help you create a new lifestyle. Perhaps you are in need of healing from certain symptoms, want to lose weight, have more energy or even just continue on your current path of health and wellness. I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter so that you won’t miss any posts or recipes. 

When you subscribe you can download my “Healthy Eating with Real Food Guidebook”

Juicing FAQs

“The abundance of live, uncooked foods flushes your
body of toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed, energized and relaxed all at the
same time. The pure foods make your skin glow, your hair shine, your breath
fresh [due to a cleaner digestive system]… Colds and flue become fewer and
farther between; many people report that arthritic joins loosen with renewed
flexibility; and gums and teeth become less pront to bleeding and
cavities.” (The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing)

“Juicing vegetables renders their life-giving nutrients
“body-active” in about 15 minutes. [Compare this to the 6 or more
hours it takes to digest the typical American meal which reduces your energy
due and leaves you feeling tired due to the energy needed for digesting the
meal.] When the body does not have to work hard to digest, guess what? We have
more energy. We feel more alive!” (Live Foods, Live Bodies).

I can attest to every benefit in the above quotes. I was
first introduced to juicing almost 30 years ago, and I have been an avid
juicer  (drinking juice almost daily) for
the last 10 years.

Yet, I know many people have questions and concerns about juicing and I’d like to address the top three in this document. So let’s begin.

Can’t I make juice in my NutriBullet or blender?

Juice is the liquid nutrient form of fruits and vegetables without the fiber. Juicing requires the use of a special appliance called a juicer.  Appliances such as NutriBullets and blenders create smoothies. Of course, to be sure you are getting as many fruits and vegetables into your diet as possible, smoothies make a good addition to your diet just as much as adding juices.

The main difference is that juices contain more nutrients
than smoothies when compared ounce for ounce. For instance, an 8 ounce of juice
contains liquid nutrients extracted from 1 
1/4 pound of fresh produce. Whereas, using 1 1/4 pounds of fresh produce
to make a smoothie would result in way more than 8 ounces and way more fiber
than one could probably drink due to the need to add enough liquid to create
the smoothie when using so much produce.

Therefore, ounce for ounce, you get more vegetable nutrients
in juices than in smoothies.

Juices don’t satisfy my hunger

The purpose of juices is to get
more nutrients. It’s not to serve as a meal replacement unless you are juice
fasting or on a specific diet to lose weight. Adding juices in these two
situations can make sure that you are receiving the necessary nutrients to fuel
your cells. Yet, juicing should be added to your regular meal plans.

What about fiber?

But the elimination of fiber from juices allows the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables to enter your body’s cells more rapidly, practically without digestion.

We need fiber, so it’s important that you are eating additional foods to meet your fiber requirements that are found in whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruits and plenty of vegetables.

To learn about “two more” concerns that people often express, learn juicing tips and the top three reasons why my favorite juice is carrot juice – watch this video.