Left: Artificial and calorie-dense. Right: Natural and nutrient-dense.
Which do you choose?
On the other hand, some foods can trigger a range of symptoms due to food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances. These can include:
- joint pain,
- muscle aches,
- hormonal imbalances,
- nasty cravings,
- dreaded weight gain,
- gas, and
- diarrhea to name a few.
Over the long term, these food sensitivities can lead to illness. Studies show that cancer, heart disease, Diabetes, even Alzheimer's are directly linked to inflammation and hormonal imbalances caused, in part, by some of the foods we eat. The good news: The body is very capable of healing itself when provided with the right foods. If you have symptoms, a two-week food elimination detox is an enlightening and empowering exercise. Click here to discuss a detox specifically designed for you.
Food as Medicine – The Healthiest Choice
To restore, maintain, and boost health, pay attention to nutrients, not calories. Current guidelines recommend that we make plants the largest portion of each meal, covering 50% of our plates, aiming for 9 daily servings (about 4 1/2 cups) of mainly veggies and some fruit. A diet rich in nutrient-dense, plant-based whole food is the most basic form of prevention and self-care. Not only will it help stave-off diseases, this dietary choice can help us feel well, sleep well, clear up skin issues, and provide many other benefits.
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." - Michael Pollan
- Add in veggies to each meal and begin to crowd out unhealthy choices.
- Eat food as close to the way it is found in nature as possible.
- Read labels to become aware of unwanted chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, dyes and sugar.
- Eliminate processed, artificial junk foods.
- Choose grass-fed pastured animal products to avoid hormones, antibiotics, and GMO-feed and, of course, animal cruelty and damage to our planet.
- Choose only healthful fats including olive oil, virgin coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocados, nuts and seeds.
Tweak of the Week
My easy recipe contains two fabulous ingredients that make any veggie the meal's superstar. The tweak: Replace classic butter and salt with olive oil and Ume Plum vinegar. Delicious, healthy, and rich sources of antioxidants, olive oil provides essential monounsaturated fat while Ume Plum vinegar – the tangy, salty brine from the fermented Ume Plum – has been used for centuries as an antioxidant-rich digestive aid in Japan.
Asian Broccolini (GF, DF)
1 large bunch broccolini
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 T olive oil
1 t ume plum vinegar, or more to taste
1 t black sesame seeds
Wash broccolini and trim bottoms of stems. Slice thick stems lengthwise to create stems of equal widths. Pour olive oil into sauté pan. Add garlic and sauté over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add broccolini stems. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until bright green. Turn off heat. Let cool for a few minutes. Add ume plum vinegar and sesame seeds and stir well. Enjoy!
Replace classic butter and salt with healthier olive oil and Ume Plum vinegar
Make it a Meal
Want to take it a step further? You can add this broccolini recipe to other ingredients to make it a meal. Here's what I did to make pasta primavera.
Pasta Primavera (GF, DF)
1 1/2 packages of gluten free pasta (Tinkyada brown rice pasta is my personal favorite)
9 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
Half head of Italian parsley, chopped
3 T olive oil
Half a yellow onion, chopped
1/2 t salt
Bunch of arugula (or watercress, chopped well)
Asian Broccolini, recipe above
In a pasta pot, boil water and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. When done, drain and put back into pot. Add 2 T olive oil. Mix well. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and parsley in a bowl and set aside. Pour olive oil into sauté pan. Add onion and salt and sauté until beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add watercress to pan to wilt. Add to pasta watercress and onion mixture, tomato combination and broccolini. Toss well.
I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching.