The Top Ten Nutrition Tips That Everyone Should Know

Healthy Living Tip #1. Drink Water – Lots Of It!
Our bodies are made of at least 60% water. Proper consumption of filtered water aids in digestion, increases energy, optimizes metabolism and keeps the body running smoothly. Additionally, if you work out regularly it is essential to drink plenty of water, especially water that is infused with electrolytes.  If you’re not thirsty, and you think you should be, it’s because your thirst mechanism is off.  Start drinking and you’re body will thank you.  You’ll find yourself drinking more & you’ll build a ‘water’ habit–which is a really good thing. 

For a natural electrolyte drink, try:

Natural Electrolyte Drink: Orange Twist Sports Drink
modified from mommypatamus
3-4 cups water (depending on how strong you like the flavoring)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2-3 oranges)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt or himalayan sea salt
2 tablespoons raw organic local honey or maple syrup (to taste)
a few drops of minerals drops (optional)

Healthy Living Tip #2. Plants – Eats Lots Of It!
There is new evidenced-based research coming out all of the time that indicates a diet rich in colorful vegetables and fruits provides numerous health benefits.  These gifts of nature provide enzymes, minerals, vitamins, micronutrients and essential phytonutrients. All of these are just as important as our macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbs).  Look for veggies with dark colors, as they provide the largest amount of antioxidants (do-gooders).  Rule of thumb the more color the better.

Healthy Living Tip #3. Drink And Eat All Through The Day
When it comes to the debate between whether 6 meals a day is better than 3 meals a day, the jury is still out.  It really is an bio-individual decision how often you need to eat to fuel yourself well.  Generally, consuming high quality “mini meals” during the course of the day can help prevent you from overeating, help balance blood sugar,  and give your body the proper amount of energy. No matter how many times a day you eat, make sure your ‘mini meal’ contains some protein, fat and complex carb.  A favorite go-to would be a bean dip and veggie combo, fruit or veggie with some nut butter, or mixed salad with protein.

Healthy Living Tip #4. Mindful Eating
Up to 30% – 40% of the nutrients from what you eat may not be absorbed properly if you are distracted while eating. Therefore, while eating, limit distractions and take your time in engaging your senses with the food at the table. Digestion starts in the brain. Just by looking at your food, smelling and thinking about it, will significantly help your body in the digestion process; which in turn will help you get the most out of the nutrients that are locked-in within the food. It takes 17 minutes for your body to hear your brain.   The social side of meals is also very important, helping digestion if you’re engaged and enjoying the dining experience. So, slow down,  let your belly catch up with your brain, and enjoy the act of nourishing yourself–you’ll be happier and get more out of your meals. 

Healthy Food Tip #5.  Eliminate Processed Food
Avoid processed foods. Just do.  Become a label reader.  It will ensure you are not eating food filled with chemicals.   A good rule of thumb is if a food is in a wrapper with a long ingredient list, put it back, and find a similar food with a smaller list (5 +/- ingredients)–with recognizable words (not chemically-sounding words).

Healthy Living Tip #6. Local Foods & Organic Foods
Put a high priority on local foods & organic foods. Local foods have a greater amount of nutrients, and can save you some cash. Organic foods are important, but can be expensive.  If you’re buying conventional, non organic local fruits & veggies, use the following wash.  It will minimize pesticide exposure. 
Simple Vegetable Wash
6 cups filtered water
2 tbsp. baking soda
½ cup of white vinegar
Let your vegetables sit in the wash for 20 minutes.  Gently scrub, and rinse. 

Healthy Living Tip #7. Don't Avoid All Fats
Not all fats are bad guys and consuming healthy fat in the right portion can encourage weight loss. In fact, some of our immune-supportive vitamins, are fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K) and require some healthy fat to help with their absorption. It is really NOT helpful to eat a plain salad without salad dressing. 

Make Simple Salad Dressing at Home
a Jamie Oliver dressing
Balsamic Salad Dressing
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt & black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jam jar; put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Healthy Living Tip #8. Go For Healthy, Protein-rich Foods
Protein is an important micronutrient; it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, supports the immune system and works as a build and repair nutrient for the body -among many other jobs.  Do not shy away from plant-based protein-rich foods like spirulina, seeds (hemp & chia seeds are particularly high in protein), and good quality grass-fed meats and wild caught fish. Protein should be eaten throughout the day to keep you stable and well fueled.

Healthy Living Tip #9. Inclusion Vs Restriction
If you want to focus more on weight management, then its better to focus on what you need to include on your plate, and less on portion restrictions. If you are targeting good quality whole food, then there just isn’t a lot of room for unhealthy ‘western diet choices.’  You’ll find that the bad habit foods become an afterthought.

Healthy Living Tip #10. Enjoy Eating!
Eating is one of the joys of life. So, don’t be afraid of it or treat is a task that you must do to stay alive. Instead, eat for nourishment, celebration and social enrichment.  Enjoy eating!

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