I’m not a holistic nutritionist or dietician but I’ve had some training in nutrition courses when I went to school and through my 20+ years of being a personal trainer, I have helped many people shed the pounds not just though working out but balancing out it out with healthy eating.
I have dealt with many health issues over the past 20 years and these issues have always been solved through changing my eating habits and not taking pills. I’m not saying that modern medicine doesn’t play a role in our lives, because it does, but sometimes pills just make some conditions worse and my journey was to find medicine that would heal me, that medicine was food. I don’t like to preach to people what is good and bad when it comes to food as we all have a very good idea of what we should be eating and what we need to leave off of our plates. I have been a pescatarian for over two years now and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my health. Art and I made a conscious effort to decrease our meat intake when we were first married but my constant digestive problems led me to giving it up completely. Since that day, I have never felt better.
Last year I gave up drinking milk as I was enduring more digestive issues and it’s funny how in tune you can become with your body if you notice what you’re eating. I’ve always told my clients to listen to their bodies as your gut with let you know what’s good and bad. As the saying goes ‘if you eat crap, you will feel like crap.’ So next time you go to grab something that really isn’t that healthy, ask yourself, how is this food going to benefit my body nutritionally?
I also found that eating processed foods were leaving me fatigued and moody so when I gave up meat, I gave up 99% of processed food. Most of the cooking I do for Art and myself is from scratch and I do buy very little packaged food. Most people cringe when they hear that I cook most of my food from scratch but when I tell them my story of how my digestive and health issues went away from dismissing these foods, they were interested to learn more. When you think of all the chemicals that are in processed foods along with the added sugars, fats, oils, sodium, and ingredients I’ve never heard of, it really makes you wonder what these foods are doing to our cells, tissues, organs, and long-term health. If you consciously read the labels of processed foods in grocery stores and don’t understand the ingredients, doesn’t it make you wonder what these chemicals are really used for?
It’s been almost four months since Art and I have adapted a whole food/plant base lifestyle and the last phase of our journey is giving up oil. So why give it up? Well, there really isn’t anything nutritious about oil and it’s loaded with fat so why would we put it into our bodies when it doesn’t really benefit us nutritionally? We have many people ask us where we get our fat from and basically it’s from nuts, seeds, and avocados. As a society we consume way too much fat in our diet which is why so many people are overweight and suffering from disease. I’m not telling people to adapt to this eating lifestyle (it has to be something that your truly are onboard 100%) but I’m asking people to stop and take inventory of what you eat and how you can improve your daily eating habits.
So the little changes I have made so far with omitting oil from our diet is that I no longer use oil in the pan when sautéing or cooking vegetables. I use either water or vegetable broth. It’s amazing how many people think they are improving their eating habits with eating salads and consuming more vegetables into their diet but if you’re looking to lose weight, look at the dressing you are putting on your salad. When I first starting with a whole food/plant base lifestyle, I would purchase very healthy grain salads from the grocery store but when I came home to eat them, I had to drain all the oil that was in them. The salads were so greasy and loaded in fat that it made me feel sick. I no longer purchase pre-ready salads from the grocery store. These oils and salad dressings is where a lot of people get their calories from and don’t even realize it.
So why eat healthier?
- To lose and maintain a healthy weight
- To increase your energy level
- To feel better about yourself
- To control or get rid of disease (diabetes, some common cancers, CHD, etc.)
- To reduce your cholesterol level
- To control your blood pressure
The list goes on…………………..
So as you read our blogs, you will hear us talk more about a whole food/plant base lifestyle and learn how it can change your life. Again, we’re not here to preach to you but instead to provide you with the tools and tips to make your life healthier so you can make informed decisions about your own eating habits.
I like to eat a variety of food so I’m always experimenting with recipes and new foods. So someone asked me what we eat in a typical day so here is a sample menu plan (most items are whole food/plant base but everything else is vegan):
-kamut with cinnamon, agave syrup, with sliced apple
-water or fruit juice (leftover fruit that we have juiced)
-banana crumb muffins (whole food/plant base)
–leftover coleslaw (vegan) wrapped in collard greens – this is a great way to use up some leftover salad (I basically eat as many as want until I’m full)
-glass of almond milk
-oil free chocolate zucchini walnut muffins
-potato and leek soup
-whole wheat wraps with grilled vegetables & raw vegetables
–roasted spiced chickpeas with lime juice (we don’t use oil & you don’t need it as these are so tasty!)
We use to think that staying active and working out would help control our weight and it still does however, we are realizing the importance of food and how it effects not just our weight but fighting disease, it’s better for the environment, and it’s saving animals by eating less or no animal protein. Food plays an important role in our daily lives and we need to stop and take inventory of what we are putting into our mouths to see how it’s affecting our health. If we want to live longer and happier, then you need to start believing that you are what you eat.
Have a great day!
Art & Maureen