I believe in unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods.
I believe in balance, and while, for me, that usually excludes the use of processed foods – doing so does not equate to denial.
I believe and know that filling my plate with real foods—pasture-raised meat, wild-caught seafood, healthy fats from nuts, seeds and oils, and antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits makes me thrive.
In short, I strive to eat food as it occurs in nature most of the time. I eat naturally-raised meat and fat (yes, FAT!); I enjoy plant fats from avocados, olives and coconut; I use plenty of herbs & spices; and eat as many veggies as I desire.
And when my heart needs chocolate? I eat chocolate. (Every day). 😉
My Nutrition Journey
It wasn’t always this way though; my beliefs and approach to nutrition have evolved tremendously since my college days, when I survived on Lean Cuisine diet meals and fat free Hostess cupcakes.If the package promised “low fat,” “low calorie,” “sugar free” or “calorie free,” it was in my shopping cart! My weight yo-yo’d up and down; I’d go through periods of binging and restricting; I’d exercise for two hours every day; my body and mind were not in harmony, yet I genuinely believed I was doing everything I could to reach “optimal health.” The diet mentality had me wrapped around its ugly finger.
Fast forward two years after graduation. I was living at home and began experiencing severe digestion issues. Whenever I ate, my tummy would bloat and I’d feel sick. The pain eventually became so unbearable, that I had no choice but to seek professional help. After numerous tests, I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. Once I eliminated wheat and gluten from my diet I felt significantly better! Changing my eating habits wasn’t easy—in fact it was one of the toughest life changes I’ve made—but I discovered that eliminating gluten from my diet enabled me to focus on more nourishing and nutrient-packed sources of carbohydrates.
**Even though I almost always choose foods that do not contain gluten, occasionally I’ll eat soy sauce or other foods that have mild traces, as these foods don’t seem to bother me.
More recently I’ve been reducing my consumption of grains, and instead choosing to fill my plate with antioxidant rich fruits and starchy vegetables. I fuel my workouts with sweet potatoes, bananas and other nutrient-rich fruit, and have noticed significant increases in my energy levels and muscle development. My digestive issues have improved too.
Find What Works for YOU.
Labels limit our ability to eat intuitively, so I choose not to use them when describing my diet. There’s no need to completely eliminate foods from our plates unless they cause severe allergic or autoimmune reaction. If I’m craving ice cream, gosh darnit I’m going to enjoy a scoop or two. If I want a piece of my mom’s homemade Thanksgiving pie, you better believe it will be on my plate. However, these foods are occasional treats, rather than everyday indulgences.
Find what works for you—eat natural foods that your body craves! We’re all a little different, which means there’s no ONE way to eat. The only truly right way to nourish your body is the way that makes YOU feel your very best.