Starting to Think About Nutrient Dense Food is Super Healthy
We have been on a super healthy way of eating lately that has generated many questions from our friends. In fact, I’ve had a couple of requests on how I stay in shape, so I thought I would incorporate some of the things I’ve learned.
Quote of the day: “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” Heather Morgan
I am in no way a medical doctor, or highly trained in nutrition. What I do know as a retired dentist is that EVERY person is quite different. So while one “diet” works for many, it may not be the best for everyone. Case in point, Rob and I would eat the exact same meals, yet he’d suffer from heartburn and stomach aches regularly. In the last year he was also having bloating.
Even though I’d written about my journey with healthy eating in the past, obviously what we were eating wasn’t treating Rob wonderfully. So we sought out a naturopath.
Inside information: The difference in western medicine and naturopath is that a naturopath will try to find the cause of an issue more than trying to reduce the symptoms. For example, many people who have Rob’s symptoms would have been put on Prilosec.
The big takeaway from our naturopath is that our body can heal itself to a degree. But only if it has the nutrients it needs.
Super Healthy Gut
It seems like our gut health is not the emphasis of most treatment. Yet the latest number I read is that 90% of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut. In fact, if you don’t believe me, there was a fabulous article in the AARP magazine in December about how subtle changes in gut health can have a powerful effect on how you look and feel. (If you don’t have the magazine, I’m happy to take a photo of the article if you’d like to read it. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
As the article in AARP said, the solution is simple. Build each meal around nutrient dense foods. And that is in effect how Rob has reduced his issues in three months by at least 90%.
A couple of surprises I’ve learned about keeping your gut healthy:
1-Noncaloric sweeteners can throw off your microbiome.
2-A healthy guy converts food into energy rather than fat. You have to be able to absorb what you eat in order for it to benefit you.
3-Just because you take a supplement, doesn’t mean it’s working.
Case in point. Rob was taking a Vitamin D supplement daily. However, with his digestion issues, his blood test came back that he was deficient in it.
4-Sugar feeds bad bacteria which can lead to inflammation. AND sugar is addictive!!
5-Many “medicines” harm our gut. For example Prilosec reduces the amount of acid. Instead of treating the symptom of heartburn, a naturopath will instead try to figure out why you have heartburn and adjust accordingly.
It’s NOT About a Number
I hope by now we all realize that losing weight and the number on the scale is not what’s truly important. Our health and feeling good trumps those numbers any day!!
Heck, you could eat pure sugar daily and still be skinny. That doesn’t make you healthy. While I am sure we all know this, it’s good to remind ourselves and read the ingredients.
One fabulous thing about this way of eating is we are not starving ourselves. There is no real limit on how much we can eat, so we are quite satiated. (We were only told to limit the amount of dried fruit per day).
In fact, I follow some friends who are health conscious; however, many weigh their food, which would make me go insane. I also don’t love the idea of counting calories. While I know that’s how we all grew up and the rationale of energy in vs energy out makes sense, I do think concentrating on “good” foods outweighs calorie counting.
Insider tip: Every calorie is not created equal. Remember the quote above. 100 calories of sugar will not benefit your body like 100 calories of nutrients (i.e. kale).
BTW, yes both of us have lost weight in these last 3 months. Rob has lost about 12 pounds and I have shed my CoVid weight. Yet, truly we have eaten more than normal. In the past, I would worry about portions whereas now I worry more about how many vegetables we eat.
How We are Eating Super Healthy
If you don’t know my husband, then let me tell you that he is a HUGE foodie. As an Italian, he loves food especially pasta, bread and ice cream. So changing our way of eating to this nutrient dense thinking, wasn’t something he celebrated.
Yet it does come down to the fact, that if how you are eating now isn’t working for you, then continuing to eat that way will only lead to the same results. Remember the quote above? It’s powerful thinking.
So we have changed many of the ways we eat. Breakfast for instance is the opportunity to try to eat at least 2-3 different veggies and 3-4 unique fruits. While most of these come in the form of a smoothie, my husband doesn’t love the idea of just drinking his breakfast. Therefore, we also eat either mashed sweet potatoes as a “cereal” or have a small amount of steel cut oats with fruit.
Our lunch has always been a time to have a bowl of soup (usually home made) in which to hide more veggies but now we have also added a salad to the soup instead of a sandwich.
Store bought salad dressings can be full of ingredients that aren’t good for your gut, so we have a couple of recipes for ones made with real ingredients.
Yes…we have “dessert” every night. We split an apple and eat it with either cinnamon or a nut butter.
The main points in our super healthy way of eating:
1-No sugar (the only time we indulge is on special occasions like birthdays and holidays).
2-How many veggies AND fruit can we eat in a sitting is the huge focus
3-Try to limit the amount of oil (olive or otherwise) because it isn’t nutrient dense. I still sauté in it, yet I try not to use as much or try not to sauté every night.
4- We are not vegetarians, but we try to make sure any meat we eat is quality. And we only eat a small amount one meal a day.
As for quality that means all those expensive terms like organic, free range, wild caught and grass fed.
Granted, if you don’t spend the money on your “gas” for your car, you’ll spend it on the repairs, right?
5-Processed food is low on the list of what to eat that is super healthy. That means we are not eating bread. We have tried cauliflower bread, but even that is “processed” so it’s a once a week treat.
Insider tip: We have ordered two boxes from Butcher Box. If you would like to try this service, my link should give you a $30 credit at checkout. FYI, it’s not cheap!!!
As in everything, I love to share the good and bad. Right now we are hoping that by eating super healthy like this, our bodies will heal and continue to feel good.
Yet there are days we struggle.
It has been an adjustment in that there is more cooking and more grocery shopping. Our grocery bills have been bigger because the quality foods tend to cost more.
There are a couple of points that our naturopath and coach concentrate on, that we are not 100% sure we agree. One is the push for raw nuts as opposed to roasted nuts.
The other is the limit on oils, but we are trying to have reduced amounts right now. PLUS, this naturopath does not want us to have any dairy. We have limited it but we still have a creamer with our coffee so we don’t become lactose intolerant.
I am happy to share anything you would like to know. Just ask!!!
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