My Top Ten List (in no particular order)
1. Our body needs a “balance” of healthy fats (Minimum of 10-20% of total calories), complex carbohydrates (55% of total calories), and complete proteins (less than <35% of total calories). (Percentages from WHO and The Institute Of Medicine)
a. Grapeseed Oil, Walnuts, Flax Seeds, and Avocados are examples of healthy fats.
b. Brown Rice, Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes, are examples of complex carbohydrates.
c. Quinoa, Soybeans, Hemp-seed, and Chia are examples of complete proteins (contain all 9 essential amino acids and must come from food).
2. If you choose to eat meat, think of it as a condiment. Most people exceed their protein requirements by as much as 50%.
3. Do not eat after bedtime. Give yourself at least 12 hours of not eating. Your body needs time to do things other than digest food.
4. Begin everyday with at least 20 ounces of room temperature lemon water. I add half a lemon and a pinch of sea salt. You wake up dehydrated and water helps flush toxins, stimulates your metabolism, and increases blood flow to the brain. The lemon helps keep your body alkaline and the sea salt helps you retain the water.
5. Stay far away from processed man-made foods. Processed foods are high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. And are low in vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
6. Eat organic. This is one of my absolutes. Organic food is grown in nutrient rich soil, making the plants strong and disease resistant. In other words, they do not need pesticides, artificial fertilizers or fungicides.
7. Eat whole foods. While juicing can be a good way to get the vital nutrients, you lose the fiber that is necessary for regulating blood sugar and cleansing the digestive system.
8. Sometimes a simple change in perspective is all that is needed. Think of the word “diet” as a noun and not a verb. Dieting as a verb implies restriction. Instead, say, “These are the foods I have in my diet.” Do not say, “I can’t have that, I am dieting.”
9. As much as 80% of weight loss begins at the plate, not the gym. While exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle it’s not necessarily vital for weight loss.
10. Healthy eating is a lifestyle, and it takes time to accomplish. Small changes lead to big changes. The key is to keep making those changes.