Seems like humans are on a never ending quest to discover the perfect diet, right?
One thing I think is somewhat hilarious is that a lot of these “new” diets are simply repackaged versions of something from years ago. Sometimes the only difference is that there’s a new name to it and maybe there are now more studies to back the claims.
One example is - If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). I started counting macros doing well over 20 years ago after reading bodybuilding books and magazines. Bodybuilders have been counting macros for a very long time but now it’s become mainstream - which is fantastic!
Unfortunately what I see happening is that people ONLY focus on their macros (and calories) and some people just don't want to count anything.
The good news is that calories and macros aren’t the holy grail when it comes to a healthy diet.
There are other things you can pay attention to instead or in addition to.
#1 WHAT YOU EAT
Typically people begin noticing that what they eat is ridiculously important as they segue into their 30s.
Your response to various foods tends to change. You might suddenly become sensitive to a food that you were never sensitive t when you were younger, for instance.
A lot of that has to do with stress, our hormones and how those hormones affect every other system in our body including digestion, blood sugar management, and ability to process protein. That’s a whole other topic that I can’t wait to break down for you at a later date!
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” convenience foods). This is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day you really want to aim for:
● A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal (including snacks or mini-meals). By eating the rainbow - you’ll naturally get the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your body requires to run more optimally.
● Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids to support your tissues in their maintenance, recovery, and repair. Bonus: protein helps to boost your metabolism because of its thermic effect on your body.
● High-quality fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” - you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb A, D, E, and K (essential fat-soluble vitamins) from your veggies. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don't need to overdo fats since they are concentrated calories. Just make sure you're getting the high-quality ones.
#2 HOW YOU EAT AND DRINK
Studies are definitely proving that how you eat and drink has more of an impact than we previously thought - especially when it comes to our gastrointestinal health.
Have you ever heard to recommendation to “drink your food”?
All this means is that you want to chew your food until it’s liquid.
I know this sounds gross and unappetizing but CHEWING our food is the first and very important step to digestion!
The act of chewing signals your digestive system to secrete necessary enzymes to properly digest whatever it is that you're eating.
Another recommendation I’ve heard over the years is to chew your food 30 times before swallowing.
You really can’t get any more mindful than that!
Chewing your food this thoroughly will allow you to savor every bite, notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture… and will help you to avoid overeating since you’ll be eating slower. Eating slower will help you eat less because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
You can also literally drink your food in the form of a shake or smoothie. I prefer to make protein ice cream or smoothie bowls using less liquid and frozen fruit.
Shakes, smoothies, and the like can be a really easy way to get in that rainbow of fruits and veggies (including leafy greens!) you want - but also be aware that consuming too many of these protein powder-based meals in a day can make you feel sluggish. For that reason I recommend only one of these a day or maybe two.
Tip: If your smoothie/shake/bowl doesn't fill you up like a full meal does - try adding in a Tablespoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.
As my gift to you for reading all the way to the end - here are some 7 days of protein smoothie recipes! DOWNLOAD HERE