So what is healthy nutrition? My own definition would be providing and consuming whole, limited or non-processed foods necessary for the body to optimize function and growth. An important factor in providing and consuming healthy foods is the self awareness around what you chose to buy and eat or drink daily. The self awareness around how the foods and drinks you're consuming make you feel could have a huge impact on your health and daily lifestyle. Not only that, but your mindset before and while eating will also impact those feelings. For example, knowing the difference between feeling hungry versus stress/emotional eating have an impact on your overall nutrition habits. It starts with the trip to the grocery store, to the cooking and preparing of the food, then finally eating and digesting the food. Becoming aware of this and deciding if it's aligned with your desired lifestyle and ideal health measure will ultimately come to the habits you create around nutrition.
Next let's look at when nutrition is important. Nutrition is ALWAYS important throughout every stage of your life. Not only is it necessary for survival, but it’s also part of our social being. Let’s think about birthday parties, holiday gatherings, BBQ cookouts and picnics (my personal favorite), dinner parties with friends, etc. At all of these experiences, food is being provided and consumed for the guests to enjoy along with great conversations. Everyone sharing and consuming the same foods also makes for great human connection. So the next time you host a holiday gathering, cookout or dinner with friends, be mindful of what you choose to serve the guests - whole, limited processed or non-processed foods will still taste delicious and could positively impact the moods of your guests as well! Eat good, live good - everyone wants to “feel” good and it starts with consuming healthy foods.
Okay, maybe you want to start implementing new healthy habits and optimize your health to feel good. I would recommend first starting by using the self-awareness step and write down or type in your phone what you are eating and drinking on a daily basis. There are plenty of apps you can download to help you keep track. Without changing anything, find out if you're consuming more calories or less calories based on your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). BMR is the number of calories required for your body to function at rest. Then based on your health or fitness goals, determine what you need to adjust. Do you need to eat more? Eat less? Move more (burn more calories), etc. Next would be to go through your kitchen and get rid of the low quality, high calorie and highly processed foods/drinks - out of sight, out of mind. And finally, spend some time planning all the meals, including snack options, that you would like to make. Planning equals less of a chance to fall into the trap of stopping on your way home at the fast food restaurant because it’s convenient, ordering takeout, or even worse, skipping a meal. Home cooking is a sure way to know the quality of the food, how it’s prepared, and what ingredients were used! There are plenty of healthy recipes you can search online, or even grab a cookbook. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do because I find it to be relaxing and stress relieving and I hope you will too! The choice to take action on your health and start to create better habits around nutrition is yours - EAT GOOD, LIVE GOOD, FEEL GOOD.