"There is a myth that eating healthy is too hard. Unfortunately the result of this myth is that many people who want to try, don’t even begin. Myths that perpetuate overwhelm, or lack (“I just can’t do it”) are not serving us.
Consider a simple formula for your meals. That each time you eat you are providing your body with energy to sustain you until the next meal. Each meal, even snacks, should contain high quality protein, fat, and fiber.
Proteins can be from any number of sources. Organic, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs, nuts or nut butters, and legumes can all be fine sources. The majority of our meal should aim to be vegetables, which provide the body with vitamin and mineral content, as well as fiber. Fiber is critical for digestive health, playing key roles in maintaining a good microbiome.
And fat brings many benefits to brain health, overall hormone health, not to mention satiety. Quality fats include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, fish, lard, butter, and eggs. Making the effort to change some habits around how we eat is the key to eating clean in today’s busy world. Taking a moment to put some lettuce, avocado, lemon wedges, and olives in a lunch bag or cooler with a portable container of olive oil takes only minutes. Adding in nuts or canned fish and some sea salt completes the meal.
Making extra for dinners provides leftovers for quick breakfasts or lunches. Rethinking our ideas around these meals is important. Breakfast can be soup, or leftover dinner, or green smoothies. Thinking past the sandwich for lunch expands our options tremendously.
While you begin to rethink and get creative with your meals, the opportunity arises to check in more carefully with what does work for you. Do you need a heartier breakfast than you’ve been giving yourself? In fact, a heartier breakfast may sustain you for much longer, deleting the need for sugar or caffeine to push through the late morning crash.
You may discover that nuts aren’t as satisfying as meat, or broth. Or you may need slightly more carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, plantains) than you’ve allowed. Meeting yourself in the moment can elicit information for what your body needs in its desire for vitality. And this dialogue with yourself, listening and responding, will guide and motivate your instincts for what to eat.
Overall, eating clean is simple, yet delicious. Over complicating this task is a distraction to moving into action. Change is required, and perhaps some social discomfort at first. In the end though, you will have rekindled a respectful relationship with your body and your intuition, which lays a very strong foundation for long-term health. Consider that it is possible, and affordable. Experiment and learn, there is no need to have it mastered at the first go. This is all a process and an evolution. We are all still learning. And it is essential for our wellbeing that we take back our power, from the food industries and media, and make choices based in an advocacy for our own health. The more we choose to do so, the more we create self-worth and self-knowledge. These tools pave the way forward into a place of true healing and happiness."
This post originally appeared as a guest post on Lisa M. Buske's blog One Sister's Journey.
Francie Healey is the author of "Eat To Beat Alzheimer's and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is both a Certified Health Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.practitioner.