That relatively short thought that has been stuck on my mind the last few days. Bold? Sure. But honest AF. And when it comes to nutrition and healthier living, I don't like to sugarcoat much (because sugar doesn't have it's place in health).
I have a ton of topics that I plan to write on over the next several weeks with the idea that they will build off one another week to week. And the most appropriate place to start is with the foundational principles. So if you're struggling with where to begin a healthier nutrition journey, listen up.
Here's where I believe you truly can't go wrong. And until you can get these principles down and be more and more consistent with them you shouldn't turn to other alternatives (think 4 weeks at a minimum and possibly up to 6-12 months).
The main and first priority is a Balanced Plate at each meal. What do I mean by that? Two things: 1) Getting food on your plate from each macronutrient group - Lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats and of course vegetables and 2) proper portion sizes relative to you and adjusting portions based on hunger or fullness (see Precision Nutrition infographic below).
My goal (and your goal) is to balance my plate with each food group. My biggest struggle has always been getting enough greens/vegetables. So it definitely takes effort on my part to make sure I get some sort of vegetable on the plate. My go to greens/vegetables are green peppers, spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus.
This servings guide eliminates the need to specifically weigh and measure your food for each meal (although a future blog post will cover why weighing and measuring is a valuable tool and why everyone should learn it at some point). So for now, use your hand to keep things simple and relatively easy. And yes it is easy despite you thinking it might be too hard. Making it through Navy Seal training is hard. Studying and taking your boards is hard. Serving in our military is hard. Choosing a meal of balanced healthy foods IS NOT HARD. Put forth the effort to make these foundational changes. Give them time. Watch your body start to change.
Finally, I'll leave you with this - CrossFit Games Athlete Julie Foucher had this to say just the other day - "One fact that’s hard to argue with is that the more veggies we take in, the better. Vegetables are packed with polyphenols and fiber which provide an abundance of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2017 meta analysis in the International Journal of Epidemiology looked at 95 prospective studies of fruit and vegetable intake and found that increased intake was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from all causes. There was also a “dose response” meaning the more vegetables and fruits you eat, the lower your risk. Highest reductions in risk were seen with intake of 10 servings or 800g per day. The authors hypothesized that IF this relationship were causal (which, as with most epidemiological nutrition studies, we can’t say), 7.8 MILLION deaths worldwide in 2013 could have been attributed to fruit and veggie intake below 800g per day."
As always, if you're interested in talking with me more about your individual nutrition needs, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to meet about your health needs. Sometimes it's the accountability that keeps you motivated.
About the author: Nick Fiorilli is the Co-Owner of CrossFit 1808, Director of Operations and Marketing and small business attorney. Nick is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Nick works with clients on implementing better and sustainable nutrition habits and guide those who are willing to make a change in their health and wellness - through nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. You can reach Nick at Nick@CrossFit1808.com.
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