More and more, we are reading about the way gut health is directly related to mental and physical health.
Food is something that at some point was alive. Not processed, or packed with fillers, preservatives, and synthetic vitamins and minerals. So much of what we see in the grocery store is merely a food-like substance with expiration dates that stretch on for years and ingredients you've never heard of.
We're all so busy that we don't want to be inconvenienced by the procurement and preparation of real food. However, what we put in is what we get out. If we want to feel good, we have to change the way we look at fueling our bodies.
When you look at your plate you should see a variety of colors. From orange carrots, to purple cabbage, to green salad and red tomatoes, to yellow squash. Each color literally represents different vitamins and minerals that are essential for our health.
Avoid or Limit SAD GAS
Eat at least 50% of your food raw for added enzymes and more nutrients. Instead of looking at your diet as “things I can’t eat”, change your perspective and focus on “what I get to eat”.
Nutritious eating is just developing good habits. To start, it’s helpful to eat the same things every day for a while. This will get you in a routine, develop good habits, and take the guesswork out of it. If every morning when you get up, you have the same thing, you don't have to even think about it. Changing up the veggies at dinner will offer enough variety until your body gets in a routine. Once you eat this way for a month or so, you will actually lose your taste for most of the SAD GAS items.
Here’s a sample meal plan to start with:
Oatmeal sweetened with fruit
Smoothie (banana, mixed berries, kale, ground psyllium husk, ground flaxseed, almond milk, ice)
if you're not much of a morning eater, start with hot tea with lemon, or even just hot water with lemon. The lemon is good for digestion and is a perfect way to start the day. To speed things up, once a week squeeze lemon juice and fill an ice cube tray with the juice. Then in the mornings you can just pop one out and into your hot water.
Then have a snack in an hour or so.
Colorful green salad
Brown Rice and steamed veggies
Occasional organic chicken or fish if you’re a meat eater (if you are worried about getting enough protein, listen to this podcast, or read this article)
Snacks in between (have ready to grab)
Green smoothie (Kale, spinach, green apple)
Flaxseed crackers with almond butter
Raw almonds, dried cranberries
Apple with peanut butter
Fresh fruit (grapefruit, papaya, pineapple,
Stop eating when the sun goes down and drink at least a liter of water every day. Fill up an actual liter jug and make sure it’s gone by the end of the day.
We can actually tell how we’re doing by our stool. Optimally, it should be thick, dark brown, sinks to the bottom, is relatively odorless, and exits easily with a “clean wipe”.
1 C quinoa
2 cups water
½ cup diced yellow squash
¼ cup thinly sliced carrots
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup ground sesame seeds
¼ cup coconut, almond, or hemp milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Rinse quinoa and add to boiling water; reduce heat and cool for 5 minutes; then add squash, carrots, raisins, walnuts, and sesame seeds; then simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Add milk to desired consistency.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
6 cups of chopped veggies (choose any you like: bell peppers, squash, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green beans, peas, tomatoes, fennel - the more colors, the better)
3 cups fresh raw spinach leaves
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme)
4 cups organic vegetable stock
Tomato paste (6 oz can)
Optional: a variety of beans - I like lentils or chickpeas)
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat olive oil and add onions, garlic, celery, and carrots; saute' about 5-10 minutes; add veggie stock and then remainder of ingredients (except spinach); simmer on low and covered for about 30-40 minutes, adding spinach about 5 minutes prior to finishing.
I hope you get inspired to make healthy eating part of your lifestyle. I'd love to hear your comments or questions!
I write about human behavior, meditation, body awareness, and a variety of other things that pique my interest.