Follow These 6 Steps to Learn to Crave Healthy Food
As a registered dietitian, I know that the right foods can help our bodies reach their peak performance. That’s why I’m obsessed with the health benefits of food — especially food directly from nature (AKA plants). Plants can literally HEAL our bodies.
Eating Plants Can Prevent Disease
Why are plants so essential to eat?
The antioxidants in plants defend our cells against oxidation from free radical damage. Free radical damage is bad for us, because over time it not only wrinkles our skin, but causes devastating diseases like cancer, inflammatory joint disease, atherosclerosis, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease. Antioxidants from plant foods can halt the process of disease formation by boosting your immune system to keep your cells normal and healthy. They also stop free radicals from running wild and causing damage to your cells.
As you eat a variety of plants, nutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isothiocyanates, lignans, organosulfur, and saponins (to name a few) come into your system and defend your cells from harmful invaders, while simultaneously boosting them to peak performance. This process keeps your body and brain healthy over your life span.
Don’t Focus on Fad Diets
In today’s slim-obsessed, wellness-central society, we are bombarded with different diets to try and different foods to cut out. In all this noise, this is what I tell my clients to focus on: plants are good for us. Eat plants.
One of the big nutritional debates I’ve seen my clients get caught up on over the years is how many macros (carbohydrates, protein and fats that make up calories) they should eat.
Fat was the nutrient many fad diets said to avoid in the 1990s. In the early 1990s, Nutrition Facts labels came to the food market, and food companies scrambled to make sure the % fat in the packaged foods was disguised. They knew that if consumers saw how much fat was in their products, their sales would drop.
In the 2000’s, carbohydrates have become the culprit of ill health, so we shift to low-carb diets. I’ve seen the latest/greatest fads come and go, including Phen-Fen, The Zone, Atkins, South Beach, and some that are popular today like Ketogenic, Paleo, Gluten-free and Lectin-free to name a few. (Maybe you’ve heard of these diets or have tried some of them).
Eat Food Directly from Nature
People today, like in the past three decades are searching for what diet is best, the cure-all. Here’s the truth:
Mother Nature knows how to feed you. The best way to eat is to get a variety of foods grown outdoors. Choose foods produced by the earth and find the mixture and amount that works best for you individually and personally.
And here’s why….
You are uniquely designed. Your genes (a small segment of your DNA) have sequences of codes in a constant complex state of calculations. Every moment of your life you have proteins to build and cells to divide. Deep inside each one of your body cells these functions are ongoing. You have an extremely busy world of operations going on internally that need the right ingredients to support their functions.
Our bodies are complicated, and food from nature has the complexity needed to complement them. Plants have a similar complex DNA network that make them the best match for our bodies.
Our modern-day way of eating is significantly removed from nature’s food in their true form. We eat foods that have been packaged, processed and stripped of most of their health benefits. We CAN change our eating habits and behaviors, however, to crave eating plants.
Many years ago, I didn’t like or eat foods from nature. There were too many cheaper, more convenient and tastier alternatives. Now I choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats, not out of compulsion, but out of desire. With practice, you can also retrain your body to request veggies over french fries, fresh fruit over cheese cake, or raw nuts over a candy bar. Good clean foods from nature were put on the earth with one purpose — to build and repair our bodies and minds. YOU can desire the flavors of nature’s foods also!
The Six NATURE Steps
Throughout my career, I’ve developed six steps to changing eating habits for the better and for good. These steps are all spelled out by the word NATURE.
N — Notice the foods you’re eating each day
A — Analyze the contents of the foods you eat before putting them into your body
T — Train your brain to form new positive connections with nature’s foods
U — Unite clean eating with exercise and meditation to form a healthy, natural lifestyle
R — Renew your positive relationship with nature’s foods every day, even when you revert to old cravings
E — Execute these steps again to reinforce your newfound clean eating routine
Each blog post after this will focus on one of these steps to help you become the healthiest version of you. These steps are also built
out in more detail in the Nature Meal Plan and my book Eat Real Food and Love It: 6 Steps to Help You Crave Healthy Eating (both coming soon!).
I can’t wait to share with you ALL the professional knowledge and personal experience I have on living a healthy life. You can crave nature’s foods and I am living proof that you can change your palate for good.