Make Moderation Your Mantra & Transform Your Health
I am a 37 year old eating disorder survivor, and more recently, I’ve been kicking butt at healing and regenerating my body, from inflammation and chronic disease.
Here’s what I’ve learnt about eating for wellness.
MODERATION IS EVERYTHING
I’ve oscillated between eating one meal a day, to eating all my meals, everyday, at McDonalds.
Today I am an avid advocate of moderation in two respects. Eating moderate size portions, and moderation in how often I indulge myself.
TAKE BABY STEPS
Starting a diet, or trying to go zero sugar, for example, are designed to fail. Extreme approaches are often unsustainable. Eventually, ‘all out’ approaches fail, and that hurts our self esteem in more ways than one.
The goal is to change habits, by making small changes for the long run. Starting small is realistic, for example, “The only added sugar I’ll have today will be in my coffee.” Rather than “Day 1 of no sugar!” And then crash and burn at 2 pm.
EATING QUALITY FOODS
Eat high quality foods is essential - including a majority of whole foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, legumes, lentils, fruits, and vegetables.
Superfoods are game changers - an increasingly popular superfood are Microgreens. These are plants that are micro versions of full grown vegetables, that are harvested 7 to 14 days after they are planted. At this stage of their growth, these little plants have the most concentrated nutrition - up to 40% more than full grown plants, as per the USDA. Consuming these soon after harvest, ensures your body gets all of the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In fact broccoli microgreens have been known to be
There has been a silent Vitamin D deficiency epidemic going on for years. Vitamin D3 deficiency can result in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis and neuro-degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. It may even contribute to the development of cancers.
To prevent vitamin D deficiency, you need to spend 15 to 20 minutes daily in the sun, with 40% or more of your skin exposed. When that is not possible, supplement between 5000 - 10,000 IU a day. (Talk to your doctor about dosage that works for you.)
ELIMINATE OR REDUCE
Everyone’s body is different, and it’s important to understand what makes you feel good and what does not. For me, eliminating dairy was life changing.
Common foods that don’t contribute much to your health and well being include red meat, sugar, white flour, & saturated fats. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fats in the average American diet, according to the National Cancer Institute.
If reducing the consumption of a food helps you feel better, you may be motivated to reduce it further and perhaps eliminate it, if it presents a serious enough threat to your health.
OILS - WHAT’S GOOD & WHAT’S NOT
Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development. The body needs a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. These fatty acids are found in oils such corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, and vegetable; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has been cold pressed, is the safest oil, if you are trying to curb inflammation, or just eat better.
SUBSTITUTES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Swapping out foods for better versions, i.e, making small changes will add up to big results! Here are some great substitutes, without a whole lot of sacrifice.
Dark Chocolate instead of Milk Chocolate - did you know that milk contains a lot of saturated fat, which not only packs on the pounds, but also increases inflammation in the body?
Starting with smaller percentage like 65% dark, and then going up makes sense because it gets less sweet and more bitter as you go up. Make sure you check the ingredient list to ensure there is no milk in it, as a lot of manufacturers add milk to dark chocolate too.
Microgreens instead of Regular Leafy Greens - swapping out your greens for power greens that are dense in nutrition, and also more flavorful is a a foolproof, easy way to eat more quality foods.
Oat Milk instead of Cow’s Milk - the consumption of cow’s milk has been declining steadily. In 2018, sales were down by $1.1 Billion. The case against cow’s milk includes high saturated fat, allergies, added hormones, higher rates of osteoporosis and so on.
Oat Milk is a creamy alternative that does not give you any of those problems. You’ll be visiting the doctor less, and shedding pounds real fast too.
Fresh Fruit Juice/ Smoothie instead of Soda - the amount of sugar in soda, and chemicals in diet soda can give a person diabetes and put them at serious risk of obesity. Juice subscriptions are an easy way to make that switch if you don’t have the time or inclination to juice every time you want a cold drink. Some restaurants are now offering home style meals and juices in larger quantities, to help customers through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wild Caught Salmon instead of Farm Raised Salmon - there are some big differences between the two, for instance, half a fillet of farm raised salmon has 412 calories and 27 grams of fat. While wild salmon fillet has 281 calories and 13 grams of fat. Farmed salmon is fed antibiotics and are intentionally fed fish meal and fish oil to fatten them. They also contain lesser of the healthy omega 3s and a higher amount of omega 6s.
In conclusion, You have the power to make change. You can be in control of what happens to your health and wellness! Whenever in doubt, think moderation.