Have you been feeling sluggish and need a kickstart? Instead of running to the nearest Starbucks™ for a double shot of espresso or the local gas station for a cold can of energy, get your quick fix right inside your own refrigerator doors.
Deficiencies are created in the body when we aren’t fueling our bodies with the right kinds of foods. Sadly, it is easier to pop a frozen meal in the microwave or run through a drive-thru to get a convenient meal. Although, what may be convenient now may cause serious negative health repercussions in the future such as hormone imbalances, fatigue, digestive issues, bone loss, abnormal heart rhythms, depression, hair loss and dementia, and that’s just to name a few! Treat your body to a power punch of nutrients giving you the ultimate energy boost.
Water, water, water: I always have my clients start with upping their water intake. For good reason, too. An adult body is made up of 50-60% of water. Consuming adequate amounts of water has proven to have many health benefits including hormone regulation, kidney detoxification, fatigue reduction, brain function enhancement, a headache reliever, encouragement of healthy bowel movements, promotes weight loss and radiates youth through your skin.
Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces to stay properly hydrated. Athletes should drink more as well as those who live in hotter climates.
Dark leafy greens and other green veggies: Vegetables should always be the base of your diet. Try to get in at least 2-3 servings of green vegetables and a variety of other colors throughout the day.
Dark leafy greens are dark because they are full of chlorophyll. Ingesting them helps regulate iron levels, builds the blood, and can even bind with toxic metals and clean them out of the body’s system. Leafy greens also contain Vitamin K which promotes healthy blood clotting, Vitamin B for extra energy (B vitamins are water soluable so a fresh daily dose is needed as the body doesn’t store this one), calcium for a bone boost and even a reduction of blood pressure as calcium contributes to good muscular health. Greens have a healthy source of folate which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss.
Easy ways to get greens in undetected is to puree them with a fruit smoothie. Spinach can be added to almost any dish, cooked or raw without over-powering the flavor. Kale is great sautéed with cabbage, sweet potato, onion, seasoned with a little Mesquite seasoning and topped with scrambled eggs for a hearty breakfast hash.
Eat from the rainbow: Getting a variety of colors is going to give the body all kinds of nutritional support it needs.
Reds: contains lycopene which has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers and protection from heart attacks. Heating these red veggies will kill the Vitamin C it contains, but it enhances the activity of the lycopene and allows it to be absorbed by the body better. Use red vegetable in both raw and cooked forms for maximum benefit.
Oranges/Yellow: are rich in beta-carotene and alpha-carotene and can be converted to Vitamin A in the body which is supports vision, immune function, skin and bone health.
Blue/Purples: helps fight inflammation, boosts the immune system, helps prevent cancer, and improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients.
Whites: also helps prevent cancer, boosts the immune system and can help regulate hormones.
Nuts, seeds and healthy fats: Fuel the brain with healthy fat options. Your brain is made up of 60% fat and relies on fat to function properly.
Information bombards us promoting fat free foods and lies that eating fat makes you fat. While fats do contain a lot of calories for such a small serving size, eating them in their whole form with your meals is highly beneficial. The truth is, fats in baked goods, processed foods, greasy foods or foods high in sugar are the kinds of fats that will make you fat.
Fats help regulate and balance hormones making it necessary to ingest them daily. Eating fats with meals will also help you feel full so you don’t overeat. Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds and oils.
Be creative, use nuts in soups, as salad dressing thickeners, replacements for bread crumbs, salad toppings or other food toppings, and snacks. Soaking them will give you an even added benefit to their nutrition by reducing phytic acid, which binds to iron and zinc and prevents absorption.
Avocados make a great addition to morning eggs, half-time snacks, a smoothie, homemade sugar-free ice-cream, they can also be made into a dip for veggies.
Oils and butter can be used to cook with. High-heat oils (400 degrees and higher) are avocado, coconut, grapeseed, peanut, and sesame oil. Medium-heat oils (350-400 degrees) are almond, butter, olive, peanut and walnut oil. Raw to low-heat oils (under 350 degrees) are hemp, fish, flaxseed, olive, sesame, or any other nut oil.
Consume a serving of healthy fats with each meal or snack throughout the day.
Lean meats, fish, poultry eggs and tofu: Proteins provide the building blocks to support the body and it’s structure.
Being married to a hunter has it’s advantages like having wild game meat in abundance in my home. Wild game is a great option or grass-fed meats can be purchased at most grocery stores or a local health food store. Lean red meats contain iron and B-complex vitamins and help give you energy, especially if anemia is a concern.
Fish incorporated a couple times a week and will provide a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids which is essentially brain food. Remember to look for fish that is wild-caught as farmed fishes are high in contaminants and are farmed so closely they can be infected with diseases that can spread throughout the fish population. Great wild-caught choices are tuna, salmon, halibut, sardines and anchovies.
Chicken and turkey are best purchased organic. There is a big difference in the taste and quality in poultry that isn’t full of hormones and antibiotics. Not only are both high in protein, they also have Vitamins B3, B6, B12, selenium, phosphorus, choline, and pantothenic acid.
Eggs are another good source of protein. My favorite right now is farm fresh eggs from my brother’s chicken coop, I know they are free-range, humanly treated, and are fed high-quality chicken feed. The yolks are a dark orange and when scrambled or fried they have a richer flavor than regular store-bought eggs. Farm fresh eggs are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, beta-carotene and are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than regular eggs. When purchasing eggs from the store the best bet is to go with organic over free-range or-cage free. Organic regulates both what the chickens are fed and that they are cage-free with the ability to go outdoors.
Tofu is a common vegetarian/vegan option to increase the amount of protein, calcium, and minerals like copper, iron magnesium, selenium and zinc in your diet. It is made out of soy and comes in a few varieties such as regular, silken, and marinated so you can use it in a variety of ways in your meal prepping.
Pseudo grains: There is a lot of controversy over wether to use whole grains or not. Many whole grains are processed, genetically modified and elevate insulin levels when consumed. Whole grains have been known to cause inflammation, and gluten-intolerance for many.
Pseudo-grains have stepped in as an excellent replacement. They have a higher protein and fiber count but are lower on the glycemic scale. Our recommendations are quinoa, buckwheat, teff, millet, amaranth, and wild rice.
Legumes and lentils: Both are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble fiber.
These are best soaked, with the exception of black-eyed peas and lentils, to reduce the phytic acid in them, which was discussed earlier with nuts.
To reduce potential flatulence soak the beans by placing the beans in a pot covered with two inches of water, bring the water to a boil and then remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight. Rinse with cool water before cooking them.
1-2 servings daily is recommended for optimal health. Legumes and lentils will help you stay full longer and sustain energy, especially in athletes.
Daily Vitamin/Fish Oil/Mineral: Unfortunately our crops don’t have the same nutrition they once had due to depletion and demineralization of our topsoil. Pesticides plague our foods like never before. Foods have been genetically modified which is causing a myriad of problems all on it’s own.
Many of us don’t even have adequate nutrition day to day anyway, making a daily multi-vitamin, fish oil supplement, and trace mineral an absolute necessity.
Not all vitamins are created equal though. Make sure to pick a good whole food vitamin. Synthetic vitamins with thousands of milligrams of isolated nutrients act like toxins in our body and aren’t assimilated as a recognized, usable nutrient. Our supplements of choice, that have far exceeded all others, are created by Standard Process.
Fish oil should also be taken daily and will help support brain function, lubricate joints, regulate mood and can even help with elevated blood pressure.
Say no to processed foods and yes to nutrient dense whole foods. Eat your way to better health! Give your body the fuel that it craves to keep you living a long, pain-free, energized life.
Dr. T’s Tip: An extreme over haul on your diet is sometimes necessary for health reasons, and while I promote whole food eating I understand that we are all in a different place in our lives and our health. Do your best! Add one or two extra fruits or vegetable and abstain from one or two items that aren’t benefiting your health. Change will be a lot easier to handle when you take small doable steps towards improvement.
***If you really want to get a kickstart in the right direction ask about our 10-day and 21-day purification programs.