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Hello, my friend! This is post #2 in the #FabHealthFitBody 6-week series, & today we’re talking all about nutrition! (If you missed post #1 last week about creating a healthy mindset & mastering your motivation, check it out here first — seriously, I shared some foundational health concepts, & there’s a reason I chose mindset as the first topic in this series. 🙃)
I also want to remind you that I created a Fab Health Fit Body 5-Day Challenge to go hand-in-hand with this series. It’s basically a 5-day healthy lifestyle plan (including 5 days worth of meals, as well as fat-burning workouts, mindset & motivation tips, & daily detox strategies). You’re gonna love it! Download it for free below! 🤩
Alright, let’s dive in & talk some serious nutrition, shall we? Everyone knows that eating healthy is a critical aspect to living a healthy lifestyle & creating your dream body. In order to lose weight or maintain your ideal weight, to have abundant energy, to feel fabulous, & even to prevent chronic health issues & disease processes, your nutrition must be addressed.
The problem is, there are so many myths, misconceptions, & even harmful information out there — which makes it increasingly harder to make healthy eating a priority, or to know what nutrition guidelines to follow in order to truly be healthy & reach your health goals.
In this post, I’ll go over some of the common myths & misconceptions when it comes to healthy eating, as well as give you 5 tips to get you on the right track with your nutrition. 😊
6 Common Nutrition Myths
Myth #1 is that eating a lot of fat makes you fat. In other words, a low-fat diet & low-fat foods are healthy, and a high-fat diet & high-fat foods are unhealthy. But the TRUTH is that you need LOTS of healthy fats to burn fat & for optimal overall health.
Healthy fats do NOT make you fat. Unhealthy fats, toxins, & SUGAR make you fat. And it’s also the inability to BURN FAT that makes you fat (aka being a sugar-burner instead of a fat-burner). Research shows that higher-fat, low-sugar diets have countless health benefits & are best for overall health. And I’ve seen this to be true in my own life, my family’s life, & countless patients at our wellness clinic. AND research also shows that low-fat, high-sugar diets are linked to many health issues. And I’ve ALSO seen this to be true time & time again.
Myth #2 is that you need to eat less in order to lose weight & maintain a healthy weight. But the TRUTH is that losing weight & maintaining a healthy weight has much more to do with balancing your hormones (like your fat-burning hormones, hunger hormones, muscle-building hormones, & stress hormones) than it has to do with how much you eat.
You can actually eat quite a bit & still lose weight — as long as you’re eating the RIGHT foods. You definitely don’t have to starve yourself! I’m really passionate about this truth because I eat A LOT. I LOVE food! 😍 I’ve always been a big eater & a total #foodie. And when people look at me, they often can’t believe that I eat so much & so many healthy fats.
But it’s because I’m eating the RIGHT foods (healthy foods), & also doing the right type of exercise & living an overall healthy lifestyle — that I’m able to look the way I am & maintain a healthy weight. So, if you’re worried that eating healthy will make you feel super hungry, don’t worry. If you’re doing it right & if you follow the nutrition guidelines that I teach, you should not be hungry. 🙃
Myth #3 is that counting calories is important for eating healthy, losing weight, & overall health. But the TRUTH is that the QUALITY of the food is always way more important than the quantity & number of calories you eat.
If you’re eating the right foods, you don’t have to count calories. And when you realize you don’t need to count calories in order to be healthy & lose weight, it’s extremely freeing & it simplifies healthy eating. 🙌
Myth #4 is that eating healthy doesn’t taste good, is boring, or makes you feel like you’re depriving yourself. But the TRUTH is that there are TONS of healthy recipes & foods that taste AMAZING! 🤗
You can find healthy recipes that YOU love. And also remember that eating lots of healthy fats is necessary for optimal health — and let me tell ya, lots of healthy fats = lots of deliciousness! 😋 And then lastly, you can learn how to healthify all your favorite foods & recipes — so you definitely shouldn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.
Myth #5 is that eating healthy is too expensive. This is a BIG one! And whenever I hear this myth, whether it’s about eating healthy or living a healthy lifestyle overall, I have to ask: “Too expensive compared to what?” 🤷🏽♀️ Because the TRUTH is that health issues & medical bills due to UNhealthy eating are too expensive.
It’s not really the healthy eating that’s expensive — it’s the consequences of NOT eating healthy that are way more expensive. Eating healthy will help you avoid medical bills & medications down the road, saving you thousands of dollars potentially. Eating healthy will also help you avoid health issues down the road — & the increased quality of life you’ll be able to experience because of that is priceless.
The truth is that we will ALL have to pay for our health one way or another. We can either invest in our health & nutrition NOW, or we can pay a lot more for it later (& have health issues to deal with, too).
So, if you’re struggling with feeling like eating healthy is too expensive, ask yourself this question: “Where am I spending money right now that I could re-direct towards my health & nutrition?” There might be somewhere in your budget that you’re spending money that you wouldn’t necessarily NEED to spend, & would have a much better return if you spent it on your health. 🙂
Myth #6 is that eating healthy takes too much time & effort, or it’s just too complicated. But the TRUTH is that healthy eating does NOT have to be complicated & it doesn’t have to take up a ton of your time.
There are tons of healthy meals & recipes that take less than 30 minutes to make. Meal planning, meal prepping, meal delivery services, & quick recipes are all things that can help you save time when it comes to healthy eating.
So if you’re struggling with feeling like you don’t have enough time to eat healthy, ask yourself this question: “Where am I spending time right now that I could re-direct towards my health & making healthy meals?” So similar to the question before about spending money, there might be some TIME in your day-to-day life that you’re spending on other things, but would have a much better return if you spent that time on your health & making healthy meals. 🙂
5 Tips To Become a Healthy Eating Rockstar
Now that we’ve covered some myths & misconceptions about nutrition, you’ve got a solid foundation & set of beliefs to propel you forward with eating healthy. It’s time to get into some practical tips to really help you take your nutrition to the next level.
1. Eat More Healthy Fats
When talking about how to eat healthy, one of my FAVORITE topics is FAT! 😍 Partly because fatty foods are just so delicious, and partly because it seems counter-intuitive & it’s very counter-culture these days. Earlier in this post, we talked about the fact that most people believe the myth that eating a lot of fat makes you fat & sick. But remember, the TRUTH is that we NEED fat — & a lot of it! — to burn fat & for optimal health.
It all comes down to the SOURCE of the fat. There are healthy fats, & there are unhealthy/damaged fats. Healthy fats are essential for fat-burning, brain development, nerve system functioning, hormone production, weight loss, cancer prevention, decreasing inflammation, and cellular function & healing. Unhealthy, damaged fats are linked to chronic inflammation, weight gain or weight loss resistance, cellular toxicity, neurotoxicity, heart disease, & cancer, just to name a few.
Some of the best healthy fats you can consume include: avocados, olives, raw or sprouted nuts & seeds, coconut milk, organic free-range eggs, 100% grass-fed organic beef, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, & organic grass-fed full-fat unsweetened dairy (A2 & raw if possible). There are also healthy oils including organic extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, & organic grass-fed butter.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of these healthy fats on a daily basis, & eliminate unhealthy fats from your diet. 🥑🥥
2. Reduce Sugars & Grains
Here’s WHY we want to eliminate sugars & grains: Sugar is linked to countless health issues, including increased inflammation, weight gain, hormone disruption, decreased energy, premature aging, & diseases like heart disease, diabetes, & cancer. So obviously it’s a no-brainer why it’d be a good idea to eliminate it from your diet.
But when it comes to grains (even healthier whole grains), they rapidly convert to sugar in your body, potentially leading to the same issues mentioned above. So THAT is why we want to eliminate sugars AND anything that turns into sugar in your body (such as grains).
This means you’ll want to eliminate all refined sugars, as well as refined grains — including white pasta, white bread, white flour, etc. But even the healthier whole grains should be reduced if you really want to lose weight, reduce inflammation, gain energy, & be as healthy as possible.
You should also avoid artificial sweeteners (like Splenda, aspartame, & NutraSweet, to name a few), since there are many health issues linked to these unnatural sweeteners as well.
3. Eat a Moderate Amount of High-Quality Protein
Here are some of the healthiest protein sources: Organic, 100% grass-fed beef; Organic, free-range chicken & turkey; Organic, free-range eggs; Wild-caught fish (especially pacific/Alaskan); Raw or sprouted nuts & seeds; & Organic, grass-fed, full-fat, unsweetened dairy (A2 & raw if possible).
I also love high-quality whey protein powders & bone broth protein powders (I use MaxLiving’s Grass-Fed Whey Protein & Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein). These protein powders are super convenient to add to smoothies or even dessert recipes, & they taste delicious! 🥤
Make sure you get some healthy protein sources in your diet each day, & avoid conventional, unnaturally-raised protein sources.
4. Learn How to Transform Any Recipe & Your Favorite Foods Into Healthy Ones
You wanna know something cool?! You can healthify ANY recipe, & you can find healthy alternatives to almost any food! When I first started learning about healthy eating, I was afraid I was going to have to sacrifice all my favorite foods & meals in order to be healthy. And as a total foodie, I wasn’t even quite sure I’d be able to do that.
But I soon realized that you can healthify pretty much ANY recipe, or find a substitution for almost any craving. I was amazed at how easy AND delicious these swaps, tips, & alternatives really were, & I think YOU will be too! ☺
You can healthify your favorite recipes in 3 easy steps:
- Replace unhealthy sweeteners (like refined sugars or artificial sweeteners) with healthy sweeteners (such as organic stevia, erythritol, or raw organic honey).
- Replace unhealthy fats & oils with healthy fats (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or organic grass-fed butter).
- Replace unhealthy flours (like refined white flour) with healthy flours (such as coconut flour or almond flour).
You can also find some of your favorite typically-unhealthy snacks & goodies in certain grocery stores or online markets if you know where to look. I’m talkin’ foods like healthy chips, crackers, breads, chocolate, & more! One of my favorite places to get some of these healthy foods is Thrive Market (which is a super-healthy online marketplace). 🍫
5. Check Food Labels When Grocery Shopping
Effective grocery shopping & label reading are critical pieces of making healthy eating a part of your lifestyle. You can learn all the healthy foods & ingredients to eat, & know which unhealthy foods & ingredients to avoid, but if you don’t know how to effectively read nutrition labels, you could accidentally end up with unhealthy foods that you don’t want. 🤦🏽♀️ And here’s the thing: The food industry can be very manipulative, misleading, & tricky with their marketing & packaging, so you have to know exactly what to look for!
Some key words that are always a good sign on food labels include: “Organic”, “100% Grass-Fed”, “Free-Range” or “Pasture-Raised”, “Wild-Caught”, “Gluten-Free”, “Grain-Free”, “Non-GMO”, & “Raw”.
These key words are a good thing, but don’t just stop there. You have to look at the rest of the packaging & read the nutrition label in order to know how healthy something is for sure. Just because something is “Organic” or “Gluten-Free” doesn’t always mean it’s healthy!
A few red flag words on food labels that you should always avoid include: “Artificially Flavored”, “Artificially Sweetened”, & “Reduced Fat”.
A key rule is to always check the nutrition label before buying any food item! Now, this does not apply to vegetables & fruits that are just on their own & not packaged — fresh produce doesn’t have a nutrition label. BUT, this rule applies to anything that’s packaged in any way — in a box, a bag, a can, or anything else that has a nutrition label on it.
The nutrition label consists of 2 major parts: the Ingredients List & the Nutrition Facts. It’s impossible to know how healthy a certain food is without looking at these 2 components. The ingredients list is the most important thing on the food label! Watch out for unhealthy fats, oils, sweeteners, protein sources, & toxins.
Your Action Steps
Alright, my friend — here are your action steps to start taking your nutrition to the next level & becoming a healthy eating rockstar:
- Add some healthy fats into every meal.
- Do your best to reduce sugars & grains as much as possible.
- Add some healthy protein sources into each day.
- Check out your local grocery stores or Thrive Market online to find healthy versions of your favorite snacks (like chips, crackers, chocolate, etc.) & healthy cooking ingredients (such as flours, oils, & sweeteners). –> (You can even get 25% off + free shipping from Thrive Market here! 👌)
- Make it a habit & priority to read every ingredient list & food label when you’re buying packaged foods.
- Want to start creating fabulous health, a fit body, & a happier life? Download the free Fab Health Fit Body 5-Day Challenge below!
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Author: Dr. Christi Shuppe