I am a firm believer that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Each body requires different sustenance, and it all depends on genetics, family history, environment, stress, activity level, and so on. Some are just better able to digest things like milk or eggs or gluten. Others have tolerances. And it has been proven that allergies can shift and change over times. They can show up later in life, or go away after some time. The bottom line is, you must listen to your body and do what works for you and makes you feel good.
Now that I have cleared that up, I would like to offer you my “recipe” for a healthy lifestyle. These are not hard rules, but they are guidelines that I have found to be true for me and my body. They have helped me achieve my optimal weight.
First, my activity level is lower than it used to be. However, every day I move for at least an hour a day. This may be a yoga class or a long walk. Our bodies do not need the stress we usually put them under, like Claire said today so eloquently.
Okay, now for the food. Here are my rules to live by, food-inspired:
1. Always eat within 30 minutes of a workout.
2. Water on hand at all times. Water is so important for energy, maintaining brain function, muscles, skin, and so much more.
3. Load up on vegetables. For the fruit you eat, double it in vegetables.
4. Always have a healthy snack on hand for emergency situations.
5. Find a live-source vitamin that works for you. Meaning that the vitamin is derived from a plant-source, and not in a lab.
6. Never skip breakfast.
7. Focus on whole, fresh, preferably organic foods.
8. Work in foods that you love.
9. Eat every 2-3 hours, small meals.
10. Consume majority of your carbs in the morning.
11. Avoid caffeine and sugar.
12. Opt for coconut water as a recovery drink.
13. 4-6 small meals per day.
Foods I live on:
- Lean meat: chicken, hake, mahi mahi, eggs, other fish, 90/10 organic & grass-fed beef
- Edamame, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, hummus, nutritional yeast, peas
- Walnuts, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts
- Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Almond butter, tahini, cashew butter
- Coconut milk
- Seaweed, nori, kelp
- Maca, carob, dandy blend
- All vegetables (except corn & white potato) notably kale, kabocha squash, brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, spinach, etc.
- Avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
- Sprouted grains, quinoa, buckwheat
- Fruit, notably apples, pears, bananas, berries
Some things I don’t eat:
- Sugar except fruit and raw honey
- Anything unnatural: no preservatives, food dyes, artificial flavoring, etc.
- Onions & garlic: unfortunate allergy
- Anything without a good source
- Non-organic gluten