Embody Healthy EatingApril 24, 2018
At Every Mother, we prioritize cultivating a healthy relationship with food. We’ve found that the following principles support stable blood sugar and hormonal balance, which makes healthy eating and listening to your body more effective in leading a healthy and active life.
Employ these principles to replenish and nourish your body, and to support healthy metabolism and hormonal balance. When blood sugar and hormones are in balance, it becomes surprisingly easy to achieve and maintain healthy body composition.
Enjoy three meals a day of real, whole foods.
- Eat (and chew) real, whole food.
- Sit down (even for 10 mins) and appreciate each meal, as simple or quick as it might be.
- Start the day with a hearty breakfast, rich in protein and fat, such as whole eggs (with the yolks), smoked salmon and half an avocado or a handful of berries.
- Do not drink meals (avoid shakes, smoothies, juices, and liquid meal replacements).
- Eat ample low-starch, high fiber vegetables at lunch and dinner (and sometimes at breakfast). Pair them with healthy fats, such as olive oil, butter or coconut oil.
Eat when hungry; stop when 80% full.
- If hungry between meals, eat a small snack of real (not processed) food that consists of protein and fat (like 1-2 ounces of cheese or nuts, or salami and fresh vegetables with guacamole).
Protein and natural fats are important.
- Eat complete protein at every meal or snack.
- Include natural fats at every meal or snack. Sometimes these are paired in the protein foods (cheese, for example, consists of both protein and fat), and sometimes they should be added (dress a salad with olive oil and vinegar; melt butter over steamed vegetables; sauté kale in coconut oil).
- Sources of healthy, natural fats include: olive oil, butter (especially grass-fed), coconut oil, avocado, nuts, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, fatty fish. Also, enjoy the naturally occurring fat that pairs with your favorite protein: eat the crispy chicken skin, enjoy a well-marbled steak, eat nitrate-free bacon and roasted pork, savor the cream that rises to the top of unhomogenized whole milk yogurt.
- Avoid trans fats, hydrogenated oils and highly processed fats, such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil. Minimize use of canola oil.
Avoid sugar in all forms.
- Limit fruit to 1 serving per day of low sugar, high fiber fruit that you chew (do not drink).
- Avoid or minimize grains, beans, starchy vegetables, pasta, rice, corn.
- Choose full fat (never low-fat) cheese, cream, sour cream or full fat yogurt or cottage cheese over milk. Milk is high in lactose (milk sugar), so emphasizing these other dairy products provides valuable nutrients while supporting healthy body composition. If you wish, add a splash of cream (heavy cream or half & half) to coffee or tea.
- Avoid white flour, sugar, sweeteners and artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid sugary drinks (including 100% juice), diet soda, beer, and sweet cocktails.
Hydrate and support healthy mineral balance.
- Drink plentiful water (add a squeeze of citrus or a slice of cucumber to taste).
- Enjoy soups and bone broth to support mineral balance, hydration and overall health. To avoid any headaches or dizziness during the first couple weeks of reducing carbohydrate intake, drink broth or eat salty soup daily.
- Salt your food to taste, and do not restrict salt. Your body will tell you what you need.
- Drink coffee, tea and herbal tea in moderation.
- Occasionally enjoy a glass of wine or alcohol low in sugar (vodka soda, for example).
Plan ahead to set yourself up for success.
- Stock your kitchen (including the freezer) with healthy, nourishing whole foods.
- Out of sight, out of mind: Throw out, freeze or tuck out-of-sight foods that you know can set you off track.
- Make breakfast ahead: boil a dozen eggs, bake egg muffins and a tray of bacon, or make a crustless quiche.
- Loosely plan out meals 3-7 days ahead, with an eye toward these key elements: protein, vegetables (frozen or fresh, cooked or raw), healthy fats, salt and herbs/spices to taste.
Balance and flexibility make a healthy lifestyle sustainable.
- 80/20 rule: follow these principles 80% of the time. To put that into action…
- Once or twice a week, enjoy a meal (a single meal) or a treat (like a slice of birthday cake) that is off-plan, and feel good about extending yourself grace and flexibility. Choose to enjoy these splurges in the company of friends or family (not alone).
- Avoid going off-plan beyond the margin of that single meal or treat. We do not recommend making an entire day a “cheat day.” In our experience, that practice sets people back hormonally and emotionally.
- Enjoy the empowerment of choosing to be healthy. And remember, it’s not about perfection. When life’s ups and downs set you off track, be gracious with yourself. Resume your healthy lifestyle with your next meal, and carry on.