For years of my life I saw food as numbers – the number of meals, the number of snacks, the number of calories, the percentage of carbs, fat and protein. My brain was a database of portion sizes, calories and macros. I could estimate the calorie content and macros of an entire menu in under 5 minutes. I learned this information to make myself healthier but in the end all this mental math landed me in a confused and unhealthy place. The focus on numbers replaced all other ideas about food.
Do you think your great-grandmother counted calories? What about her great-grandmother? Hell no. You know what they cared about? What their brains were busy thinking about as they fed their families? Nutrients! Nourishment! Robust health!
It’s not the calories but the quality of the calories that matters. One hundred calories of Cheetos is not the same as 100 calories of avocado. Foods devoid of nutrients and high in calories are in large part to blame for the obesity epidemic. How many Snackwells star-shaped cinnamon cookies could you eat back in the day? Don’t lie…you know the answer is the whole box. You know why? Zero nutrients means zero nourishment and zero satiation. You need fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to feel satisfied, to feel energized and to supply your body with the building blocks for growth and repair.
Let’s shift our focus from numbers to nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods are unprocessed, unaltered, whole foods that your great-grandmother and her great-grandmother would recognize as food. This includes pastured meats and eggs, grass-fed dairy, fruits, vegetables, nut, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Food quality plays a huge role in nutrient-density as well. Learn more about food quality here.
Aim to fill the majority of your snacks and meals with foods that naturally contain a wide variety of nutrients. Then, forget about the numbers and take the time to really enjoy (and chew) the food in front of you.
Optimal health is in the nutrients not the numbers!
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I find myself craving smoothies. Smoothies are considered a “health” food but with the wrong ingredients your smoothie may be as healthy as a Butterfinger Blizzard.
There is a vast nutritional difference between a smoothie made with sugar-filled ingredients like fruit juices, yogurts and agave and a smoothie made with frozen berries, spinach, collagen, avocado and water.
In his song Juicy, Notorious B.I.G reminisces about when he used to eat sardines for dinner. He’s pretty much saying that now that he’s a super famous rapper he doesn’t have to eat cheap, simple fish from a tin anymore. Well Mr. B.I.G., you don’t know how you good you had it with those inexpensive, super nutrient-dense little fishies.
Sardines are little nutrition powerhouses that everyone, kids and adults, should be eating. You eat them whole so you are getting nutrients from the skin, bones, and muscles. Don’t be a weeny and get grossed out. First let’s talk about their benefits; then we’ll talk about how to eat them.
This recipe is inspired by my husband who has to have lox and bagels with chive and onion cream cheese, red onion and tomato for every day that is remotely special. Birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Sunday, Tuesday…all the days. It’s good to know what you want.
In order to clean lox and bagels up a little, I nixed the bagel. But don’t be sad. I put all the other good stuff into an egg cup and topped it with chive goat cheese. These tasty egg cups are great for breakfast or a snack. I’ll be eating them tomorrow morning. Yay 2017!!
Eating has become over complicated. Something once innate and simple has become complex and frustrating. We’re long past the days of hunting, gathering and eating what Mother Nature provides. There are numerous contributors to this dramatic change but a few that merit mention are:
The poor science of the fat-phobia ringleaders birthed an entire “diet” industry that values profits over health.
Nutrition Infobesity. Infobesity: information overload; refers to the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information.