Sometimes the hardest part of making healthier food choices is knowing how to simplify and make it a sustainable change. We like to focus on filling you up with macronutrients and limiting the “extras”.
There are several apps that help you track these if you’re a numbers person. Both MyFitnessPal and LoseIt are some of the best because you can input your own recipes to calculate all of the macronutrients.
The physicians at Amber Wellness Group generally recommend getting in 60-80 grams of protein throughout the day, getting in some quality healthy fats, and enjoying 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When you focus your eating on getting in these healthy macronutrients each day, you will feel satiated and your body will get the nutrients it needs to sustain all of your daily activities. Healthy protein sources are beans, legumes, grass-fed beef, organic and free-range poultry, and wild cold-water fatty fish. At least one vegetable serving should be a dark leafy green like spinach, kale, collards, Bok choy, or Swiss chard. Healthy quality fats include: coconut milk and oil, nuts, hemp/chia/flax seeds, avocados, wild caught fish like salmon, cod liver oil, and raw extra virgin olive oil drizzled on foods like soups and salads.
The “extras” to limit or avoid from your diet are foods with unhealthy fats, added sugars, and artificial ingredients. Start looking at labels and avoiding any form of sugars that aren’t honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia. These are okay in moderation. I think we all know trans fats are a no-no by now, but they can still sneak into your diet most often in store bought baked goods. Also, be mindful of how much canola oil is in your foods, as this oil should generally be avoided. Most labels nowadays will list “artificial ingredients added”, which is also a great big red flag that there are healthier options to choose.
The last bit of advice is to shop on the periphery of the grocery stores where foods need to have refrigeration to stay fresh. The periphery is where you will find the fresh produce and meats. All the foods in the center aisles of the grocery store, the “shelf stable” prepackaged foods are either processed, with little live nutrients left in them or are simply carbohydrates that are not the nutrient dense foods that help us live our healthiest lives.