This article will focus on innovative and practical solutions for your clients' questions and challenges:
"What should I eat?"
"Is it good for me?"
"I have no time!"
- Understand the essentials of determining truly "healthy" foods.
- Learn simple solutions to help overcome even the most passionate "I have no time!" objections.
- Review a sample menu plan that’s easy to expand upon.
In today’s society, most are plagued with confusion on what truly deems foods as "healthy."
This confusion is amplified by the media and food industry for it breeds numerous opportunities for increased broadcast sponsorship and record setting product sales. It’s standard on newscasts to hear "according to the experts..."
claims on the latest nutritional fads. Marketers are oh so adept at adding these various health claims to their product labels.
Consumers sensitive to health issues are either buying into "quick fixes" eagerly or completely confused - Is this cereal really heart healthy? Can I get the pro-biotics I need in this little cup of yogurt? Are organics worth the added cost?
This breeds complacency and indifference as they resign to an, "I’ve gotta die of something anyway"
attitude. It’s despairing how something we all love (eating) has become such a confusing and contentious challenge.
Healthy Guidelines Influenced by the Scientific Independent Research of Well-known Health Gurus:
– What to Eat:
“The basic principles of good diets are simple…eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables… go easy on the junk foods.”
– The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth
“I think, in America, we’ve made a huge mistake by trying to define the perfect diet in terms of protein, carbs, and fats. Endless diet and weight loss books are written trying to come up with the perfect formula – this many carbs and fats…. This percentage of protein – when the actual quality of the food we eat is probably way more important for our health than the proportions of fat, carbs and protein.”
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” “Know where your food comes from.”
He tells us to eat a ‘plant strong’ diet. As does Dr. Mark Hyman; Dr. T. Colin Campbell; Dr. Joel Furhman; Dr. Esselstyn: Dr. McDougall…
Teri Gentes (the Author's view) -
Choose foods as close to Mother Nature as possible with little-to-no processing. Ensure they resemble their source. For instance, consider all-purpose white flour to an actual grain of wheat. It’s blatantly obvious the flour is an over-refined product. Choose ancient grains such as buckwheat, teff, quinoa, millet, sorghum etc. These are far more nutrient dense and less likely to cause allergies or intolerances.
Essential Ins & Outs of Eating Healthy
Return to the age old practice of gathering in the heart of the home – the kitchen - and preparing foods that nourish the soul. Make it a gift to yourself and your loved ones.
Limit processed commercial foods including fast foods. Get rid of the additives and chemical toxins in over-processed commercial foods that are deadly to people and the planet. Read Labels and only buy products with whole food ingredients you recognize as food to reduce the amount of chemicals, preservatives, additives, sugars, fake hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors and colors.
Eliminate white – sugar, flour, rice, table salt, pasta, bread. Buy fresh ‘whole’ natural foods and Ancient whole grains. Avoid the mainstream cereals and check out the numerous variations now offered in the Natural Food section of your supermarkets, health food stores and farmers markets.
Minimize animal consumption including dairy. Research proves milk consumption is related to numerous health challenges. For calcium, follow the cow’s lead and find it (and numerous additional vital vitamins, minerals and EFA’s) in greens, nuts and seeds (e.g., almonds, sesame, sunflower seeds…), dried fruits, beans (e.g., soy, pinto, chickpeas…) black strap molasses, and more. Dr Colin Campbell’s research ‘The China Study’ revealed our most degenerative diseases are related to an animal-based diet.
Maximize your intake of: plants, quality whole grain carbs, vegetable proteins and healthy fats sourced from plants, including sea vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Move beyond Government Food Guides. Access super nutritional resources. Learn from these and implement new daily habits gradually. See www.terigentes.com for a list of great links such as http://okinawa-diet.com
Eat a wide variety of foods! Forget calorie counting and become calorically conscious by choosing nutrient dense foods. Forget being fat phobic (it’s making us fat) and eat foods that make you feel fabulous stopping when you’re full.
Forget fad diets or any dietary approach that’s focused on quick results at a big price. Rather than compromising the health of the very vehicle you are attempting to reshape, direct your energies to eating and becoming healthier. Weight management will follow naturally and likely be sustained.
Overcome the resistance: I don’t like vegetables; salads are boring; I have no time; how do I know it’s really organic?… The best way to know if something will help you is to test it out first hand. For example, drop dairy products for a week or two and assess if you notice benefits such as weight loss, relief from allergies, asthma, PMS issues and skin disorders.
Learn to cook! It’s essential – as essential as eating. Unless you are tapped into a fabulous source that will prepare fresh healthful foods for you at every meal, you need to know how to make good food for yourself.
Plan your meals and snacks. If your life is on the run, reflect upon this: Why are you choosing constant chaos? If it truly is your reality then equip yourself with stamina and plan/prepare your meals before you step onto the fast forward treadmill of your day. (Just as you know your car needs gas, know where your meals are coming from and keep healthy snacks on hand to help you maintain blood sugar levels and avoid temptation of convenience/junk foods.)
Eat consciously. Most people are barely aware of their foods as they consume them. Take notice of the sights, the smells, the textures, and the flavors of your foods. Chew well to enhance the nutritional value and assist the digestion, assimilation and elimination process.
Use what you know. Put your knowledge of needing to eat better into ‘play in the kitchen.' Shift your attitude and accept great health is reared in the kitchen.
Ten Components of a Healthy Diet
Meal Planning: Simple Solutions for Your Client
- Natural ‘Whole Foods’
- Fresh perishable foods – locally sourced when possible
- Seasonal foods
- Nutrient dense un-processed foods
- Clean, naturally and humanly raised/grown foods
- Tasty and appealing foods
- Variety and rotation
- Proper food combining
- Safe storage and preparation
- Mindful, gracious consumption
Most every client I work with can find time for the following by sacrificing on a few hours of time wasting activities such as TV, long coffee line-ups, excess social media, mindless web surfing, etc… Remind them that setting aside time that nourishes their wellbeing is essential to their training objectives and overall health.
Under Pressure - When Short-cuts Are Necessary:
- List each day’s meals including snacks (use any format that works for you from sticky notes, a scribbler, calendar, Ipad, App, online website tools, etc.)
- Assemble a collection of your favorite easy-to-make recipes – there are great online programs for this – just Google it! Plan for at least two meals from each entrée. (e.g., Monday’s stir-fry w/ rice becomes Tues Powered Up salad; Tuesday eve’s Teriyaki Tempeh Kebobs become Wednesday’s Wonder Wraps; Friday's Grilled Fish transforms into Thai Curry; Saturday's favorite Pasta or Pizza Sauce becomes Sunday’s Tomato Rose Soup…)
- Create a shopping list (many of the online tools will do this for you) after surveying your own pantry for ingredients on hand.
- Buy it and prep it. Pre-clean produce; divide, package and label according to recipes so you keep the refrigerator organized.
- Get Cooking! Double recipes as needed and date/freeze any foods you won’t be using within three days. Incorporate them into your next meal plan.
I know, there are times when your client truly needs what I call commercial conveniences. So source out high quality fast-food locales to buy ready-made.
Here are great options:
- Natural and veggie restaurant take-home foods
- Health/Natural food store ready-mades
- Mid eastern stores: veggie stews, soups, dips
- Bakeries with sandwiches on organic Artisan breads
- Local Bistro’s offering ‘local’ fare you can take-out
Store Bought Items to Transform Into Great Meals:
Breakfast – Scramble some eggs, tempeh or tofu, and spoon onto a sprouted grain tortilla wrap; add some salsa, roll and go.
Lunch – Fill a bowl with fresh greens and top w/ canned black beans, salsa, sprouts, onions, avocado, fresh lime juice and cilantro.
Dinner – Drizzle halibut, trout, cod, snapper or grilled veggies with olive oil. Season w/ salt & pepper, then top with salsa and broil.
For a snack – Dip in rice crackers or toasted spelt tortillas. Top a baked potato or half of an avocado - dig in.
In a beverage – Blend w/ a little hemp or flax oil, fresh lemon juice and grated horseradish for a beta blast savory smoothie/soup.
Breakfast – Great in an omelet or on a sprouted grain English muffin w/ avocado, tomato, smoked fish (if desired), slivered onions and arugula.
Lunch – Smear over tofu, tempeh, Portobello mushrooms, etc. Broil a few minutes, season with salt & pepper, then serve over greens.
Dinner – Make pizza or quesadillas w/ pesto, chopped veggies, figs, proscuitto or sun-dried tomatoes. Add parmesan (if desired) and pine nuts.
For a snack – Use as a dip or fill endive leaves.
In a beverage – For a quick soup: warm some broth, stir in a tbsp of pesto and a handful of diced veggies.
Cooked Organic Chicken:
Lunch – Slice thinly and arrange on large leafy greens (such as Kale or Collards). Top w/ shredded carrots and sprouts. Drizzle w/ chutney, pesto or salsa and roll.
Dinner – Cut into bite-size pieces and add to a veggie stir-fry made w/ toasted sesame oil, tamari, carrots, bell peppers, Nappa cabbage and garlic.
Also great in quick wraps, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, on pizza, nachos, etc.
Tofu – organic, firm and extra firm
Lunch – Top w/ store-bought BBQ or Asian sauce. Enhance with garlic, ginger, or herbs (if desired). Marinate and bake.
Dinner – Grate or mince in a processor, then sauté w/ olive oil, garlic, onions, tamari or coconut aminos, herbs, chili pepper. Add to pasta sauce.
Dessert – Blend silken tofu with fruits, honey and fresh lemon juice for a custard-like crème.
Sample Menu Plan:
|Purple Powered Smoothie
||Almond Pate Nori Wraps
||Avocado Salad w/ Quesadillas
||Super Stamina Power Balls
|Really Wow Muesli
||Black Bean Salsa Salad
||Teriyaki Tofu Cutlets w/oven roasted veggies
||Frozen banana chunks w/ cacao nibs
|Vegan Cashew Crème parfait
||Provençial Salad Wraps
||Lentil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms over a bed of greens
||Sunbutter Satay Kale Chips
|Crazy Good Maca Maca Smoothie
||Curried Black Bean Quinoa
||Mediterranean Roasted Veggie Stacks w/ spinach berry salad
||Fresh fruit salad topped w/ cashew crème
|Pumpkin Spiced Chia Parfait
||Roasted Beet n Lentil Humus w/ veggies
||Roasted Cauliflower Walnut Crumble enchilada, taco, pizza...
||Apples or pears w/ Ruth’s Chia cereal
Recipes at: www.TeriGentes.com
Eating is a necessity for us all. Acknowledge this and the impact food has on every aspect of your life and your planet. This is a vital step towards well-being. Take it today! Namaste
Marion Nestle. Food Politics. foodpolitics.com
Marion Nestle. What to Eat. whattoeatbook.com
John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. Trust Us, We're Experts.