It’s a fair assumption that the most common questions we get at Prescribe Nutrition are these two bad boys:
- What should I eat on the daily
- How much should I eat on the daily
Great questions. Wonderful. And if anyone tells you they have the answer – they’re lying. Sorry. We don’t mean to be haters, but the fact is there is no one right answer to these questions. We wish there were – eating well would be a lot easier. Just because Sally in accounting can eat pasta every day doesn’t mean you can. Hey, I never liked Sally anyways. Only YOU can answer these questions, but you can do so by committing the time and intent, educating yourself and seeking support. In our opinion what works for you needs to be approached from three angles:
- Food: you have to get comfortable with understanding what a whole foods diet is – that means cutting out the crap. Then understand which foods work for you. It’s a big education – we dive head first into that in Prescribe 20.
- Body: what are your body’s needs? How much energy do you expend? What are the intricacies of your metabolism and blood sugar system?
- Mind: be real with yourself. Have you got a messy relationship with food? Addictions? Narratives around good vs. evil? Own those and you’ll make progress, promise.
Over the next two weeks we’re going to throw ourselves (the PN team) into the ring so you can get a real life view of how each of us, all nutrition and wellness professionals, eat fo’ real. Today Megan and Tanya will dish what they have learned about feeding themselves. Let’s get to it.
Nutrition hasn’t always been a love affair of mine, historically it was more of an epic war. After trial and error, who knows how many diets and then finally an actual education, I’ve come a long way. Sluggish metabolism, thyroid problem, digestive issues, skin issues – typical sexy stuff – I know them all intimately well. We’ll dive into this more in our “body/metabolism” piece in the coming weeks, but to summarize, I have uncovered that I must eat clean, be active and listen to my body if I don’t want to experience chronic health issues, imbalances and weight gain. Plain and simple, that’s me. So better to embrace it then battle it.
- Warm lemon water every day upon waking. This helps my digestion and wakes me up. I’ve also noticed it’s helped with clear skin.
- 1 cup of coffee each day, no more. Better if none. No cream or sugar or latte bizness.
- No gluten – my digestive system is not a fan. Fun fact: the gluten proteins are what make bread so stretchy and “glue-y” but for some people, that means like acting like glue in the body. You dig?
- Avoid dairy and sugar as much as possible – messes with my skin, digestion and hormones. 100%? Nope, I’m no angel.
- A really light breakfast. MOST people do better with a more protein rich breakfast, but for me it slows my day down.
- Dark leafy greens at least once a day. It helps with sleep (hello magnesium) and digestion.
- The animal proteins I focus on are eggs and seafood. I eat poultry and red meat maybe 1-2 times a week, depends. Grass-fed lamb is my jam (that rhymed)
- Focusing on making lunch my largest meal (even though it’s often dinner).
- Having gluten-free grains at just one meal a day. Grains help me feel full and give me energy, too much reliance and I notice weight gain. But I’m in love with short-grain brown rice, we’re homies.
- Focusing on meals and not snacks. It’s better I eat when I’m hungry, and not just because [duh, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to ignore true hunger signals all together].
- Taking probiotics and magnesium every day have drastically changed my digestive and immune system.
- Weighing myself obsessively. I weigh myself once every 3-4 months, if that. Weight changes so much daily I decided long ago I didn’t like the stress it brought along with it.
- Overeating – it doesn’t matter if it’s a gorgeous salad or a loaded burrito. Healthy or not, overheating completely messes with how I feel.
- Keeping desserts/chocolate in the house. Why? Because 5 year old sugar addict Megan is still alive and well and cannot be controlled. Just better to ditch it all together.
- Being black and white on food. Yes I said above I don’t eat gluten, dairy or sugar. And on the daily I don’t. But if I do, I let it go – obsessing makes symptoms 10x worse.
- Adhering to one “diet.”For example, when I thought going paleo would solve all my life problems, I noticed sticking hard and fast to the “rules” made me overeat in bizarre ways. Because I had so many “no’s” I found myself overeating the “yes’s.” As it turns out, 4,000 almonds a day isn’t logical for me.
My stomach issues may have been happening since birth but I’ve been too stubborn to address them. I did would not.stop.crying as a baby but no one knew why…fast forward to my 20s and I realize that there is a direct correlation between my dairy consumption and stomach issues. From there I developed skin issues that were/are beyond annoying but I believed in the power of food to change them! The nutrition world is always changing but I’ve found what works for me and my body and that’s all that matters in my book.
- Breakfast ASAP. I usually wake up hungry so I’ll either jump right into a full breakfast or will grab a granola bar to munch on while I get oriented.
- I only drink coffee for fun. True story: it was my goal last year to drink more coffee. I get really jittery/buzzed on coffee but love the taste and the ritual. If I do indulge, I mix in collagen, coconut oil, ghee, and cinnamon to help balance it out.
- No dairy – I explode. ‘nuf said.
- For the last few years I have thought gluten irritates my stomach as well but the jury is still out. I avoid gluten as much as possible but treat myself when I really want it.
- I avoid sugar as much as possible. It causes my skin to break out and once I start I just.can’t.stop.
- I love meat and feel like my meal is complete when there is meat involved. In a weird way I feel like it grounds me.
- I’m obsessed with rice and have no shame in that game. I think I do well with the extra energy!
- When I’m active [trying to get back into a regular routine!] I need to eat A LOT. Three meals and snacks for this girl.
- Supplements are hard for me to keep up with. I do really well with regular apple cider vinegar shots.
- Waiting too long to eat between snacks/meals. I get verrrry hangry. Not fun for anyone.
- Dairy, gluten, and sugar are no-no’s.
- Stressing about my skin doesn’t help. Any change within the body comes slowly so stressing doesn’t help. The less I think about it, the better it gets. Or that’s what I tell myself.
We are built so differently and require a very different type of diet, but that incorporate so many of the same foods. The point here is: We had to get really comfortable with the food part of the puzzle first. Understanding what a whole foods diet is, and getting rid of all the shit food. We conquer that in our Prescribe 20 program. From there the journey becomes adding in the body and mind piece – how much is too much? Too little? What foods give me energy? How much energy do I expend? What is my emotional relationship to [xxxx] and what triggers crazy behavior around it? It’s a puzzle that we support all our members in Prescribe 20 with.
Next week we’ve got Anna and Katie giving you a peek at their dietary world.