The imperative to eat healthier in this day and age has received a lot of attention, yet consensus on exactly what that means is far less forthcoming. Everything between the whole food plant-based, and the carnivore diets, seem to have an expert proclaiming its own utility, to the exclusion of all else. The purported degree of differences between one individual's nutrition requirements and another's have been overstated. Although there are some physiological differences between people, these differences need not be played out in the landscape of meal construction.
Fortunately, despite anyone's food preferences there are some reliable universals that have the advocacy of nearly every nutrition expert, despite what side of the fence they sit on. By using the Venn diagram approach to what different nutritionists and dieticians extol, we can be encouraged to invest our resources in those measures that almost every authority seems to converge on.
The primary characteristic of a balanced diet is that which upholds variety above all else. Variety of whole and unprocessed foods, that is. This type of variety can only be found by making an alliance with plant foods. The mixture of seeds, nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables have shown tremendous results in the laboratory, as well as in studies of large populations from certain parts of the world, commonly referred to as the "Blue Zones".
The secondary, and inescapable benefit of a diet rich with variety of foods is the presence of fiber. In the current market of vitamins and nutrients that give so much praise and attention to antioxidants, good fats, and clean sourcing, the value fiber has been kept out of the mainstream. Just as important as the nutrients we take in, is our own digestive health and efficiency. The digestive system's ability to make use of the ingested nutrients lies solely in the health of the bacteria and enzymes that reside in the gut. The difference between how much good or bad bacteria proliferate in the gut comes down to amount of fiber that we supply it with. When we supply it with whole foods that are rich in fiber, as any wholefood is, we strengthen and improve how the body makes use of the nutrition.
This way of approaching one's dietary habits can greatly reframe any erroneous assumptions we may have picked up along the way, due in no small part to the misleadings of corporate food marketing.
When the body digests more efficiently, it also works more efficiently in other capacities. This often leads students to the happy discovery that meals can be light, satisfying, and complete.
One way that I have approached my nutritional intake has been with the use of smoothies. I have learned that when Im busy teaching classes and clients, as well as maintaining my own movement based lifestyle, can often be handicapped by a full cooked meal. Lets be honest, eating ourselves into a food coma, although may have its pleasures, does not provide the most energetic and productive state of mind. Because smoothies are essentially in liquid form, the body doesn't need to expend as much energy breaking it down into usable form. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and every other conceivable micronutrient, as well as fiber can be blended into a smoothie and delivered to one's cells in just a fraction of the time.
A busy life does not always allow for adequate food preparation and smoothies are a fantastic way to have a complete meal on the run, without sacrificing any nutritional value.
The following video I share a smoothie recipe packed with powerful and energetically rich ingredients, that can be a great meal substitute.