Our body is like a bank account. We have approximately 3-5 times per day (meals and snacks) to make a deposit. Will it be a good deposit (whole, clean food) or NSF (non sufficient nutrient food)?
Along with deposits, we make withdrawals as well. We expend energy through daily mental and emotional activity as well as physical. From a physical standpoint, we run, jog, bike, hike and maybe lift weights which we feel makes us "healthy". When we expend energy either through emotional or physical activity, this requires additional nutrients from food. However, it seems stress pushes us towards craving excess NSF’s like sugar, processed foods and caffeine. This creates an even greater nutrient deficit.
For those engaged in high intensity physical activity, these folks focus on high intakes of animal protein based on the belief that our bodies require more and that animal protein creates more muscle than plant foods. However, there are plenty of research studies that prove antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and greens grow muscle faster than animal protein.
Excess animal food will create yet an even larger antioxidant deficiency. We then attempt to make up for the deficit by ingesting mass quantities of synthetic supplements adding additional toxins foreign to the body. Americans are NOT experiencing a vitamin and mineral deficiency, we are experiencing a whole food deficiency mainly from fruits, vegetable and greens!
The latest dietary guidelines state that 50% of our daily intake should be from fruits, vegetables and greens. We also need to receive the nutrients from a wide variety of these wonderful plants instead of eating the same same 2-3 plant based food choices we gravitate towards.
Week 39 Action Step:
How to we obtain the required 7-13 fruits, veggies and greens per day? Isn't that virtually impossible Bonnie? Not at all!
Here are a few tips to challenge you to create positive changes that I hope will help on your journey:
- Keep fruit out and clean where you can see it. Place it on the counter in a beautiful basket or bowl, clean and ready to eat.
- Eat a piece of fruit between meals as most fruits digest better independent of other foods.
- Bag the potatoes. White potatoes are a low nutrient food so consider switching to sweet potatoes or another root vegetable. Some of my other favorite root veggies include turnips, daikon radishes, and beets. Check out this super easy recipe for roasted root veggies which is my favorite.
- Create a Meatless Monday. Prepare a vegetarian dish like vegetarian chili, bean soup or a veggie wrap or salad.
Next week we'll delve into more specifics on the benefits of plant phytonutrients.