First, I want to introduce myself. My name is Jordan and I have been working in the field of nutrition and fitness for approximately 10 years. I have my Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and my Master of Science degree in Nutrition and I am also a Certified Personal Trainer. I want to give full disclaimer that I am not a Registered Dietitian and my advice is purely through my educational background and experience working with many different individuals over the years. My advice given should not be replaced for true medical advice.
In this post, I wanted to address some questions I received that hopefully provide you with some new insight in nutrition and maybe answer some questions you have.
Q- When I try to eat healthy I become too restrictive with my meals. How can I balance things out?
A- Putting high quality, healthy foods in our bodies is so important, so deciding to make that change in whatever capacity you can is great! It’s also important to remember that there’s more to health than just nutrition. Good health is also measured in your mental well-being. Therefore, it’s really important to not get too caught up in nutrition to the point that it’s always on your mind and that you find it to be a stressor. My best tip is to keep only the good, healthy foods in your house but don’t go crazy and stress out when you’re maybe out to dinner with friends or at someone’s house for dinner. The 80/20 rule is a great one to follow! Eat clean 80% of the time and enjoy life the other 20%.
Q- Discuss oils and are they really needed in diet even the supposedly good oils?
A- If you went into my kitchen, the only oils you would find are organic, unrefined coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil. When cooking over high heat, such as roasting vegetables or stir frying, I stick to the coconut oil or avocado oil. I save the olive oil for making homemade salad dressings and drizzling over vegetables after they have been cooked. All oils have different temperatures in which they can withstand and olive oil prefers only very low heat or it can turn into a not so healthy oil if heated too high. Healthy fats, like the oils I mentioned above, are very important in the diet. Healthy fats included at each meal play an important role in helping to regulate healthy blood sugar levels, help to reduce cravings, help your body utilize vitamins and minerals in the diet, help to support a healthy immune system, plus much more! Healthy fats are also found in nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Q- Does Pizza count as all food groups?
A- I wish!!! But unfortunately from a nutritional standpoint, I’m going to have to say no.
Q- How to wean off sugars. It’s in everything good.
A- Sugar is a tough one and HIGHLY addicting. It can take some time to remove sugar from our diet. It’s very helpful to make sure each of your meals and snacks are balanced to ensure blood sugar balance. If we eat unbalanced meals, specifically too many carbohydrates, it can cause a blood sugar crash which leads us to crave more sugar. I encourage you to make sure at each meal you’re eating protein (ex: meat), carbohydrates (veggies and fruit), and healthy fats (ex: olive oil, avocados, nuts). It’s important to keep things balanced with snacks too. For example, if you typically grab a banana for a snack, make sure to have a handful of nuts along with it to get some healthy fats and protein. This helps the banana to digest slower so that it doesn’t lead to a blood sugar spike and ultimately more sugar cravings.
Q- How do I know which vitamins to take without flushing money down the toilet?
A- Make sure to do your research on companies before purchasing supplements/vitamins. The supplement industry is not regulated so it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing from reputable companies. When it comes to choosing a multivitamin, I always opt for one that’s sourced from whole foods. Many multivitamins, especially cheap ones found on drugstore or grocery shelves, are made with synthetic vitamins and minerals. Our body does not know how to process and utilize synthetic vitamins efficiently, so many times we will just excrete those through our urine. When a company uses whole food ingredients to produce their vitamins, our body is more likely able to utilize them. In the world of vitamins, you really get what you pay for!
Q- Opinion on intermittent fasting?
A- First, for those of you who don’t know what intermittent fasting is, it involves restricting your eating window. For example, you might eat between the hours of 10am and 5pm. This would mean you are “fasting” for 15 hours per day. Intermittent fasting can be beneficial with even just a 12 hour fast, so maybe you eat dinner at 7pm and then don’t eat again the next day until 7am. Some individuals are able to use this as a tool for weight loss. Additionally, it is beneficial for healing and supporting inflammation levels. When you give your body a break from the digestive process, it is able to heal and repair. Intermittent fasting is definitely not for everyone but the research is definitely out there to show some great benefits to it.
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