There is a lot of confusion out there as to how to eat, when to eat, how often, and on and on.
I have been asked lately to post how I eat – and so I will! There is so much more to being healthy than JUST food, though. Here’s some thoughts, then I’ll get on to the food itself.
To be a truly healthy person there are a few factors you must remember:
1. We are meant to eat WHOLE foods, which means foods in their unrefined state as you would find them in nature. This leaves us with a few options – fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, and nuts – there are several other things, but mostly our diets should be comprised of these.
Based on our physiology, we do best on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. Protein is a non-concern as long as you are consuming enough calories. Don’t even worry. The only time you have to think about protein is when you get monotonous questions about it!
If you don’t want to eat raw, make sure you are still consuming a HIGH raw diet, and low-fat (it’s either gonna be high carb or high fat – a high protein diet is impossible).
2. You must have adequate sunshine. This depends on where you are in the world, the time of year, and what your skin is like. Supplements are no match for sunlight – the only thing remotely close is a tanning bed with UVA and UVB rays – this can be utilized safely when not done for vanity. You must have vitamin D in your system for many reasons – you also cannot absorb calcium without it.
3. Enough sleep. We are chronically overtired. Set your alarm to go to BED. Aim for 9-10 hours a night, MORE if you are active. Try to sleep when it’s dark out (I need to take my own advice, here).
4. You need to move – variety, intensity, neurological fitness, balance, flexibility – all important.
5. Make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements, at least mostly – use cronometer. Keep your fat intake between 10-15% of your total calories. Anything under 1500 calories is a starvation diet (for real). Aim for 2000 or more, minimum. More if you’re a dude. For your B12, please supplement with a liquid methylcobalamin – this is a highly overlooked vitamin, very difficult to get no matter what you eat, based on our fastidious nature and deplorable topsoil (B12 is a bacteria from soil – the B12 in seaweeds + algaes is not absorbable and can actually block proper B12). Even animals that are raised for slaughter are given B12 injections.
6. Think POSITIVE thoughts. If something negative enters your mind, turn it around and see how the opposite is equally true, a la Byron Katie.
There are many other things you need to do to become truly healthy. As Douglas Graham says, you are only as healthy as your weakest link.
For other tips on thriving, please see my article on the topic!
To give some examples of healthy meals, first figure out what amount of calories you need to maintain your IDEAL weight. This would be that weight x 100 (for me, my ideal weight is 120 so for me this would be 1200 calories just to lie around and do nothing at all). Then you have to add on calories for your activity in the day. If you are athletic, you will need to figure out your output and eat accordingly.
Calories are not the enemy. They’re just units of energy! Fuel to fire you! You need to eat enough of the right things in order to get enough nutrients and to be able to assimilate and digest them well.
For example, this is my typical daily menu:
Breakfast: First, I drink water – about 1/2-1 litre. I wait 15-30 minutes and then start to have my breakfast, which is usually a blended meal of 6-10 RIPE (freckled) bananas, 4-10 juicy dates, and a cup or two of berries (frozen or fresh – preferably fresh or thawed). Sometimes half of this is enough and I will drink the rest for lunch. Often I will add some greens like spinach, kale, parsley, etc.
Another meal type I have is a fruit soup. I’ll find the ripest pineapple possible, chop it, then blend the core with 8-10 dates, water, and berries of my choice. This is then poured all over the chopped pineapple. You can pour it over bananas, apples, whatever you like. I do not recommend eating bananas with acidic fruits, though, as it is not able to digest properly. However, you can do it if you like – it’s still gonna be better than typical breakfast fare.
You could also just make date sauce (blended dates and water) and pour it over chopped bananas.
Dates and bananas are great because they are a high calorie fruit – good for energy and good for digestion. They are also low-water fruits so you must drink water to compensate.
For lunch I may have more of the same, or I might just eat a full-on meal of one fruit. Mono-meals are great for digestion, and it is easy to tell when you are full. Just eat the fruit until you are satisfied. I like to have grapes or mangoes! If blueberries are in season I practically live on them (at all meals!)
For dinner I will typically have a wrap of some sort, or huge salad (or both). I usually start with fruit.
This is also when I will have a fat source if I feel like it. It is best to have it in the evening because it does not digest well with sweet fruit.
Often I will have a nori wrap – I will fill this with romaine lettuce, pea sprouts, tomato, avocado slices (I will only use half an avocado based on my typical calorie intake), fresh pineapple or tomato salsa, red bell pepper, cucumber, sprouts, and possibly some dulse. Seaweed is not actually an ideal food because if it’s B12 analogs but…I love it. It’s a hard thing for me to give up! (and yes when I see it on the beach it looks tasty to me!)
For salad, this is a fool-proof way to make a yummy dressing:
Choose an acid-fruit – orange, pineapple, etc – blend with tomato, celery, lemon or lime – this will always make a delicious dressing. Last time I also added some blueberries which made it super amazing (blueberries are a sub-acid fruit so combine okay with fats). Pour this over an entire chopped head of lettuce or romaine, or get a mixed box of baby greens, toss in some other chopped veggies, or cherry tomatoes. If you have not had any fat yet, you could always blend some avocado or an ounce of nuts or seeds to make the dressing creamy.
For snacks – they should not be necessary if you are eating enough calories at your meals. As always I am going to say eat fruit for snacks – the simplest and healthiest snacks you can get. A bag of grapes, a bunch of dates, 2 bananas, 2 apples, raisins, some fresh orange juice (NOT bottled…it is not real orange juice – read more about that here!
The thing about health is that we all try to make it so complex. It is actually insanely simple – but we all need to relearn the basics 🙂
Go forth and have a fruity life!