By: Janine Serio
As a personal trainer and health coach, I talk to so many people who either want to “confess” and share what they eat on a daily basis OR I get the “what should I be eating,” “what are your thoughts on this x, y, z diet,” “why am I not seeing results,” etc. As my philosophy on nutrition, and eating for optimal health, has changed over the last decade, I have noticed this consistent trend –> so many of us THINK we are eating healthy when, in fact, we have been a little misinformed.
Between fad diets, quirky gimmicks, and all the chemically altered JUNK out on the market, no wonder we are perplexed between eating healthy…and EATING HEALTHY!
Just as I have noticed a trend in how so many of us THINK we are eating healthy, I have, also, noticed 3 nutritional trends that STILL have people in a food funk. And by “food funk” I mean buying into all of those so-called “rules” and “beliefs” about eating for optimal health.
Today, I am breaking down these 3 common nutritional oversights, and ways to easily “repair” the “mistakes,” to not only add more “oomph” to your nutrient intake BUT it could even mean more satisfaction, help you break through a physique plateau, and, my favorite, provide more flavor and enjoyment!
- Smoothies: I am the first to admit that I LOVE a good smoothie. It’s quick, convenient, and provides an ample dose of vitamins and minerals. The problem we run into, though, is it can become a caloric haven very quickly! I mean, it’s easy to throw in the blender a variety of fruits, nut butters, milk, and lots of other yummy superfoods. Oh, and let’s not forget about adding a little crunch on top with some granola or mixed nuts (or maybe that is just me)! While these foods are by no means “bad” (because no food should ever be considered bad or off limits), the sugar and fat content, alone, in one serving can be WAY more than we need to consume in a whole day! This is, especially, true if we are purchasing from a local smoothie cafe or fast food haunt. Yes, preparing on your own is the BEST solution, regardless, be mindful to focus on adding more veggies (I love spinach or kale) than fruit, adding a scoop of protein for more volume and satisfaction, choosing a non-dairy alternative such as an unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and watching your portions of nuts/nut butters/seeds.
- Low-Fat, Fat-Free, & Sugar-Free: It’s no surprise that we have become fixated on how much fat we get in our diets. It seems like on any given day we are being told that we need to “eat more fat” or “we need to watch our fat consumption.” Side Note: If you have not already, make sure you check out my blog post from last week on this very topic! You can do so HERE. What so many are misinformed about is while a product may be labeled as “low-fat” or “fat-free,” the actual product has been chemically altered from it’s natural state, loaded with preservatives and ingredients that you cannot even pronounce, and, actually, replaced with SUGAR! The same goes for sugar-free products too. Sure, sugar is needs to be monitored within our diets BUT isn’t it a better option to go for the “real thing” in moderation than a bunch of added junk? Bottom Line: Make sure to pay attention to those ingredient lists! Aim for consuming food in their most natural state (i.e. as close to the earth as possible) and (ideally) with fewer than 5 ingredients. Oh, and make sure you can identify those ingredients too!
- Salad Dressing Skipper: Are you someone who eats your salad dry because you “fear” consuming the dressing? I mean, all you hear is how the dressing is the very thing that takes your salad from “healthy” to “unhealthy,” right? Did you know, though that vegetables contain fat soluble vitamins (A, E, and K), as well as a host of antioxidants, that require fat to be absorbed? By skipping the healthy oils that are found in your CLEAN dressings, you are missing out on key nutrients that your salad provides. In addition to adding other healthy fats (in moderation) such as raw nuts, seeds, and/or avocado, make sure to include an oil-based dressing to aid in boosting your body’s ability to reap the benefits of the veggies nutritional benefits! While homemade is the BEST, there are two companies who make super clean dressings that I absolutely LOVE! These are Primal Kitchen and Tessemae’s brand! With a handful of varieties from each, your salad will never feel bland or boring ever again!
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