EVOLVE NUTRITION Foundation WEEK 9:
CONSISTENCY OVER TIME
Welcome to Week 9! To wrap up our in-depth 9 week Nutrition Foundation Series, I wanted to review what we have already discussed and give you some one last little homework assignment.
We covered a LOT of information during the last 9 weeks. If there were any weeks that were particularly difficult, I encourage you to go back and try to focus on that one habit again. Focusing on everything is daunting, so just focus on one thing at a time. I find these foundations beneficial to revisit every so often. I know it isn't sparkly or backed by any celebrities, but it is backed by research. Research has shown that increasing your vegetable, fruit, and whole grain intake, along with decreasing consumption of processed foods has a tremendously POSITIVE impact on your health. It also decreases your risk of chronic disease AND improves body composition. So don't worry about the fad diets -- stick to our foundational habits, and make consistent progress over time.
Week 1: Water - meet your daily water requirements
Week 2: Decreasing sugar-sweetened beverages
Week 3: Mindfulness - 30 minute meals and understanding the reasons why you eat
Week 4: Building Blocks - balancing meals with carbs, fiber, fat, and protein
Week 5: Carbohydrates - whole grains only
Week 6: Micronutrients vitamins and minerals - making 80% of your eating occasions include at least 1/2 a plate of vegetables
Week 7: Protein - meeting your daily protein needs
Week 8: Fats - obtaining fats from whole food sources and reducing the processed or unhealthy fats on the "X" list
Week 9: Create "go-to" meals so you can succeed even when life is busy (see below)
Putting it all together
So now that you have taken more than half of a semester of a college nutrition course, you now have to apply it. Life is crazy; balancing work, family, workouts, AND healthy eating, along with everything else is a lot. Unfortunately, we cannot all have personal chefs. I find that meal prepping and nutrition is always the first thing to fall off the wagon when our schedules get crazy. So here are some ways that we try to mitigate that at EVOLVE.
Identify your Go-To Meals (GTM's): These are meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes with ingredients that you commonly have on hand or are quickly accessible. They are balanced in vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein. Having a few of these in your back pocket is an essential tool to staying consistent. Sure, having different meals all the time is great, but sometimes we just need a system.
Make grocery shopping a system. Grocery shopping should not be a 2 hour adventure. You should be able to get in and out in about 10 - 15 minutes depending on the lines. Start with making a list of the things you always get and keep it on your phone or in a handy place. Make sure your go-to meal ingredients are on this list.
When all else fails, smoothies can be a GTM! Of course, not every day and not every meal, but they can provide vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and protein.
The next time that life is busy, resist the urge to order out, and fall back on one of your GTM's! You may not feel like cooking, but just get started, and you'll be glad that you made nourishing food for yourself by the end of the meal.
Here are a few of our favorite GTM's:
Black Bean Soup (vegan friendly, gluten free friendly)
Spaghetti Squash topped with white beans or turkey and vodka sauce. (vegan friendly, gluten free friendly)
Super Smoothie (vegan friendly, gluten free friendly)
Tacos either with refried beans or if we have tempeh on hand. The recipe attached is for tempeh tacos.
Remember, simple is OK! Often, simple is best! Sometimes it seems like we all want to be nutritional martyrs by either having the most complicated, or most restrictive diets, or by showing off with the most involved food prep and complex meals. But most of the time, that's not necessary. We can stick to our FOUNDATIONS, make real food that is simple and tastes good, enjoy it with friends and family or some mindful alone time, and save in-depth recipes for Instagram and the occasional weekend. Foundations aren't sexy, but they work.
Now, head out there and do it! Don't be distracted by the next fancy article on nutrition, but fall back on what we know works. And of course, we'll be here to support you along the way. Thank you for following along these past nine weeks!
Concerned or confused about nutrition? Not sure if your current nutritional habits are helping you meet your goals? Feel free to pop in Abby's office, schedule an appointment, or shoot her an email at email@example.com