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June 28, 2019

Making Food More Powerful

Food is more than a fuel source. Food is powerful. Food is packed with meaning, information, and communication. Every food decision we make sends instructions to our body that kicks off a chemical chain reaction. Each molecule of food contributes to a cascade of events, sending a variety of signals through the body. Cells put protein components (peptides and amino acids) to work making hormones, enzymes, structural proteins, and of course, building muscle. Fat components (triglycerides and free fatty acids) are used to make hormones and control inflammation pathways. Carbohydrate components (glucose and fructose) are used to help maintain proper hormone status (such as thyroid, testosterone, and leptin). These are the messages that we can’t see or feel; we just eat, chew, swallow, and our bodies do the work. Every meal or snack is an opportunity to direct, shape, and remake our health, our body composition, our performance, and well-being. Where can you improve a meal?

If trying to improve your food and meal choices is making you feel overwhelmed, anxious, obsessive, or negative then START WITH SMALL GOALS to gain confidence.

Start small. How can you make one meal a little better? Do you go to the coffee shop and get a fufu drink with lots of sugar? What if instead, you made a small change to coffee with creamer and then eventually coffee with no creamer? Making small changes and improvements to what you are normally eating and enjoying is a small step in the right direction. In order to make realistic changes that are going to become part of your routine, you have to shoot for a “little bit better”. Try to make one thing a little bit better each week.

If you usually have a sandwich with white bread, cheese, and bologna for lunch every day, how can you make a small but doable change for the next four weeks? First, try and switch from white bread to whole grain bread, then maybe it's switching to organic turkey instead of bologna, then maybe the next week you get organic whole milk cheese. Then maybe you switch to gluten-free bread or lettuce wraps. Start getting creative and making small healthy changes to your eating habits.

Meal prepping one meal a week can also be a small but simple change. Think about small changes that can become part of your routine. Increasing food quality and non-processed foods should be a focus.  Consuming non-processed foods and/or organic foods will increase the vitamin and mineral content providing more energy for your cells and what the body needs to FUNCTION optimally.

Eating smarter and healthier is not about reaching perfection. It’s about finding what works for you. It all depends on what you want, what you need, and what you can REASONABLY do, right now. You have to experiment with systems, skills, and strategies that work for you and your life. It’s also not about doing everything RIGHT NOW. Focus on some small steps you can take, and then allow yourself to celebrate your successes, however small. Give yourself credit for making a few small changes every week. Be patient, and I promise the small steps will start to add up.

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