By: Jen Widerstrom
Energy to actively participate in your life, to think and feel deeply, to be creative and harness your work ethic, all stems from a single unit of measurement.
As the unit of energy, a calorie in many ways has become one of our greatest commodities; therefore, making our personal nutrition more important than ever before. Your nutrition is literally the through line on the way you show up in your life each day. Thoughtful, engaged, and goal oriented… or checked out, overwhelmed, and low in spirit. At every meal, we actually get to choose who we are and who we will become because the choice resembles how we feel about ourselves and, ultimately, is owned by our bodies. So, when it comes to the importance of nutrition, mental and physical health is on the line and completely up to you.
Now regardless of any misguided attempts or even real efforts that just fell short, investing in your nutrition is not the mountain that we make it to be. It can be a simple system, founded on self-care, equating to longevity, healthy weight loss, and life-long stamina. I’m here to show you how to succeed here with a few simple choices that fill up our plates.
To start, I am a huge advocate of one ingredient foods because they are easily recognizable and digestible in your body. This is critical when it comes to absorbing all the nutritional value of your meals but also for completing that exchange of unwanted LB’s for lean muscle tissue. So, what is a one ingredient food? A one ingredient food is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a food with one single ingredient.
For example, when you hold an apple in your hand, or a sweet potato, or a Laura’s Lean ground beef patty, it only has one name to describe it. Nothing added. Not even antibiotics or added hormones to alter it from its’ original state. It just is what it is. The good news is one ingredient foods are right in front of you everywhere! In getting more comfortable with this concept, simply look at the nutrition facts of the foods already in your home. By law, every ingredient must be listed, so read up on what you’ve been ingesting. If there is a loooooong ingredient list or if there is a shorter list with ingredients that you don’t even recognize, (let alone can pronounce), then I would urge you to change out that item in your meal plan for something with as few ingredients as possible that you’re also familiar with.
Also, PLEASE plan ahead. You don’t have to be this crazy organized person to do this! When you look at the week ahead and you know you have a lot of commitments and running around to do, then make sure you’re brown-bagging it. Before Monday even hits you should know how many packed lunches/snacks you need, and you will have already grocery shopped at your local Kroger store over the weekend for the ingredients (hint-hint).
Whether you take five minutes before bed or before work, pack a nourishment stash like some Laura’s Lean Organic, Grass-Fed Jerky and you are good to go! I would say the most problematic scenario is your “on the fly” choices before or after work. They tend to be rogue decisions founded on emotional spontaneity and lack of sleep, so spend just one hour on your Sunday prepping for the week to protect yourself from such default human behavior. Boil a dozen eggs, roast a few bundles of brussels sprouts, make a batch of healthy Laura’s Lean meatballs and now you’re at least set up with a few options you can feel good about. Heck – throw in a few chopped apples and count out 3-4 servings of raw almonds and you’ll really have no excuses not to be successful!!!
Ultimately, I want a very wholesome look to your plate at each meal and therefore your week (and world) will follow!!… It needs to be more than just two-a-week or even one-a-day. Consistency in this way of eating is necessary in supporting the lifestyle and build you want.
Honestly, edit the correct portions for you with as many one ingredient foods you can. Bright, orange sweet potatoes. Deep, green cruciferous vegetables. A flakey white fish flavored by only lemon and herbs. This is what I need to see in order for your muscle tissue and energy needs to be supported as well as for your metabolic furnace and life to stay in play.