Nourish

You don't need to calculate your macros + what to do instead

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When you’re planning a meal, there are really only three guidelines to keep in mind:

Eat real food

Go for quality (meaning: local, seasonal, organic, grass-finished, wild, etc.)

Protein + vegetables + healthy fats = wonderfulness meal

Look at that last one again. That’s the equation you need to create a nutrient-rich plate that will energize and satiate you. 

Of course, the devil is in the details, right? You’ve been told you need to have a certain percentage of macronutrients--fat, protein, and carbohydrates. One of the problems is that everyone seems to recommend a different set of percentages. Another problem is--well, it actually isn’t a problem...The other thing is calculating your macros is an unnecessary step.

Why? Because your needs will change regularly and what is ideal at one time won’t be another. Because you shouldn’t have to do math for your meals. Because you want to build effective and efficient habits--and figuring out your macros simply is neither of those.

Oh, but there are other devilish details to consider! 

 

What to focus on instead of macros

What’s a good protein source? And how much?

Animal-based is ideal. It has all of the amino acids your body needs, as well as other quality nutrients--as long as you ‘re going for pastured, grass-finished, or wild sources.

Two to six ounces is a good range. This doesn’t mean you have to weigh your food (ugh). At first you can familiarize with various sizes/weights until you develop an eye for it. When you buy a piece of fish or meat to cook, the weight will be on the package. When you order at a restaurant, they’ll often note how large it is, especially if it’s red meat. Your actual hunger is the best gauge, though.

What vegetables are best? And how much?

Favor non-starchy vegetables and eat as much as your heart and stomach desires. Think leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and “fruits” that we consider veggies (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant).


(A quick note on adding more vegetables to your diet: Start slowly. They provide a lot of fiber which can lead to gas and bloating while your body adjusts.)

Eat smaller amounts of starchy vegetables (roots and tubers, for the most part). You don’t have to weigh or measure them. Just think of them as a bonus, and not your main, vegetable.

What does healthy fat mean? And how much?

Healthy fats are those that don’t easily oxidize, causing inflammation in your body. Some good sources include nuts, seeds, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and even butter (if it’s from pastured cows).

Once again your hunger is the best gauge for how much fat to add to your meal. But don’t be afraid of it. Fat helps your body metabolize many of the nutrients found in your vegetables and it’s also incredibly satiating, so you may find you don’t need as much food to feel full--and stay full.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo-based practices that counter the effects of aging. You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!

Wishing you wonderfulness!


Sometimes size DOES matter: 4 steps to determine your ideal food portions

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Do you want to make yourself miserable? 

Commit to weighing and/or measuring all of your food.

This might be a necessary step when you’re following a recipe, but what happens when you eat out at a restaurant or a friend’s house? Do you really want to carry around--and use--a food scale and measuring cups?

You don’t have to. These kinds of calculations are unnecessary, even if you’re trying to shed body fat.

That doesn’t mean that portion-size doesn’t matter, though. It’s just that there’s a simple way to go about it....

 

4 steps to eating the right amount for you--no weighing or measuring required

Think about and choose your *right* portion size

Think for a second BEFORE you start your meal (or snack/treat): How hungry are you? How much do you think is a good amount to eat? Separate your “want” from what you think is best.

When serving yourself, it’s easy enough to dish out the amount you deem appropriate. But if someone else serves you, it can be more challenging to visually imagine what a good serving size is--restaurants often serve massive portions. Just try and don’t worry too much about it. The following steps will help.

Also, if you have leftover portions of food at home or too much on your plate when out, consider packing it up before you even start your meal. Why tempt yourself?

Focus on your food

While you love food, do you tend to rush through eating it? This is common, and it can stem from many feelings such as fear that you’ll enjoy it too much (yes, for real) or that you won’t get enough. Anyway, the reasons why aren’t important. What is important is to begin practicing slowing down.  

It’s simple to say: Slow down and eat mindfully. It is NOT a simple thing to do. I’m sure you know the advice to set your utensils (or food) down between bites, to chew thoroughly, and to keep checking in with your appetite. 

Yes, do all of that. Remind yourself beforehand. Practice. Congratulate yourself when you succeed. Ask yourself what went wrong when you forgot. Keep practicing.

Take a break

So you’ve picked out what you think is a good portion and you’ve focused on enjoying each bite. Now your plate is clean--or you’ve eaten the amount you decided on--but you feel like you want more.

You might. But you’re going to wait to see. It can take at least 20 minutes for your body to send the “full” signal. So give your system a chance. If you’re still hungry after that time, eat a little bit more and reassess.

Use your taste buds to help you

At this point you’re done. You KNOW you’re full, and yet...you’re craving more. Whatever you had was super delicious and you don’t know when you’ll ever have the chance to eat it again. Or you really want to treat yourself to dessert. Or any of a number of other reasons. 

All you know is you’ll feel overstuffed and awful if you eat any more. So what do you do about the craving?

Brush your teeth or use mouthwash. If you’re someplace that you can’t do either of those, suck on a mint or whatever it is that signals to your mouth that you are finished eating. The more often you do this, the more you’ll associate this certain taste (often mint) with the feeling that you are DONE.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo-based practices that counter the effects of aging.  You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!

Wishing you wonderfulness!




So what does the word "Paleo(ish)" actually mean?

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First let’s start with what being Paleo (in the modern sense of the word) actually means. I’m sure you’ve heard/read a lot of incorrect information about it, such as calling it a “fad” diet, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The basis of the Paleo lifestyle is the belief that evolution provides the clues to vibrant health. The development of agriculture, villages, and technology over the last twenty thousand years is a mere blip in comparison to our two million years of being hunter-gatherers.

One of the main arguments lobbed against the Paleo diet is that our ancestors didn’t all eat the same way. This is true—no proper Paleo-devotee would deny it!

Our Paleolithic ancestors didn't all live under the same conditions. There were different environments, stressors, and diets, yet they shared common practices which we can still learn from today. By embracing these practices, you can turn on the genes that optimize your body's form and function, slow down the rate of aging, and feel wonderful.

The other argument is that it’s unnatural and unhealthy to remove food groups (as in grains). This is untrue! There was a long swath of time when our ancestors didn’t consume grains. Once they began cultivating them and making them a main part of their diet, health problems began rising (though starvation was less of a risk!).

Yet removing entire food groups is not even what I advocate for. That’s the true nature of the “ish.”

The Wonderfulness Program isn't dogmatic about being Paleo. I’m not dogmatic about being Paleo. And guess what? You don't have to be, either. There's wiggle room based on what actually works for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Also, you don't live in a cave. You probably enjoy eating in nice restaurants, wearing gorgeous lingerie, and streaming Netflix. That's why it's Paleo(ish).

Speaking of streaming Netflix, have you checked out it’s short docu-series “The Paleo Way”? Host and chef Pete Evans is charming, the locations are gorgeous, and the food looks scrumptious. But it’s the benefits that the Paleo people rave about that make me so happy. You get to see diet and lifestyle change in action!

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Yes, you can dine Paleo(ish) at most restaurants...

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So many things in life are challenging, aren’t they?

Going out to eat shouldn’t be one of them.

When you’re with a group of friends making dinner plans—or you simply want to treat yourself to a meal you didn’t cook—finding a restaurant that caters to a Paleo(ish) way of eating is a breeze.

Most places you go to will have an animal-based protein option and vegetables. Maybe you’ll have to make some substitutions, such as ordering a vegetable dish instead of the pasta or a burrito bowl instead of having it wrapped in a flour tortilla.

But since you have that helpful (ish) after the Paleo, you can even have the occasional grains, legumes, and dairy (provided you’re not sensitive to any of them).

That gives you a lot of options.

I recently was treated to a delicious dinner at Greens at Fort Mason in San Francisco (thank you, my lovely friend!). They’re a Michelin guide recommended restaurant that’s been serving vegetarian food for forty years. We were seated just in time for a gorgeous sunset on the bay and the food was as fantastic as the view. I had a polenta with roasted summer vegetables and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert—also, champagne.

No drama. No worries. All deliciousness, fabulous company, and it was Paleo(ish) to boot.

If you need to feel bad about something, feel bad about driving to dinner when you’re within walking distance (but you are wearing high heels). You could even feel bad about your pre-meal cocktail (though I’ll argue that a martini is a decent indulgence).

(Are you getting that I don’t find feeling bad or guilty helpful?)

But you definitely have no reason to feel bad about what to eat at a restaurant . Go out and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty of Paleo(ish) choices.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo(ish) practices that counter the effects of aging. You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!

What Makes a Food "Junk?" Here are 8 ingredients to avoid

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Do you love the way your body looks?

(Let’s keep this superficial and ignore how you feel for right now.)

As a glamazon, I want you to roar a resounding YES!

But honestly? Most women answer no. It’s a tough subject. And a sad one.

If you long for a leaner line, you are far from alone. And you know what else you may share with the masses? A pernicious habit that could be holding you back.

I’m talking about junk food.

Junk food isn’t awful for you because of its calorie content—because you’re not concerned with calories, right? It has more serious repercussions such as messing with your digestion and your blood sugar and causing chronic inflammation. Because it’s usually high in sugar and/or starchy carbs, it also leads to cravings—usually for more junk food. Ugh. Talk about a vicious cycle.

Let’s keep this very simple. Junk food is not a benign treat. Actually, i’ts not a treat at all. It’s doing you NO favors.

The easiest way to avoid it is by not buying it in the first place. But that means you first need to know how to recognize it.

8 common ingredients to avoid

Really, there are too many to list. If you don’t recognize an ingredient as food, don’t eat it. But here are some of the heavy-hitters that you’ll see over and over again in overly processed, nutrient-deprived foods (aka junk).

Sugar in all of its forms Check out this PDF to see most of its aliases. Read this if you want to be horrified about how much of it you may be consuming

Artificial sweeteners They can raise your risk for diabetes even more than regular sugar can

“Vegetable” oils which are really industrial seed oils These are probably even worse for you than sugar, especially when it comes to causing inflammation. The main ones to look for are canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oils, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil

Hydrogenated (or paritally-hydrogenated) oils Same effects as the industrial seed oils described above, but manufacturers love them because they’re cheap and keep your food fresh longer (think: Twinkies)

Artificial coloring These often have a # after them (such as Red #2). They’ve been shown to disrupt the immune system leading to gut and neurobehavioral disorders.While the jury’s still out about whether they cause cancer or not, foods that are healthy won’t add them.

Sodium benzoate This preservative is often added to acidic foods and sodas, but has been linked to cancer development and immune problems

Carrageenan This is used to stabilize and thicken certain processed foods, but unfortunately it’s also been linked to ulcers and certain cancers

Gums (guar, xanthan, etc.) These are generally used to thicken and stabilize foods as well, but can cause digestive upset in sensitive individuals. Do you want to take the risk?

If you don’t want to worry about remembering all of these, EAT REAL FOOD. (I think I’ve mentioned this before.)

As they say, You are what you eat. And you are NOT junk…