At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (the nutrition school I graduated from) students are taught a totally different approach to facilitate dietary change in their own lives and the lives of their clients.
Rather than focusing on avoiding this food and that food because it’s bad for you, they emphasize adding more good things to one’s diet.
Their philosophy is that once someone adds in the new food options, gradually, the “bad” foods will be “crowded out.” Slow and steady change! No shaming, no deprivation, no guilt. Just gradual change that is fueled by knowledge and curiosity! Even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction.
This concept of crowding out can also help to address another growing health problem and that is a POOR OVERALL DIET. Poor overall diet is wreaking havoc on our health and overall wellness.
There is an EXTREME lack of healthy foods in our diets.
These healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, fiber, legumes or beans, omega-3 fatty acids from wild seafood, and healthy fats, the good-for-you fats found in salmon, avocado, olive oil and some nuts and seeds.
Americans are overfed and undernourished. The most obese children and adults in the country are also the most nutritionally deficient!(1)
“Unhealthy diet is the top risk factor for the Global Burden of Disease. The relative importance of this factor has been growing and requires urgent attention,” said Francesco Branca, director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization.“The public needs to be aware of the critical links between diet and health and demand public action to improve the access and availability of foods that contribute to healthy diets,” Branca said. (2)
- Start with CROWDING OUT. Simply add in the new healthy food options and gradually, the “bad” foods will slowly be “crowded out.”
- Next focus meals around plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole unprocessed grains. These are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber, and essential fatty acids.
- Eat healthy fats at every meal to help absorb vitamins & minerals and to keep you full! These include olive oil certified and pure, raw nuts, grass fed meats, coconut oil, seeds, pastured egg yolks, avocados, ghee (clarified butter), and animal based omega 3 fat such as krill oil and small fatty fish like sardines and anchovies.
- Take a whole foods multivitamin like this ONE everyday (this is to help meet all your daily nutrient needs along with healthy eating and not a replacement for poor diet.)
Food is your FUEL and Food is MEDICINE!
Focus on whole REAL food filling your plate to crowd out any empty nutritional deficient “foods”.
Eating more whole foods will optimize your health, extend longevity, and keep you happy and thriving day to day!
Be Well! 🙂