What Food is Right for Me? Basic Concepts to Understand
May 7, 2019
Why it is important to eat for what our bodies need
NUTRITION, the “n” word we all struggle with. The word that we think we know something about, the word we see used and overused on a daily basis that carries so much weight (no pun intended).
There is so much information out there, how are we supposed to know what is right for us? Have you ever tried no carbohydrates, Atkins, Paleo diet, Vegan diet, Vegetarian recipes, Blood type diet, Ketogenic diet, Cabbage soup diet, the Lemonade diet etc. and almost immediately gained all your weight back and then some? Does your fingerprint match that of your fellow fad dieter? Well your nutrition shouldn’t either! That is why it is important to invest in a balanced diet, NOT a fad diet! Now, I want to make it clear I don’t think Veganism or eating paleo is simply a fad for ALL people and it may be something that works for you, but our nutritional choices should always be about health and wellness not a quick fix weight loss tool.
My love/hate/love relationship with food.
If you’re anything like me, you grew up in a household where healthy eating was not a priority. I lived with my single mother for many years and we ate what was available, easy, and let’s face it fast food often fits that criteria. I distinctly remember getting Burger King every Wednesday as a reward for going to therapy. Did I mention I also fell into emotional eating…I wonder why? My mother worked hard and did the best she could to provide, but organic fruits and vegetables weren’t always an option or really even on the radar. Correct portions? Forget about it! I came from the era of we must finish everything on our plate because there are “starving children in China.” I didn’t know how to tell when I was actually full and my brain was not properly signaling my body that it did not need any more food for YEARS! Food was always something I looked forward to and on the rare occasion my mother would cook I soaked up every second of what she was doing so that I could learn how to do it on my own. I think I started cooking when I was 7 or 8 years old. My favorite dishes my mother would make were chicken stew and biscuits, potstickers, and white cheddar Mac and cheese, all comfort foods! Today I have my mom’s recipes on occasion but I now know how to eat that type of food in moderation.
So, I started off with a love of food because I was given all the tasty comforting things but then I hated it when as I aged, I realized what it did to my body. In high school I did Cheerleading, Gymnastics and Conditioning and was doing intense workouts daily so when I was eating crap it didn’t really matter. Then, I graduated and wasn’t as active the pounds packed on quickly! The peak of my weight was actually in grad school when I was managing a pizzeria and brewery and eating all the free pizza (but I was having salad too, that’s healthy right?) not sleeping and walking my dog and hiking on the weekend. Surely that was enough because at home I was eating organic…wrong!! I was consuming way too many calories and moving my body way too little. So how did I learn to love food and mg body again?
The turning point
I knew something had to change when I had a physical for an internship and found out I weighed 183 lbs at 5’2”. I started trying all the things: healthy snacks, healthy foods, healthy breakfast (you know, yogurt and granola instead of Starbucks), reading nutrition facts, trying vegan, paleo, vegetarian, you name it! Nothing really seemed to work the way I needed it to. Then, in 2014 I met a coach like me who invited me to try a new portion control system combined with daily superfoods and only 20-30 minutes of fitness a day. They say progress is attributed to 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Meeting my coach gave me the tools I needed to achieve this and to ultimately gave me healthy eating guidelines to create the most healthy eating habits that would lead to my 60 pound weight loss and the ability to maintain my health and nutrition.
Why is it so important to put the right fuel in your body?
For starters, your body is like a machine, it is your daily vehicle for all that you do! If you put diesel fuel into a regular unleaded vehicle do you think it would run properly or even at all? Our health starts to break down at the source of what we put in our bodies, so imagine how efficient it could run with the right fuel! When I started my journey I started with a daily whole superfood supplement with 70 plus blends off superfoods, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, adaptogenic herbs, phytonutrients, proteins. This is a blend and a base of what EVERYONE needs. Once your body is cleansed and has a solid base of nutrition it allows your body to absorb more nutrients form the whole foods that you eat. This is where getting in the kitchen and making the right foods comes in!
Ok, now WHAT do I eat?
It’s really not as difficult as you think. We all need a balance of fruit, veggies, carbs, protein, and healthy fat. No, I’m not talking about the food guide pyramid my disagreement with that and what we’ve taught in schools for years is another story for another time. I’m talking about different portions of food for different goals, body types, backgrounds, and results. Our sources of the above groups do not have to be the same which is why the portion control system I use can be used by people with different health ailments such as diabetes and celiac. For people with different allergies and preferences such asVegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Dairy free, even Ketogenic. Now I have to disclaim, any time you’re thinking about making a drastic change to your diet or taking any supplement you should consult your doctor. When I’m discussing the portioning of whole foods I’m talking about the most user friendly way to make a plate. I use color coated containers of different shapes and sizes to measure my food as taught to me by my coach and our network. We call it counting COLORies not calories. How fun is that? It was with this simple system that I was able to lose over 60 pounds and keep it off.
How does nutrition impact fitness?
If you’re anything like me when I was heavy I HATED “working out” it didn’t feel good. I hated how hard it was and how much I jiggled around. The gym was the absolute last place I wanted to be. I felt like everyone was staring at me (although they likely were mostly concerned about themselves and what they were doing). When my nutrition program came with some at home fitness I could use to get results I was thrilled. I could jump and jiggle till my heart was content, I even started listing weights because I was no longer intimidated by all the “meat heads” at the gym. I watched training videos to ensure I was using the proper form and slowly but surely the weight started to fall off, I started to see results, I started to feel what it was like to be healthy! My energy levels increases, my clarity, my ambition and then EVERYTHING changed. This is now a part of my DAILY life and it’s easy. I became a yoga teacher and a coach so I could share how truly simple it is to change your life with the right tools.
We all deserve a quality of life that resembles pure joy that resembles waking up each morning with a fire in our bellies and an ability to do whatever we want with no limitations. I believe taking control of your nutrition and health is a huge step toward everyone’s ability to achieve this. I hope if you’re thinking about making a change you take this story to heart and no that I’m no one special, I’m just like you, a person who woke up one morning and decided she deserved more.
Not everyone needs to eat the same things to be healthy
“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible. Check out her bio. under ‘Meet Our Team’, available on the website here.”- Dr. Shakib