Lavender Living: Fueling Your Body
Let’s talk fueling our body - the importance of the right nutrients and making sure you get enough nutrients each day to reach your fitness goal. So many times, when someone has a fitness goal of losing weight, the first thing they do is cut their caloric intake, increase their exercise; but then, they find themselves hungry with food on their mind, and are ultimately not able to sustain what they set out to do. Insert the crash diet cycle here. This is why Ash and I are on mission! We want to help teach you the importance of eating right to finally reach those fitness goals and, most importantly, sustain the health and fitness goals you’ve always wanted.
If you have been following Ash and I long enough, you know our number one goal is to make small changes over time to find long-term success. This goes for any aspect of your life, but today we are talking specifically about nutrition. It’s important to note that Ashley and I are not registered dietitians. We do not have a certification in nutrition; the information I am providing is purely based on our own research as well as our personal trial and error. It is important to use our information for what it is worth but it is also crucial do your own research to find what is best for you. It also never hurts to consult with your physician prior to making any changes to your health.
What does it really mean to fuel your body?
Eat, eat, eat! Never stop eating! Food is our fuel, and we have to have it to survive. We should never deprive ourselves of something so important to our survival. Ashley and I do not use the word diet in our vocabulary. It’s just not necessary and never leads to that long-term success we strive for daily! Over the past 2 ½ years as we have been on a quest to find the best version of ourselves, we have never dieted or restricted ourselves of the foods we love. Instead, we have found the right foods that work for our bodies and, most importantly, foods that we enjoy. We like to call this intuitive eating - click here to learn more. There is a pretty simple formula to finding this success, but how badly do you want it? We know you can do it! It’s a matter of being consistent while learning along the way. We’ve made it simple enough to follow the basics, but it’s up to you to put in the time, the consistency and do a little research on your own to find that long-term success in your health.
It’s all about the right combination.
The body needs a combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Carbs are what fuel the body and provide us the energy we need. They are vital for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain and the muscles to function properly. Eliminating carbs or eating a low-carb diet is not the way to go. Instead, let’s focus on the good carbohydrates that can fuel the body and be used properly as that necessary energy source.
Fats are what make us feel full and satisfied; they are also an energy source as well as a necessary component for cell function in the body. Fats are necessary to consume daily and with each meal, but it’s a matter of finding the right fats to consume. There are good fats and there are bad fats – trans fat, saturated fat and unsaturated fat. Trans fats are found in fried foods and heavily processed foods. Think of anything in a box with lots of ingredients you cannot understand. Avoiding packaged snack options, prepackaged quick meal options, fast food and fried foods will eliminate the trans fats that should not be consumed. Saturated fats come from your animal sources and should be eaten in moderation. Your main focus in fats should be the unsaturated good, healthy fats. Click here to check out our detailed post on all things fats!
Protein is necessary for the body to assist with building lean muscle mass, tissue repair and growth, as well as making essential hormones and enzymes in the body. You guessed it; protein should be consumed with every meal and snack throughout the day for that balanced, healthy way of eating.
Now, how much?
We talked about the necessary combination, but now let’s break down the amount of each macronutrient you should be consuming with every meal. Ashley and I’s goal has been to eat intuitively. When looking at long-term success, the only way to do that is to keep it simple. There is no counting calories, counting macros, weighing your food or even reading nutrition labels. This may sound a little crazy, but it is as simple as using your hand to determine your macronutrient portion control for each meal you consume.
Carbs – Take your hand and make a fist. The carbohydrates per meal, including a snack, should not be any bigger than the size of your fist.
Fats – When looking at non-oil fats, you will want to use your thumb to determine the necessary portion control per meal. The top of your finger is what you should use when determining the amount of oils and butters to consume per meal.
Proteins – Take the palm of your hand and use that as a reference for the amount of protein that should be consumed per meal.
Who knew the hand could come in so “handy” when determining the amount of carbs, fat and protein that should be consumed per meal? It’s always with you and it is the simplest and easiest way in determining the right amount for you. No more counting calories, weighing your food or counting macros. It’s as simple as that.
Keep it simple.
Speaking of simple, that is our number one goal in intuitively eating. You have to keep it simple. Look for meal options or recipes that have minimal ingredients and are made with foods that are in their realest and raw state. Below I have listed some options of foods to consider in the carbs, fat and protein arena.
· Sweet potatoes
· Sprouted Bread
· Brown Rice
· Chickpea Pasta
· Whole grain pasta
· Avocado Oil
· Coconut Oil
· Raw Nuts (cashews and almonds)
· Raw Butters (almond, cashew, peanut)
· Grass fed butter (ghee)
· Grass fed beefs
· Eggs (farm and free range – hormone and antibiotic free)
· Farm raised chicken (hormone and antibiotic free)
Make a plan, and work the plan.
You planned in advance, you have everything you need to be successful, but now it’s up to you to work the plan! Keep your weekly meal options in a place that you can see often. Don’t stray from the plan unless it is absolutely necessary. Being lazy and not wanting to cook - not necessary. An unplanned late evening at work, a sick kid, etc. - necessary. Life happens and that is okay! Take it one day at a time, know you have a good plan in place, and follow that plan to the best of your ability. Ash and I live by the 80/20 rule - if you are following the plan 80 percent of the time with a 20 percent deviation, you are on track and you will have success! To read more on “planning for the week” ,click here for an in depth post that was previously written.
Need a little pep in your step to get started?
No worries, we got you! Ash and I have been practicing fueling our bodies for the past 2 ½ years, it is not something that just came to us overnight. For a sample of our 7 day intuitive eating style, subscribe to our newsletter here. Once you subscribe, an email with access to the meal plan will be sent to you within 24 hours.
Already a newsletter subscriber? No worries! Check out the April 4th newsletter for access to the meal plan!
As always, feel free to drop us a question in the comments below or shoot us an email here!
Joc and Ash