You are what you eat

I want to continue our conversation around the previously introduced topic of the pillars of health.  The pillar I’d like to focus on is nutrition.  I think that this concept can be simply summed up with the statement that, “You are what you eat.” This phrase may seem oversimplified and over utilized, however there is truth to it.   

When we look at how our bodies use the food that we eat in the simplest of terms, the nutrients we take in from our food become the building blocks for every cell in our body. With this knowledge we begin to see the importance of the quality of the food that we eat.  Then we can begin to shift our mindset around nutrition and eating to align with this knowledge.    The mindset shift that I encourage to embrace is that the food is fuel. When making choices around nutrition we should keep this principle in mind.  If you owned a fancy sports car you would use the highest quality fuel to prevent damage and keep it performing at a high level.  Think of your body in the same way.   Treat it like the fancy, high performing machine that is!

When we shift our mindset to food as fuel, it makes it easier to understand and we make better choices around nutrition.  It can seem complicated.  I wanted to share the top three things that I focus and use to help guide me when making decisions about nutrition easy. 

Dr. Jen’s Top 3 Nutrition Tips:

  1. Strive to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, these are things that are high in vitamins and minerals and things that our bodies need to be healthy and to function properly. 
  2. Eat a variety of foods that have a nice balance of the macronutrients. Macronutrients are things that you likely recognize:  protein, fat and carbohydrates. We need all three. They’re all essential for different things in our body, so we need to be eating all a good balance of all three.
  3. Consider the source and quality of the macronutrients that you are consuming.  Try  to reduce your intake of highly processed foods, sugars and alcohols. These foods and beverage are not of high quality, they are not nutrient dense.   I am not saying you can’t have them because you are human and you deserve to enjoy food and indulge every once in a while, but it should not be the bulk of what you are eating.