You guys, nutrition is COMPLICATED. All the studying I do, and I feel like I will just never understand all there is to it. Maintaining a certain weight is HARD. It's not as easy as simply counting calories.
I want to be healthy. I do. But which guidelines do I follow (organic, Paleo, Atkins, Whole30)? And how much money do I spend ($400 a week at Whole Foods?!?) And how much time should I spend on meal-planning? (Pinterest, I hate you.)
It's just too much.
So, here are some basic guidelines for eating CLEANER and HEALTHIER while also taking away some food-related guilt.
1. Try gluten-free.
Gluten has been linked to numerous auto-immune disorders and all sorts of unpleasant things. You don't have to necessarily buy gluten-free bread. You could just, you know, stop eating bread. Yes, it's rough. Yes, all your favorite things are chock full of gluten. Stop eating them anyway. After a spell, you might find that your headaches and backaches go away, like mine did.
2. Watch the artificial sugar.
Add Stevia to your coffee & tea instead of Equal or sugar. Have a KIND bar instead of a PowerBar. What kind of sugar is in that amazing sweet tea at McDonald's? Right.
3. It's not all about fat anymore.
Once upon a time, diets were centered around minimizing fat intake. No longer. Now we are learning that fat is no longer the enemy. Certain types of fat are actually helpful and protective, like the saturated fat found in avocados. When cooking/baking, use olive and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
4. No pop or energy drinks; drink water instead.
Seriously. Yes, this is hard. T-R-Y. Nobody said it was easy. Plus, water is free at restaurants :)
5. Eat fresh.
Less processed food, more fresh stuff. Duh.
These 5 recommendations are a great start. Once you get a good handle on these, you can advance to more intense strategies. You can also add basic daily supplements like I talk about in this post.
These have been my favorite nutrition books so far (click for links):