I’ve been known to be a lot of things from “food nazi” to “nutrition freak” since a very early age. Before I knew better I used to count fat grams, then once eating lots of “fat free” foods filled with ingredients like aluminum and plastic were reaking havoc on my digestive system, I started counting calories. After sugar free and calorie free drinks would leave a horrible taste in my mouth and make me crave sugar (which I never did before trying artificial sweeteners), I decided I was not on the right track towards health. I am passionate about what goes in your body! Growing up with a mother and father who are not native to this country, eating out and fast food were not an option. Dinner was always home cooked and once in a blue moon I got to go to McD’s or order pizza delivery which was a huge treat. To be quite honest, I thank my mother for that. She taught me the right habits at a very early age, and they’ve stayed with me through life.
On my endless journey to studying all the latest nutrition and trends I found that the healthiest food is really the simplest food. I’ll tell you a tip I tell all of my patients, “If it grows out of the earth and walks the earth, it’s probably ok.” This isn’t true for everyone, especially people with food sensitivities. I just had a patient ask me why gluten sensitivity and dairy sensitivity is so prevalent in the US, and one reason for this is we’ve created these sensitivities. We are one of the only cultures that eats gluten and dairy every day, three times per day. I can honestly say that when my patients turn in their 3-day food log, at least half of them have not a single fruit or vegetable on their list. What I do see is plenty of gluten, dairy, soda, artificial sweeteners and very little food that grows out of the earth. If 75% of your diet is fruits, vegetables and raw nuts and seeds, than the other 25% should be lean protein of your choice. Lean protein does not only mean meat, depending on your lifestyle choices and food sensitivities you can fill in the blank. Artificial ingredients and processed foods should be treated as condiments. Avoid them as much as possible, but if you do choose to have them, sparingly!! I tell people, “a treat is not a treat if you eat it every day, it’s part of your lifestyle.” A treat is something you indulge in once or twice a week, not after every lunch and dinner and as a mid morning and mid afternoon snack.
Your habits determine your health, not just your diet. Your diet, combined with lifestyle factors like exercise, and your emotional health keep your body balanced. So you are what you eat, and if you want to be healthy, it does require healthy dietary habits. Weight loss experts state that losing fat and gaining muscle is 75% dietary habits and 25% physical activity. So you really can’t have one without the other, but obviously you can see which one has the greater impact.