It is not easy, but it is simple. - Eric Thomas
That quote sums up nutrition in just a few words. The concepts of a well-balanced nutrition plan are not easy to follow, but the concepts are very SIMPLE.
In my training for Precision Nutrition, we are educated on the variety of limiting factors that might hinder you from making good nutritional choices. You might be wondering 'What are limiting factors?'
Well, have you ever read the book 'The Monster At the End of this Book?' (If not, I highly recommend grabbing a copy for a little kiddo in your life). In this book, Grover of Sesame Street fame, does not want to get you to the end of the book and tries to stop the reader by putting up obstacle after obstacle after obstacle to stop YOU the reader from turning the page. Limiting factors are obstacles that stop you from taking the simple steps. The obstacles sometimes seem so overwhelmingly large they make the "easy" look very very challenging.
For the next few weeks, I am going to hone in on nutrition, trying to help you create some good habits, and I will outline some of the limiting factors that you might be dealing with AND how to overcome the obstacle. Keep in mind that these might exist both physically and maybe emotionally. Bottom line, I want to help you make better nutritional choices.
LIMITING FACTOR #1: Eating too much processed food.
Sometimes when I go to the grocery and walk down the pasta aisle I pause for a moment and try to remember when there were two sauce options "Prego" and "Ragu." Now, the food store (as my friend calls it) is a mecca of processed things all marked with unverified terms like 'natural, cage free, grass fed, low fat, low sugar, paleo keto.' All terms that trick your brain into thinking 'HEALTHY!' Have you ever turned over a favorite pasta sauce or cereal and looked at the ingredients?
What about shopping around the OUTSIDE of the store? In the perimeter, the food IS the ingredient. Bananas, spinach, fruits, vegetables when you first walk in and then stroll around the back to eggs and meat and swing around the far side for the dairy. Seems like a pretty nutritious way to fill the cart.
That is just one idea to eat less processed food. If you fill up on fruits, veggies, nuts, you will have less room for the other items.
A few other ideas include:
While you are making dinner snack on your favorite veggie snack (sugar snap peas for me!). Red pepper, carrots, broccolli, cucumber. All great pre-dinner snacks.
Create one healthy substitution per meal. Instead of a breakfast cereal, try rolled oats with fruit.
What about natural peanut butter versus regular peanut butter? Look at the ingredients!
MAKE A PLAN! If you are going to be out running errands all day and you will 'grab something' while you are out. Pack a snack. A banana, a portion of nuts and raisins, an apple. Something that you can eat on the god, so that WHEN you go to grab something you are not starving and you are better prepared to make a good choice.
People choose processed food when they are busy, stressed, traveling. Plan ahead to alleviate those opportunities.
If you use any of these tips and tricks this week, let me know! I love to support you in your efforts to be the best version of you!