By Michaelle Fields
“Let thy food be thy medicine” is a quote I often reference when food shopping or eating out nowadays, as it’s a helpful reminder that food has clear and direct purpose – to nurture and fuel our bodies for performance! Trying to navigate misleading propaganda (from grocery stores, restaurants, GMO producers, and organic food manufacturers, for example) seems to have made selecting good, quality food really complicated and confusing. Equally problematic, a whole host of other personal and emotional factors too – i.e., stress, boredom, easy access, special occasions, etc. – have caused this once mindless task to be one of our society’s most pressing health concerns today. For these reasons, I offer this quote to help others too filter through the distractions and misinformation and instead focus on three (3) easy tips for selecting foods healthfully and happily today.
Without question, calories matter – as do where those calories come from! Consuming 150 calories from a slice of frozen pizza, for example, is substantially different than consuming 150 calories from a lean chicken breast. So the first priority when selecting food (whether eating in or eating out) is to take note of each food’s nutritional value (i.e., vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, hydration levels, etc.). Fresh, lean proteins and bold, colorful produce, for example, are a surefire way to receive much-needed nourishment and fuel.The next priority is then to select from a whole variety of foods, including different food types, textures, colors, and flavors. In turn, this will help supply a whole range of nutritional benefits too.
If processed, enriched, freeze-dried, or preservative-heavy foods are a must, then apply the 80/20 rule as a guide ensuring that at least 80% of your selections are still mostly beneficial. As for the other 20%, pick the smallest package sizes possible. This way, you limit the impact of their low-nutrient and high-toxin levels.
Enjoyment & Results
A serving of fun should also on the menu! So don’t be afraid to try new things and new preparation methods too. In fact, make it a challenge to try something new each week or each month. I recently starting adding fresh beets to my salads and smoothies, for example, and now I pick them up from the grocery store each week as I do any other staple item too!
Ultimately, the goal here is to keep the process of food selection purposeful, flavorful, and fun … because the more you embrace and apply this quote (“let thy food be thy medicine”) when making food selections, the more you will expand your personal journey, make new and exciting discoveries and, experience the benefits and results intended.