The concept of elevating your plate was borne from talking to a few clients. One asked me how she can increase the nutritional value of her meals without spending much time in the kitchen. Another straight out told me, I am NOT giving up this or that, I won’t change my habits, BUT I am open to ADDING things into my diet that will make what I eat healthier (by the way, she ended up being a star client and made so many amazing habit changes!).
Everyone wants to feel healthier and look better, but sometimes the effort it takes to get there is just too much. Life gets in the way and excuses line up out the door, pushing your health far from priority, and leaving the door open for the quick fixes to help you lose weight, boost energy and have beautiful flawless skin.
But too often, when we take the short cuts, we end up short changing our health.
However, since we do live in a quick fix society, why not capitalize on that concept and focus on ways to ADD in healthy foods to your daily schedule? Why not take what you are already eating and ELEVATE it – to make it healthier? And maybe, by doing that, you will start to see more energy and begin to have the desire to eat healthier and cook more. Perhaps, just maybe that will spill over into other areas of your life and health will sprout up like an unassuming seedling.
ELEVATE YOUR PLATE consists of three steps: add in, take out and swap. Doing each of these every day will help you move forward on your health journey. Here are some ways you can start to elevate:
- Add “sprinkles”. In my house we have the word “sprinkles” to indicate add-ons like ground flax seed, chia seeds, dulse flakes, or gomasio (a sesame seed seaweed condiment). I also call these BOOSTS, because they boost the nutritional value of oatmeal, cereal, or salads.
- Ground flax seed: high in Omega 3 oils, good fiber and healthy fat
- Chia seeds: Omega 3’s, fiber and fat. Good for cleaning out digestive tract and detoxing.
- Dulse flakes are highly nutritious and mild tasting seaweed flakes. They add iodine to your daily diet, which is critical to thyroid health as well as hormonal balance.
- Ask yourself, Can I add a veggie to this? Adding more vegetables into your diet is your quickest way to better health. The USDA recommends 3 to 5 servings of veggies per day, and most Americans average about one. Vegetables are critical disease preventers, fat busters, and micronutrient suppliers.
- Add a green. Leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards help to cleanse the blood, prevent cancer, promote immune strength, improve circulation, and lift your mood. They are also high in calcium, iron and chlorophyll – important for healthy cell function and good bone health. Add greens to a stir-fry, salad or smoothie.
Some commonly eaten foods may taste good, but they don’t support your body. Instead of leaving you satiated, they come with a side dose of indigestion, inflammation and energy loss. Focusing on taking out a few of these foods each week will help increase your immunity and digestion.
- Avoid labels with trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors.
- Limit sugar and processed refined grains like processed flours, white rice, pastas, etc. If you are used to eating a lot of these try cutting back or switching to whole grain versions of your favorites.
Another way to ELEVATE is by swapping out certain food items or habits for healthier options.
- Instead of conventional butter or margarine, try using olive oil, coconut oil or grass-fed organic butter.
- Replace white rice with whole grain brown rice or use whole grain pasta.
- Use mild sweeteners like maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey in place of sugar, and use less.
Here’s what a swap looks like:
Usual turkey sandwich: The usual sandwich would be deli turkey on white bread with mayo, lettuce, and tomato. This does not offer a lot of nutritional benefit.
Elevated Turkey Sandwich: Let’s elevate that sandwich by using whole grain bread with roasted turkey, avocado, hummus or a sun-dried tomato pesto instead of mayonnaise, and sub arugula instead of lettuce. You can still add your tomato 😉 Take it a step further and make it an open-faced sandwich which decreases your bread intake.
If want to improve your diet these small steps will point you in the right direction. If you are a beginner or recently have fallen off track, start just with one idea. Remember that small changes create BIG results.
Start making changes today! Contact me to book a Discovery Session.