“Let food be thy medicine.”
So you’ve decided to eat “healthier” or eat more “real food.”
You’ve given up gluten, some dairy and sugar, and replaced it with more gluten-free, “paleo-friendly” options…
And, thankfully, with more and more “healthy” options in grocery stores and restaurants nowadays labeled “Paleo,” “Gluten-Free” or “No sugar,” it’s actually easier to do.
- Miss Goldfish or Cheez-Its? Try Simple Mill’s almond flour crackers!
- Corn or flour tortillas? Replace them with Siete Foods’ Coconut Four Tortillas, duh!
- Pizza? Almond flour or Cassava flour recipes can do the trick!
- Frozen dinners? Hello Amy’s Frozen Foods!
- Quest Bars? Lara Bars, RX Bars or Epic Bars to the rescue!
- Skippy peanut butter? Bring on the almond butter!
There are TONS of additive-free, “real food” options out there now for sure!
However, what’s the deal with STILL when you still feel bloated, constipated, your skin breaks out, you still crave sugar, your hormones are whacky or digestion still seems to be off?
You may not be eating enough real foods.
REAL FOOD DOESN’T HAVE A LABEL…(AND IT’S COLORFUL)
Simply put: Real food doesn’t have a label.
Unfortunately, many of the amazing “healthy” products out there on shelves ARE totally healthy and made with real food ingredients, but still leave us malnourished if we aren’t first reaching for the top three priorities our bodies need.
Just like a plant needs:
- Rich Soil
- Proteins—Sustainbly raised, chemical and hormone free
- Healthy Fats—a variety of plant fats (avocados, olive oil, olives, coconut, nuts/seed), animal fats (meats, egg yolks, tallow, lard, butter, ghee, duck fat), and omega-3’s (salmon, walnuts, flax)
- Carbohydrates—namely hydrating, fibrous, colorful fresh vegetables and some fruits
I see it time and time again…
Often times, when a person starts a new “whole foods diet” or “goes paleo” or “goes vegan”—they still gravitate to the same type of foods they ate before—just in the gluten-free or paleo-friendly labeled version:
- Pizza Crust
- Gluten-free Bagels, Muffins, Brownies
- Tacos on Coconut Flour or Almond Flour Tortillas
- Nuts and nut-butter
- Coconut or Almond Milk (with additives)
- Homemade paleo treats
- Quinoa or Rice or Bean Bowls
And often times, when I look at the food logs of new clients who CAN’T figure out WHY they still feel constipated, bloated or their skin breaks out, a common theme in their daily eating habits reveals a LOW intake of some key players in a nutritious diet (that can be GAME CHANGERS) for curing and healing from “gut issues,” “energy drain” and hormone imbalances.
The missing link in many“real food” diets?
Variety—particularly a variety of DIGESTIVE-SUPPORTIVE healthy fats and lots of HYDRATING veggies (a variety of cooked and raw).
GET YOUR FATS & HYDRATION ON
We can be eating “healthy food,” but still be starving—or depriving our body of its needs.
For instance, one in 10 Americans eats the recommended amount of 3 vegetables per day. As for fats, avocados, olive oil and nuts tend to top the lists of most people for what they consider “healthy”—neglecting the other crucial types of fats that “do a body good.”
If you are struggling with constipation, bloating or other “gut issues” in spite of eating “healthy” on your real foods diet, check in with yourself and ask:
“How is my healthy fat and colorful plant intake?”
Before necessarily resorting to GI testing, popping TUMS or just settling for “bad digestion”—in spite of your “real food” diet, consider:
- Am I eating a variety of healthy fats in a day?
- And, how many hydrating foods am I eating (as opposed to DRY foods)?
Fats, for one, provide the “slippery” lubrication for the digestive tract to help carry your foods throughout your body during the digestive process.
And, as far as veggies are concerned, your body is comprised of 60% water. In turn, it needs nourishing, hydrating water PLUS nourishing, hydrating foods to be at its peak performance (particularly in the digestive department).
While NO food is innately bad, when we tend to eat more “DRY” foods (nuts, meats, bars, packaged foods, gluten-free products, grains, sugar, coffee, sweeteners etc.), without enough HYDRATING foods (nutrient and fiber-rich veggies—a balance of cooked and raw, fruits and some starchy tubers and of course water), we can “stop things up” down there (without intending to do so).
Here are some ideas for both healthy fats and different “hydrating” water and fiber filled foods to help balance out an otherwise dry diet.
A secret sauce recipe for digestive ease before bringing on the TUMS?
Include a sustainably raised protein + 1-2 healthy fats + an assortment of veggies at meal time
Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day
And incorporate 1-2 fresh fruits per day
Do that for 7 days straight, then check in—How do I really feel now?
Check out these hit lists of nourishing, hydrating foods and healthy fats to try!
- Fresh Fruits—
- Citrus Fruits (Lemon, Grapefruit, Oranges, etc.)
- Green Peas
- Red cabbage
- Spinach & Leafy Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
Grass-fed Full-fat Yogurt
Goat’s Milk Kefir & Yogurt
Green Smoothies & Juices (no added sugar, more veggies than fruits)
Sauerkraut & Fermented Veggies
- Almond Oil
- Animal & Organ Meats, Organic (fatty, whole cuts; no need to always buy lean)
- Avocado Oil
- Bacon, Nitrate-free
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut Butter
- Eggs, Pastured, Whole
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cold-Pressed
- Fatty Fish, Sardines, Salmon (Wild-caught)
- Flax Seeds
- Raw Goat Butter/Milk
- Grassfed Butter
- Grassfed, Organic Dairy (Whole; Cheese, Milk, Yogurt)
- Hempseed Oil
- Palm Oil
- Palm Shortening
- Mayo, (made with Avocado Oil or Olive Oil)
- Nutbutter, natural, raw
- Pumpkin Seed Oil/Pumpkin Seeds
- Raw nuts & seeds