What dictates what you eat? Is it the claims you hear about certain foods being healthy, or energy-giving, or muscle-building? Or do you truly know what foods make you feel your best? If you’re with a lot of other women, you probably have some struggles in tuning out the noise around health claims and really focus on what makes you feel you best. That’s why today I want to share with you how you can feel your best by simply what you choose to put on your plate!
It may sound simple, but deciding how to eat can be a complicated process for a lot of women. And rarely is eating to feel your best the driving factor for what we eat. Girl, I’ve been there, and if you struggle to know how to eat, you’re not alone! For years I listened to outside influences to tell me how to eat instead of relying on my individual and biological signals and cues to guide me in what foods I chose to eat. This created a back and forth battle in my mind for how I WANTED to eat and how I felt I HAD to eat based on what I heard was “healthy”. Can you relate?
So how do you go about filling your plate (or preparing a meal) to ensure that you feel your absolute best?
Veggies aren’t a good foundation for building a plate that makes you feel your best.
The first thing I’d suggest to you with eating to feel your best is to begin by adding your protein, fat, and carbs to your plate. You may hear other health coaches suggest starting by piling up the veggies, but the reality is that veggies don’t fill you up on their own. It’s the other food groups that will add density to your plate and give you all the goodies as far as energy and fullness goes! So start with making a point of adding in those three (protein, fat, and carbs) to your plate first.
Color (in your plate) is what’s going to take you places!
My grandma always talks about her mother (my great-grandmother) who was a dietitian, and how she always chose color over all other nutritious standards. Having a varied and colorful plate is going to, not only be more appealing to the eyes (as well as the other senses making the meal more satisfying), but also will ensure that you’re getting a wide range of nutrients and vitamins. So add color through your veggies, as a secondary, to the foundation of your plate. Often I have people ask if they should be taking supplemental vitamins, and my answer is always, if you can get it in your diet choose food over supplements! Creating a colorful plate through vegetables will ensure you get your adequate vitamins and don’t have to waste money on supplementation.
Find that happy place of fullness.
Feeling your best with what you eat also means eating to a comfortable fullness. That means the happy place of not being too hungry and not being too stuffed. The best way to find that happy medium is by taking it slow, eating with intention, and eating without distraction. When you eat too quickly, or with a million things going on around you, it’s easy to slip past comfortable fullness. But in the same sense, not eating enough at a meal is going to leave you unsatisfied, and I don’t know about you but not being satisfied with a meal makes me a little grouchy!
Especially with this being the holiday season, it’s easy to get away from eating intuitively or focusing on how we feel (besides recognizing when we’ve eaten too much). The temptation is to eat heavily and then skimp without any balance in the middle. I encourage you this year to not let yourself waver on either extreme, but choose to feel good this holiday season!
What foods make you feel your best?
What drives how you eat…is it what others say is “good” or what really makes YOU feel good?