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Nutrition Tips

This is a cheat sheet of high-leverage and up-to-date nutrition advice.

Some of these tips are basic and may be familiar.  Others might be new and need to be learned.  Talk to your coach about any that you would like support implementing.

Revisit these tips often.  You will gain something new each time your goals and needs change.

With so much conflicting advice, how do I know what to eat?

Nutrition is BioIndividual; there is no one right way to eat for everyone.  While some guidelines apply to everybody, there are several factors with which you need to experiment in order to find the perfect diet for you.

Everyone should eat a whole foods, majority plant-based diet.  

Everyone should avoid highly processed foods including:

  • trans fats (hydrogentated and partially hydrogenated oils)
  • refined (white) grains
    • Disclaimer: In very specific circumstances, SMALL amounts can be beneficial. Talk to your coach if you think this might apply to you.
  • added sugar
    • Added sugar from natural, minimally processed foods​ (raw honey, organic maple syrup, sucanat) should still be limited to a few teaspoons per day.
  • corn derivatives
  • soy derivatives
  • any ingredient you wouldn’t find in a 1950s recipe.

Individuals vary in these areas:

  • Proportions of carbs, protein, and fat
  • Proportion of raw vs. cooked foods
  • Exact proportion of food from animals vs. food from plants
  • Best protein sources 
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Amount of grains
  • Amount of FODMAPS

Click on these links for a more in-depth discussion:

On what nutrition advice do experts agree?

The science around fitness and nutrition is much less certain and more nuanced than the media portrays.

If I have to choose, what nutrition choices are most important?

These should be your nutrition priorities, in order of importance.  Note that what is “right” for each item varies among individuals.  

  • Eat the right amounts of healthy foods.
  • Eat at the right times.
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • *This is assuming you already drink adequate water and have no symptoms of dehydration.  If drinking “adequate” rather than “plenty” is an issue for you, put this up there with Number 1.
  • Eat the right combination of foods in each meal.

To what extent is it okay to cheat?

Aim for 90% perfection, 10% whatever you want.  

When possible, prepare cheat meals yourself the old fashioned way, from scratch. 

How can I eat for higher energy?

  • Follow all of our general nutrition guidelines.
  • Include fiber, protein, and fat in every meal to slow digestion.
  • Eat small to moderately sized meals.
  • Emphasize the most micronutrient dense foods.

How can I eat to maximize immunity?

  • Follow all of our general nutrition guidelines.
  • Eat a wide variety of plant foods – especially greens, onions, garlic, berries, mushrooms, nuts, and seeds – as explained by Functional Medicine Practitioner Dr. Joel Furhman in his book Super Immunity.  
  • Eliminate animal foods all together when your immune system needs a more radical boost. 
    • Consult an expert if you plan to do this for more than a week or so.

How can I eat to minimize my risk for heart disease?

  • Follow all of our general nutrition guidelines.
  • Maintain a healthy weight using portion control or counting calories.
  • If those alone do not work, increase the percentage of your diet that comes from plants.​

How can I eat to minimize my risk of diabetes?

  • Eat protein, fat, and fiber in every meal and at least one in every snack.
  • Maintain a healthy weight using portion control or counting calories.
  • Note that added sugar and refined (white) grains are more harmful to diabetics or those at risk for diabetes.  You may have to minimize or avoid them even in cheat meals.
  • ​Follow all of our general nutrition guidelines.

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