Nutrition 101: Where Do I Start?

By Unite Fitness Retreat Nutritionist, Brooke Bouwhuis

Getting excited about the why and how of eating better to help shed pounds and rejuvenate you from the inside out is the first step. Believing that change matters and that it can make a difference in your life is key.

In the face of so many hints, suggestions, recipes and everything else we get bombarded with about how to eat healthy, the core question ultimately is….where do I start?

Here are three suggestions to help make that feeling of not knowing where to start a little less daunting.

  • Resolve to eat less heavily processed junk. Nice step but tricky to do when everything in that category is convenient, inexpensive, easy to find and totally tasty. The simple act of buying less junk is a fantastic first step.

If it’s not in the house it is easier to not eat junk. If salty, crispy is your nemesis consider creating a rule to only buy 1 bag – not the family size- every other week. After successfully reducing items this way, increase the time frame again to one bag a month.  Same goes for sweets…not having them available can help a great deal.

  • Enjoy small balanced meals punctuated with satisfying snacks about every 3 hours.  Eating in a pattern like this keeps your metabolism firing, hunger kept from turning into hanger and a steady balance with blood sugar.

Having healthy snacks available so you don’t get super hungry and just eat whatever you can get your hands on is key. Make a plan to avoid being too hungry is really important.

We love RXbars, Larabars, fruit with cheese sticks or nuts – portable, simple and satisfying.

  • Fruits and veggies –  the optimal solution to fighting disease and manage your weight is eating piles of veggies and a little bit of fruit.

Shoot for 2 servings of veggies with each meal and fruit as a snack and your new eating plan is not as daunting as it was before.

A serving is ½ cup fruit or 1 cup of leafy greens or ½ cup cooked non-starchy veggies.

Look how do-able this can be when you make a plan:

Breakfast – green smoothie with berries and protein powder

Snack – RXbar

Lunch – crisp, fresh salad with greens, peppers, cucumber, tomato, and whatever other veggies you love topped with toasted almonds and grilled salmon dressed with a bright lemon vinaigrette.

Snack – apple with cheese stick

Dinner – 1 cup steamed broccoli with Cajun seasoned grilled chicken, a few slices of creamy avocado and a wedge of honeydew drizzled with lime.

Satisfied, delicious and powerful as you fuel your body for success with a plan sprinkled with reality. Finding the low – hanging fruit, so to speak, and focusing on small steps will make it easier to implement that excitement you feel about improving your nutrition.