Busting Your Limiting Beliefs Around Food
Maybe you’ve decided to try yet another diet. No matter which one you choose, you will be faced with “stuff”. Have you tried diet plans in the past? Did you succeed? Did you regain your weight? Are you afraid of trying again? No matter what, change is hard. But if you change nothing, nothing will change.
It’s important to remember what your overall goal is when deciding how, and how drastically, to change your lifestyle and eating plan. Perhaps you’ve already decided on a type of diet or lifestyle to follow. That’s a great first step. But remember, you are unique. And the latest, trendy diet doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option for you. Plus, the diets where you need to restrict all or most of a certain food often means that those foods will have to be replaced, and they aren’t always replaced with healthier options.
A great example of this is the gluten-free movement. It is all too common to see people turn to foods with a gluten-free label, without thinking about the nutrient content of the food. Often, these “replacement foods” are even more processed than their gluten-filled counterpart.
To truly be healthy, a person needs to consume nutrient-dense foods. Focusing on whole, live and natural foods is the only “sure thing” when it comes to diets.
If you just eliminate different foods from your diet, without substituting with healthier options, you may end up with deficiencies in multiple nutrients. This will, over the long term, push you in the opposite direction of being healthy.
What Ingredients are in Healthy Recipes?
To get the balance of micronutrients and phytonutrients that you need to be considered healthy, you must have variety!
Of course, we all have our favorite foods and foods we don’t like. The problem is, sticking to these favorites will limit your intake of nutrition, much like restricting foods for certain diets. It actually works against you in two ways:
1 – Your body becomes lazy. The human body likes efficiency. It is continually working at setting up pathways to make it do less work. It’s our nature. So, if you are constantly eating the same foods, your body will know that it doesn’t quite need to metabolize your food optimally because whatever it gets today, it will also get tomorrow. For example, if you are eating the same oatmeal and raisins every morning of the week. The body will take the very minimum it needs from that oatmeal. Why? Because it knows there’s more oatmeal coming tomorrow.
2 – You deplete your nutrient stores. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Let’s explain. If you are constantly eating the same foods, you are also constantly using the same enzymes and other cofactors to metabolize that food. Without variety, there’s a good chance that you are not replenishing those micronutrients. Which means, you could be eating a very healthy breakfast every morning, but you may not be absorbing it optimally. The saying of “you are what you eat” is actually more “you are what you absorb”. The more nutrients you have, the more tools in your body’s toolkit for metabolizing, absorbing and healing.
So, let’s see what we can do about increasing the variety of foods you eat each week by adding some colorful and healthy recipes to your meal plan.
At Low Fat Low Carb, we have a super useful Meal Planner tool. When you become a member of Low Fat Low Carb (go ahead and join – it’s free), you can schedule deliciously healthy meals to prepare on whichever day suits your lifestyle!
We always encourage you to increase your consumption of vegetables. Vegetables will contain fewer toxins and more micronutrients per part than animal products will and you’ll also be increasing the amount of phytonutrients you can make use of! Increasing your fiber, by eating more vegetables, is also a great secret to losing weight.
Here’s a list of all the best vegetables to make up some of your healthy recipes.
There are plenty more that you can add in, but these are rich in different nutrients like folate, vitamin K, lutein, magnesium.
Your healthy meals don’t have to contain every one of these veggies each time you eat. But if you were to eat all of these over the course of the week in ample amounts, your body will thank you!
Now let’s get into the meat of the article (pun intended).
Which Meats Should I Eat?
When we think of vitamins and minerals, we often only focus on nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. The truth is, meat not only offers us protein but can supply us with many nutrients as well.
If you’re looking for healthy recipes that contain animal protein, you can use our Recipes page. We have a great selection of both vegetable and meat-based meals.
Over the last decade, there has been a fair bit of negative attention drawn toward red meat. Most of these opinions have been the result of several studies that found the correlation between red meat consumption and bowel cancer.
It’s true, red meat will have some negative effects on the body; one of which is causing an increased risk of inflammation and inflammatory conditions. The issue is not necessarily with the meat itself, however, but rather the quantity consumed over a given timeframe and the quality of the meat you are buying. Good quality red meat (think grass-fed from your local farmer) can offer you a complete protein source and some essential minerals, too.
Chicken and other poultry is often held up on a pedestal for being “clean”. Unfortunately, this is not completely true. In some studies, they’ve found harmful bacteria in as much as 97% of the chicken that was examined¹. We say this, not to suggest that you never eat chicken again, but to educate you and encourage you to know where you are getting your food from. Go to the source, literally, and buy a quality product that you know you can trust.
A right to know what you eat!
Having said that, chicken does offer a great deal of protein and other nutrients. One 4 ounce serving provides about 35g of protein. Included in this excellent source of protein are essential amino acids like cysteine and methionine, as well as branch chain amino acids that are important for muscular development. Chicken also supplies you with all of the B vitamins, which help support your nervous system. Chicken is also rich in selenium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Of course, the fat content of chicken will vary depending on the cut of the meat. White meat is leaner than dark meat and you will also lower your saturated fat content if you remove the skin.
Pork can be healthy depending on the cut of the meat and the methods used for cooking. Cooking at high temperatures or grilling tend to increase the negative effects that meat can have on the body. As with any animal protein, f you do choose to eat pork, make sure it’s a lean cut of meat and it is of high quality.
Pork is a high protein animal food. It does contain a relatively high percentage of saturated and polyunsaturated fat (in equal percentages) and is about 26% protein. It contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. In fact, it is one of the most complete sources of dietary protein. Pork is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, including thiamine, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and iron.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and healthy fat. It’s been called a brain-food for a very good reason. High in omega 3, including fish, a few times per week can be very beneficial to your overall health. Studies have shown that it can reduce Alzheimer’s risk, improve skin and hair, increase fertility and even ease depression.
Fish is also rich in essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium. It is also a great food source of a very important vitamin, vitamin D.
The best fish-types to consume are salmon, tuna, trout and cod. Some other types of fish have been found to contain contaminants of the environment – for example, swordfish, mackerel and even shark! An easy rule to remember is “the smaller the fish, the less toxicity”. The bigger fish have spent a good amount of time eating little fish. This builds up toxicity in their bodies. Our immune system can handle some of this toxicity but, as with anything, too much is not a good thing. Limit your fish servings to 2-3 per week.
Pairing and Preparing Your Meat and Veggies
You may have heard about food combining. Food combining is a way to optimize your digestion so that your body can process the food that you are eating. If you’re new to the concept of food combining, you can learn more about in our article: Importance of Pairing Your Food. In general, you want to eat your high protein foods (like steak), with a low starch vegetable (like roasted broccoli) and your high starch foods (like potatoes) also with a low starch vegetable (like mushrooms). Ideally, you are not eating high starch with high protein. Yes, for optimal digestion, gone are the days of roast pork and mashed potatoes.
We sometimes get asked which combinations of vegetables are the best for nutrient balance. Firstly, let’s get one thing straight…. Just eat more vegetables. Eat them at every meal and snack and you’ll already be ahead of the race. However, if we had to choose, we’d pair up the following vegetables for optimal balance:
1 – Tomatoes and Avocados: There’s a reason you eat your salsa with your guacamole. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces your cancer risk and cardiovascular disease. Fats make this antioxidant more available to your body.
2 – Broccoli and Tomatoes: When these two foods come together, they help prevent prostate cancer. Both vegetables are known to lower the growth of tumors but when you put them together, for reasons even scientists haven’t figured out, they actually shrink prostate-cancer tumors in rats.
3 – Lemon and Kale: Vitamin C helps make plant-based iron more absorbable to the body by converting the plant iron to a form that’s similar to what is found in fish and meats. Other powerful combos are strawberries and spinach, bell peppers and leeks or tomatoes and beet greens.
In general, the way you cook your meat is also very important to how it impacts your health. Although many of us like a barbecued steak in the summer, studies are showing that grilling your meat can increase your cancer risk.
The more “charbroiled” a food (animal or vegetable) is, the more this increases the toxicity of the food. Your best bet when cooking meat is to bake or broil it in the oven at a lower temperature range of 325F.
What’s most important is that the internal temperature of the meat reaches about 140-160F to ensure that any possibility of bacteria is destroyed.
Use a food thermometer. At times, you can stir-fry or fry your meat in a pan. Again, in this case, you would need to be mindful not to char your meat.
Healthy Recipes For You To Try
Coming from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon, tabbouleh has been a favorite among people in the Mediterranean and Middle East for some time.
Our take on this dish makes it easy to enjoy cauliflower while offering a whopping 70% of your RDA for vitamin C from a single serving.
Low Carb Anchovy Zucchini Noodles
CPerfect for any people following a low carb or keto diet. Once you spiralize your zucchini into spaghetti and add the delicious sauce, you’ll forget you’re eating veggies!
This dish contains ample amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Be warned, this one tastes so good you might have to increase your calorie allowance for the day.
Tuna and Red Radish Salad
This is the perfect healthy recipe for the person in a rush. As long as you get high-quality canned tuna, you’ll enjoy this meal a lot!
You’ll get a big hit of protein, in the amount of 22g per serving. But you’ll also get 8.5g of unsaturated fat! Great for a sustained feeling of energy in the afternoon.
Not many people will have tried putting eggs and asparagus together. You won’t be sorry you did though!
One serving of this recipe will give you not only 15g of unsaturated fat, but you’ll also be getting 20% of your RDA of iron.
Breakfast Stuffed Peppers
If you need a kick-start in the morning, rather than jumping on the easy-to-eat carbs, try our stuffed peppers. These guys contain eggs, spinach and mushrooms. If you want to add a little more flavor before you eat, you can top it with cheese!
Not only do you get a 27g protein boost with this healthy recipe, you also get a massive dose of vitamin C to keep your immune system strong.
This website contains general information about medical conditions, nutrition, health and diets.
To view our disclaimers click here.