Stop Dieting And Start Maximizing Micronutrients!
This week, focus on shifting your mindset – specifically when it comes to food. Shifting your mindset means getting moving away from a “diet mentality,” where you deprive yourself while you’re “on the wagon,” until you lose your willpower and quickly regain weight by falling “off the wagon.” Instead, you’ll learn to view food as fuel, and healthy eating as a key part of your chosen lifestyle.
When you plan meals on a typical diet, it can be a joyless process. You’re cobbling together a bunch of foods that are low in calories, void of flavor, and no fun at all. But when you see food as fuel, it’s also no longer the enemy. You’ll learn to stop selecting foods solely based on their low-calorie count, and instead you’ll reach for foods based on their nutritional density.
Macronutrients and Micronutrients:
I look at food in terms of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and micronutrients, like iron in meat, or specific vitamins or minerals in veggies and fruits. Typical diet plans ask us to just start making big cuts in the macronutrient areas: Cut carbs, increase protein, cut fat, and be done with it. But the “food as fuel” mentality takes a much more optimistic approach to eating, because when your goal isn’t to “cut” things out your diet, but rather to make sure your food is always a good source of micronutrients, it starts to completely change the way you think about food.
My goal for you is to become an independently healthy eater. So following this step-by-step program to a tee is a little counterintuitive – the more regimented you can be about sticking to the plan, the freer you’ll be in the long run to make your own decisions when it comes to food. It’s my hope that you won’t think in terms of “What can I eat that’s low carb?” Instead, you’ll find yourself asking “What can I eat that’s a fresh and delicious source of iron, beta carotein, lutein and flavonoids? And what’s going to balance my blood sugar so that I can keep a steady stream of energy going throughout my day?
Shopping For Micronutrients:
I always tell people that the key to grocery shopping in a way that maximizes micronutrients is to stick to the perimeter. A typical supermarket layout has central aisles filled with packaged foods– the cookies, the crackers, the sodas and chips. These are, of course, the foods highest in sugar, transfats and preservatives – and largely void of any of the micronutrients our bodies are really cravings.
Look to the perimeter, however, and the scene completely changes. Suddenly you’re faced with a rainbow of colors: The stunning scarlet of fresh tomatoes and strawberries. The gorgeous green of kale, spinach, cucumbers and celery. The deep purple hue of eggplants and grapes. The summery orange of tangerines and bell peppers. We’ve talked some already about the role of carbohydrates: the good, the bad, and the sugary. The FastFit Core Solution Diet is a good-carb diet – and those “good carbs” are the ones found in the perimeter of the grocery store, because those are the carbohydrates that are low in refined sugar, high in fiber, and packed with micronutrients – otherwise known as “superfoods.”
These nutrient-packed carbohydrate sources will fuel your brain and your body. Look for some of these all-star “Supercarbs” along the perimeter of your supermarket.
- Blueberries: An anti-oxidant super fruit, blueberries came in at the top of the list in a 2008 Cornell University study of the antioxidant capabilities of 25 commonly consumed fruits and berries.
- Red Peppers: Raw red peppers rank at the top for Vitamin C content, the vitamin that plays a big part in bone formation and strength.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens (think kale, collards, Swiss chard, even broccoli, but not iceberg lettuce) contain a bounty of micronutrients such as minerals, omega-3s, and antioxidants such as lutein.