Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Living 365fitt: Nutritional Philosophy

I've been getting a few questions lately about why we ate a certain menu on our recent 365fitt Healthy Active Living Trip to Captiva Island, FL.  First of all, this trip is 365fitt's premiere trip that is all about Living 365fitt, incorporating the three components of healthy active living:  physical, nutritional and emotional well-being.  With that being said, let's focus in this blog, on the nutritional component.

We used the freshest whole ingredients

Why?  Because fresh ingredients tend to be higher in nutrition and vitamins, and because, you can see exactly what you're getting and eating.  I've written an entire newsletter on "Why Fresh is Better".  Please read it and share it with your friends. And, "When Fresh is Not Available" - what's your next best bet?

Everyone has walked down the fresh fruits and vegetables section of your local grocery store.  What do you notice?  For me, it's the colorful array of fruits and vegetables.  In a nutshell, colorful foods fight disease.  Take a moment to read "How Colorful Foods Fight Disease".  It just so happens that a majority of anti-inflammatory foods are colorful.  (Read also "Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory and Inflammatory Foods".)


Avoid Processed Foods

Speaking of inflammatory foods, did you know that most inflammatory foods are "processed" and include highly processed flours, sugars and fats?  That's one reason, why, on our Captiva Island trip, we used only "limited" processed foods.  Our criteria for purchasing and using a processed food was that it had to be a single ingredient.  The only processed foods that we purchased were quinoa, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 100% fruit spread, flour and corn tortillas, salt and pepper, a few dried herbs, coffee, tea, milk, and cheese, .  Many of these foods (like milk and cheese) are processed (homogenized and pasteurized) to decrease risk of contamination from raw products.

We chose foods that support a heart healthy diet, utilizing more than 50% fresh vegetables, 25% fresh fruits and 25% lean proteins (chicken and fish).  In fact, our diet closely resembled the government food plate.  We were intentionally light on "grains", serving only quinoa, granola, nuts and seeds.   The fact of the matter is that MOST people eat too many of the wrong kind of grains.  Are white pasta and rice grains?  Not from a nutritional standpoint. What about red and black wild rice?  Of course!  I love (colorful) wild rices, when used in moderation.  Just look at the nutritional content.  White pasta and rice have little nutritive value.  Red and black rice have more.  Look at the fiber content.  If it's high in fiber, it's a better grain.  

The Bread Dilemma

I heard one or two people ask, "Why can't we have bread?"  Why didn't we serve bread?  Because in most cases, it's not the most nutritious option available.  Also, many people have bread "cravings" and tend to eat mindlessly, especially when the basket of bread is dropped at the table when dining out.  That's an emotional issue with food.  So, if you're going to eat bread, portion it out and choose a high fiber, potentially, high protein, brand.

The "Added Sugar" Dilemma

Finally, with more than 60% of adults suffering from obesity and other metabolic diseases, including Type II diabetes, it seemed only obvious to steer our menu towards prevention of obesity and metabolic disease.  This includes being mindful of sugars, both natural and artificial.  We did not purchase any sugars for our trip, because of the issue of cravings (See my blog post "Cravings:  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" .  See also my blog on sugars, "Is Sugar Really As Bad As Heroine?"  

Now, we did eat a fair amount of fruits, and yes, fruits have natural sugar.  If you're watching your blood sugar, you'll want to pick fruits low in sugar.  Check out the Glycemic Index Load Factors.  Again, since almost every family unit has one person with Type II diabetes, I felt it necessary to educate on healthy choices so that families could begin to change their habits and lifestyle, seeking to reduce disease and increase health.

A Word on Eating Raw

Finally, we enjoyed a totally "raw" day.  Why?  Because there's some evidence to support the fact that "rawtarians" can fight disease by eating a diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, healthy mono-unsaturated fats and oils (nuts and seeds), and low in animal meats.  Most of the reasoning here is that the process of cooking decreases the vitamins and nutrients by as much as 50%.  (See my article on "What Is a Raw Foods Diet?" which might explain how to go raw and why you might want to, even if just one day a week.)

Hope this sheds some light on the Living 365fitt Nutritional philosophy.  If you believe that your choices have consequences, both good and bad, then, you can believe the same about your nutrition.  

Choice:  Eat Healthy Foods - Consequence:  Have Better Health (positive)
Choice:  Eat Unhealthy Foods - Consequence:  Suffer Poor Health (negative)

It's about choosing and eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy foods.  It's about establishing healthy nutritional habits that last a lifetime.

Remember, all the recipes featured on our 365fitt Healthy Active Living Trip to Captiva Island are available on my Pinterest page for easy reference.  I encourage you to try some of them.  We enjoyed them immensely.

365fitt is about training for the event called LIFE, focusing on physical, nutritional and emotional wellness through lifestyle adaptations.  Kathy is available for personal training and wellness consultations and corporate wellness.  365fitt invites you to participate in a Healthy Active Living trip to incredible destinations.  Please visit 365fitt for more information.  Live 365fitt!









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