Making changes to your dietary choices and lifestyle are the most difficult. Living and eating simple can be a mantra to repeat to yourself daily. Allowing for flexibility as life throws you curve balls and instituting rewards systems for when you have done the hard work are the cornerstone of making successful change.
The foundations to eating well cannot be ignored. Jumping into detailed diet regimes only leads to confusion and inconsistency. Our dietary influences began as we were in mothers womb so a 6 week diet overhaul just isn’t going to cut it. So let’s get off the latest diet trend and get back to basics. Most of the time if we can get the foundational applications consistent long term success is easier.
As we begin to remove foods that we crave our willpower will be tested. Because our willpower is limited this is where reward systems come into play. Picking a weekly or daily reward is critical to keeping us sane and not feeling restricted. I know personally that if I set aside the squares of dark chocolate for after dinner I tend to stay regimented to my clean foundational eating habits. If I know there is going to be a social event or eating out looks imminent I will plan for that as well. Allowing for some indulgence in the social setting is the reward! Having a smile on my face is sometimes as important as the foods I choose to eat. Smiles can change your neurochemistry and influence our metabolism…believe it or not!
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Food is not just calories you take in…It’s information. It has the ability to help you function at your best level. Or it has the ability to reduce your performance. Every bite you take is turning genes on/off, preventing disease, enhancing lifespan and metabolism. For example, eating too much food can or food that is non-organic can cause you to become overweight and loaded with toxins. Finding locally grown, organic foods leads to more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and a lower risk of dysfunction.
At the Institute for Functional Medicine they have created the CORE Food Plan that is foundational to wellness, longevity, and prevention. It is comprised of philosophies from the Mediterranean diet and Hunter-Gatherer diet with a focus on low glycemic intake and nutrient density. Eating a full spectrum of the rainbow for complete nutrient variety. The CORE Food Plan uses the foundation of “Food as Your Medicine” to support your health goals and improve your relationship with food.
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Included in the CORE Food Plan: