Monday, October 24, 2011

Heart.Muscle.Mind Eating

Our Heart.Muscle.Mind Eating Philosophy

Over time our goal is to help our clients transform their bodies and minds into the healthiest they can be. It cannot happen with exercise alone so turning your daily eating into something that feels exciting and sustainable while accomplishing your health goals is what we’ve set out to do. We aren’t fans of the word diet, because we don’t believe in temporary quick fixes or fads. The way we eat is a lifestyle and a fun one at that. WE LOVE FOOD. 

Furthermore, we believe that diet directly correlates not only to our physical well-being, but our mental and emotional health as well so just as out fitness philosophy involves a balance to achieve optimal results so does our eating philosophy: Heart, Muscle and Mind.

Heart: Healthy, Natural, Whole Choices

To put it simply “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food” –Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivores Dilemma)

We have to go back to the food basics and start eating fresh, whole foods again as the main source of our energy: fruits, greens, grains, meats, nuts, etc.  These natural, unprocessed foods are not only healing, but our bodies recognize them as proper energy sources; which allows for us to have increased energy, mental clarity and overall performance.  Whole foods are alive and keep your body fueled with vitamins and minerals, where as processed foods like white flour, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils are stripped of nutrients and seem dead to our bodies.  When it comes to sustainable weight/fat loss a balanced whole foods diet is the way to go but no matter what your goal is produce are the foundation of a healthy diet. They provide life force energy to our bodies and minds and keep us feeling our best. Our choices are always in our control.

Muscle: Balanced, Most-of-the-time Eating

Balance is always a central factor of Heart.Muscle.Mind and with eating we have represented the general ratios of a healthy way of eating in the balancing pyramid. The foods at the top of the pyramid have the highest nutrient density, meaning you will get the most nutrition possible and usually with the least amount of calories,  so the volume or quantity is the largest.

  • Colorful nutrient dense produce: We want to eat in a technicolor of vegetables and fruits: Apples, orange, bananas, greens, blueberries, purple cabbage etc…
  • Unprocessed energy carbs: Carbohydrates are our best source of energy and the best way add this essential element into our diet is through beans, grains (quinoa, brown rice oats etc.), and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash. 
  • Lean Structural Proteins: Protein is used for the very structure of our bodies, not just muscles. We recommend the following types of protein: Fish, Lean meats free of hormones/antibiotics and organic when possible), minimally refined soy products and if you choose, organic dairy and natural protein supplements.
  • Essential Fats:  Fatty acids provide sustained energy and are responsible for healthy brain activity, hormone production and other metabolic functions. Include: Nuts and seeds, Avocados, Fish/fish oil, Unrefined plant based oils, Organic dairy.
  • Treats: Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean living a restricted lifestyle. Nobody follows any philosophy 100% of the time, which is why we embedded the 90/10 rule. 90 % of the time we are eating according to the heart, muscle, mind philosophy and the other 10% you can eat whatever you consider a treat. This equates to 2 meals per week for social, indulgent, and less than ideal eating.  That standard is still very challenging but a lot easier to live up to. Remember just because we’re eating well 90% of the time, that doesn't mean that you are not enjoying your food. There are plenty of options that are healthy and taste great too!

Mind: Taste the Feeling and Adjust

We want to connect to our food. This is the best way to create healthy habits that last and a diet that is well suited for us as individuals. We are all unique and different and what’s right for one person is not right for another.  There is a direct correlation to the foods that we eat and the way they make us feel. These feelings are cues to balanced vs. imbalanced eating and healthy vs. unhealthy choices. Tune into these responses, they will clue you in on how your body is reacting.

Always ask yourself “what am I hungry for that will help my body and mind feel the best”?  Tap into your intuitive cravings versus your addictive cravings, which lead us towards what is just convenient and/or pleasurable.  Food is much more than just a feel good quick fix, its fuel, but the two are related and its up to each of us to experiment and understand how. When you do eat or drink through the day pay attention and notice how your body and mind react.  Do you feel…
□       Satiated or Still hungry
□       Balanced or Speedy
□       Energetic or Tired
□       Lean or Bloated

Our coaches can attest to the fact that this way of eating is extremely effective in creating strong healthy bodies, both inside and out over the long term.  If you are just starting out and embarking on changing the way you eat, understand that this is a longer process, an evolution, not a one day switch. Focus on incremental changes, trying something new and not getting stuck in a guilty rut, just start again.  If you have been focusing on nutrition, there is always a way to improve it, especially with all the information and products coming out all the time.

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