Shift from unhealthy carbs to whole foods
The foundation of the PurePower Plan is to slowly move away from the standard American diet. This reflects the fact that our knowledge on health and diet is not set in stone, and what we previously understood about nutrition has been upgraded by pioneers in scientific research that are tirelessly exploring the inner workings of the human body. Which means that it’s best to be curious when it comes to new information. Check sources and trust science. Old ways of thinking, eating, and living can shift and change, and we should welcome it.
But now nearly all modern scientific and medical research is clear that we must move away from processed foods high in fat and carbs in that in order to improve health, well-being and performance. The key is to move to whole foods, particularly a wide array of vegetables, nuts and seeds, high quality protein and fats.
The problem with unhealthy carbs (which includes among other things any white foods, including white bread, white rice, and dairy) is that the body converts those carbs into glucose (or sugar) in the blood. With an excess of amount of glucose in the blood, the body immediately converts that excess glucose into fat. This happens again and again when we consume foods high in carbs, and this ongoing process of spiked blood sugar and fat storage leads to chronic inflammation and other negative health consequences.
The PurePower Plan – Pillar #2:
Limit sugar and don’t drink calories
Although fruit and fruit juices are natural and generally better than other artificial sugar alternatives, at the end of the day sugar is sugar. Try to limit high sugar fruits like bananas, grapes, apples, oranges, and replace with fruits like blueberries and blackberries that are lower glycemic and do not spike blood glucose levels like other fruits.
Additionally, we recommend not consuming calories from alcohol. For a period of 30 days we encourage you to stay away from beer (due to the high carb content) and limit yourself to a moderate amount of wine (one or two glasses a day). Importantly, as described below, you should not drink any substantial amount of liquids (including water) while you eat.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Plan for a ‘Cheat Day’
Once you make the decision to start eating more intuitively and cleanly, we recommend you strive to be as consistent as possible for six days of the week. At first this will be hard and your mind and body will likely scream out for the unhealthy, high carb foods that may have become a habit. To help calm the mind and body, we recommend that during the week you create a mental list of all of the unhealthy foods that you’re not eating but really want to eat. Why? Because on day seven you get to eat them all!
Yes, we advocate that one day per week you have a cheat day to consume all of those things on your list. This cheat day does a few things to keep us on the right track. First, it is a psychological relief valve because as we go through the week of clean eating we have the cheat day to look forward to and we know we get to indulge in all of the foods we’ve been avoiding. In our experience the cheat day really seems to help because we know we’re not totally depriving ourselves.
The Psychology of Placement
In regards to nutrition, this means meal planning, shopping for your healthy ingredients and having all the necessary items on hand. Make it easy by keeping healthy foods easily within reach. If you see them in your fridge, pantry, or on your counter next to your coffee pot, you’re less likely to ignore them. Also spending money on fresh healthy ingredients also gives us a monetary incentive to finish them and not waste the money you spent on them.
Conversely, we also recommend moving unhealthy foods and drinks out of your immediate reach. Make it hard by removing them altogether from your living space, or tuck them away in a place hard to reach.
Optimize your digestion
Improving gut health is becoming increasingly important for optimal nutrition. If you’re consuming healthy and nutritious foods but not optimizing digestion, many of the healthy nutrients will be lost due to a lack of proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
Three food and drink ingredients that we’ve found to really accelerate digestion and positive nutritional gains include:
#1 fermented foods
#2 apple cider vinegar
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are rich in live cultures, enzymes and bioactive compounds that support and improve digestion and clean the gut.
Another fermented favorite is apple cider vinegar, which balances blood sugar, boosts metabolism, supports the liver in detoxification, and balances the body’s pH.
Wheatgrass is a wellness powerhouse full of chlorophyll, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help alleviate inflammation, control blood sugar, and promote weight loss.
One last tip to jump start your nutrition is to instill a habit of intermittent fasting. There are many ways to incorporate fasting such as eating for an 8 hour window with a 16 hour fasting period. For example, you could start with one day per week only eating between 10am – 6pm.
Have a comment or question? Or suggestion for future Wednesday Wisdom? Email us at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ – we’d love to support you. We’re in it together.