personally I look closer when I am having trouble eating as healthy as I would like If I am having unexplained hunger I look closer to see if I am low or higher than normal on a particular micro nutrient. If I am having cravings sometimes it is just a missing ingredient. Of course if I recently had a 'food binge' cravings are present for a few days. It takes some time to quiet those.
Lately I have been drawn toward researching nutrient-dense foods. It just so happens that I was drawn to the highest nutrient-dense foods before I knew they were on the top of the list. I think when we have a commitment to our health and well-being on all levels, we are naturally drawn to nutritious foods. I also don't have a microwave because as soon as you microwave something, the life force energy in it is gone. The best we can do would be to have our own garden and eat our foods as soon as we can pick them of course.
I will note that I also eat things I love too, which makes my choices for nutrient-dense foods even more important. For example, I drink coffee every day with cream and sugar, though have cut down those ingredients to 1/3 of what they were and choose honey for my sweetener.
I personally feel a huge difference in my mood and energy level depending on what I eat. We all have different nutrient needs at different times in our lives, so while following general guidelines is a great way to start, practicing trusting ourselves and experimenting with how different foods feel to us is most important.
I also live with my best friend who is extremely food sensitive and often has very low energy. She used to eat only "white" foods. At 25, she was pre-diabetic and often threw up from what she was eating. I notice that she rarely eats vegetables or fruit. She is slim, losing about 40 pounds in the last year from not eating as much. Her energy, nausea and illnesses got a lot better once she stopped eating as much junk food, though her diet was still pretty much coffee and foods like burgers and fries, which fared better for her then foods she is allergic to like dairy and the additional Cheez-its, Cheetos, Kit-Kats and Coke etc. In the past few weeks, she's been eating those foods again and is experiencing more nausea, insomnia and low energy. I encourage her to eat healthy foods I know she'll actually eat, like broccoli, quinoa and kale, though that's only about once a week right now. I see a huge difference for her from little changes. It's not an all or nothing deal. Our bodies are pretty adaptable and can handle toxins, just not without a balance of alkaline nutrient dense foods as well!
2/19/14 10:11 A
Absolutely! I concentrate now on high nutrient, not calorie rich foods in my daily life.
Fitness Minutes: (132,472)
12,212 2/19/14 10:04 A
2/19/14 8:35 A
It's been a lifelong process. I'm more and more aware of the healthfulness of (nutrients in) the food I'm eating.
I'm more concerned now than ever before of getting enough fruits and veggies -- so that I'm getting my nutrients. I more-or-less strive for the MyPlate recommendation of making half my plate fruits/veggies. If I'm doing that (which for me is easier at breakfast and lunch than it is at dinner), I believe I'm getting the nutrients I need.
Fitness Minutes: (25,819)
1,046 2/19/14 5:11 A
I am more concerned about eating a variety of whole foods than about making sure that my macro-nutrients are always in line, or that I am getting enough of one particular vitamin every day. I track and look at trends, and if I notice something that is consistently low, I take steps to change it by adding whatever food has that nutrient. The only supplement I take regularly is calcium, because as a woman pushing 50, I know it's vital to get enough, and I don't eat a lot of dairy.
I also try to avoid processed food, but am not dogmatic. So while I no longer drink diet soda, I might have a real Coke every couple of months, or tonic water, or something like that. I also have a weakness for Kraft Dinner, but that is also a couple times a year treat, not something I have on a regular basis. In general, I eat produce, eggs, lean meat, beans, pasta, rice and other grains, and some dairy. I don't eat things from bags, boxes or pouches.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
2/19/14 4:33 A
I pay attention mostly to fiber since I know I don't do well on low fiber. I keep an eye on protein, but when I track - protein, fat, and carbohydrate seem to fall within the right ranges all by themselves if I eat what I feel like eating but no junk even when eating vegan or almost vegan (just occasional cheese) for long periods. Fiber is the only thing I can go too low on if I don't think about it a little. Junk food, especially sugary stuff, is what will mess up the nutrient profiles big time in all categories.
Does the nutrient content of food matter to me? Well, yes and no.
I do track nutrients (and get as complete information as possible from other sources if necessary), and have found that I can hit my nutrient needs easily in 1400 calories or less. That's the "yes" part.
Since I eat a few hundred calories more than that every day, I don't worry so much about having "nutrient dense" foods for those. If I want a baked dessert, or sugar in my tea, or whatever will make me happy, then that's what I have. That's the "no" part.
My perspective is that the "nutrient dense" foods are feeding my body, while the other stuff is feeding my spirit ;) I get far too much joy out of food (planning, preparing, cooking, serving, sharing, and eating) to be able to look at it as just "fuel". While I absolutely enjoy all of my "nutrient dense" foods, I would never want or be able to deprive myself of having some stuff that is purely for the pleasure of it.
I figure that this way I'm treating my body reasonably okay (without making myself insane over what is the "healthiest"), while keeping the stress down and adding to the happiness in my life. Overall, it's the best approach for *me*.
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
9,707 2/17/14 12:36 P
MICHELLEXXXX... I do. It's not like that's all I'm eating. Thankfully, I've got a pretty good canned goods stash. But no, it's really not as cheap. A dozen eggs is $2-$4, and there's only 12 of them; that's maybe two meals for a family of four. Sometimes, it's just about not starving. ;) It's usually only for a few days, thankfully.
But there are times when it really is a "I need 10 for a $1, since I've only got $4."
2/17/14 11:36 A
The nutrient content of food matters very much to me. I feel terrible when I eat foods that are not healthy. I aim for a balance between protein, carbs, and fat. I lean towards a lower carb diet and fortunately I enjoy veggies. Eating bread, pasta, rice and the like result in a ravenous appetite. My diet is not perfect and I fall down sometimes and eat poorly. Tracking is very important to me (especially on bad days). It keeps me focused and gets me back on track.
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,602 2/17/14 11:26 A
Dragon, do you mean due to time constraints or financial? Either way, what about aiming for a middle ground? Eggs and frozen veggies are just as cheap and easy as mac n cheese.
Except for the two "all-you-can-eat-of-whatever-you-wanna-eat " days I allow myself, I weigh my food and track it every day. Nutrient content of my food matters because at one time, I was low in both vitamins D and B 12. I've corrected that, as my regular blood work reflects, and corrected other problems, too (including my weight!).
It also reflects itself in the way I feel and my energy level, which are better than they've ever been.
So yes, I'd say it matters a great deal to me.
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
9,707 2/17/14 10:54 A
IT matters, but honestly I don't really have the luxury of worrying about it, sometimes. I'm struggling right now, and while I do aim to try and include as many fruits and vegetables and other fresh things, sometimes, it's just not possible, and I have to resort to ramen and mac and cheese.
It does matter, though. I like the way I feel when I'm on a healthier diet.
Fitness Minutes: (40,967)
2/17/14 10:24 A
Yes, it matters to me. I don't track every single nutrient, though. Right now I am eating quite healthily (minimal processed foods, 9 or 10+ fresh fruits/veggies per day, local and organic when I can afford or find it, etc.) and choosing a wide variety of foods, so I doubt I there is anything I'm seriously lacking. When I'm curious, I check out the website Nutrition Data because they provide a good breakdown of a food's content, things like amino acids and so on, that you won't find here.
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
3,602 2/17/14 8:39 A
Nutrient content is the deciding factor of what I want to fuel my body with.
Fitness Minutes: (19,666)
930 2/17/14 7:59 A
Absolutely. Where possible I eat fresh fruit and salad rather than processed foods. I try to avoid anything with chemicals in if I can. However I also try to be balanced and not obsessive.
2/16/14 5:37 P
The nutrient content of my food makes the difference between health and energy and sickness and being tired all the time for me. I've reached my goal weight quite a few years ago and my goal % of body fat quite a few months ago. Now it's all about maintaining good health by feeding my body organic, natural foods. I hard buy anything that has a label so don't worry about tracking. Birgit
Absolutely. I'm not so good about tracking as ALGEGRAGIRL - I've only been doing it since I started with SP.... but that's been at least a couple of years.
I agree, the labeling on most commercially-prepared foods don't tell the whole story. We try to eat *real* foods - whole food, not things that have been taken apart and put back together with incidental supplements. I think food as it comes to us, naturally, has far greater nutritional value. Yes, they're trying to put some things back in which were removed when they processed it... but those are only the things they *know* about, and in the quantities our government advisers recommend. I think it's *still* deficient.
I'm on what appears to be a lifelong effort against an autoimmune condition. I've been able, through traditional therapy, supplementation, and primarily diet, to manage it pretty well. Food is more than just nutrition for me. It's a healing process, or at least something that gives my body the proper fuels to heal itself, insofar as it's going to do.
I rarely get the usual transient sicknesses - colds, flu... I don't even take the flu vaccine. So I believe, between minimization of AI symptoms and the fact that I'm otherwise pretty healthy, my diet is my biggest "weapon" in my arsenal for health.
2/16/14 1:49 P
Sure it does. I've been tracking my food for years - really, years. But - you'll never get a truly accurate picture when using custom foods (nutrition information on a can of garbanzo beans) because there are so many things that are not included. How do you know how much selenium is in your diet, when it's not listed on the information for a custom food you're entering? There are a ton of things that are not included. Iodine! (I use sea salt...it's not iodized, but I have yet to see iodine included in nutrients-; yet it is in potatoes, for example, so I know I am getting it.)
It's important to me because I'm in good health (haven't had a cold in years, or even an upset stomach) and I'd like to understand why. Even if I can't know exactly why.
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