You Don’t Need to Count Calories

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Have you ever started eating a bag of potato chips or a box of cookies and not been able to stop eating? And still felt hungry afterward?  Even though you were physically full, you still felt hungry.

So why would you feel hungry when you are full?

To function normally, our bodies need much more than just protein, fats and carbohydrates (fuel) from the food we eat.

From the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in our body everyday, to hormone production, utilization of “fuel”, build muscle, our ability to form antibodies to fight off disease, or neutralize toxins, to name a few of millions, we need something called micronutrients. The term micronutrients refers to vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients is the name given to thousands of other “nontraditional substances” in plants that provide functions our body needs, such as antioxidants.

When we do not get the micronutrients we need, our body’s survival instinct kicks in and tells us we are hungry, even if we are physically full, in an effort to get the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients we require to function normally. When we eat food that has lost its nutrients from processing or refining we feel hungry more, and consume more calories than we need. In other words, we are “out of tune” with the true needs of our body.

Refined Foods Take Nutrients Out of Your Body

Not only do you become micronutrient deficient by not getting them in your food, when you eat foods that have lost their nutritional value (i.e. sugar), you lose the vitamins and minerals what your already have in your bones, blood and tissues. This is because in order for your body to process fuel like glucose, you need micronutrients. The micronutrients are like the engine of a car, without them the fuel you put int to your car cannot do anything. In your body, they turn into what is called a free radical and damage your cells.  Industrialized food is not only devoid of nutrients, it is full of toxic preservatives, colouring agents, emulsifiers, hormones, antibiotics (if consuming non-organic animal products).  Essentially, Western “food” has become low in nutrients and high is toxins. It is questionable if we can even consider processed food, devoid of nourishment and loaded with toxins, food! It is of no surprise that diseases like cancer, diabetes, ADD, and intestinal diseases like Crohn’s only exist in societies that have adopted a Western diet.  Scientific studies are now proving that even slight micro nutrient deficiencies can cause diseases like cancer.

Whole Foods Help You To Tune In With Your Body’s Needs

Choosing to eat healthy, along with exercise, is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Whole foods, like legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, contain all the nutrients your body and mind need for energy, vitality, clear mind, clear skin, immunity and much much more.

When your diet is based on a well balanced variety of whole foods, you will suddenly notice that you naturally eat less, you have more energy and it lasts longer, especially if you include healthy fats with your meals. It becomes almost impossible to overeat. And with regular physical activity you can effortlessly maintain a healthy body weight and focus on living life instead of worrying about calories (and getting sick).  The one thing that I hear over and over again from my students is how surprised they are after eating whole foods. Why? They ate so little compared to what they normally consume, yet they feel so satiated. They are simply experiencing what it is like to be in tune with your body.

It is POSSIBLE to Eat Healthy Everyday Even if You Are Busy

To make a lifestyle change, you most likely will need to invest some time in learning and spending more time in the kitchen. However, by learning skills like flavour combining, making something and re-using the next day differently, and knowing several uses for everyday pantry ingredients, you can make eating healthy easy, quick and affordable.

Starting this Monday, in collaboration with The Vegan Project, Julie will be launching the 2011 Vegan Whole Foods Challenge. For 7 days The Vegan Project Ladies and 7 other participants will try out Julie’s menu plan to see if they can eat whole plant based foods deliciously everyday while living their everyday lives.

The menu plans are designed as a mini-crash course for learning the how of whole plant based food for everyday: they are filled with nutrition information, flavour pairing education (so you get a feel for foods so you can do it yourself), and mini-challenges to Discover your Inner Everyday Chef.

Stay tuned for participant introductions! They will Blog about their experiences…the good, the bad, the delicious, the challenges and the fun.

Julie Beyer, BA is a whole food educator, chef and is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is the founder of For the Love of Food, a business dedicated to helping people integrate healthy eating to their everyday lives in a way that is quick, easy, convenient, affordable and delicious. For more information please visit www.loveoffood.ca or her Facebook for regular healthy eating & nutrition tips, recipes and more.

She also sends out a regular e-newsletter with articles, vegan lifestyle and cooking classes and more. Feel free to e-mail her at Julie@loveoffood.ca to get connected.

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