March is National Nutrition Month! And what better way for me to talk to you about good eating practices and for you to put them into practice this month. There is no better time to start making good food choices than the present.
As many of you already know, the basis of my nutritional plan is to eat real and local food. This means that you should be eating foods that are grown or produced locally and seasonally and that are “clean”–meaning that they are not treated with chemicals or additives, nor do they contain preservatives or ingredients that are unknown. If you read the ingredient label and you are unable to pronounce any ingredient, don’t eat it! Likewise, as I always say.. If your great-grandmother didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t eat it.
Through my graduate studies and continued research, I have identified 5 important real foods that I have found to help nourish and, in many cases, heal the body. My top 5 real food choices:
- Coconut oil
- Clean Dairy (Kalona Super Natural – grass-fed or Sassy Cow – local, Wisconsin dairy)
- Real eggs
- Pastured meats
1. Coconut oil. Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat. However, it is a type of saturated fat that consists of short and medium chain fatty acids. What this means to you, is that your body is able to use these fatty acids more efficiently as instant energy. In turn, this can increase your metabolism and lead to weight loss. And don’t forget, there is no cholesterol in coconut oil.
2. Broth. Now, I’m not talking about the Campbell’s condensed soup broth. I’m talking about traditional bone broth, which is a good source of protein. Traditional bone broth is high in glycine and proline, which are anti-inflammatory amino acids. Making your own bone broth can reduce inflammation in your body and help with joint recovery after workouts. Click here for the recipe on how to make it. If you do not have the time to make broth be sure you check out the article on adding gelatin to your diet.
3. Kalona Super Natural or Sassy Cow Dairy (or your local organic, grass-fed dairy). For those of us fortunate to live in the Madison, WI area, we have access to an excellent source of milk, cheese, and ice cream through Sassy Cow Dairy. Why do I like Sassy Cow? Their cows are allowed to roam the pasture and eat grass in the summer months, which is what cows are supposed to eat. Also, they aren’t injected with hormones that leech into their milk. The cows are fed grains, so if you are looking for 100% grass-fed milk, you can purchase Kalona Super Natural at the Willy Street Coop or Whole Foods Market. If you don’t have access to Sassy Cow products, I encourage you to research local, organic dairies in your area. Ask them if the cows are grass-fed and organic.
4. Real eggs. Chickens that are pastured and allowed to eat bugs and worms produce high-quality eggs. Like cows, chickens aren’t supposed to eat corn or be confined to a small area. Real eggs are another good source of protein and have a higher amount of nutrients than traditional, store-bought eggs. Real eggs have more Vitamin A, D and E as well as more folic acid and B12. All of which are good things for your body.
5. Pastured meats. I am a big proponent of pastured meats in combination with broth. With properly-sourced meat and a balanced meal plan, meat is an excellent source of protein. What do I mean by properly-sourced meat? This means the meat is pastured, 100% grass-finished, hormone and preservative free cut. Grass-finished beef is high in CLA and CoQ10. For Madison, WI area residents, we have access to Jordandal Farms, which is a wonderful source of pastured meats.
If you questions about any of my 5 food choices, consider attending my Nutrition 101 class on the 3rd Thursday of each month. If you’ve taken my Nutrition 101 class and would like a more information about these 5 top foods, sign up for my 8-week “Change Your Plate. Change Your Life” class which starts March 30th.