3 Ways to Choose YOUR Best Diet

nutrient factsByline: Cathy Cochrane

So many of my clients start their sessions by saying, “I don’t know what to eat.”

We’re bombarded with information about healthy food, but we’re hard-pressed to know what to do in our own kitchen.

You find yourself frozen in uncertainty or with a bizarre case of nutritional ADD – only to end up making a poor choice out of desperation. You need a miracle to help you. If you ask Gabrielle Bernstein, she’ll tell you a miracle is a change in perception.

That’s all you need: the attitude & inner understanding to figure out what’s right for YOU.

With so much emphasis on details about the best superfoods, diet & exercise regimens, we’re at a point where food has become a religious obsession. Like religion, we feel the need for an outside guru to lead us to the manna.

Yet, as much as we need the facts of research and proven methods as guidelines, the truth of what works for you lies, well, with you.

If you want to choose your best diet, ask yourself these questions:

1. What’s your Intention?

target fruitTo succeed at anything, you gotta know what you’re doing. Maybe it’s

  • Less weight
  • Lower pain or chance of disease
  • Better energy
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger contact with the environment

The list goes on…

Make your clear intention part of your daily awareness – pin an image to the fridge, write an affirmation on your mirror, post your mantra on your desktop – whatever keeps you focused.

When you act from a place that’s true to you, the necessary choice of food falls into place.

2. Are you trying to be perfect?

Someone once told me her biggest health frustration was, “I still enjoy the taste of unhealthy food.” My initial response was to laugh, then realized, no, this was a serious concern.

plumOne of my clients talks in terms of “when I’m good” and “when I’m bad”, another refers to certain meals as “virtuous”.

We’re putting judgment on the food we eat, and worse, we’re putting judgment on ourselves when we want, let alone eat, anything we “shouldn’t”. It gets back to that religious aspect. Be good as gold, and if not, confess your sins and do penance.

Throw that need for perfection out the window; it’ll just cause trouble.

You’re human. You have wants, desires and cravings; they may involve Oreos, Diet Coke or a burger & fries. It’s part of what is. There’s no judgment or need for punishment.

The key is in the conscious choice: either you eat the Oreo or you don’t.

  • Will the momentary enjoyment make you feel ill?
  • Set you back on a roller coaster of sugar cravings?
  • Can you fully enjoy the moment & move on?

Even if you do find yourself dazed in front of an empty cookie bag, there’s always forgiveness.

Rest assured, the more you make whole food choices, the more your body will learn how that feels, and will actually start to crave the “good” stuff.

3. What do you LOVE?

I don’t care how packed that kale & chlorophyll smoothie is with antioxidants, if you have to pinch your nose to get it down, it’s not good for you.

If you cringe at the drinking, your digestive tract and cells will be cringing at the assimilation.

Last week, a client told me breakfast is her favourite meal, then she went on to tell me how she spends half the day starving because it’s “healthier” to eat half a banana & some protein powder instead of eggs & toast. How can suffering & spending half the day ready to eat her agenda be healthy? All that does is put her body into stress response.

Love appleAt a certain point you’ve got to be who you are and eat what you love.

List what you absolutely love to eat.

See where there’s room to tweak & improve the quality: think of the upgrade to having salad instead of fries. Do you now need to think cold-pressed oil over refined, leafy greens to roll your yummiest wrap fillings, zucchini strips instead of pasta?

Now think of the How.

As much as whole food is more vibrant than its refined counterparts, there’s also a dynamic relationship that happens with the sensual contact you have with what you eat. When you hand-pick the beans from the bin, when you smell the nuts for freshness. When you think fondly of your grandmother while making her famous soup, listen to music as you chop, laugh with friends around the table.

When you bring a bit of love for what you’re doing into the kitchen, that energy gets infused into everything you prepare. Raising the vibration of the meal, of your cells, of your health.

Bring joy back into your meals, and let the body respond accordingly.

 

CathyPic137x167Cathy Cochrane has a holistic health practice based in Montreal. She guides women (be it with digestive issues, monthly pain or anxiety) to heal from the inside out. Beyond whole food and lifestyle choices, she looks to the themes and images of a woman’s story as keys to her healing. Learn more about Cathy through her blog, or dive more deeply into your own needs with her e-book: 3 Steps to Feeling Yourself.

Are You Missing Out on Important Nutrients Because You Don’t Supplement?

Liquid Nutritional Supplements
Photo by Andreas Levers

Could your health be suffering because you don’t supplement with vitamins and essential minerals?

When I first went raw, I thought vitamins and supplements were for the birds. Or rather that we didn’t need them. After all, I had my blood levels checked after I went raw and everything was fine.

Since then I’ve done a lot more research into the benefits of supplementation with vitamins and minerals. One of my most shocking discoveries was that modern day food doesn’t have the same level of nutrition that it once had because of modern farming practices.

Another realization was that most of us are not absorbing as many of the nutrients from our food as we should be. So in my opinion, I think it’s a good idea to supplement with a quality product that is highly bioavailable.

Supplements: Which Ones, and Why

I often get asked what supplements I take, and whether people should take supplements if they embark on a raw diet. The answer will depend on you, but I think that most people can’t afford to go cheap when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

I used to believe that we could get all the nutrition we needed from whole foods. However, more and more research is coming to light proving that produce doesn’t have nearly as much nutrition as it did years ago.

If you’re buying organic produce, or growing your own food, then the quality of the produce will be far better. However, I think that most people can still benefit from supplementation where certain vitamins are concerned.

Most Recommended Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin D3 is highly recommended, especially if you live in a cold climate where you don’t get at least 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight outside every day.

Vitamin D3 is synthesized by your skin when it is in contact with the sun. Vitamin D3 has been linked to cancer prevention and essentially tells your cells when to die after their lifetime is up – which is very important for cancerous cells.

Vitamin B12 is another vitamin that I think people should really consider. Since we’re mostly eating “sanitized” food we don’t get much B12 from our food. That’s why supplementing with B12 is important. It’s something that even meat-eaters should consider, since everyone is susceptible to a lack in Vitamin B12, not just vegans or vegetarians.

Vitamin C is super important for keeping your immune system strong, and can help with acne. I’ve seen really high recommended doses of Vitamin C, and it makes sense we would naturally get a lot by eating fruits.

There are tons of other vitamins and minerals out there too, but at a minimum these would be the ones to focus on.

Best Types of Supplements

Most people take supplements in solid pill form. However, the nutritional absorption of pills is very low… somewhere between 20-25% is actually absorbed into the body.

On the other hand, liquid supplements have a higher absorption rate of about 90-98%, and can be absorbed more quickly.

Think of liquid supplements as being very similar to juiced vegetables. The reason we juice vegetables is to get all the pure nutrients of the vegetables directly and bypass the digestion process. That’s why liquid nutritional supplements are ideal.

I think it’s really important to invest in a proven supplement, because not all supplements are made equal. I’ve tested several types of supplements on myself over the past year, and Vemma is the only supplement that I’ve gotten results with and can recommend.

There may be other great supplements out there, so definitely do your research.

Have An Awesome Day!

I hope this article gave you some food for thought on nutritional supplements.

Love, Nathalie

What Are Goji Berries?

A lot of raw food web sites and recipes include goji berries. You might be wondering exactly what goji berries are, and why you should consider plunking down some cash to get some.

Raw Goji Berries

I admit that I managed to eat goji berries before I went raw, and before I even knew they were a superfood.

You see my boyfriend’s family still makes many of their traditional Chinese meals. Which happen to include lots of goji berries in soups, stews, and teas.

When I first told my boyfriend about this “amazing new superfruit” called Goji Berry he thought it sounded kind of familiar.

It turns out in Chinese they write it Gou qi zi, or 枸杞子. He quickly pulled some out of the pantry. Gasp!

Where Do Goji Berries Come From?

Goji berries grow in Asia and Europe. Marketers often refer to goji berries as Tibetan Goji Berries or Himalayan Goji berries, though the majority of goji berries are actually grown in the Ningxia region of northern China.

Interestingly enough, goji berry plants were imported into the UK and are still grown there. Similarly, my boyfriend’s family has a goji plant growing in their backyard.

Though we haven’t seen the plant bear any fruit yet, we have eaten some of the goji leaves.

What Are the Benefits of Goji Berries?

I know a lot of marketers are getting into trouble for marketing goji berries aggressively. Claims that goji berries can prevent or cure cancers, are not uncommon. That being said, I think we need to take all claims with a grain of salt.

The truth is that eating more fruits and vegetables in itself is a great way to prevent or reverse cancers. (I’m not a doctor, and this has just been through my readings of books like The China Study.)

That being said, according to some of the Chinese books I’ve gotten my hands on, goji berries are great for eyesight. They are good for the liver, which is also connected to eyesight.

Goji berries are also good for the immune system because they contain vitamin C.

What do Goji Berries Taste Like?

I have yet to eat a fresh goji berry, though that is on my life’s to-do list. Dried goji berries taste a bit strong, slightly bitter, but with some of that sweet berry aftertaste.

I highly recommend you “wash” your goji berries by rising them under water before you eat them. This serves two different purposes: it removes any stems or other particles, and it softens the berries.

That’s another reason why I think Chinese people use goji berries in their soups and teas. It’s much easier to eat a soaked goji berry than it is a dry, almost crunchy one.

How Do you Eat Goji Berries?

I like to eat them in a nut and goji berry trail mix. Simply soak some nuts and goji berries, or put your dry mix in a zippy bag with some water.

Sometimes I like to soak a handful of goji berries overnight and add them to my green smoothies.

You can also make some Orange Chocolate Goji Berry Fudge.

Or try a goji berry tea by soaking goji berries in warm water and drinking like a tea.

Where Do you Buy Goji Berries?

himalayan-goji-berries

You can buy organic goji berries online at a variety of different stores.

But here’s my secret… I like to buy my goji berries where the Chinese people get them. I go to Chinatown or Chinese supermarkets and get my goji berries for a much cheaper price.

I used to buy organic goji berries from raw food suppliers, but since going to China I’ve changed my mind. My opinion is that goji berries that are labeled organic really aren’t much better than the regular kind sold in Chinatown.

China uses a lot of pesticipes, and even well known raw foodist Shazzie is no longer importing “organic” goji berries due to their high level of pesticides.

Goji Berry: Superfood or Not?

I think superfoods are great, and they also make a great marketing angle. That being said, I do like eating goji berries and I think you should give them a try if you’re curious.

What do you think… are goji berries really superfoods? How do you eat them?

Love, Nathalie