by Sara Wolfe
I grew up in a home that was acutely aware of eating healthy foods. I was raised completely vegan until my preteen years. It was a family choice made before I was born for the sake of healthy living. We had to borrow egg cartons for school projects. There was one bag of sugar in the freezer for about 10 years and one small bottle of oil in the entire house. I did not learn how to fry an egg until I was in my late twenties and I still don’t know much about meat.
What I did know was that rice and beans together provide a complete protein and so does quinoa. I know that nuts and seeds are important nutrition and so are a variety of vegetables.
I thought I was way ahead of the game. I basically knew it all. The truth is, it is not until we realize how much there is to learn that we begin to know anything.
A couple years ago I decided to become a health coach and some of the science behind nutrition has been a game changer for me. Here are two of my favorite lessonsI learned.
- Eat 6 small meals throughout the day instead of fewer larger servings. There is a balance between eating only when we feel “hangry” on one hand, and grazing throughout the day on the other. I have learned how to strike that balance by eating every 2-3 hours during the day. When I do this, I have more energy consistently and I am able to make healthier eating choices.
- Pair carbs and healthy fats with protein. My whole life, people ask me, if you don’t eat meat then how do you get protein? I had well practiced answers, rice and beans, tofu, etc. What I did not understand was the real importance of protein. I thought it was overrated. For so many reasons, protein is essential and I wish I had an affinity to more vegetarian protein options. However, I consciously squeeze it in throughout the day. When we eat our carbs, (which I do have quite the affinity for,) along with a protein, it helps the carbs digest slower. Naturally, upon eating we peak in energy until the peak drops and we feel hungry again. When pairing with protein, the peak remains more constant and I feel fuller for longer.
This advice taught me how to balance my blood sugar so that I would not keep working until I felt super hungry, grab a chocolate on the way out, then crash again sooner after. Now I feel more energized throughout the day and make healthier choices because I am not waiting until I am out of steam. They are great for weight loss and maintenance. These are just a couple of the healthy habits I have developed. I owe tremendous gratitude to my husband for introducing me to a health system that works for me and to Dr. Anderson for teaching all this essential knowledge with the goal of creating transformation by building healthy habits. I love to chat about many subjects, including nutrition. If you are interested in more information or ways to implement this in your lifestyle, feel free to contact me!