What’s for dinner?

As previously mentioned on this blog, nutrition was never something that I knew a lot about. Though I still don’t know a ton, I am learning each and every day how to make smarter choices with my food. No longer am I someone who is going to eat a bowl of frosted flakes for dinner and call it a day.

In an effort to be more cognizant of the food that I am eating, particularly the food I am eating at night, I am going to start taking photos of it and sharing them on my blog so that I can have it to look back on for inspiration in future recipe planning. I’m going to title these all “What’s for dinner?”

Tonight is a ‘Quinoa-Kale Power Salad‘.

Ingredients include:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Red Pepper
  • Pecans
  • Craisins
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Quinoa
  • 1 cooked, cajun chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing

With respect to nutrition, portion sizes and amounts of food that one should intake per meal will differ from person to person. It’s completely individualized and there is no ‘one size fits all’ method. What may look like a lot to someone might look quite small to someone else. What is healthy to someone, and might be the right nutrients they need might not work for someone else.

I’m consistently learning more each day, and want to ensure that I am keeping track of what I do, how I change and what I make of this.

Day 34: You are what you eat.

Photo Credit: Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at University of Toronto

Shy of the basics (eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, drink lots of water, etc…) I knew next to nothing about nutrition. Honestly, I just was someone who tended to eat what I wanted, even when I knew it wasn’t good for me.

I’ve always been a firm believer that you food should make you happy. Believing that food that was good for the body and food that was good for the soul were mutually exclusive, I avoided learning more about nutrition telling myself that I was feeding my soul instead.

The past six months I’ve learned a lot about nutrition. Despite what I previously believed, you can feed your body in a means that will allow it to run at max capacity without totally hating what you’re eating.

There’s no secret formula for this. There’s no ‘quick fix’ and there’s definitely no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to nutrition. It’s all about you, what you need to fuel your body and what you can eat to make yourself feel good.

Sure, the basics still apply: drink lots of water, eat a ton of vegetables, protein is good. But there’s much more too it than that.

Some basic suggestions when it comes to nutrition:

**Please be advised these are entirely my own opinions. If you disagree with them that is completely okay. As mentioned above, one size fits all is not realistic when it comes to nutrition and it’s perfectly normal for people to have differing opinions. I welcome any suggestions anyone wants to share.

  • Know what your purpose is with food. Are you eating for performance? Are you eating for survival? Are you eating for weight loss? What are your goals as far as your diet?
  • No one is going to know your body better than you are so ensure you’re properly educating yourself on what you need to achieve your own goals.
  • Make informed decisions. Don’t think that because your friend is having success on their diet plan that it’s going to work for you.
  • Protein is VERY IMPORTANT. Protein is a component of every cell in the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue. It’s an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. And remember that not all proteins are created equal. Do your research when it comes to what protein will best suit your body and diet plan.
  • The less processed, the better. Whole foods will always bring more value to your body than processed food. That being said, be your own chef. For example: instead of buying the pre-packaged oatmeal with sweeteners and artificial flavours already in it – buy plain oats and sweeten them yourself. If you know what goes into your food you know what you’ll get out of your food.
  • Educate yourself on what the benefits are of the food you’re eating. Kale is a superfood, but why? Learn what the benefits are of the food you’re choosing to eat.
  • Try to skip the caffeine at night. Your sleep will thank you.
  • Learn where you have a food intolerance. Pay attention to your body and how it reacts to what you’re eating. This is something that I’ve been avoiding for the better majority of my life, but when I stopped to take a look at how my body reacted to different foods, it made a world of difference to cut certain things out. There’s more than just lactose intolerance out there. People can have an intolerance to all sorts of different foods and if you don’t pay attention you may never realize it.
  • Keep a food journal! This helps in big ways if you’re really trying to make a difference in your health and what you’re eating. Listing the foods you eat on each day and how your body reacted to it will help you better plan your meals for future.

Anyways, I’m not an expert by any means. Just a girl trying to get more out of life and feel more energized day-to-day. Being more informed about my food choices has opened up a world that I didn’t quite know existed up until last year.

Food plays a massive role in who you are and how you function. I’ve been learning that in a big way the past six months. Here’s to a healthier me in 2019.