This guest post is by Brooke Benlifer.
Brooke is our incredibly awesome resident Dietitian here at The Wellness Bucket.
This is the eighth installment of her 2016 Back To Goodness Series.
Brooke has provides us with three different challenges over the last three months to help us get back to goodness.
She’s got one more challenge for us to consider if we’re up for the challenge.
Knowing you and this incredible community we have here, I’m going to go ahead and answer on all of our behalves…
Bring it on Brooke! 🙂
I had a good feeling this group would be up for a new challenge.
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer and that this season has given you time to relax, spend time soaking up nature and fit in active time either solo or with your community of friends and family.
Summer has always been my favorite season.
It’s full of outdoor picnics, sunset dinners, tank tops, flip flops, and a general easiness in the air.
Summer Is The Perfect Time To Get Back to Goodness
For the past few months, I’ve offered up some challenges:
#3 has historically been by far the most difficult for me.
I absolutely love many types of food and enjoy the tastes of various meals that I make and that I eat when I’m away from home.
Finding that sweet spot when I am satisfied but not overly full is something that I have found to be more challenging than finding time to prepare a meal from scratch or to exercise each day.
#3 is something I believe becomes habitual once you train yourself to intuitively eat to being comfortable without being too full.
I’ve definitely had the experience of feeling comfortable while eating the meal and then suddenly way too full hours later.
My point in saying this is that if any of the three aforementioned challenges have been difficult for you, feel free to revisit them this coming month.
Don’t feel like you have to build upon these first three challenges with something else if you haven’t yet established a comfort level with each of these first three challenges.
If you are comfortable with the first three challenges and have integrated them into your life fairly seamlessly, well then I have a fourth challenge for you…
Add A Fat Source To Each Meal And Snack
For years, specifically during the 1980s and 1990s, we were told to just eat a low fat diet and how that would somehow solve the growing obesity crisis.
Food manufacturers scrambled to produce all sorts of fat free, nonfat, lite, light products – basically Frankenfoods (remember WOW Chips!).
(Note From Mike: In case you’re wondering what Frankenfood is, it’s food that’s genetically modified.)
The problem was, these foods were highly processed, and when the fat was eliminated, it was replaced with sugar, salt and chemicals, in an effort to maintain some of the original flavor and mouth feel that the fat provided.
Needless to say, going low fat did nothing to remedy the world’s growing obesity issue!
Fast Forward To 2016
We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a moderate or even high fat diet can be very healthy.
Fats provide energy for your body to work properly, they help you to absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K), and they insulate your body.
Essential fatty acids (derived from food) are necessary for brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.
Let’s admit it too, fats taste delicious too!
Have you ever compared the taste of a plain celery stalk to one slathered in almond or peanut butter?
What about a fat free cookie (think Snackwell) versus a homemade chocolate chip cookie made with eggs and butter?
Or a dry chicken breast versus a slightly fattier cut of meat?
My point is that eating plenty of good fats can and will make you healthier and happier.
What’s Good Fat?
Here’s how to start including good fats into each of your meals and snacks…
1) Get rid of the unhealthy fats and replace them with the healthy ones.
Start by tossing out margarine, corn oil, vegetable oil or any product with the words “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list.
2) Restock your kitchen with healthy fats.
Healthy fats include but are not limited to…
Coconut oil (unrefined)
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter (from grass fed cows, such as Kerrygold brand)
Ghee (clarified butter)
MCT oil (optional)
Nuts and seeds (raw or dry roasted)
Mayonnaise (made from avocado oil, such as Primal Kitchen Mayo or Chosen Foods brand)
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
3) When you think about creating or plating a meal or having a snack, take a moment to consider getting a balance of carbs, protein, and fat.
For breakfast, you might choose 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, scrambled with some spinach, tomato, and cheese, with a cup of berries as a side dish.
The eggs, coconut oil, as well as the cheese will all provide healthy fats.
The fruit and veggies provide the carbs and the cheese and eggs the protein.
More Meal & Snack Ideas With Fat
Tuna salad with healthy mayo and celery sticks
Carrots dipped in almond butter, with ¼ cup of raisins on the side
Skin-on chicken drumsticks with baked sweet potato and butter
Berries with heavy cream and nuts on top
I invite you to take on this month’s healthy fat challenge.
That is of course if you feel like you have a good handle on the three previous challenges and are ready to take on another challenge.
Wishing you an absolutely wonderful rest of your summer while getting Back to Goodness!
Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD is a Cornell University graduate and Registered Dietitian. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband and twins.
“My passion is preventative health through optimal nutrition. I want to lead people toward healthier, more fulfilling lives.”