Ahhh, January. Some of us have two months of indulgence behind us, and are craving something a little healthier in 2016. Cold weather doesn’t make eating light easy, so we reached out to some local chefs and owners of healthy restaurants for tips on how to get back on the healthy track this year.
Tips from Wayde Jester, owner of Zeal – Food for Enthusiasts
- Think micronutrient density over macronutrient density. Basically, replace the white flour, sugar, butter, and cream with fresh pressed vegetable-based juices, and vegetable and fruit smoothies, either in place of one of your meals, or instead of that treat in between meals.
- Heal your gut. Processed and refined foods put your gut flora through something like a natural disaster, so it’s time to restore by eating probiotic foods. Seek out naturally fermented vegetables like traditional krauts and kimchee, pickled root vegetables, and a not too sugary kombucha.
- If you’re also trying to lose weight, start first by understanding that not all calories are alike. Steer clear of low-calorie snack foods and stick to whole foods, clean organic foods, organically fed pastured proteins, and as much healthy fats as your appetite desires. That’s right, don’t cut out the fat to loose fat.
- Use fats to cut cravings and think about it like this: if you consume good fats in your diet (avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, real pastured cow’s milk butter, etc.) your body won’t feel the need to store fat for energy at a later date.
Tips from Robin Knowlan, owner of Wonder Press
- Eat as many veggies as you can!
- Cook a bit more for yourself in the New Year than you did last year.
- Say yes to turmeric and ginger. They as potent anti-inflammatory agents and immune boosters.
- Seek out broths when it’s cold. So much absorbable nutrition is packed into a good bone or veggie broth.
Tips from Chef Alec Schuler of Arugula Ristorante/Tangerine
- If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t eat it!
- Eat lots of varied veggies and smaller amounts of meat/fish and starchy food.
- When shopping, focus on the produce section. Buy real and fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
- Use varied and good quality spices, like turmeric and ginger.
- Serve your food so your plate is colorful. Even if this means adding fresh parsley and sliced raw red radishes just before consuming. Variety in color means variety in nutrition.
- Take your fish oil daily!
Tips from Chef Jessica Emich of Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place
- Pay attention to how full you are so you know when to stop eating.
- Stay hydrated so your brain doesn’t mistake thirst as hunger. Lemon water is a wonderful remedy for dehydration.
- Eat a healthy breakfast even if you’re planning to go big with dinner. You make better choices when you aren’t starving.
- Graze. This might seem counterintuitive, but if you taste and test while you’re cooking or snack whenever you feel a hunger pang, you won’t feel an urgency to devour everything when you sit down for lunch or dinner.
- Eat pickled vegetables with meats to help your body digest the protein.
- Eat good fats (like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, and nuts) to avoid afternoon crashes.
Tips from Chef Jami Fynboh of mmm … COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro
- Look for foods as close to the source and as minimally processed as possible.
- Avoid inflammatory foods like grains (especially gluten), legumes, and soy.
- Watch out for the oils your food is cooked in—canola, peanut, cottonseed, and sunflower seed are among the most toxic, while olive, coconut, and avocado (as well as grass-fed butter) promote good health and add great flavor.
By Maya Silver | Editor