By Dr. Wendy Henrichs
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician, Nutritional Consultant
In our busy world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health.
Remember that what you eat contributes eighty percent of your body composition. It also plays a crucial role in how you look, how you feel, and your overall health and well-being.
By making conscious choices and adopting healthy eating habits, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. One way to improve your diet and promote healthier eating habits is to embrace the concept of eating foods with five ingredients or fewer. By focusing on whole, unprocessed, and minimally altered foods, you can nourish your body while enjoying the benefits of simplicity in your meals.
The advantage of simplicity
Eating foods with fewer ingredients offers several benefits for your health. It encourages you to choose whole foods that are closest to their natural state.
Whole foods tend to be higher in nutrients and provide essential vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. When you limit what you eat to five ingredients or fewer, your exposure to artificial additives, preservatives, added sugars or unhealthy fats commonly found in highly processed products is greatly reduced.
Meal prep just got easier
Adopting a five-ingredient approach simplifies meal prep by reducing the number of components you need to prepare in advance, while still ensuring balanced nutrition throughout the week.
Plan simple recipes that use common staple foods, such as legumes, canned tomatoes, or lentils; fresh organic produce; organic or grass-fed beef, wild game, free-range organic chicken, wild-caught fish, eggs, or tofu for protein; and good fats from olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter.
You can create satisfying meals on even the busiest of days when you keep it simple and always include fresh or frozen vegetables.
Eating foods with fewer ingredients encourages a more mindful approach to eating.
By focusing on the quality and simplicity of your meals, you become more in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues. This can foster a healthier relationship with food.
You’re also more easily tricked into knowing which foods make you feel good (not bloated or gassy) or decrease your energy, than those that don’t.
Seasoning is your friend
While limiting yourself to foods with five or fewer ingredients may seem restrictive when it comes to flavor profiles, there are numerous ways to enhance the taste without compromising simplicity.
Seasoning with fresh or dried herbs adds a lot of flavor along with the basic seasoning of salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
Put it all together
Here’s your formula for creating a meal using foods with five or fewer ingredients: Start with three to six ounces of a protein of your choice, along with one to three tablespoons of good fats, both of which create a feeling of satiety; two to five cups of different vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or a salad; half a cup of sweet potatoes, rice, lentils or legumes; Salt and pepper to taste; and unlimited herbs, garlic and onion. You can also make a soup or stew using fresh vegetables, a protein, olive oil, herbs, etc.
The idea is to choose foods with five or fewer ingredients. Read labels if you’re using something from a packet or can. The easiest way to accomplish this is to create meals and snacks using fresh or frozen whole foods from the perimeter of your grocery store.
If you want to feel more energetic, improve your memory, your sleep, how you feel and how you look, or just improve your eating habits, then go for this diet and health reset. Engage in the challenge with five ingredients or fewer for 10 days. If you want to completely clean up your diet, do it for 30 days. If you want to continue after your challenge, do it five out of seven days each week. Your future self will thank you.
Remember, it’s never too late to change your health. Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutritional consultant at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a free consultation on chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle, visit www.TimberlandChiropractic.comInstagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or call 715-362-4852.
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