A Healthy Way to Look at Your Food Choices by Paluna Santamaria

Food is more than fuel. Food is present in celebrations, work engagements and many times used as a coping mechanism which we won’t go into in this article. 

For better health, it’s best to consume a balance of protein, carbs, and fat from whole food sources in order to get your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and when it comes to health and nutrition, there are no good or bad foods. There are optimal and less optimal choices.

I like to think about my groceries and my food choices this way:

  1. Things I love eating and need for health reasons. Whole, nutritious foods go here. One of my favorites meals is roasted veggies with olive oil and pink salt, roasted chicken with rosemary and lime. I could eat this every day. I like to get my protein from lean meats like the chicken and my carbs from roasted veggies. There are bonus points for vitamins and minerals in pink salt as well as healthy fats from the olive oil.
  2. Things I don’t love but don’t hate either and need for health reasons. These are foods like raw veggies and fruits. Yeah, I’m a weirdo who doesn’t care for fruits, but I’m perfectly happy with strawberries and few other ones. Raw veggies hurt my jaw and I prefer them in a smoothie but I recognize the need for variety in your diet. Without variety, you can say hello to nutrition deficiencies! Even if you are eating “healthy” aka chicken and broccoli every day, you could develop issues including nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities from the lack of variety. So vary your meats, veggies, and fruits and try some new foods or meals every week!
  3. Things I love eating but don’t need. These would be foods like cheesecake, muffins, chocolate, pizza and ice cream. I want it all–every day but to be honest but I don’t need them so I have them on occasion. You know, for mental health reasons 😉
  4. Things I don’t like eating. I don’t eat anything I don’t enjoy. If you don’t like vegetables, perhaps you need to experiment more. I can assure you there’s at least one you like. The same goes for the other categories of foods like protein, carbs and fats.

 Eat What You Want and Eat What You Need both your mind and body will thank you.

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– Paluna

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