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REVIVE Your Plate with 5 Simple Steps

March 2, 2020  /  Kimberly Newman

There is not one way of eating that works for every single body. Nutrition is bio individual and your plate should reflect that. With that said, we all want to eat as many nutrient dense whole foods as possible. Figuring out what to eat can feel really overwhelming and confusing with all the misinformation we are barraged with daily.

These 5 steps are simple and are a great place to start to help you create meals that are going to be delicious, help to keep you satiated and give you the biggest nutrient bang for your meal.

1) Two thirds of the plate should be plant based. This means that your plate should reflect nature. Think salad greens and arugula, as well as some cooked veggies, green or not. Plants are loaded with micronutrients, vitamins and minerals which helps everything from boosting the immune system and creating more energy. Half the plate should come from less starchy veggies like cooked kale, spinach, swiss chard, salad greens, zucchini, brussel sprouts, beets, beet greens, onions, leeks, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumber, and cabbage. A smaller portion (about 1/2 cup) can be from starchier veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, beans, and even some ancient grains like quinoa and forbidden black rice for some quality fiber and extra antioxidants.

2) Treat protein as a side dish, not the main course. 12 oz Rib eye anyone?Animal products are our only source of vitamin B 12 and also provides us with vitamin E, D and other B vitamins. Meat also contains certain enzymes that we need in order to access essential amino acids and so many wonderful minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium. However,  we live in a meat heavy culture and our portion sizes are out of control. We do not need as much as we are told to believe we do. So aim for 3-4 oz of good quality protein max with each meal. Think pastured chicken, grass fed-grass finished beef, wild salmon, shrimp and halibut, organic gmo free tofu or tempeh and pastured eggs.

3) Add healthy fats. Healthy fats are crucial to our health and your pallet! They increase our metabolism, help us to feel full and satiated, and help to keep our blood sugar regulated.  They also make food taste good! This is what will give your plate what’s called the flavor factor. What classifies as a healthy fat?Monounsaturated Fats which are found mostly in plant and animal foods. Theses fats help improve insulin sensitivity, lower our blood pressure and lower our LDL cholesterol: the cholesterol which can attach our artery walls and lead to health issues. For this use nuts, seeds, avocado oil, olives, olive oil, and salmon. These fats can also be found in grass fed butter, beef tallow, lard and duck fat. We need some saturated fats that are found in whole foods, like grass fed animal protein, butter, coconut oil and lard. So while you should eat in more moderate portions, you don’t need to skip all together. Use these stable saturated fats for cooking at high temps.

4) Eat the rainbow at each meal. And I don’t mean in the form of condiments. Adding more color to your plate will not only add more nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your meals, it will also make the meals more appealing. Not sure about you, but brown meals aren’t making my mouth water. Colors will make the meal more pleasing to the eye and help get the digestive juices flowing quicker.  Why do we care about antioxidants? They help fight free radicals which also helps in the prevention of diseases like cancer and heart disease.

5) Pasture-raised animals when possible. I’m sure by now you have heard all the rage about pasture-raised animal products. So what’s the deal? Pastured animal products pack more punch by having more of critical nutrients like healthy fatty acids, B vitamins, Vitamin E and antioxidants like beta-carotene, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione, a powerhouse cancer fighting compound also found in vegetables. Grass fed meats have 5 times the amount of healthy omega 3 fats which are great to help fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, and slow the development of plaque in the arteries. Opt for grass fed, grass finished beef, pasture raised chicken, pork and eggs, wild caught sea food. Look for the humanely raised sticker on the package to help ensure the animals are in a good living environment.

Other things to consider is getting in some fermented foods like kimchi, raw kraut and kefir to help with healthy gut bacteria. Slow down, sit, turn off your phone/TV and pay attention to your food. We need to be in a parasympathetic state to digest properly and it’s important to understand that digestion starts in the brain. Be mindful when you eat. Drink your fluids away from your meals. Too much liquid during your meal will dilute your stomach and slow digestion.

Content Sources:
Kimberly Newman: www.therevivalroom.com
Hyman, Mark, MD. Food, What the Heck Should I Eat? 2018.
Daisy Coyle: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/starchy-vs-non-starchy-vegetables#definition

8 Simple Steps to Start a Daily Meditation Practice

2/11/20  /  Kimberly Newman

In my field, I get asked about meditation a lot. And I’ve often found a lot of people say they don’t meditate because they don’t know how or can’t clear their mind. Others have said they’ve tried and nothing has happened. Oh and then my favorite- they don’t have time.

Let’s clear some things up: if you can pay attention to your breath, you can meditate. You are not suppose to have a clear mind when you meditate, you just simply want to notice the stream and fluctuations of thoughts without attaching. If you do attach, notice that and return to your focal point. Nothing is suppose to “happen”, just continue to notice your thoughts and breath. You prioritize and make time for the things that matter. If you want something badly enough, you make the time.

I was teaching yoga for a few years before I made a choice to make it daily habit. Choice is the keyword there. For a long time I would attempt to meditate, get distracted and then give up. Feeling frustrated and discouraged.

This month marks 5 years. 5 years of meditation without skipping or missing a single day! 5 years of committing to myself to create better daily habits. 5 years of showing up for myself despite what was going on. This included the morning after my dog was tragically hit and killed by a car, days in Haiti breathing in carbon monoxide, days I was running late. Days when I was at meditation retreats and would be meditating many times throughout the day. Days I didn’t feel like it. Each and every day REGARDLESS. That’s over 1,800 days! Sometimes it’s been 3 minutes, others 20. The time isn’t what matters, it’s the dedication and commitment to clear my head before I head out into the world that matters.

What’s helped me and may help you:

  1. Pick a time of day. Morning, noon or night. I’m not a morning person by any means but I find the morning is best for me. I am more awake, less distracted and I love to have a morning routine that sets me up for my day. Plus I know if I don’t do it right away, I keep pushing if off and it won’t get done.
  2. Find a quiet place, free of distractions. If you’re like me, you probably get distracted pretty easy. So I have designated a small space for my practice that has a door I can close and it’s comfortable. This happens to be my home office. I leave my yoga mat and bolster out all the time, so it’s a constant reminder. If that won’t work in your current space, find a corner of a room and get a nice pillow you can sit on. The idea is that it’s comfortable and easy for you to relax.
  3. Choose a length of time that works and set a timer. I started with 3 minutes because that’s what was manageable at the time. On average now I sit for 5-10 minutes. If you struggle to find a length of time that is going to be right for you, some find it simple enough to think of a lucky or favorite number and go with that.
  4. Sit comfortably on the floor or chair. Not on your bed. We associate our beds with sleep, so a chair or floor (with or without a pillow) will work best.
  5. Pick an anchor to focus on. Your breath. Your hands. The sounds around you. Whatever works for you. When your mind drifts into thought, notice it and return to the anchor again and again and again.
  6. Have patience and compassion for yourself and the practice. This one is key to sustaining the practice every day. It will be uncomfortable at first and your mind will race. Trust me, some days are going to be better than others. Some days you will sit there and think the whole time. Other days you will be so focused and in the moment you will surprise yourself. It’s a practice and you are human. Stick with it anyways.
  7. Look into guided meditations. They might be a good fit for you. Insight timer is my favorite. These work great for some people and they have an easier time when someone else is talking them through steps.
  8. Commit to it every day. Regardless. Sit. Breathe. Feel. Over time you will start to notice your thoughts slow down a bit. You will develop a greater awareness of yourself, your reactions and thought patterns. And hopefully you will start to love this little piece of stillness and time with yourself.

Namaste Friends!