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Hot Topic Sizzle: Food Tribes.

Vitamin D Anyone? Great for absorbing Iron. Throw it into spinach!

Vitamin D Anyone? Great for absorbing Iron. Throw it into spinach!

I recently read an article that says The National Business Journal is talking about how we have become a nation of ‘food tribes’. So they are talking about people with Allergies, people with Food Restrictions, and people who let ingredients dictate what they eat.

“Nearly 1 in 3 adults is trying to go gluten free; one in 10 millennials is vegetarian or vegan; and as many as 3 million people identify with the “ancestral health movement,” a.k.a. Paleo, recent surveys show”.

I like the way they put that. I think after seeing former President Clinton go vegan, and what that looks like on him, plus close family members do the same, (even though I’m not a millennial), I am inclined to go towards that tribe and eat more vegan meals than not. I’m just not fanatical about it (and I don’t think I ever want to be).

It’s pretty amazing though that …. even though we don’t think about it, there’s plenty of healthy marinades we can create and easily use with veggies, so many spices we can combine (that are not necessarily spicy hot), and so many ways we can prevent vegetables so that they are more pleasing to the eye. And that it is certainly worth giving yourself a day to experiment.

I call it Meatless Monday. I give myself a chance to ‘veg’ out, and see how I feel.

I will say this: there are days I have been given turkey burgers with fries cooked in ‘good oil’ and afterwards? I’m ready for a nap. So that’s a pretty big statement in terms of my energy levels and how food plays with that.

I love to read vegan and vegetarian books. And lately, magazines too. The Vegetarian Times says:

While there is no substitute for restorative sleep, there are some everyday foods that can give you a boost.

1. Fruit  Juicy, sweet, and convenient, fruit is a terrific energy-boosting treat. The natural sugars in fresh fruit provide energy and focus without spiking your blood sugar levels like refined sugar does. Fresh fruit is also full of water to help keep you hydrated and your cells working efficiently.

I have a serious problem with this. Sugar is sugar is sugar. It does spike your blood sugar levels. However I think what they are trying to say here is that the fiber makes it spike less. 

Want to know another trick?

YES CHEF!

Eat a handful of nuts, or a couple of bites of any protein. That reduces that Glycemic spike they are talking about here.

2. Lentils, Greens, and Seeds  Magnesium and folate are two nutrients needed by the body for abundant energy, and both can be found in legumes, nuts, and seeds. Magnesium breaks down glucose (sugar) into energy. Examples of foods rich in this mineral are pumpkin seeds, almonds, and greens. Folate is a natural form of vitamin B6 that helps produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. When levels are low, you’ll feel fatigued. To load up on this vitamin, eat lentils, leafy greens, and beans.

So more greens, lentils and seeds. Sounds good. Unless your body does not play nice with lentils.

3. Fiber A diet high in fiber is so important for sustained energy. Absolutely if farts power you along. lol Fiber for me, is great for healthy bowel movements. Hey! If Dr. Oz can talk about this kind of stuff, then I certainly can too! lol

For one, fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. It also keeps you feeling full for longer. Slowed absorption and longer satiety translate to energy. Fiber is also crucial for a healthy digestive and elimination system—it keeps things moving. Ya see? I’m not making this stuff up! lol 

When things aren’t moving, fatigue, headaches, and discomfort result, and your energy levels decline. Thankfully, a whole-foods, plant-based diet is full of fiber. For an extra boost, try adding chia seeds to smoothies and desserts.

I agree. It’s amazing how chia seeds plump up when you add liquid, and are so easily substituted into a tapioca pudding like dessert.

I started this article asking what ‘tribe’ you are in. I guess at the end of the day, what I am saying is: it’s ok to not be in a tribe, and instead mindfully eat, and pick what your own personal body says “yeah… this works for me” just by noticing how tired or headachey you feel. Every body is different. So let your body be your guide!

Happy Eating,

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