Congratulations! If you are reading this article, you are taking the first step to becoming a nutrivore! You are gathering information about how to adapt a real-food, whole-food lifestyle. If you are ready to jump in, then read “The First 30 Days.” If you want to take things a bit slow and just change a few things at a time, I recommend the following:
Step one to becoming a Nutrivore
Swap soda (regular or diet) for plain sparkling water with a squeeze of real lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice. If you don’t like citrus, try a small splash of cranberry or tart cherry juice concentrate. Note: it’s important to use plain sparkling water and add your own real juice. Buying sparkling “water” or “soda” off the store shelves may contain “natural flavors” which are not made from real food or whole food sources.
Step two to becoming a Nutrivore
Eat way more vegetables. Seriously, double or triple the amount you are currently eating and eat the widest variety possible. Choose salads with protein for lunch over sandwiches. Make half your dinner plate salad, another quarter vegetables, and the last quarter protein. A fun challenge is to see how many different varieties of fruits and vegetables you can eat in one week. On average, I eat about 21 different kinds each week, but my goal is to reach 30 per week. Tip: challenge a friend or family member. There is more to choose from than iceberg lettuce, tomato, and onions.
Step three to becoming a Nutrivore
Stop mindless snacking, especially after dinner (unless you have a medical reason not to) and eat three square meals a day—ideally with protein, fruit, and vegetables. If snacking is needed due to a food emergency, then try fruit, a handful of nuts, hard boiled eggs, or beef jerky.
Step four to becoming a Nutrivore
Change your oil (pun intended). Instead of canola, corn, soy, or sunflower, use avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee. Using some canola would be fine if it was organic and non-GMO. However, the best choice is olive oil. The reason behind this statement is more involved than what I can write here. The bottom line is that we get way too much omega-6 from potentially rancid and chemically-refined oils and animal fats, and switching to the recommended oils is a step in the right direction. For more on this topic, read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Note: it’s very difficult to find snack food without canola, corn, soy, or sunflower oils—but that’s okay, you’ve already given those up in the step above!
Step five to becoming a Nutrivore
Begin trading bread or pasta for whole-food, real-food options. For example, instead of pasta, use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles; instead of a hamburger bun, use a lettuce bun; instead of pancakes, make zucchini pancakes or potato pancakes. To start, make these changes once a week to give you and your family time to transition and to find the recipes that taste great and are satisfying. Then switch to twice a week. Keep trading bread and pasta for whole-food, real-food options until you’ve reached an 80%-20% ratio.
Step six to becoming a Nutrivore
Cut back on dairy and choose high-quality dairy when you do eat it. You don’t need cheese and dairy with every meal. Like you did with the bread-and-pasta step above, try going a day without dairy to start.
Once you have accomplished these steps, know that you are more than half-way to becoming a nutrivore. How do you feel? I hope you are proud of your progress because you are eating healthier than most people at this point. You are taking in more vitamins and nutrients. You are feeding your gut microbiome with all those fruits and veggies.
If you want to find out even more about your relationship with food, it’s time to consider a 30-Day Challenge.