Monday, March 24, 2014

It's time that we start eating NAKED!

Seriously, if we all ate naked, we'd live in a much happier world.

I'm sure right now you're thinking I've LOST MY MIND!!

But when I say, "naked," I mean food that is naked - not buried, covered up or disguised. Food that is fresh and nutritious and ... well, naked!

Naked foods have less than 5 ingredients.  The fewer, the better.  The less ingredients, the more of a nutrition powerhouse that food is for YOU (and your family)!  And the less hungry you feel after eating, the better your metabolism operates and the faster you lose body fat.

And now is the perfect time to consider eating naked.  

Summer will be here SOON, and NOW is the time to plan your summer harvest of good nutrition!  

Over the coming 6+ months, there will be no better time to incorporate the freshest ingredients around.   

Fresh produce picked locally (Farm to Farmer's Market to your kitchen) has significantly more flavor and nutrients than food that has been in the food delivery chain for weeks (from Farm to Truck to Manufacturer who bags/labels food to Truck to Wholesale Distributor to Truck to Grocery store to your kitchen).  

The same is true for produce when it is in season. In my mind, asparagus always tastes better in April (in-season) than it does in October. But with food manufacturing and shipping processes we can get most foods year round - regardless of when they are "in season."

Here are 4 ways to ensure you have the foods to eat naked:
  1. Join a CSA, which stands for Consumer Supported Agriculture. For about $500 per season (comes out to about $20 per week), you can get a share of a farm from May-November. Once a week you receive a share of the crop, which is packaged into a box that you pick up. What you get and the amount depends on what's ripe/ready to pick. The best part? You'll be exposed to foods you never would have considered purchasing in the grocery store! To check out local CSA's, go to http://www.localharvest.org/ and type in your zip code.
    Please note: Most CSA's close to new subscribers by the beginning of May - now is the time to get set up!
  2. Get fresh, organic produce delivered directly to your door.   My personal favorite is Green B.E.A.N. Deliver that actually drops amazing organic produce off to your home or business.  I get my delivery every Tuesday at home, and every other week at the studio - http://www.greenbeandelivery.com/cincinnati/
  3. Go to your local farmer's market or roadside stand and check out the beautiful bounty of fresh fruits and veggies.
  4. Grow your own garden.  Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs (and so much more) is so easy to grow. You can harvest a garden right on your back patio or porch in pots! Buy starter plants at a local farmer's market or nursery, heck even Lowe's sells them, instead of seeds, so you can begin to enjoy your fresh food even sooner.  Here's a list of what you can grow (starting NOW) in our region: http://tinyurl.com/cuk65zs
Fresh produce is front and center in the meals my family eats at home.  Just like you, I want to be a role model for healthful eating and nutritious food choices so that my kids grow up to be healthy and strong ... and make their own good choices as adults.

Naked foods-of-choice might be blueberries and strawberries as the BASE of cereal in the morning, topped with some whole grain oatmeal.  Or a fruit smoothies made in a Magic Bullet Blender, or a handful of fresh spinach and other veggies in an egg white omelet or sliced avocados on nearly anything!  We eat a lot of fresh fish prepared simply in the oven or on the grill, and our frig is always stocked with a big variety of fruits and veggies.

Chris Mohr, a registered dietitian and nutrition expert I have introduced to many of you through the years, gives us an easy rule of thumb to use for selecting foods - "the less legs the better!"

Paula Owens, author of The Power of 4, tells us to eat whole, unprocessed foods, preferably organic. Sean Croxton, another well respected nutritionist, adamantly abhors all processed foods. I could go on and on.

The advice is straightforward and the message is simple.  The idea of naked food is just a way to keep us mindful that when we take the best of natural ingredients and cover them with sauce, bury them in layers of fat, salt, sugar and chemicals or process them to death and put them in a bag or a box - we've ruined them. And when we think of produce as a SIDE DISH that we "have to" include with a meal, instead of the base of a meal, we have it backward.  To stay healthy, fit & lean, with boundless vitality, we need to consume NAKED foods for a minimum of 50% of the calories we take in.   

Eating naked is something that EVERYONE can do - in just a few short weeks of eating these power foods, your taste buds actually prefer them over the high fat, highly processed, high sugar, no nourishment food options.  

Take the challenge.  Now is the perfect time.  You will surprise yourself how easy it is for your body to lean out ... and how much natural energy, happiness, and mental clarity you'll have as a result!

Enjoy the upcoming harvest season, for all its bounty and joys ... and enjoy eating naked!

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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