As a Nutritionist, I aim to get a balance of high quality foods that support my goals and make me feel great every single day. Thankfully, nutrient dense foods are also packed with flavor and make for some delicious meals! 😋
Let's dive into the list.
Greek Yogurt is an incredible source of high quality protein. Just one cup of Greek Yogurt has a whopping 20 grams of complete protein. Protein is essential for achieving a body recomposition goal (which is where you lose body fat while maintaining muscle mass).(1) It's also the most important food for preventing hunger and sugar cravings later in the day.
I like to add 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt paired with 1/2 serving of my zero sugar protein powder to one of my smoothies, like in THIS classic Strawberry Smoothie.
Chia seeds are packed with fiber and fat, which work alongside protein to help boost satiety and prevent cravings. Edible basil seeds also have similar benefits, so you can feel free to swap those in for any recipe that calls for chia seeds.
I typically add 1-2 Tbsp. chia seeds in my daily smoothie.
Salt and the sodium that's in salt is crucial for sending messages from your brain to the rest of your body. In fact, low levels of salt can cause a range of symptoms such as constipation, low energy levels, headaches and muscle fatigue.
I like to use about 1/4 tsp. salt in my water after a workout. Typically, I opt for either Celtic Sea Salt or Redmonds Real Salt. However, I also like using LMNT electrolytes for added flavor without any sugar.
You can test out LMNT electrolytes HERE.
Did you know that coffee is likely the richest source of antioxidants in your day? Even if you eat high quality, farmers market fresh fruits and veggies, your daily cup of coffee still is loaded with even more antioxidants. Coffee has also been found to reduce fat accumulation around the liver and reduce the risk of cirrhosis (a very serious liver disease). (2,3)
But I don't use just any coffee. For the last 5 years I have only used Organic Purity Coffee which has been lab tasted for mold and mold toxins and optimized for antioxidants. I've found Purity Coffee doesn't cause spikes in my anxiety levels (likely due to the lack of mold toxins and optimized antioxidants), so I never stray from it.
You can get 20% off your order of Organic Purity Coffee when you use code AUTUMN at checkout! Head over HERE to test it out!
Even with the recent rise in prices, eggs are still some of the cheapest and highest quality proteins you can find. Eggs are also incredibly rich in nutrients such as choline (very important for brain and liver health) and vitamin K2 (essential for heart and bone health). Studies comparing egg breakfasts to cereal or bagels also found that eggs are much more satiating and result in a naturally lower intake at lunch... and these satiating effects last for up to 36 hours after eating eggs! (4)
I like to have 3 hard boiled or scrambled eggs per day at lunch.
Ginger helps to naturally stimulate the gut cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). This helps to promote gut health and prevent bloating by flushing out left behind food and bacteria from the GI tract. In the past, I really struggled with severe bloating and have found incredible relief by combining Intermittent Fasting (with my Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle) and ginger tea.
Currently, I'm having one cup of freshly brewed ginger tea after dinner.
Ground Beef or Chicken
Every night for dinner I typically have either grass-fed ground beef or pasture raised chicken. Both of these proteins are very high DIAAS, which is a measure of protein digestibility. This means both beef and chicken are easily absorbed and used as protein in the body. I personally tend to prefer ground beef over chicken because it's naturally high in selenium, which is important for liver detoxification and antioxidant production.
Whey Protein Isolate
I recently developed my own zero sugar whey protein isolate that's naturally sweetened with monk fruit extract. I use 1-2 scoops everyday to help boost my daily protein intake and maintain my body composition.
Plus, my zero sugar chocolate protein powder makes a DELICIOUS hot chocolate!
Try out my zero sugar hot chocolate recipe HERE.
Cheese is naturally low in lactose, making it a great option for those who are lactose intolerant. It's also high in protein and satiating fat to help prevent sugar cravings. And just like Greek Yogurt, cheese is rich in bone and heart healthy vitamin K2 and calcium. Plus, pretty much *everything* tastes better with cheese.
In my opinion, the stinkier the cheese, the better 😉 But some of my favorites are sharp cheddar, parmesan, manchego, blue cheese and feta.
I like to add 1 oz. cheese on my salads, tacos, scrambled eggs and cauliflower rice burrito bowls.
Low Sugar Fruit
Everyday I choose 1-2 low sugar fruits to have in my smoothie, Greek Yogurt bowl or cottage cheese bowls. Given my history of anxiety, I like to stick to low sugar fruits to help stabilize my blood sugar levels. More variable blood sugar levels from eating higher amounts of sugar tend to spike my anxiety levels (typically as blood glucose starts to fall). I've also found that I experience less breakouts and have more clear skin when I opt for low sugar fruits.
Some of my favorite low sugar fruits include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, lemon, lime, blueberries and apricot. Although, I also include some higher sugar fruits (such as pineapple and banana) in smaller serving sizes - usually around 1/2 banana or 1/2 cup pineapple.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition