Nutrient density in most precise terms means that a food will contain a high level of micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) relative to its specific amount of calories per serving. The concept is discussed at length in the book by Joel Fuhrman called Eat to Live. The author suggests a diet rich in nutrients leaving out substances that in his view pose great risk factors for disease, utilizing whole natural foods in specified quantities, focusing on especially fresh fruits and vegetables with high levels of fiber overall from these as well as beans, raw nuts, seeds, a small amount of tofu or other soy, a very small daily intake of fats from oils and the like, and as little possible animal products (he says if one does not wish to completely abstain, then they can be included at certain intervals but not every day; the book is not specifically about veganism).
This is the foundation of my approach to how I try to eat when I eat at my best. So far, I haven’t done it long enough or with the best vigilance to obtain the results I would like. Something holds me back, probably lack of drive or emotional ties to certain foods. Some foods are just related to emotion, and yes, pleasure in eating has a place in healthy nutrition. In fact, I enjoy whole, natural foods very much. I just tend to fall back on some types of foods more than even a little bit. I tend to go overboard and not come back to center for a long time. This has been an obstacle.
When I eat the way I want to ideally eat, I feel so much better at the end of the day. Today I did it for the most part, and I’ve been on track since last night at dinner time. I love it. I don’t feel any cravings at the ends of the day. I don’t feel the need to overeat. I feel satisfied. I feel like I’m doing something good for myself. It’s a great way to break food addictions and emotional ties to unhealthy eating habits, at least for me. It’s also an overall lifestyle choice that I would prefer.
It doesn’t have to be boring when I get creative. Lots of times I am just inclined to keep things simple, like today I had a tofu scramble with lots of veggies that I shared with my husband while he was over. I blanched some green beans that had been cut into small pieces and sliced lengthwise along with some chopped white button mushrooms. I cooked baby spinach with heirloom tomatoes in the skillet with some scrambled tofu that had been seasoned with low sodium soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, paprika, Mrs. Dash herb/onion blend, maybe something else I forget. It was cooked in olive oil, just a small amount. I threw the blanched vegetables in just for a small amount. The blanching gave the green beans a bright color. They are not cooked until the life is completely out of them.
I had a smoothie for lunch (mentioned in the Food Clues section). For dinner, I had some lentils with some more vegetables. I still have more. It’s extremely filling, and I can’t eat much more today.
I didn’t have any snacks nor feel the need.
I feel clean and fresh when I eat this way. I don’t feel weighed down. It feels good to get the nutrition my body needs, provide it with the best possible fuel of fresh food the way Mother Nature has already packed it for us.
I’m not completely giving up some things that I love — pasta, potatoes. I’m just having more variety. I’m going to practice moderation with the starches. They are not off limits (just had in moderation), and really there don’t need to be off limits foods necessarily. I choose a vegetarian, mostly vegan diet out of other reasons that I feel deeply about besides nutrition.
I am happy about this. I really am. There are other areas of my life in limbo, but this is one that I can control. It’s also one that will improve certain other areas of my life in the process, my health in terms of all areas — mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological — everything. It’s all a part of me, and it all needs attention. I can’t neglect anything or the whole thing falls apart.
- Dietary Fiber and Nutrient Density Are Inversely Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome in US Adolescents (dynamomelano.wordpress.com)
- Avocado Nutrition Facts & Label (avocadocentral.com)
- How do you get your Veggies? (georgefebish.wordpress.com)