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If you're seeking a reset, you might find yourself sifting through a flurry of new rules, guidelines, and "never" lists. But what if you changed your relationship to change and stopped creating guardrails? What if you instead, showered your body with nourishment, pleasure, and moments of joy, to ultimately shed what no longer serves you?
A better plan is to create a path that leads you to body love and self reverence. We know that our formula for radical nourishment lays the foundation for achieving your deepest goals and most audacious desires. So, are you ready for a deep, full-body transformation? No rules, just north stars. Here is your roadmap.
Quit Counting Calories
Let this summer, finally (finally!) be the season you stop counting calories as a means to find your ideal weight. Calories are simply a measurement of thermodynamic energy in a lab, whereas your body is a living, breathing machine with vastly more variables at play to determine your body composition. More importantly, calories do not give context to the nutritional value of a food, which is ultimately more telling as to how the food will support your hormones (namely, insulin) and stave off disease and inflammation. While you’re at it, try to give up the notion that deprivation and restriction are the building blocks to forging the body you want. Instead, make pleasure your first priority, and ask yourself if the food to your lips brings you joy. Choosing the joy factor over stress will time and again, heal your gut—which responds adversely to stress—and bring your body into the equilibrium you crave.
While your headspace is free from calorie-counting, add up something else instead—the colors on your plate. A technicolor diet is more than just eye candy; each hue provides a range of phytonutrients and antioxidants, giving your body access to more than 10,000 bioactive compounds that act as messengers to your cells. The more diverse your plant-rich diet, the vast array of microbes will populate your gut ecosystem; this has an effect on everything from your immune response to the way your body absorbs calories—all the more reason to ditch the tired numbers game.
True, honest-to-goodness vitality isn’t just physical health.
True, honest-to-goodness vitality isn’t just physical health.
Build On Your Natural Beauty
Among the phytonutrients, polyphenols, and healing plant compounds, make sure you look out especially for sulfur. You can find it in cruciferous veggies, alliums (like garlic and onions), nettle tea, Beauty Water Drops, and raw milk. This under-the-radar mineral is vital in building keratin and collagen, making it a tool for lustrous hair, skin, and nails. Sulfur is also the precursor to the body’s master antioxidant, glutathione, a free-radical fighter that also strengthens cell permeability and rids the body of metabolic and cellular waste.
Say Yes to Fat
If building a better brain is on your resolution shortlist—that is, creating more constructive thought patterns, learning new skills, improving your memory, and beating brain fog—then make fat your friend. Despite its bad reputation in the ‘90s, healthy fatty acids are integral in supporting cognitive function, making them a priority plant compound to beat depression according to psychiatrist, author, and farmer Dr. Drew Ramsey. One of fat’s superpowers is that it supports the brain’s ability to make BDNF, a master hormone that encourages neuroplasticity. This creates new synapses and helps create healthy brain aging.
OK, this is slightly shocking—embrace carbohydrates. While the latest diet dogma spouts the evils of sugar and carbs, it’s important to discern the truth. Glucose is brain fuel, after all. Whole plants, composed of carbohydrates, are also fraught with the key component to system-wide detoxifying and ensuring optimum elimination: fiber. Getting enough prebiotic fiber (a day of Sakara meals squeezes in four times the national average) provides your body with short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SFCAs reverse and heal intestinal wall issues, reduce inflammatory microbes and parasites, and cross the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain from circulating pathogens. Fiber also slows down the digestion process, gastric emptying, and what is known as postprandial blood glucose response; this slowdown improves glucose metabolism, leaving you satiated longer and avoiding “empty” snacking—craving simple, refined carbs—altogether. Some ways to incorporate fiber and forgo bland, dehydrating fiber crackers include getting 4-6 cups of leafy greens, seeking plant protein like beans and lentils, and adding a diverse-strained probiotic to bolster your microbiome.
Hydrate at the Cellular Level
While you’re introducing an abundance of fiber to the body, your system might require extra hydration to balance and avoid bloat and discomfort. Instead of drinking copious amounts of water, eat foods that contain 80 percent water—this powerful beauty secret helps to support the colon, decrease inflammation, and alkalize to tame skin issues like acne and rosacea. Plus, these foods are rife with vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamines to support the integrity of the cell membranes, which preserve collagen and connective tissues.
Tune In To Your Body
True, honest-to-goodness vitality isn’t just physical health. It’s power. It’s freedom. It’s channeling what you want and making it happen because you feel grounded and good in your body. The challenge is that the noise of over processed, chemical-laden foodstuff has become the norm, which hinders us from accessing this powerful tool called body intelligence. It’s a quiet intuition that allows you to relinquish rules and “shoulds” when it comes to nourishing your body, and instead gain the clarity to become your own health expert, and feed yourself what you need, on a physical, mental, and soul level. One tangible lever to access body intelligence is to choose the highest quality and organic whenever possible. Conventional agricultural practices deplete the soil of nutrients, and instead inject the planet with synthetics and herbicides. These toxins can disrupt our immune response and hormonal cascade—and as the glandular system largely runs our internal world, keeping them juicy, clear, and strong is a priority.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF TRANSFORMATIVE NUTRITION:
Your Everything Guide to Sulfur
Heal Your Relationship with Carbs
By Hannah Shanken • May 10, 2021
Photographer: Lianna Tarantin