If you’ve just finished reading part one of this post , you now have a basic understanding around the importance of proper nutrition as the single most effective choice you can make for your health today. So, in terms of how this translates into your daily routine, it’s important to grasp the concept of both progression and addition. Progression, in terms of proper nutrition essentially means the slow, step by step shift toward healthier whole food choices while simultaneously moving away from less nutrient dense foods. Addition, in terms of proper nutrition refers to the slow, step by step introduction and addition of healthier foods, but not having to necessarily immediately eliminate your regular “poor” food choices.
Implementing the concept of progression into proper nutrition as being the single most effective choice you can make for your health today, is actually quite easy to do. When it comes to nutrition, this simply means setting realistic, attainable, easily achievable goals. So, for example, if you’re currently only eating good ol’ nutrient deficient white bread, adding the theory of progression may mean you replace it with a multi grain bread, to start, maybe 50% of the time. Slowly, over time, as multi grain bread becomes more of a habit, you then continue to remove the white bread more and more often. For those who already rate themselves at the upper echelon of a healthy diet, progression in this sense may mean experimenting with a green vegetable that is not as commonplace in your current diet (such as collard greens or dandelion), and slowly increasing the opportunity and creativity of adding these in more often throughout your weekly meals.
Many of my patients are often concerned that I am going to flip their current diet upside down. I understand how engrained relationships with food are within our society and ourselves, so I would never attempt to even entertain making such a major and unrealistic upheaval. This is where the concept of addition comes into play. By using the approach of addition to proper nutrition, I simply advocate and guide patients to add in a healthy food rather than take out an unhealthy one. So, for example, if you regularly consume take out burgers as a go to for lunch, rather than trying to force yourself to avoid this practice (which often wouldn’t last long term until you’re truly ready to make the change), consider adding in a salad with that burger or, at minimum, commit to cooking a vegetable later in the evening for dinner. This, folks, is all about learning balance; for every health disruptive decision you make in your diet, balance it with a health promoting choice to at least return yourself to ‘neutral’ so-to-speak. In time, the more healthy food you slowly add in, you’ll find less room for foods that aren’t necessarily as beneficial for your health.
When it comes to proper nutrition, it really is a lifelong journey. But as the adage goes, it’s about baby steps, and in order to get the ball rolling, it’s the first step that’ll get you going. When it comes to proper nutrition as the single most effective choice you can make for your health today, if you have questions, I’m also only one step away.
Dr Jeremy Hayman, ND helps patients at Cornerstone Naturopathic Inc. feel better, live better, and achieve optimal wellness and health. Years of patient care coupled with dedication to personal life balance has helped Dr Jeremy employ the adage that “your approach to health should be simple”.