*this blog was inspired by my good friend Jane Smith

As I keep moving closer and closer to nutrition excellence, I am constantly re-enforcing for myself and others..."eat for health" and I am constantly encouraging myself and others to think about "what should I be eating?" rather than "what should I cut out?".  Along those same lines...Here is a quote to ponder..."Is it good enough for me?"

This can mean many different things to many different people AND it can mean many different things to only one person.  It depends on the situation, occasion, and/or atmosphere.  In most cases, for me and hopefully many others, a food is "good enough" if it is nutrient dense, meaning it provides a lot of micro-nutrients with a moderate amount of calories, and it goes above and beyond providing simple vitamins and minerals, it also provides phytochemicals and/or essential fatty acids that play a large role in my body in terms of anti-oxidant and/or anti-inflammatory power.  I like to dig deeper into food and go beyond basic nutrition, beyond calories, fat, protein, and carbs!  This is how I decide if a food is "good enough" for me most of the time!  BUT, what about the richer, less nutrient dense, higher calorie foods in life?  Of course I eat them, just not all the time!  I do encourage people to take "breaks" from their day to day nutrition plan, especially if they are very strict with it, and I encourage them to make the break "worth it".  So, how do I decide if those types of foods are "good enough" for me and are "worth it"?  Here is what I ask myself...
  • Did I take the time to create and/or plan out my break? 
  • If making it myself, did I pick some nutrient dense ingredients as well as some less nutrient dense, higher calorie ingredients that I truly enjoy?
  • Did someone go out of their way to make a treat for me?
  • Will I truly enjoy it and experience minimal dis-satisfaction and guilt afterwards?
  • Will it possibly help me perform better the next day and/or contribute to a long term goal?
Also, if a food is not good enough for me, I like to come up with ways to make it good enough, in most situations!
For instance, instead of buying a light single serving yogurt with artificial sweetners, I like to buy a large tub of organic, plain, low-fat yogurt (or make my own!) and mix it with either raisins or blueberries, toasted walnuts, cinnamon, and local honey.  that boosts the power and gets rid of the artificial sweetner and tastes so much better!  Instead of getting an over-priced smoothie at a store, I like to make my own by blending 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup each frozen blueberries and strawberries, 1/2 cup dark juice (grape, acai, pom), 1 scoop whey protein powder, and either 1/2 cup yogurt or 1-2oz of tofu.
Also, instead of going out all the time for my "breaks", I like to create a richer meal for myself and my husband at home!  I almost always enjoy my meals at home more than when I go out.  Instead of a heavy pasta alfredo at a chain restaurant, try making a risotto at home with fresh veggies, good arborio rice, chicken stock, and some cream or mascarpone cheese.  Risotto is actually a very simple process, it just takes a little time!  Just have a glass of wine while ya cook!!!   Instead of getting fast food fries, make some at home using a whole potato, with the skin on, cut it into strips or chunks, coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at a high temp for 30-40 minutes and serve with some sweet organic ketchup.  instead of ordering a cheap pizza, make your own dough (remember my video on this!) and top with some up-scale ingredients like sweet sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil OR goat cheese, prosciutto, and fresh figs or pineapple.  these types of foods are good enough for me! 
also, when you are at a party or even at work in the break room where someone is always bringing in sweet snack foods, attempt to only eat the foods that are "worthy"  think about the ingredients, think about what they will do for your body and mind, think about what flavors you truly enjoy.  think about who made it. 

If you start putting a little more effort into choosing foods and ingredients and decide what is "good enough" for YOU, it will help you....
  • have a better connection with food
  • have better control over your relationship with food
  • have a deeper appreciation for where some of your food comes from
  • have a better understanding of what food is really supposed to do for your body and mind
  • experience more enjoyment and less guilt for some higher calorie foods and ingredients and a better understanding that those foods and ingredients can and should be included and appreciated occasionally! 
What is good enough for you?