Lindsay Mustard, Holistic Nutritionist and Personal Trainer, helps us shine a light on what ‘Real Food’ is and how to easily incorporate whole food ingredients into your daily life.
As a Nutritionist, I fully believe in whole, fresh foods. I wish I could say that it’s easy to walk into the grocery store nowadays, find a healthy snack and feel fully confident in the item you picked up; but it’s not. The grocery store shelves are flooded with products that are packed with preservatives, artificial flavourings, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils. The furthest ingredients from real foods!
What is ‘Real Food’?
When it comes to food if we say keep it real, we mean make it whole! A whole foods diet is all about eating ingredients in their most natural form; not processed with additives or preservatives. They should be free from refined flour, salt, sugar and all flavourings, colourings and fillers.
Now that we know what we should be avoiding, let’s step back for a second and think about the criteria for what makes a whole food in the first place.
I often encourage my clients and family to ask themselves the following questions when trying to decide between meals at restaurants, snacks on the grocery store shelves or even eating at a potluck/party.
Were the ingredients….
- Picked from the ground?
- Pulled from the ocean?
- Plucked from a bush?
- Harvested from a tree?
In a perfect world, everyone’s plate would include 3-4 servings of low glycemic vegetables (kale, spinach, snap peas, peppers, onions), a healthy serving of fat (½ an avocado, 1 tbsp oil, handful of nuts/seeds) and a protein (plant or animal based). Perfect is impossible and sometimes we’re in a rush. That’s where Hippie Snacks can come to the rescue!
We do our best – we eat our fruits and vegetables, try to sneak in some extra protein here and there, but when we need a whole food based snack in a pinch, we know where to go. Hippie Snacks are brilliantly composed of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, nuts/seeds and whole grains. These snacks will give you the energy boost you need to help you get through your day.
How to easily add Whole Foods to your diet
I love eating using their Cauliflower Ranch Crackers as a base for my Adult Lunchable with hard cheddar cheese, chicken, avocado and tomato sliced on top! When I’m in the mood for something simple, I eat their coconut clusters by the handful (yes, they’re that addictive!). This usually fills me up rather quickly, thanks to the heart healthy fats found in the coconut. Their grain free granola makes the perfect topping for chia seed pudding and smoothie bowls and gives it a bit of crunch without packing on the sugar!
When I’m feeling creative, I love crumbling up the Sea Salt Avocado Crisps and using them as a gluten-free binder in my Spicy Salmon Burgers. I also like to coat my salmon in some crushed up Sesame Coconut Clusters before I bake it in the oven.
Regardless of how much time I have on my hands, I know that I have the perfect blood sugar balancing snack that is free from the “fake foods” and is packed with wholesome nutrition, delicious flavour and energy that will last me for hours!
About the author
Most days you will find Lindsay Mustard tucked away in the corner of a cozy coffee shop filled with twinkle lights typing away on a laptop or with her head in an anatomy textbook. Known for her green smoothie addictions and for eating salads big enough to feed a family of four, this Holistic Nutritionist loves serving the world by teaching others how they can optimize their health and well-being using whole foods, yoga and essential oils.