Veggies and Chocolate
Welcome to the Nutrition Works NY, LLC blog! It was about time for one of these.
You may have found me through my Instagram account, @veggiesandchocolate (and if you didn't – shameless plug to check out my Instagram account). Veggies and chocolate isn't just a cute name I decided on for my social media. Veggies and chocolate happen to be my two favorite foods in the world (in case you're curious, the two foods I could absolutely never live without are warm chocolate chip cookies and crispy roasted Brussels sprouts)… but that’s also not the reason for the name of my social media. Veggies and chocolate are more than my two favorite foods – they’re my entire nutrition philosophy.
I firmly believe that nutrition should be as simple as possible. It’s something that you’ll hear me say frequently – whether you’re a client, you read this blog, or you follow me on social media. If there’s only one concept I could teach you about nutrition that would stick and stay with you, it would be veggies and chocolate.
Let’s start with the veggies. Vegetables are, hands down, the most important foods we can eat. I don’t normally make such hyperboles, but feel pretty comfortable making that one. We all know veggies are good for us. Here’s a rundown of why.
Different vegetables contain different micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. By eating a balanced diet composed of different vegetables, we can likely provide our bodies with all the required micronutrients that it needs. No supplements, no multivitamins, no gimmicks – just a rainbow of veggies will do the trick.
Vegetables are full of fiber, which is also super important. Fiber helps us feel full when we eat and helps keep us full throughout the day. It helps our digestive tract function and helps our bowel movements stay regular (sorry, had to go there). A plate full of vegetables = a plate full of belly-filling fiber, which means that these colorful produce are not only giving your body the micronutrients it needs, but also helping you to feel full and satisfied.
Veggies are pretty low in calories. Because of this, you can eat a lot of volume (read: a ton of food) for very few calories. Picture this: you can have 2 large cups of broccoli for only about 50 calories. On the other hand, that same 2 cups of rice will run you about 600 calories. (Note: I amnot saying you shouldn’t eat rice – only giving you an easy reference). That means you can have a ton of food with plenty of nutrients to support your body’s functions, plus a ton of fiber to help you feel full, and all for very few calories. In terms of staying healthy, losing or maintaining your weight, and all without feeling like you’re on a diet or can’t eat a lot – eating a ton of vegetables is a total win.
Now, the chocolate. In contrast, chocolate is the other item I consider an absolute must in your sustainable lifestyle. Note that chocolate is a metaphor for whatever your favorite, more indulgent, food might be. I personally have the biggest sweet tooth utterly possible, but your “chocolate” might be French fries, pizza, steak, you name it. Keep that in mind whenever I mention chocolate.
Allowing chocolate is not only important, but it’s also actually crucial to maintaining a healthy body weight and healthy relationship with food. Any time we restrict or deny ourselves any food, it might work for a little. But eventually at some point, we start to crave that food so much that we literally can’t resist it at all. Not allowing the food puts it on a total pedestal, which makes the temptation to eat that food that much bigger. So then, not only do we end up eating the food we weren’t allowing, but we also end up over eating it, and maybe even feeling guilty about it too. It’s a viscous cycle, and one I work tirelessly with my clients to help end.
Allowing chocolate is not only important, but it's also actually crucial to maintaining a healthy body weight and healthy relationship with food.
Let yourself have your chocolate – every day, every week, however often you need. By making it an acceptable part of your diet, you allow yourself all foods in order to keep your diet sustainable in the long run. And, just knowing that you’re allowed to eat your chocolate when you want it also helps to keep the portion size under control, because you know you can always have it again soon if you really want it.
So, what’s your “chocolate?!" Comment below - I'd love to hear from you!