Restorative eating, broadly speaking, is all about using meals to heal and balance your body.
It's wise to practice restorative eating all year long, but it can be especially important to keep it in mind in January, when New Year's resolutions can put too much of the focus on weight loss instead of nutritional value, and when new fitness routines can disrupt our bodies' ability to recover. After the holiday splurge, many people view eating through the lens of restriction. But food can be medicine, too. And it's not difficult to integrate restorative eating into your habits.
These 5 simple keys to restorative eating can have a positive impact on your relationship to food. Resolve to incorporate some or all of them!
1. Enjoy carbs after endurance exercise. Your body burns through glycogen during activities like running or swimming. Afterwards, try to replenish this critical energy source with glucose-rich carbohydrates. Rule of thumb: consume approximately 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of body weight within 30 minutes of your workout.
2. Time your post-workout meal correctly. When you exercise, it's advisable to eat carbs and protein within 45 minutes of completing the workout. Why? Well, waiting too long can significantly delay much-needed glycogen synthesis.
3. Embrace probiotics. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or overcome illness, digestive health keys optimal health. Probiotics, or our body’s friendly bacteria, aid in digestion and help us fight disease, and we can find them in foods such as yogurt, Kefir and soy beverages, and supplements, too.
4. Don’t forget immunity-supporting foods. Vitamin C supports immune health, thanks to its ability to boost white blood cell production. Couple it with other antioxidants such as Vitamins A and E to keep your immune system humming through cold and flu season. Immune supporting foods include: oranges, grapefruit, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, spinach, almonds, and more.
5. Stay hydrated. Whether it’s flu season, recovery from a long workout, or you’re just out for a neighborhood walk, water is essential to good health. The more active you are, the more you need to drink. Experts suggest drinking 16 to 20 ounces before an outdoor workout and six to 12 ounces for every 10 to 15 minutes you are outside exercising. Get a nice water bottle and fill it up multiple times throughout the day. Do this and you’ll feel less bloated, less hungry and your skin will look better.
Your diet shouldn’t be just a matter of calorie counting and avoiding certain foods. It’s important to remember the valuable nutrient-dense offerings that help you feel great and re-energize after a workout or throughout the work day. Restorative eating doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Whether you’re starting a new exercise routine, trying to shed a few pounds, training for an event, or just want to get something right with your eating habits, keep these five eating tips in mind!