Today being (American) Thanksgiving, we thought it was fitting to talk FOOD and share our 12 PRINCIPLES of health and nutrition. The Seacret Life is not about diet and deprivation. This lifestyle is all about vitality - living your best life. And actually enjoying your food! The focus is on eating fresh and seasonal and nutrient dense foods that give you the most nutritional bang for your buck and supercharge your day (and night).
Density vs. Calorie Counting
You’ve been trained by weight loss programs and outdated nutritionists that a “calorie is a calorie”, so meticulously counting your calories should equate to a leaner, healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, the “numbers are not just the numbers”. Calories and Nutrients have two separate definitions, and within the body, they have very unique functions and benefits. Think about this way, would you feel that a 200 calorie candy bar filled with sugar, fat, and more sugar has the same health benefit than a 200 calorie salad filled with hundreds of vitamins and minerals? To be the healthiest, you’ve got to think of how many nutrients can be contained in a certain amount of calories, the more nutrients you can put into a set amount of calories, the healthier you will be. Now I’m not saying that calories are not important. They sure are, especially when you get your calculations wrong. If you start eating calories that do not have the nutrients your body needs, your body will continue to be hungry and starving for health. The more of these “empty” calories you eat, filled with useless nutrition, the more your body will have to process and use. The problem is, you can only use so many calories, so what calories that don’t get used, start to get stored.
The SEACRET to living a healthy, vibrant, energy filled lifestyle is to focus not on how many calories you’re eating (or not), but how nutrient dense the calories are in your day.
Top Nutrient Dense Foods: Kale, Avocados, Salmon, Garlic, Blueberries, Black Beans, Seaweed
Major In Plants Minor In Everything Else
Focus on vegetable-based nutrition is seriously a fountain of youth. This doesn’t mean you have to eat only plant based nutrition, you can still enjoy meats, but the key is to use meats and some grains (even though grains are plants) as more “condiments” rather than main dishes. Plant based nutrition is choosing mostly vegetables, moderate amounts of beans and nuts, and cautious handfuls of whole grains and fruits. The power of the plant compares to no other. Plants are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, all the building blocks your body needs to efficiently and effectively produce the reactions in your body to perform at a high level.
The SEACRET to majoring in plants is making sure that at least 60% of your plate is filled with vegetables, 20% in other plant based foods (i.e. nuts, fruits, healthy grains), then the last 20% in meats, preferably those from the sea!
Peel and All – Whole Food Nutrition
When nature made you your food, it didn’t want you to pick it apart. Processing, extracting, juicing, peeling, all those distortions of nature’s initial intent either degrade the wholesome incredible benefits of the foods you’re eating or remove some of the vital nutrients that create the careful symphony of health of the food. The vitamins, minerals, phyto (plant based) nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes are delicately preserved in a perfect ratio to provide optimal health and wellness. Think of fruit. One of the foods that have been processed, I’m sure with good intentions, into a nutritional disaster. “Natural” Apple, Grape, Orange juices with vitamins, minerals, and LOADED with sugars has become healthy alternatives to sodas and other drinks. However, although more healthy than soda, the removal of the valuable fibers, pectins, enzymes (through processing), has created an alternative that pales in comparison to the value of the actual consumption of the fruit, peel and all! Nutrients from the whole, raw food, have valuable holistic effects that allow all the nutrients t work together more effectively. Nutrients are influenced by other nutrients and components in the food, it’s not always just about the “active” ingredient (i.e Vitamin C in Oranges), the active is not working solo, it must be complimented and enhanced by the other components in the food.
The SEACRET to Whole Food Nutrition is to keep your foods looking the same way going into your mouth as when you picked from the tree, ground, sea as you can.
Go Fishing For Your Protein
Your muscles, skin, organs, bones, hormones, just about everything vital to your existence needs protein, so consumption of this essential nutrient is a must. There are many sources, from beans to cows, but one of the more valuable and nutrient dense sources of protein is found in the sea. Fish and other sea based proteins are nutrient dense and calorie loose or low. They contain high amounts of healthy fats, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids, or good fats, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They also contain specific nutrients which are typically deficient in our diets such as vitamin D, B2 (riboflavin), calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Unlike other animal based sources of protein such as chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, fish retains much of its nutrients when cooked and less carcinogens are produced when cooked at higher temperatures. In addition, sea based protein such as fish and shellfish have various sources of healthy fat that aid in everything from heart health, vascular cleansing and detoxifying, and joint benefits.
The SEACRET to picking protein is to choose wild (not farm raised) fish sources that are rich in Omega-3 like Salmon, Halibut, Tuna, and Cod.
What makes our food so colorful is also the same nutrients that make them so healthy. The greens, yellows, purples, reds, whites, and oranges, and every shade in between, are the colorful flags of an important class of nutrients called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are thousands of bioactive plant compounds that help protect plants from the environment and contribute to the rich and different hues of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices. They have huge amounts of health promoting benefits: they are high intensity antioxidants, become catalysts for metabolic reactions, and give life beneficial nutrients to our organs and systems. Each color represents a different set of phytonutrients, therefore it’s critical to have the most colorful plate you can at each meal. Blue/Purple represent anthocynanins, which are powerful antioxidants, Orange/Yellow colors mean they are rich in beta-carotene, Red has Lycopene, Green and shades of yellow have lutein, while Green and White contain chlorophyll to bind toxins and provide protective effects.
The SEACRET to seeing life as colorfully and vibrant as it is, is to have at least 4 different colors of plant based foods sources to give you the confidence you’re getting all the protection and health you need.
Eating what you want, when you want it, has become so much part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when you could only eat Broccoli in October and Blueberries in July. But with the growth of supermarkets and fancy (un-natural) techniques of preservation and growth, you can pretty much get any fruit or vegetable year round. But what we gain in choice and convenience we lose in health benefits, nature creates the perfect conditions for foods to be grown and we shouldn’t be messing with nature. Non-seasonal foods need to be preserved, so often times, they are filled with pesticides, waxes, preservatives, and other chemicals. Remember, when plant based foods are not in season they are not going to look as fresh, vibrant, or appetizing, well, that’s bad business. Therefore chemicals usually have to be pumped into them to make them look like they would be…in season! Consuming foods that are harvested in certain times of the year allow your body to go through the natural cleansing, protective, and building cycles and processes needed for optimal health. Having naturally warming foods in the winter help to nourish our body’s to heal and protect us from the stressful elements of cold. In the summer, our body’s began to shift to more of a cleansing and cooling process, and certain foods help to move this process along. Eating seasonally allows you to save money, consumer foods at the height of their nutrient density and taste, create natural variety in your diet, and work with your own bodies rhythms.
The SEACRET to be creating an optimal dietary lifestyle by saving you money, eating foods at the height of their nutrient density and taste, creating natural variety in your diet, and being synergistic to your body’s own natural rhythms is to eat seasonally.
Winter: Acorn Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Oranges
Spring: Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Arugula, Green Beans, Spinach, Mangoes, Pineapple, Strawberries, Limes
Summer: Beets, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Radishes, Tomatoes, Peas, Cherries, Grapes, Berries
Autumn: Mushrooms, Pumpkins, Peppers, Squash, Artichokes, Leeks, Pears, Cranberries
One SuperFood Per Day
Every month, Savor – Seacret’s Nutritional “S” – will feature various foods that will keep you fit, energetic, and ready for maximum performance. The foods chosen will embody the core philosophies of what Seacret believes as good nutrition. Containing specific nutrients that are essential for our body’s and understanding the deficiencies and stresses our lifestyles, the Seacret SuperFoods are a must to consume every day. Healthy nutrition is not about being perfect all of the time, but it is being as well as you can be when you have the right information, access, and support.
The SEACRET to One SuperFood Per Day will keep you moving forward in the right direction and realizing that to achieve your goals, it just takes ONE step forward than the day before.
Tapered Nutrition – Big Mornings Light Nights
Taking advantage in natural fluctuations in the body’s metabolic cycle through the timing of foods you eat and how much can make dramatic impacts on your health. Research has shown that the body’s ability to make use of certain foods, especially carbohydrate and sugars, fluctuates throughout the day, in tune with the body’s own clock. If you start to disturb this clock, these natural processes of the body, you can create trauma and weight gain in the body. Your biological clock controls your metabolism, so the way in which we metabolize foods during the day and night is different. During the day, you’ll have a higher metabolism due to activity and stresses which can utilize calories better than during the day or even early morning. Keeping your meals light and simple in the morning and night, while having most of your nutrition in the middle of the day can keep you in synch with the natural rhythms of the body and offer the best utilization of nutrition.
The SEACRET is to highlight lunch! Keep your breakfast filled with healthy proteins and fats, balancing lunch with protein, carbs, and fats, and then keeping you light as your dreams at night with veggies and protein.
Fasting for weeks is not “friendly”, but intermittent fasting (IF) is not only friendly but very healthy. IF is defined as going for extended, 12 to 36 hrs, without food. Funny thing is, we IF pretty much every day, we call it sleeping! Every day, you’ll keep from taking in any nutrition while your body functions at full capacity for around 8-12 hrs, depending on how long you sleep. Let’s remember, this isn’t starvation, after the first few times of IF, you should have just as much energy as when you’re consuming nutrition. The body takes a bit to get used to IF, but once it does, it’s a great way for your body to use excess calories from stored fat, strengthening the potency of hormones like human growth hormone, insulin, and ghrelin. These hormones are critical for your body to maintain and normalize weight, so the stronger they are, the easier it will be for you to stay at the right body composition.
The SEACRET to Friendly Fasting is to fast at least once per week for 12 to 36 hrs, start by choosing an 18hr period, choose a couple days during the week, where you can stop eating by 6pm and not start back up again till 12:00pm (noon) the next day.
Dead Sea Salt
Unfortunately another food myth has seeped into our dietary habits and become truth for some, that salt is bad for you. However, we shouldn’t say this is a completely untruth, salt that is processed (the white table salt) and the sodium found in processed food is definitely unhealthy. However, the natural salts found in nature, like the Dead Sea, which are loaded with essential minerals are incredibly beneficial to the body and often times therapeutic. The health of foods is directly determined by how the body not only responds to it but also how easily it is absorbed. The preparation of sea salt has very little processing, unlike the bleaching, iodizing, diluting, or refined table salt. This minimal processing allows for the salt to retain its moisture and mineral content, which allow it to be quickly used by the body and metabolized. Sea salts contain over 60 unique minerals in their natural matrix, so they are in perfect ratio to allow for hydration and enzymatic balance. These salts actually enhance our digestive enzymes which allow our body’s to absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat.
The SEACRET is to use salt to taste, using the right type of salt will allow for better digestion of nutrition, proper hydration balance, and a great tasting healthy meal!
Hydrate Like The Sea
We all understand the importance of hydration from a logical level, dehydration is not a pretty sight for the skin or the eyes. But one of the missed points of hydration is how it helps you to take a load off your internal organs and systems, which is vital if you want to live a long and high quality life. Anything you can do to give your systems a break or some support will only keep them running longer and more powerfully. One of the most vital functions of hydration is to keep your body in a constant state of detoxification and cleansing. Your body never gets a break, in Day or Night, so there waste is constantly being produced and needs to be flushed out. Keeping yourself hydrated will keep the intestines “moving” and takes a load off the detoxification organs of the body, the kidneys, liver, and spleen. Everything from headaches to joint pain to energy can be remedied through proper hydration.
The SEACRET to hydration is to drink at least 8ounces of water every 2hrs, room temperature water is best, and in the morning, flush your systems with at least 16-24 ounces of water upon waking up.
Not A Diet But A LIFEstyle
It’s easy to see why dieting has never lost its luster. Who wouldn’t want a quick fix to a long term problem? Quick fixes are naturally more attractive than long term, patient, not necessarily going to see the results immediately, effortful strategies. We often think of our life as sprints, sprinting from one project to another, one day to the next, and from one goal to another. But sprinting can be hard and tiring, and if your goal is long and lifetime, you’ll most probably run out of steam well before the end. You can’t “do” healthy, you must “be” it, it has to become part of your life, your daily routine, your LIFE. While most people will tell you that nothing should consume you, Seacret has a different idea, you should be consumed…by the health of you, the energy of you, the belief in you.
The SEACRET to a LIFEstyle is to have it directed towards the betterment of you at all times, where the health of your mind, body, spirit, is all consuming.
DISCLAIMER: The information is not intending to treat, cure, prevent any type of disease or illness. This information is for educational purposes only and if you do have questions about your health, find a qualified medical professional in your area to help you.