Finding Balance Through Nutrition

In my last post, I discussed the foundations of health and the need to balance these fundamental factors to achieve optimal health and wellness. Today, nutrition is my focus; more specifically, how to best nourish our bodies.  A diet rich in nutrient dense, properly prepared, whole foods is vital to giving our bodies what it needs to balance  our digestion, blood sugar, fatty acids, hydration and mineral status. Let’s break that down a bit.

What does nutrient dense mean?

Simply put, it means foods that are dense in nutrients. Foods that are jammed packed with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytochemicals are considered to be the most nutrient-dense. Fruits and vegetables that have vibrant deep color such as kale, spinach, swiss chard offer more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and amino acids. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and blueberries are also full of these healing nutrients. Wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chickens and eggs offer great nutrient density, free of GMO’s, antibiotics, and growth hormones.  Organ meats are among the highest nutrient-dense foods around! Liver and onions anyone? If tolerated, raw grass-fed cheese and butter are great nutrient dense options as well. Oh, by the way, the pasteurization process of milk kills all vital nutrients and helpful enzymes. Pasteurized milk has to be fortified with vitamins.

Foods that are organically, seasonally and locally grown have more vitamins and minerals than conventional versions and sends healthier messages to our cells. Healthier messages to our cells translate to healthier versions of ourselves! If buying all organic produce is a strain on the pocket-book, consider buying organic at least the produce listed on the EWG’s dirty dozen list. 

What does properly prepared mean?

Nuts, seeds, beans and grains can offer great nutrients, but they contain antinutrients like lectins and phytates which can cause irritation and inflammation to the digestive system. Traditional methods such as soaking and sprouting takes care of most these irritating effects and boost the bioavailability of nutrients. However, even sprouting and soaking methods aren’t enough for some sensitivities and digestive issues. Fermenting foods is another great way to increase nutrient density and digestibility. Kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha offer gut helpful vitamins and probiotics. Fermented sauerkraut is different from the sauerkraut you may be familiar with. It is found in the cold section of most health food stores.

Cooking methods influence the amounts of nutrients that are retained in cooked dishes. For example, eggs retain more vitamins and minerals if they are poached or cooked over-easy rather than cooked until the yolk is hard. Veggies should be lightly steamed or sautéed rather than boiled because most of the nutrients would be leached out. Roasting and baking meats are better than grilling or frying which can create unhealthy toxic substances. 

Nutrient dense, stable cooking oils include coconut oil, grass fed butter/ghee, avocado oil or beef tallow. For light sautéing extra virgin olive oil can be used. Olive oil and walnut oil are great to season salads and vegetables. Refined, hydrogenated oils such canola, corn, and soy cause inflammation, releasing toxins at high temperatures and should be avoided.

What are whole foods?

Whole foods are real foods that are unprocessed, unrefined, or processed and are close to their natural form as possible. Whole foods include produce, nuts, seeds, meat, seafood, and eggs. Think of foods that don’t come with a complicated list of ingredients. Most packaged foods are ultra-processed with harmful additives such as refined sugar, sodium, refined oils and preservatives. If you buy something in a package, a good rule of thumb is to limit ingredients to 3-5.

So, where do you go from here? How can you implement a more nutrient dense, properly prepared whole foods diet? If you are the all-in kind of person and want to revamp your fridge, pantry, and lifestyle right this minute; go for it!  You will start to look and feel better quickly! Another option is to take baby steps and choose a new goal every week or so. Here is an example of some doable goals or feel free to make your own plan of action.

Step 1.  Change out your cooking oil

 Step 2. Buy EWG’s dirty dozen produce list as organic  

Step 3. Buy pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed butter

 Step 4. Buy grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken

 Step 5. Swap bread for an organic sprouted, sour dough bread 

Step 6. Try fermented kimchi or sauerkraut

Step 7. Soak beans for 24 hours before cooking

Step 8. Swap prepackaged ultra-processed snacks for more wholefood versions

Step 9. Change out refined sugar for honey or coconut sugar 

 Step 10. Swap out dairy for nut milk-based products

Making changes can be overwhelming. Remember, health is a journey!  By taking small, transitional steps, you can better your health and be well nourished. Let me help you make the journey easier! I’m currently taking clients and I would love to show you how powerful and healing functional nutrition can be!


Hyman, M.(2018) Food, what the heck should I eat. Little Brown Spark. New York, New York.

Sanifilippio, D. ( 2016) Practical paleo. Victory Belt. Las Vegas, NA

Lin, S.(2018) The dental diet. Hay House, INC. Carlsbad, CA

Triscott,M.(2019) The nutrient-dense kitchen. Chelsea Green. White River, VT

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