EP 103 - 7 Hacks to Help You Get in the Best Shape (and not one is about exercise)

EP 103 - 7 Hacks to Help You Get in the Best Shape (and not one is about exercise)


What we do to help us get to the place that we're going ? So I'm gonna talk today about seven habits that we can all take on this year that will help us get to that place. And let me start by saying, I really do believe that these are ubiquitous. These are something that doesn't matter what you subscribe to in terms of your diet, everybody can do these seven things, and I think everybody without exception can benefit from these seven things. Listen on!


 “Eat by color and then you’ll never have to count a calorie’’

-Mareya Ibrahim


“There's nothing more important than making yourself the healthiest that you can be, body, mind, and spirit. And when you do that, you will lift up everybody around you because you will be a shining light.’’

-Mareya Ibrahim


0:11                Introduction – how to get to where we’re going

5:05                #1 Don't drink your calories

11:09             #2 Eat your food slowly and mindfully

16:11             #3 Take a fast break.

22:55             #4 Eating macrobalanced meals

33:00             #5 Eat the rainbow

39:35             #6 Sleep and de-stress

46:02             #7 Supplement Smart



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Join Mareya’s new Fit & Fab Over 40 Program:



Grab a copy of Mareya\'s #1 release book \"Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive\": 


Check out Mareya\'s award-winning line of eatCleaner products. Try the Chef\'s Bundle, featuring our best-sellers. It also makes a great gift!: 

eatCleaner® Chef's Bundle

Grab a free meal prep week here: 


GardenOfLife.com            25% Discount Code:

Join Mareya’s new Fit & Fab Over 40 Program:



Grab a copy of Mareya\'s #1 release book \"Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive\": 


Check out Mareya\'s award-winning line of eatCleaner products. Try the Chef\'s Bundle, featuring our best-sellers. It also makes a great gift!: 

eatCleaner® Chef's Bundle

Grab a free meal prep week here: 










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    Full Transcript

    [MP3 Master] EP 103

    [00:00:00] Get the whole variety of the rainbow into your every day, and you can do that visually. All you have to do is stare at your plate and be like, Hmm, okay, I'm missing green today, or, I don't have any yellow or orange today. Or, I know that purple's really good for me. Instead of, you know, doing something that doesn't serve me, I'm gonna do this instead and I'm gonna eat by color.

    [00:00:24] There is a whole school of thought that if we eat by color, Then we never have to count a calorie.

    [00:00:35] Hi, I'm Chef Moray, the Fit Foodie, and this is recipes for your best Life where we dish about all things related to food, health and wellness to nourish you from the inside out. I love hosting special guests who are experts in their field, and we also get to talk about topics that are important for your well.

    [00:00:54] You'll always get lots of food for thought you can really sink your teeth into. So pull up a [00:01:00] chair and welcome to the Chef's Table.

    [00:01:05] Hey everybody. Welcome to 2023. I know we're. 2022 or 2020 or 2021 go for that matter. It feels like life is just accelerating at such an enormous pace. I don't know if that's because I'm getting older. If you can relate to this, let me know in the comments, but. every year just seems to go by it that much faster.

    [00:01:29] And with that, the beginning of the year is really a, a blank slate. It's an opportunity to start anew. And every year we've got these resolutions, right? We, we wanna lose weight. That's the number one resolution on everybody's list. Uh, we wanna maybe find less stress in our lives. We wanna take more vacations, we wanna do all the things.

    [00:01:49] But the problem is if we don't get our own house in order first. It is next to impossible to have the energy and the. [00:02:00] The endurance to be able to get through all of the things that we wanna do in life, right? So I wanna talk about solutions, not resolutions, but solutions, ways that we can get to the place that we are striving for.

    [00:02:17] To really serve in our best shape, to be able to fulfill the purpose that we were put on this earth to do. And, uh, and so with that, it's not about a diet, it's not about, you know, this feeling that you have to surrender and give up everything that you love in life. It's about finding this balance, this place where we can enjoy and we can achieve where we can.

    [00:02:45] Uh, reach our goals and we can surpass our own expectations of ourselves. We can serve and we can surrender in a way to what society is kind of [00:03:00] subscribed to. I mean, listen, I am not gonna knock anybody's diet, okay? You can be vegan, you can be paleo, you can be keto. You can do what does best for you. But what I'm challenging you to is not to create a label for yourself, not to decide that being.

    [00:03:22] A certain diet is then your label. Because you're so much bigger than that, you're so much more powerful than what you decide not to eat. Because at the end of the day, these labels are really just telling me what you don't eat. Okay? If you're vegan, you don't eat meat, you don't eat dairy, all right?

    [00:03:38] Doesn't mean you're healthy. And if you're Paleo tells me you don't eat beans and you don't eat, you know, certain starches, but that doesn't tell me you're healthy. And if your keto. It tells me that you don't eat most carbs, but again, it doesn't tell me you're healthy. So instead of defining ourselves by what we don't [00:04:00] do, let's define ourselves by what we do.

    [00:04:03] Do. I just said Do, do. But you know what I'm saying? What we do to help us get to the place that we're going, and that's really all I care about, is tell me what you do. Tell me what you do drink. Tell me what you do. Exercise, tell me what you do include in your day-to-day, and what you keep out is another story.

    [00:04:27] So I'm gonna talk today about seven habits that we can all take on this year that will help us get to that place. And let me start by saying, I really do believe that these are ubiquitous. These are something that doesn't matter what you subscribe to in terms of your diet, everybody can do these seven things, and I think everybody without exception can [00:05:00] benefit from these seven things.

    [00:05:01] So if you're like, Maria, listen, being keto works for me. Okay, by all means. But I think these seven things, in addition to you being keto, We'll, maybe even make your experience more fruitful. All right, pun intended. Okay, so let's dig in. Number one is don't drink your calories. Now, what ends up happening with a lot of people is that they.

    [00:05:28] End up putting a lot more into their glass than they do onto their plate. And calories can come from a variety of different things. It can come from good things too. You can drink a power filled smoothie, and that is a wonderful thing. But if you're just drinking your calories, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, what you're missing out on is the pot.

    [00:05:51] Power of chewing food to spark your metabolism. Now, something happens when you chew. When you chew, it [00:06:00] triggers to your brain and your digestion that it should start working, that it should start actively digesting and digesting. Actually burns calories. So it's a good thing to actually chew your smoothie.

    [00:06:15] Um, if you're making a smoothie in the morning, leave it a little lumpy, leave it with some substance in there. I had a ch a smoothie this morning that had spinach in it with chewable spinach. Okay. So as I was drinking it, I was actually chewing parts of it that were unoo, and that's a good thing. Um, what we want to do is, Whole food in that glass.

    [00:06:39] We wanna get things that benefit us. Um, drink that veggie filled smoothie, but leave a little bit so that you can actually chew it. And hydration is so incredibly important. I mean, I'm gonna say it's even more important than the food that you're eating. Um, because our body is mostly water. It's [00:07:00] over 60.

    [00:07:01] Water and our cells are about 70% water. So imagine, in order to keep healthy cells in a healthy digestive system, we need to drink water, we need to drink sound hydration. And with that we can get some food in there too. But what we also end up doing is we end up drinking our calories in the form of alcohol.

    [00:07:25] Yes, the highly debated subject of alcohol and, uh, I don't think anybody can really dispute that. Keeping your alcohol in check is an important thing. Um, but what we do is we end up over drinking. Those calories and there's a whole, I'm gonna go into another whole episode about drinking, so hold, hold on that thought for a little bit.

    [00:07:50] But we really deceive ourselves if we think that eating a sound diet, eating a sound nutrition plan, and [00:08:00] then drinking. Our calories and alcohol is okay. It's not an even balance. Um, what we get from alcohol is inflammation. Most of the time. We tend to get a lot of excess sugar from alcohol, especially if you're drinking those fr fruit drinks like a pina colada or a or a margarita doesn't mean that they're not delicious.

    [00:08:21] And every once in a while we indulge, but it definitely is something that we need to keep in check. So, Drinking our calories should come in the form of Whole Foods. It should come in the form of getting whole nutrition in there. But even then, we need to watch out. Most of the time. It's much better to just eat a piece of fruit than it is to get the juice.

    [00:08:47] Um, if you eat an apple, you're getting the. If you eat, uh, a mango, you're also getting some fiber in there. If you are eating an [00:09:00] orange, you're getting some fiber in there. If you're drinking the juice, you lose all of that and you don't feel fullness. And that satiety of what we get from food is not registered the same way as with something that we're drinking.

    [00:09:17] Even juicing fruits and vegetables. You know, a lot of people will do a juice fast. You end up getting a lot more sugar in there than you think. So watch out for that and just know that eating food is what triggers satiety and triggers your brain and your belly to say, yes, I am full and. My digestion is working, and yes, I am burning these calories.

    [00:09:42] I'm actually burning when I eat. So that's number one. Watch out for the drinking calories. And seriously, y'all get used to drinking water. Water is absolutely one of the most important habits that you can take in for yourself. And it, it goes without [00:10:00] saying. I mean, I say it all the time and I feel like, yeah, everybody's heard this already, Maria.

    [00:10:04] I've already said drink water. I never cease to be amazed at how many people just don't understand the importance of it. And when they start drinking water, how it's the number one thing that can make the biggest difference in their health. Your body is all about keeping and your ability to prevent aging, by the way, is all about keeping your cellular integrity.

    [00:10:28] And when you keep your cell wall strong, it means it stays hydrated. It's all about the water Y'all so drink. Drink water and drink water. And if water's boring for you, add something to it that makes it fun. Add some fun ice cubes. I see them all over Instagram where people make those pretty ice cubes. Um, add some citrus, add some fruit, add some herbs.

    [00:10:52] I love a good basil, uh, and strawberry combo. You can do some um, some [00:11:00] mint and you can do lime, lemon, grapefru. Mandarin orange. Knock yourself out and have fun with those. But just get the water into your system. Even add a little fizzy water to make it fun and soda like. And by the way, diet soda's not a substitute.

    [00:11:16] That's actually worse for your body. So get those, uh, get those good nutrients into your body, but watch out for the calories that come with them. Number two is eat your food slowly and mindfully. You know this. And again, I think our moms just knew. They knew it. And unfortunately it turns into a wive's tale.

    [00:11:35] It's like, oh, it's about choking. Well, no, it's actually not just about that. It's also about getting that food into your system and digesting it. Okay. Digestion is everything. If we are eating and our body's not breaking down nutrients and turning it into usable food for us. We start to have [00:12:00] digestion problems, right?

    [00:12:00] And we hear about leaky gut syndrome and we hear about, um, digestive blockage and people having all kinds of inflammatory diseases because they are not actually taking the food that they're eating and breaking it down in a way that their body can use. So when you eat slowly and you eat mindfully, not only do you give your body a chance to break down the food and for enzymes to actually do the work, your body just isn't able to register that you're full.

    [00:12:33] So you end up eating way more calories than you probably would have if you would've eaten more slowly. And guess what? Is the biggest distraction of all. So when you are eating and you're on your phone or you're watching tv, like you just don't even register the speed at which you're eating, you know? So if we can take time to actually put [00:13:00] the electronics down, Eat with other people.

    [00:13:03] When we eat with other people, we tend to eat a lot slower, right? We're not just shoving food down our gullets. Um, we're engaging in conversation. Hopefully we're having that exchange where we're listening. We're not talking with our mouthfuls. Um, Mouths full, not mouthfuls, you know what I was saying? Um, but we're, we're taking time to actually enjoy the food register the flavors, um, allow our brain to even process what we're doing so that.

    [00:13:34] When you actually get to the point that your plate is empty, you do feel full. If you're forcing it down, it takes about 20 minutes for your body and your brain to register fullness. So if you're shoving it down your throat in 10 minutes, you haven't given your body and your brain a chance to catch up with that, right?

    [00:13:52] So give it that time. Overeating is the biggest cause of disease and [00:14:00] inflammation. So it's, I'm not fat shaming here. I'm not saying, oh, people that are eating too quickly are then the ones that are getting obese or, or getting fat, which is a byproduct of that. But it's actually the cause of distress and inflammation on your body.

    [00:14:16] So we wanna give your body a chance to catch up, to process, to digest, to. Your enzymes and the stomach to actually do its work. You know your stomach is made of folds and your colon is about 30 feet long, so it takes time for the food to actually do the work of getting through your system. Now, when you eat mindfully too, I think it connects us with our source of food.

    [00:14:47] You know, we have a responsibility, especially when. I think we eat animal protein. We have a responsibility to ourselves and, and the food that we're eating to respect it. To eat with dignity, to eat, [00:15:00] with grace, to, to, and I know this maybe sounds a little esoteric, but to have mindfulness is to be in gratitude for the food that we're eating, that it's feeding us, that it's giving us life and that that life that we are taking in.

    [00:15:16] Is something that we're not taking for granted. So when we eat slowly and we eat mindfully, we eat with respect, and we eat with gratitude and thanks, um, I, I certainly believe that, you know, even praying over our food and, and just giving it that moment to say thank you. This food is feeding me. It's feeding my life, it's feeding my creativity and my energy and my ability to do good in the world just blesses it in ways that we can't even imagine.

    [00:15:49] Um, and we look at the food that we're eating and what's on our plate in a much different way when we take that beat to appreciate it. So eat slowly, eat [00:16:00] mindfully, and watch how much less you actually probably do end up eating. At the end of the day, that's number two. Number three is take a fast break.

    [00:16:11] Let me explain what that means. We are exposed to all kinds of different things through our food, right, through our, our eating and ingestion. We get, um, toxins when we get pathogens and we get, you know, energy into our bodies from what we're eating. But the truth is with that, there are a lot of not so great things that come with that too.

    [00:16:38] So by giving yourself a fast break, what I mean is taking a couple of days and the science shows that two days a week is actually. Just as effective if not more effective than doing it every day. And for my ladies, we've gotta watch out for our hormones. We don't wanna fast too regularly because that can actually have an adverse effect on our [00:17:00] bodies, but the science shows that two to three days, A week maximum.

    [00:17:04] To do an intermittent fast can be a very potent way to give your body and your digestion a break and allow that natural cleansing that your body has the ability to do every single day to actually go into effect. And it will help with your hormone balance too. I'm pro promising you digestion takes a lot of energy and so when you give your body a break, you're giving your hormones a break as well.

    [00:17:31] So what that can look like is, um, an intermittent fast. And let me just explain what that is. That means that you are spending about, um, 16 hours not eating okay, and eight hours eating. So, Perhaps you would start your eating at 10:00 AM and then you would be done with that at 6:00 PM Okay. And during that time, [00:18:00] you're still being mindful.

    [00:18:01] I think sometimes people think an intermittent fast is okay. I'm gonna fast for 16 hours and then during the eight hours I'll eat whatever. Um, and, and truthfully, it doesn't really look like that In order to be productive, I like, and I talk about this in my book, eat Like you give a fork, the real dish on eating to thrive.

    [00:18:19] Those days that you're intermittent fasting, actually take the eight hours and give your digestion a break by eating maybe more plant-based foods. Um, you know, and, and that will help to kick everything in. in a little bit more dramatic way. So fill up on the good fuel, get your leafy greens in there, get your low glycemic fruit in there, drink a lot of water.

    [00:18:45] Um, you can still eat a little meat, but maybe focus more on, you know, the, the chickens and the seafoods and the things like that, that are a little easier for your body to digest versus red meat, which can be a little bit [00:19:00] harder on your. Um, and if you do decide to go more plant-based during those two days, which I like to do, I like to take two days a week that I eat plant-based and that I do this intermittent fast.

    [00:19:11] Um, I have lots of recipes in the book that will guide you through how you can make that work in your own lifestyle. You can do, you know, your legumes, you can do beans, you can do, um, lentils, you can do. Things like jackfruit, for example. I have a great jackfruit chili recipe in my book, so check that out and see that by eating more plant-based and intermittent fasting two days a week, you will be amazed at how much more energetic you feel, uh, your body allows itself to cleanse.

    [00:19:43] And when you're eating more fiber, by the way, I envision it like a little broom going down your colon, you know, kind of sweeping all of the. Built up crud that's been sitting in there. You know, like when you have dishes in the sink and you haven't scraped them out, it's kind of [00:20:00] doing the scraping for you.

    [00:20:01] Um, it encourages that hormone balance. You're drinking water, you are pushing everything down, and you're not. Eating too late. I think that's the other thing that we wanna be cognizant of. Giving your body a chance to actually digest. Means not eating too late where you're then eating and then just going to sleep.

    [00:20:20] Um, try and pick a window where you still ha you're still awake for a few hours after you've had that last meal. I like that 10 to six window. Um, you know, you can do nine to five if you're more of an early riser. And if you're one of these people who, I can be this way too, it's really hard to like not have your coffee or not have anything in the morning.

    [00:20:42] What you can do is you can have your coffee or your tea in the morning and then, um, maybe add a little. Uh, uh, MCTs to them. You can do that in the form of an oil. You can have a little bit of coconut oil or, um, a, a [00:21:00] coconut based creamer actually do a collagen creamer that has MCTs in it from Garden of Life.

    [00:21:05] I really love that product. And by doing MCTs what that does is it gives you sustained energy, but it still allows you to. With without food until you get to your next meal, but makes you feel satiated. You know, I, I like to say that the gremlins start to let you know, like when your stomach starts to growl, that it's time to eat.

    [00:21:28] But, uh, for many of us it's really hard to like not wake up and have that food first thing in the morning and having MCTs will help that Satie. and so it will sustain you until your first meal. So take a fast break a couple of days a week. You do not have to do intermittent fasting every single day.

    [00:21:47] Okay? The science shows us that, and I go into the science a little bit more in my book. Again, you can get a copy of that on my website@chefmaria.com, but you can learn more about what the [00:22:00] significance of that is, and I grew. Fasting quite a bit, and that was from a more, um, faith-based reason. You know, growing up Coptic Orthodox, we would fast almost 300 days a year.

    [00:22:12] Yeah. And that's a lot it seems like, uh, when I look back on it. But, you know, a lot of that is more about cleansing your body, cleaning your mind, cleaning your system out, um, from a faith-based perspective. But I think a lot of it really does apply. To how well your body can, um, can actually clean itself when you allow it to do that, and you're not consistently junking it up with, uh, stuff that doesn't serve you.

    [00:22:43] I think the lesson is, uh, a clean mind, clean body. Yes, that is true. So take a fast break and see how that serves you. Number four is eating macrobalance. Meals. Okay, I'm gonna dive into what that means, but I think [00:23:00] again, this word macro, let's break that down. Macronutrient is fat, carbohydrate, or protein.

    [00:23:07] It's the triangle. If you're watching me, I'm holding up a picture of a triangle using my hands, the perfect little triangle. It is a pyramid too, by the way, for us Egyptians. Uh, that is my heritage. Yes, it is the perfect. Balance of the the three and the reason that we do this. Why? Because, It gives us satiety and at the same time nourishes us and sustains us and gives us quick energy.

    [00:23:37] So the carbohydrate, generally speaking, the carbohydrate is gonna give us a little bit quicker energy so that it keeps the engine. Moving. Right.

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    [00:24:41] You know that's a good. It helps your produce last up to five times longer using a natural blend of fruit acids and antioxidants, so there's no chemicals. It's just clean, eating fun. And this can help save your family an average of over $500 per year. Make it easy on yourself. Reduce [00:25:00] waste, and get that fruit and veggies into your body where it's gonna do you a lot of good and not in the trash.

    [00:25:06] Check us out, eat cleaner.com or head to our Amazon. At amazon.com/e cleaner,

    [00:25:22] the protein is a little more sustained, so it's gonna give us the power and it's gonna feed our muscles, and it's going to feed more of that longer sustaining energy fat is what we then. Keep for the longer haul. Now, if you look at it, protein to to fat protein has actually given us, giving us the more bang for our buck.

    [00:25:49] It's lowering calories, it's going to sustain us, but we're not getting as much calorie per. Or per [00:26:00] macronutrient than we are with fat. And then the carbs again, that's gonna burn up a little bit quicker. So I really like focusing our macrobalance meals mostly on protein. That's where you're gonna get the biggest bang for your calorie bucks, so to speak.

    [00:26:17] Now does that mean you have to eat copious amounts of protein? No. I like the guideline of trying to do about one gram of protein. Per. Count of your ideal body weight. Okay? Not necessarily where you're at right now, because if you are on a weight loss journey, you are still needing to work at a calorie deficit.

    [00:26:41] So that means you're looking at what you're. Goal weight is if you are at a weight that you're happy with right now, then you can go with where you are. And if you're underweight, if you're actually trying to build muscle, maybe you are working towards a competition or you are trying to build muscle and you're in the [00:27:00] gym and you're lifting.

    [00:27:01] Heavy and you're all about building that muscle, then you can go a little bit more. Um, some people are of the idea that one to one and a half grams per desired pound is about where you wanna be, and I find that to be a pretty good range. So again, these are all just ranges for you, but the idea here, here is that we are balancing at every meal and every snack.

    [00:27:29] If you're just eating fruit. Don't you feel hungry within like an hour? You know, it's really hard to feel full after eating fruit, but if you balance fruit with a little bit of unsweetened, shredded coconut or some nuts and you've got a little, uh, protein coming in from, you know, some Greek yogurt that is going to sustain you.

    [00:27:51] So instead of eating a big bowl of fruit on its own, try and balance that with the other two macronutrients, your fat and your protein, [00:28:00] and see what happens. You will feel so much better, so much more satiated, and that will keep you feeling energized. Without the fruit just kind of like burning up because it's, um, it's a, it's a carbohydrate.

    [00:28:15] Your body turns it into sugar. Doesn't mean that it's bad for you, but it's just not gonna sustain you the way it would if you balance your macronutrients. Now I have a meal plan. It's called the Cleaner Plate Club, and if you are looking for healthy recipes and you're looking for a way to build out, Week of meals.

    [00:28:35] This is the perfect answer because I've macronutrient balanced it for you already, and it is about 30 to 35% protein. It's about 20 to 25% fat, and it's about. Uh, 30 to 35% carbohydrate. So the ranges are approximate. It varies a little bit by day, but it gets you [00:29:00] into the zone, and it's a great place to start again if you are trying to gain weight or lose weight.

    [00:29:06] We can modify from there and I can give you some personal guidance, but it's a wonderful place to start. It's called The Cleaner Plate Club, and you can find it@chefmaria.com. Now, with these Macrobalance meals, I think it's really important that you start to think about portion sizes. Okay? Now, this is a not a calorie driven.

    [00:29:31] Program, I give you the calories, but this is really about proportions and I think the more you start to get used to seeing it and knowing it, the more you'll then become a little bit more autonomous. Like in real life, we don't walk around with a scale. Okay? In real life we tend to seafood and we tend to put it on our plate and eat.

    [00:29:56] And I don't want you to have to feel like you have to measure everything that you have [00:30:00] to always, you know, be a slave to the scale or a slave to the idea of measuring something in a cut. If you start to look at it in your, and using your hand as a guide. , believe it or not, your hand will end up being the best guide.

    [00:30:15] And again, if you're watching me, I wanna show you something. So if you look at the palm of your hand, right? Hold up your hand. The palm of your hand is about the size of your protein per meal. Okay? So if we're talking, uh, a piece of chicken or we're talking a piece of fish, or we're talking about. A filet of steak or we're talking about something that is protein.

    [00:30:40] Even beans, for example, tofu, Tempe, this palm of your hand is about the size that we're after, right? So that can help to drive you. If you're at a restaurant, you're like, I don't really know what portion size I'm supposed to hand. Look at your hand, have, look at your hand, and that will give you a [00:31:00] good idea of where to start.

    [00:31:03] Your fist, right? Your fist is about the size of the carbohydrate serving that you're supposed to have. So if you look at your fist, what does that look like? That can be your rice, that can be your grain, that can be maybe your sweet potato, okay? That can be your squash. If you're eating butternut squash, for example, a starchy vegetable, that could be your carbohydrate, and then your fat is only.

    [00:31:31] About the size of two fingers. Okay? So take your two fingers and that's about the size of your fat. Now, if you're doing nuts, if you're doing, that's about a tablespoon guys or two tablespoons max, um, and the bigger you are, the bigger your fingers are most likely. So it really does work that way. If you look at your two fingers, that is going to give you an indication.

    [00:31:54] That might be your avocado. Okay? That's your avocado serving, and that's generally about. [00:32:00] An eighth of an avocado or maybe it's, uh, a quarter of a small avocado. That is a great way to kind of keep things in proportion when you are trying to control your intake Now. Does that mean that that works for everybody?

    [00:32:17] No, because in some cases you're gonna need to eat more. But it's a great guideline for most people that have an average level of activity, um, and that are trying to just maintain what they have. And that may vary for you, but it is a wonderful thing to know and be aware that you have an understanding.

    [00:32:39] Of the amount of food that's on your plate just by looking at your hand. God created us that way and it's a beautiful thing. So eat that macro balance and see what that ends up doing to your satiety and how portion control really is at your fingertips. Yep, that pun was intended. [00:33:00] Okay. Number five is eat the rainbow.

    [00:33:03] I am So about this and again, God has given us such an amazing resource, and that is nature. We can just look to nature to see what we're supposed to do and what that color relates to in our bodies. You know, antioxidant, riches, rich foods are red. Red like our heart. Red, like our blood red, like, you know, a, a tomato.

    [00:33:32] And if you cut a tomato, it literally has four chambers, like a heart. I mean, come on. The answers in nature right here. So, and antioxidant rich foods also come from purple. So if you're looking to blue and purple and, and, and uh, red foods, that's where you're gonna get the richest forms of antioxidants from your food.

    [00:33:54] Green, green. Is where you feed your cells. So get green [00:34:00] leafies and watch how your cells do a happy dance. They're going to oxygenate your body, they're going to pump that rich oxygenated blood through your system and feed your cells to the core. And your cells are hungry. They want to eat. They want to eat good stuff, and they wanna stay hydrated.

    [00:34:19] And guess what? Leafy greens are full of. Uh, get those berries in there. Get your yellow and um, and orange vegetables into your body and your fruits, you know, that is going to help. To boost your immunity. Yellow and orange are often tied to immunity and that's why when you eat an orange, you know you're getting that wonderful, uh, juice to feed you to the court.

    [00:34:49] But I'd rather you get the full orange than you do drink the juice cuz again you're getting the fiber and I double dog dare you. I mean most glasses of orange juice are gonna have five to [00:35:00] six oranges. Try and eat five to six orange. It's not that easy. Um, so eat the orange instead of getting all of the juice.

    [00:35:08] And, uh, get all that fiber in your body as well, which is gonna help your gut health in enormous ways. So when you look at your, oh, and by the way, white food doesn't have to be bad for you. I think white food gets a bad rap, and so does brown food. I mean, get your white food from cauliflower, you know, get it.

    [00:35:30] In in ways that, you know, white beans, for example, that are full of fiber. I'm not gonna dison potatoes fully cuz I think there are nutrients in potatoes that you can absolutely benefit for. Just try and not load them up with a bunch of sour cream or deep fry them. We take these perfectly good foods and we absolutely adulterate them, and that's where we get into trouble.

    [00:35:56] Um, so get the whole variety of [00:36:00] the rainbow into your every day, and you can do that visually. All you have to do is stare at your plate and be like, Hmm. Okay, I'm missing green today, or I don't have any yellow or orange today. Or, I know that purple's really good for me. Instead of, you know, doing something that doesn't serve me, I'm gonna do this instead and I'm gonna eat by color.

    [00:36:22] There is a whole. You know, school of thought that if we eat by color, then we never have to count a calorie. I don't know if that's completely true, but it's definitely going to give you a wide variety of phytonutrients or micronutrients that we can only get from plants. As smart as we are, as much sci as science has dived.

    [00:36:45] Subject, we only know an infant decimal or not infant decimal, the opposite, uh, minuscule amount of the infant decimal amount of micronutrients in our plant [00:37:00] kingdom. So if you eat by the rainbow, you are going to benefit your body in ways that we can only begin to understand and that my friends, is the gift.

    [00:37:13] God and the gift from the plants and the gift from the earth. So go to your farmer's market. One of the things that I enjoy maybe. More than cooking is actually going to the farmer's market and seeing what is in season the different colors. I have seen the most incredible array of colors that I will never see in a grocery store at the farmer's market.

    [00:37:39] I was, uh, And Davis visiting my daughter, uh, at, she goes to the University of Davis. And, um, I could not believe the variety that was there that was different from where I live in Southern California. So even from farmer's market to farmer's market, that's one of my favorite things to do when I go to a new [00:38:00] city just to see what's in season and what's local.

    [00:38:03] And, uh, I bought these bell peppers. I'm, I'm not even exaggerating when I say they looked like. Pieces of artwork. There was this beautiful striated thing going on with different colors weaving through one of them and, and purples and reds and yellows and gr and I bought just this whole array of them.

    [00:38:26] And I will put that picture in the show notes if I can on, on my website, because I just wanted you to see how creative and amazing nature can be. Right. . Um, and just by enjoying the visual, it helps your brain to register fullness and delight in food. You know, our ability to see and then create is, is uniquely human having opposable thumbs like we are the only creatures that get to do [00:39:00] this.

    [00:39:00] So take pride in that. Take pride in that. You've chosen it, you've used your creative instinct to do. and then you've then created something that you can eat that feeds your body. I mean, look, cooking is the only thing that we get to engage all five senses, and it is art in every sense of the imagination, and we get to eat it too.

    [00:39:23] So take advantage of that humans and do do the good work. All right, let us move on. I really elaborated on that one. Um, and I'm gonna tell you, The next one has nothing to do with food. The next one is all about you and getting rest. So number six is sleep and de-stress. Okay, Maria, what does this have to do with food?

    [00:39:53] You've been on a tirade now about food. Well, it has everything to do with digestion. So what [00:40:00] happens when you sleep and when you allow your body to get full rest? You do something incredible, uh, metabolically what you do is you lower inflammation and you. Completely give your chan your body a chance to get your hormones in balance.

    [00:40:21] And your hormone balance is everything when it comes to managing your weight, managing your body's metabolism, and giving it the chance that it needs to do the good work of digestion. Um, So there are two, well, there's actually three hormones that I wanna talk about. Let's talk about ghrelin and leptin.

    [00:40:40] Ghrelin is the hormone, and it sounds like gremlin. And that's exactly what it does. It's like, feed me, feed me, eat that, eat that, eat that. And when we don't rest properly, we never give our bodies a chance to put that in. Put grill in in the corner and tell it, okay, I've [00:41:00] had enough. It just wants to tell us to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat.

    [00:41:04] That's why when you stay up late, what do you wanna do? You wanna go eat, and then when you get up early, In the morning and your body's just like, I did not get enough rest. I think I need to go eat like something greasy. That's Grillin doing its job of telling you that you should go eat because if you don't, you might die.

    [00:41:25] Um, it's, it's that hormone that tell that keeps us alive, that keeps us. That tells our bodies, yes, you are hungry and you need to go eat. Now, leptin is the opposite. Leptin is the hormone that tells us, okay, I'm full. You can turn me off. Now you can. You will survive because you've eaten enough. And when we don't properly rest, we never give ghrelin and leptin a chance to do what it's supposed to do because we are in a constant state of fight or flight.

    [00:41:58] And that. [00:42:00] Uh, hormone balance that we have never gets a chance to check itself. So give your body that seven to eight hours it deserves. Man, I've met so many people recently who have told me I only sleep like four to five hours and it's not enough. You know, it's not enough. Your body might think it's enough.

    [00:42:21] But your adrenal glands will tell you otherwise, and it can lead to a catastrophic breakdown in your body, and it might not give you any warning. It just might. One of those days that you're just like, okay, I can't take it anymore. I am done and I need to go check out for a while. Um, so we don't want you to get to that point.

    [00:42:44] We wanna keep you healthy and we wanna keep you from, um, that point, that breaking point. So that's where sleeping and resting is so, Incredibly critical to your body's ability to heal itself and to use the [00:43:00] food in the way it's supposed to. Now, the other hormone that we need to check on is cortisol.

    [00:43:05] Cortisol is part of that fight or flight system. It is the hormone that manages stress. And when we, when we don't sleep properly and when we don't give our bodies a chance to rest, that cortisol never gets a chance to reset either. So, Us rest. Even God took one day to rest. We need it. Example is not just in the Bible for, uh, for color,

    [00:43:37] There's a real reason for it, and we need to take that to heart. So how do we rest? How do we give ourselves a chance to get to that point? Well, I'll tell you, sleeping is so important. We need to protect it. That means let's not eat too late. That's where the digestion thing that I was talking about earlier means so much.

    [00:43:59] We wanna give ourselves [00:44:00] at least a few hours after we eat to digest. Um, that's where watching out for having too many stimulants, too late. also means something. And that's not just caffeine. That goes for alcohol too. Um, alcohol, a lot of the time contains sugar. And if you drink and then try and go to sleep, guess what happens?

    [00:44:20] A lot of the time? It'll wake you up in the middle of the night and your body does not like that. Your body wants some rest and giving it what it needs to just de-stress it and make sure that it's getting that unaltered rest time. Is a lot about what you're putting in your body too. Um, and then just try and give yourself some things to help you with that restful sleep.

    [00:44:45] Um, I am a big fan of taking C B D, uh, before I go to sleep. I've also taken melatonin. . Um, I will drink tea like a chamomile tea or Rebus that helps with that sleep. It doesn't have caffeine. It's actually [00:45:00] not, um, a, a tea in the sense of a tea leaf. It's a, it's a, the Rebus plant. It's a bush, and it is very relaxing and it's very good for your hormones, ladies.

    [00:45:11] So get into a habit of encouraging sleep and restful. , um, that restful time with what you do prior to going to bed, and you can do that with different foods and different, um, different supplements and teas and things like that. So it also helps to take a bath. It also takes to, helps to take a warm shower and it also helps to.

    [00:45:35] Keep the light out. Um, blackout curtains. No, no little lights from your computer or from, uh, from, uh, the little, uh, wall lights, um, and electronics. Keep your phone away from you and definitely don't stare at it before you go to bed. And listen, I'm saying all these things that you should do. I am guilty of several of them, but I'm working on it.

    [00:45:58] I am a work in progress and I know [00:46:00] that we all wanna do the right thing, and that's something that we can all do together. That's number six, sleep and de-stress. And last but not least, number seven is supplement Smart. Okay. Does that mean you have to pop a pill? Not necessarily, but I will say that if you're eating well and you're eating balance, yes you can get a lot of your nutrients from food.

    [00:46:25] But the truth is a lot of our food is nutrient deprived. Why? Because of the condition of the soil. Why? Because it takes sometimes days and even weeks for food to arrive to us, because we are a global market and it's coming from all over the world. And the more time that it spends on the road, the more sometimes those vital nutrients dissipate like vitamin C, for example, six days after an orange is plucked, it's lost.

    [00:46:55] 40% of its vitamin C. So if you're. [00:47:00] Growing it yourself and consuming it almost instantaneously, you can pretty much bet that it's nutrient deficient. So taking some additional supplements can serve your body well. Um, let me tell you, I personally take a few, I take a D three. I take a high quality vitamin C uh, I take a probiotic that has a diverse, um, array of bacteria because we want microbiome diversity.

    [00:47:35] It's not enough to just take a probiotic. You wanna take one that is diverse in its probiotic spectrum, and, uh, I take a multi vit. Now with that, I also like to take a green supplement because I believe that taking, um, a variety of greens like, uh, bluegreen, algae and chlorella and spirulina and wheatgrass, um, is extremely [00:48:00] beneficial to your cell health and as a, a prevention.

    [00:48:03] To, um, chronic disease and inflammation. So I take those things on a regular basis. Now you have to find what you need for your body. Oh, by the way, I also take magnesium. Just added that to my repertoire, and that's been making a big difference. It helps with stress and it does help you sleep, by the way.

    [00:48:21] So that's another good thing you can take for that sleep and de-stress. But I digress. The whole idea. Finding what is good for you. Now, I have included a code in the show notes for Garden of Life. Um, it's a line of products that I've been using for almost eight years now. Um, I find that it works for me.

    [00:48:43] Um, I don't get paid by them to say this, but they do offer me a discount code that can then benefit you. So check out their website@gardenoflife.com. Use the 25% off code and. I will also list in the show notes all of the [00:49:00] things that I take that have benefited me. And, uh, you know, the bottom line is you can never substitute a good whole food source.

    [00:49:09] The great thing is with this line is that all of their products are whole foods. Um, they off also offer quite a few raw foods, and I take their proteins and several other things too, and I have my whole family on it. So I, I say that they're indispensable. , um, because again, it's really hard to get everything from just your food sources, and they certainly do help to round out our needs.

    [00:49:35] I have seen a huge difference in my own personal health and some of my family members, especially by taking the probiotic. If there's one supplement that you're gonna take that I would say is really, really important, it's that a probiotic, um, followed by a D three. and, uh, a vitamin C and a multi. Okay, so that's four.

    [00:49:57] Okay. Take the vitamins. I, I do [00:50:00] believe that they are helpful. , and again, that's my p o v, um, that can, you know, definitely be something that you think about. But get the first, uh, five of this, uh, podcast down and, and take the other, uh, the last one with a grain of. And at the end of the day, I want you to prioritize yourself.

    [00:50:23] I want you to know that you are important. I want you to know that your health and wellbeing is not just an aesthetic thing, okay? This is not something that you're listening to because I'm gonna help you get a six pack and, um, you know, show up to the beach in a hot. That is a byproduct of this. The real core of this is knowing that your value and knowing that when you eat to thrive, you are telling yourself that you [00:51:00] are important and you're valuable, and that your place on this earth is vital and that you mean something.

    [00:51:08] Not only. Everybody around you, but to yourself. And so value that, prioritize that. Make time for it. There's nothing more important than making yourself the healthiest that you can be, body, mind, and spirit. And when you do that, you will lift up everybody around you because you will be a shining light, I guarantee it a hundred percent.

    [00:51:35] Or your money. I don't know what money you paid for this podcast cuz it was free, but I'm just saying, um, I love you. I think the world of you. I think you are amazing and I hope that this podcast kicks off your best year ever. This is all about you. This year [00:52:00] I am dedicating this podcast series to you, to your health, to your.

    [00:52:07] and to living it the best that you possibly can. And with that, let's go get it this year, 2023. Thank you for listening to Recipes for Your Best Life. Hey, Let me know if you benefited from this episode, and if you watched me here, leave a comment below. That's my virtual tip jar, and let me know how I can help serve you from here on.

    [00:52:34] Hey, thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. I know you have a lot of choices out there. Of what to listen to, what to watch. So it means a lot to me that you're here with me and, hey, if you love this content, would you hit the subscribe button? I want you around. I don't want you to just show up for one episode and leave.

    [00:52:53] I want you here, part of the conversation, a seat at this table. And while you're at it, would you share this with your [00:53:00] friends and family? And if you take a screen, And share it on your social media with a hashtag R F Y B L for recipes for your best life. I'll make sure to personally give you a shout out and you may just be featured right here on the show.

    [00:53:15] So until next time, here's to Living Deliciously and being the chef of your best life.


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