When I was 9 years old, my mom was introduced to a nutrient supplement called 'Barley Green'. It was a dry, green powder that, I'm assuming, was really good for us. She forced us to drink that stuff religiously every. single. day. At 9, you can imagine how disgusting this was to me! My mom would mix Barley Green with some orange juice and WATCH like a hawk until we drank every last drop. My brother and I literally gagged and cried (well, I cried - he would say he didn't) EVERY SINGLE TIME - which was every single day!
Looking back now that I am more health conscious, I totally appreciate her efforts and I understand why she was determined to get us to drink that stuff. Whole food nutrients have been important for a long time. But recently, they have come back into the mainstream forefront.
What Is Whole Food?
Whole food is simply food in it's natural state. Food that still contains all of it's nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It has not been chemically processed or changed. For example, an apple vs apple juice and I think we can all agree that a chicken breast is better than chicken nuggets.
Why Do We Need Whole Food Nutrients?
Our Western diet is stripped of nutrition. Preservatives and dyes are added to food to increase shelf life. Never before have we seen so many food allergies, sensitivities, skin conditions, digestive issues, hormone imbalances, the list goes on.....
We would be naive to think that our quality of food is not a contributing factor to these things.
Our body recognizes whole foods. Whole foods contain both macro & micro nutrients which are essential for our body's overall health and well being.
How To Start Adding More Whole Food To Our Diets
Thankfully, this can be simple! Whole foods are readily available to us in most major grocery stores. If you can, I would suggest finding local farmers and growers to purchase whole foods from. If that is not available to you, start where you can. Eat seasonally with simple, 1 ingredient foods and freeze fresh food to be eaten all year round.
Supplementing - Whole Food Nutrient Powder
Even with our best intentions, we may not be able to provide our body with every single essential nutrient it needs to thrive. I like to use a whole food nutritional supplement powder to fill in the gaps I may have in my daily diet.
There are hundreds of nutrient powders to choose from. I suggest you choose a supplement that contains whole food fruit and vegetables with superfruits (goji berry for example).
Look for other ingredients such as - kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, wheat grass, barley grass, mango, guava, mangosteen. Choose a powder that has a once daily requirement. Think of it like this - all the ingredients act like little scrubbers cleaning out and washing the walls of your digestive tract!
Growing up drinking Barley Green did NOT help prepare me to drink ANY powdered nutrient supplement. I'm not even kidding, my mind told me to gag even before I had tried the one I chose. It's amazing how our minds can conjure up a memory if it needs to. So lets just say, the first few weeks were a little tough. My only hurdle has been my memory!
I prefer a powder that has a sweeter taste, but be prepared for the prevalent flavour to be green vegetables and yes, grass ;)
What I Like About Whole Food Nutrient Supplements
1. Keeps you 'regular'
2. Should contain (hard to find) superfruits
3. Can be added to smoothies
4. Provides essential nutrients
5. Cleans you from the inside out
Do you try to eat whole foods? What challenges do you face?
Do you have a favourite whole food supplement powder?
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Sarah is a mom with a degree in Personal Training & is in love with all things balanced.