We all eat. But how well nourished are we? Here’s what you need to know (and do) to optimally feed your body and brain, avoid unwanted weight gain (or loss), ward off cravings and hunger, and sidestep the chronic conditions that plague many well-intended “healthy” eaters.

This week we’re talking about the fine art of being Nourished. By that, we mean not just being adequately fed or fueled, but being amply supplied with all the subtle nutritive and sensory properties that our bodies and minds require for optimal function and satisfaction.

We look at the epidemic of chronic undernourishment — driven both by under- and over-feeding — and we explore the strategies that most reliably lead to a happy nutritional balance. Finally, we suggest some experiments to help you fine-tune your self-nourishing strategies in ways that work for you.

“Nourished” Episode Highlights

  • The advantages of getting your nourishment from whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense plants and animals vs. processed foods + nutritional supplements
  • Moving beyond nutritional reductionism
  • The common “overfed/undernourished” and “underfed/undernourished” phenomena associated with standard American diets
  • Why “well-nourished and overfed” is not a common scenario (thanks to the leptin signaling and hunger/energy regulation of healthy systems)
  • Effects of food choices in nourishing the body and brain
  • Why a lean and muscular appearance doesn’t necessarily signal vibrant health
  • The key to moving from overfed/underfed to properly fed and nourished (it’s not just a macronutrient problem)
  • How low-nutrient, empty calories lead to the “always hungry” problem
  • The role of the thyroid gland in regulating nourishment and body composition
  • Why calorie-focused diets don’t work for most people (and often compound the undernourishment problem)
  • The process of getting to an optimally nourished state

For one week, replace one processed or lower-nutrient food with a whole, nutrient-dense food.

  • For example: have butternut squash instead of a side of rice, or replace croutons on soup with arugula.

Try this simple blended drink in addition to your breakfast to get several servings of veggies first thing in the morning, and to get your body craving more nutrient-dense food later in the day:

  • 1 cup water (preferably filtered)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup organic apple cider
  • Two stalks of celery, cut in chunks your blender can handle
  • One whole, unpeeled cucumber (cut in half or quarters)
  • 1/2 of a lemon, rind and all
  • Two leaves of organic kale
  • Little nib of ginger (about the size of your pinkie fingertip)

Ideally the ingredients are all organic; if they’re not, wash them well before adding them to the blender. Blend to smoothie consistency, but still with some chewy bits. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy (to get the most nutrition and satisfaction, be sure to chew each sip before you swallow).

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