A Simple RX For Good Nutrition, Good Health, and a Good Life
February 19

Feng Shui

Jared Koch is the author of Clean Plates NYC.

Eating and living healthier don’t have to be complicated or confusing, and they certainly don’t have to result in a boring, tasteless sacrifice. The following tips will provide you with a simple way of thinking about nutrition that will make it easy and even – more importantly – enjoyable.

At the foundation of my philosophy is the recognition that there is no single diet that will work for everyone. Instead, you just have to find which foods and eating habits are best for you. The following guidelines will put you on the right path to finding the perfect foods for you and your body. Remember, progress is more important than perfection. Shoot for eating well 80% of the time, and don’t beat yourself up about the other 20%.

Eat mostly VEGETABLES. Lots of green leafy ones (kale and swiss chard are two of my favorites!) and include a variety of different colors (carrots, squashes, broccoli, etc). Combine raw and cooked vegetables, shoot for local and organic, and don’t forget the ones from the sea! Seaweeds like kelp and nori are loaded with minerals.

Then have some NUTS AND SEEDS. Stick mostly to raw and unsalted ones for the most benefit.

Of course, remember to have FRUIT. Berries are best, and if possible, be sure to buy local and/or organic.

Depending on your body’s needs and preferences, eat an appropriate amount of GRAINS (mostly whole, low or no gluten – sprouted and sourdough breads are best), BEANS (soak ‘em first, low amounts or no processed soy) and ANIMAL PRODUCTS (look for pasture-raised, grass-fed, free-range, organic, antibiotic and hormone-free, wild seafood, and little or no dairy).

Use high-quality OILS (coconut for cooking and raw olive and/or flax for dressings), SALTS (preferably from the sea or pink Himalayan crystal) and lots of HERBS and SPICES. Not only do they stimulate your taste buds, but many, like garlic, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon and rosemary are touted for their healing properties.

Reduce your intake of sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed, chemicalized, artificially-flavored or preserved foods.

Drink mostly pure WATER and TEA (especially green).

Satisfy your sweet tooth. If fruit isn’t enough, use natural sweeteners (in moderation) such as raw honey, palm sugar – you’ll be hearing more about it – maple syrup, or agave nectar.

Nutrition is more than food. EVERYTHING YOU CONSUME MATTERS.

Be mindful of the relationships you keep, the books, magazines and internet sites you read, the movies and TV you watch, and the music you listen to.

EXERCISE and move your body often. Be exposed often to FRESH AIR and the SUN —even in the winter.

SLEEP well. Going to bed and getting up at the same time consistently is best. And shoot for between 6-8 hours, not more and not less. This could be the most important factor for good health.

MEDITATE! You’ll be surprised by the results. Make a difference. Laugh and smile, often. And most importantly: ENJOY your relationships. ENJOY your work. ENJOY and appreciate life.

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  • http://obnoxiouslisteners.com nirav

    Jared – can you take us through a typical day in your life of what you eat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/urbanantonio Antonio Valladares

    'no single diet that will work for everyone' – yet your first recommendation you tell everyone to 'Eat mostly VEGETABLES' and to drink green tea which contradicts your own 'foundational philosophy.'

    Confusing people isnt healthy.

    Most people are underfed and overstimulated and should not consume Green Tea or any stimulant, esp caffeine. The idea that something is 'healthy' for u w/o taking into consideration the poor health of each person is popular, but not wise.

    Sleep – most people are underslept and should not be told 6 hrs is 'ok' – its not. Its insufficient for most people today

    'EVERYTHING YOU CONSUME MATTERS' – I agree, except Agave which is mostly fructose, hence, satisfying your sweet tooth with this food is a bad idea and very unhealthy.

  • jaredkoch

    Hi Nirav- I consciously try to eat a wide variety of foods so it is difficult to pinpoint a typical day. And it definitely changes depending on the season and my level of activity. Essentially, I eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, some nuts and seeds and nut butters, some “sustainably/natually” raised animal foods, some whole grains and beans. I typically use ghee, coconut oil or olive oil and lots of herbs and spices when cooking. I try and eat a lot of raw foods as well. If I eat bread, it is typically sprouted or sourdough and once in a while spelt. I very rarely eat cheese but do once in a blue moon. I try and eat top quality whole, real food about 90% of the time and the other 10% may be a naturally sweetened dessert or some “better quality” processed/packaged foods. I drink mainly water and sometimes tea and not much else except coconut milk once in a while. Hope this gives you and everyone else a general sense….Jared

  • jaredkoch

    Hi Antonio- I appreciate you taking the time to read the post and comment.

    My intention is not to confuse but to clear up a lot of the confusion that exists. Regarding the seeming contradiction between there being no perfect diet for everyone and me giving some food recommendations…Research has shown there are large populations that have thrived on all different types of diets from high fat to high protein to high carb etc. While each person for a wide variety of reasons responds differently to different foods I think it is prudent for people to eat a lot of vegetables and plant foods. I do agree that not everyone would necessarily benefit from green tea and some should avoid caffeine altogether.

    Regarding sleep…Each person does need to find the right amount of time that works for them. A lot of research does show that if people sleep between 6-8 hours consistently it is sufficient.

    Regarding agave…I am very aware of the present opposition to agave nectar and it purportedly containing a high concentration of fructose as well as some of the issues with certain manufacturing processes. That is why I add “in moderation”. I believe all of the “natural sweeteners” should be consumed in moderation but I do believe they are still a better alternative to refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. In my personal experience, my body responds much more positively to agave nectar than it does to sugar or corn syrup with which I experience a pretty immediate negative reaction when when I consume.

    Ultimately nutrition is a very new science and you can find disagreement on almost every topic. My intent is to educate and inspire people to move towards a more whole/ real food diet and away from a lot of the chemical, artificial processed foods without getting too dogmatic or stringent about it.

  • Gigi

    Thanks! Very simple and does not sound hard to do. I will keep this in mind as I look to improve my eating habits. Many thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/urbanantonio Antonio Valladares

    Jared

    I agree with most of what your saying
    I think your article is great

    I would say people need to eat 'more' vegetables, not mostly
    Saying 'mostly' is advocating a vegetarian or semi veg diet
    which doesn't work for everyone and is not congruent with 'individualized'

    Grass fed animal foods work wonders for many human beings

    I think sleep (and individualized nutrition) are under appreciated in this culture
    People are spent, they need more rest

    I appreciate you stating your intent
    Again, we agree on most and I support your work
    I love your book, use it often and influenced many people to get it

    peace
    antonio

  • jaredkoch

    Hi Nirav- I consciously try to eat a wide variety of foods so it is difficult to pinpoint a typical day. And it definitely changes depending on the season and my level of activity. Essentially, I eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, some nuts and seeds and nut butters, some “sustainably/natually” raised animal foods, some whole grains and beans. I typically use ghee, coconut oil or olive oil and lots of herbs and spices when cooking. I try and eat a lot of raw foods as well. If I eat bread, it is typically sprouted or sourdough and once in a while spelt. I very rarely eat cheese but do once in a blue moon. I try and eat top quality whole, real food about 90% of the time and the other 10% may be a naturally sweetened dessert or some “better quality” processed/packaged foods. I drink mainly water and sometimes tea and not much else except coconut milk once in a while. Hope this gives you and everyone else a general sense….Jared

  • jaredkoch

    Hi Antonio- I appreciate you taking the time to read the post and comment.

    My intention is not to confuse but to clear up a lot of the confusion that exists. Regarding the seeming contradiction between there being no perfect diet for everyone and me giving some food recommendations…Research has shown there are large populations that have thrived on all different types of diets from high fat to high protein to high carb etc. While each person for a wide variety of reasons responds differently to different foods I think it is prudent for people to eat a lot of vegetables and plant foods. I do agree that not everyone would necessarily benefit from green tea and some should avoid caffeine altogether.

    Regarding sleep…Each person does need to find the right amount of time that works for them. A lot of research does show that if people sleep between 6-8 hours consistently it is sufficient.

    Regarding agave…I am very aware of the present opposition to agave nectar and it purportedly containing a high concentration of fructose as well as some of the issues with certain manufacturing processes. That is why I add “in moderation”. I believe all of the “natural sweeteners” should be consumed in moderation but I do believe they are still a better alternative to refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. In my personal experience, my body responds much more positively to agave nectar than it does to sugar or corn syrup with which I experience a pretty immediate negative reaction when when I consume.

    Ultimately nutrition is a very new science and you can find disagreement on almost every topic. My intent is to educate and inspire people to move towards a more whole/ real food diet and away from a lot of the chemical, artificial processed foods without getting too dogmatic or stringent about it.

  • Gigi

    Thanks! Very simple and does not sound hard to do. I will keep this in mind as I look to improve my eating habits. Many thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/urbanantonio Antonio Valladares

    Jared

    I agree with most of what your saying
    I think your article is great

    I would say people need to eat 'more' vegetables, not mostly
    Saying 'mostly' is advocating a vegetarian or semi veg diet
    which doesn't work for everyone and is not congruent with 'individualized'

    Grass fed animal foods work wonders for many human beings

    I think sleep (and individualized nutrition) are under appreciated in this culture
    People are spent, they need more rest

    I appreciate you stating your intent
    Again, we agree on most and I support your work
    I love your book, use it often and influenced many people to get it

    peace
    antonio