Wellness Bites: Healthy Eating 101

Hi there! I’m Dr. Qadira, and I’m a pediatrician, lifestyle medicine physician, and plant-based mama. I am on a mission to help families move from “information to implementation” in creating healthy, thriving, joyful lives together!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with changing nutritional advice about what diet is best for overall health or getting to a healthier weight? 

Despite what may sometimes feel like conflicting information, here’s the bottom line: much of the rise in chronic diseases in both kids & adults can be traced back to what we eat! 

Specifically, our risk for largely preventable diseases - like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease - increases when we eat:

  • too much sugar and refined carbohydrates (think: processed sugars, white flour, white rice)
  • too much salt, 
  • too much saturated fat, and
  • too much animal protein/fat.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Despite this, the great news is that we have POWER IN OUR PLATESWhen we harness the power of the foods we put into our children’s and our own bodies, we can shift the entire trajectory of our health. 

Below, I summarize the heart of evidence-based nutrition recommendations for better health.  These tips are the core of the healthy eating principles that I strive to live (...and eat) by and also how I counsel my patients and their families.

The ‘Sprouting Wellness Bites’ eating tips will help to set you and your family up for reclaiming the power of the plate - one bite at a time.

Sprouting Wellness Bites⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

KEEP IT CLEAR. Don’t drink your calories. Americans consume much of their sugar in the form of beverages like juices, sweetened teas, coffee drinks, and soda. Water is the best drink to hydrate us and to help avoid unnecessary sugar and extra calories.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

EAT THE RAINBOW. Make your plate plant-focused! I encourage my patients to aim for half the plate (at meals & snacks) to be brimming with colorful fruits & veggies. Full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, whole plant foods pack a nutrition punch like no other foods! The different colors of each fruit or vegetable provide a unique health-promoting nutritional profile.  

IT’S COMPLEX - NOT COMPLICATED. Choose complex carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates as much as possible. Complex carbs are nutritionally-dense, full of essential fiber, and lead to less dramatic swings in insulin and blood sugar as the body works to digest them. Examples of complex carbs: whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta), vegetables, whole fruits, and beans. There is a delicious variety to choose from which will better serve our bodies!

MORE MEAT, MORE PROBLEMS. Did you know that the longest living populations in the world (known as The Blue Zones) eat very little, if any, meat? Reducing your consumption of animal products is associated with lowered risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Beginning this journey can begin with a meatless dinner once per week and then expand from there! Moving towards an unprocessed, plant-based diet can open the door towards better health for the entire family. 

What are your healthy eating principles?  Tell us over on Facebook!

Be Well,
Dr. Qadira, MD

Sprouting Wellness Founder + Doctor Mama-in-Chief

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