Today's post is a book review of sorts, but its main purpose is to detail the way you can transition to a healthy diet:
A simple 4-step Nutrient-Dense Tier System can get you started on the right track & to progress to optimum health. It's for individuals who want to transition to eating a nutritious, healthy diet in progressive steps. The book shows you not only what to eat, but also how to eat healthily. The tiers help the transition by showing you which unhealthy foods to eliminate, stage-by-stage, and how to increase nutrient density through creative substitution.
Making changes in tiers has proven more successful in the long term because it gives you a sense of empowerment while transitioning toward health at your own pace (versus the daunting idea of an ideal diet and a specific program with rigid rules). The tier system works because it helps you from feeling overwhelmed by new nutritional information. It also stresses the positive aspects of adopting a nutrient dense diet and not the negative aspects of guilt, pressure, or stress, which can be paralyzing.
The Nutrient-Dense Tier System helps you to re-connect with the pleasures and appreciation of good, wholesome food and respects your unique needs. The tiers make the journey smoother, more fun, easy, and natural to implement.
Tier One: Clear Out the Debris
In this crucial first step toward a nutrient dense diet, you set goals, make a commitment, and strive for self-accountability. This gets you started on the right foot, and by doing so you must eliminate and unnecessary “baggage”. Meaning, you need to read food labels and eliminate the zero-density foods from your diet, especially foods containing hydrogenated oils like shortening and margarine (trans fats), aspartame and other chemical sweeteners, MSG (an excitotoxin), and gluten, if you suspect an intolerance. This may mean confronting some addictions and attachments. In tier one, you aim to send a clear message to your body about what is & is not acceptable regarding the food you eat. Make small substitutions, such as tea for soda and butter for margarine. Start adding in more servings of fruits and vegetables.
Tier Two: Creative Substitutions
In this step, which you transition to at your own pace, you use creative ways to replace the foods you eliminated with more nutrient dense foods. Here you will really break some old habits, but you will not feel deprived, because the food you choose is better, healthier, and tastier than what you left behind. In this tier you may try new foods, cook more at home, and expand your cooking skills. You may want to eliminate dairy if you suspect an intolerance or allergy. In tier two, you really focus on food quality in making lateral food substitutions.
Some Substitution examples:
I also have a Au Naturale Nutrition info-graphic of more great substitutions as you progress away from refined foods and toward more whole foods:
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