What is nutritarian?
I never diet; I never have. I think diets set you up to fail because, when you stop “dieting,” you gain all the weight back. That being said, since I was diagnosed with breast cancer over two years ago, I’ve been on a journey to find a style of eating that will support my healing immune system and help get me back on track. Enter the nutritarian style of eating.
This way of eating is plant-based but allows for up to 5% of animal protein in your diet. For me, that means every other morning I have 1 egg with my breakfast and once a week I have salmon or chicken with dinner. It’s taking a while to learn this new way of eating — it’s a lot more chopping and cooking, and I’m experimenting with new foods and ways of preparing them. In a nutshell, the nutritarian style of eating encompasses the following every day:
- A large salad as the main dish for at least one of your meals
- Eat 1/2 – 1 cup of beans
- Eat a large serving of steamed vegetables
- Eat 1 oz. of nuts/seeds if you are a chick and 1.5 oz. if you’re a dude
- Eat cooked mushrooms as well as raw and cooked onions
- Eat at least three fresh fruits
As you can see from the pic above, this makes your plate look totally different. We are used to having animal protein (chicken, beef, fish) on 1/3 of our plates, then vegetables taking up another 1/3, with some sort of bread/pasta/rice taking up the final 1/3. Now, I have several different things on my plate at any given meal, and it’s kind of fun to put it together. In the meal pictured, I served my friends Sherry & Jacque’s barley salad over organic spinach, then added a side of black beans, a scoop of quinoa, and tucked in a small serving of hummus with a few flax seed crackers. It was delicious and filled me up — seriously, I was satisfied and didn’t miss a thing.
I first heard of this way of eating because I saw a PBS special on Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who coined the phrase “nutritarian.” If anything is on PBS, it automatically gets more of my attention, because they don’t put quacks on PBS, right? Then my friend Anna and I were eating lunch at Casa de Luz one day — it’s all organic, vegan, gluten-free and allergy-aware. That’s a little hard core for me, but I’m aware that I always feel good and balanced after eating there, so I thought I would incorporate more of this type of eating into my diet.
If you are interested in reading more about this, I recommend reading Dr. Fuhrman’s book “The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life” — it’s been my guide as I get used to cooking and eating this way.
Now, lest I leave you with no recipe (gasp), here’s one I’ve actually been using for years, and it fits well into the nutritarian style of eating:
1-2 ripe avocados
1-2 ripe mangos
Chopped cilantro to taste
Fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients together and serve with flax seed tortilla chips (my new favorite chip) as an appetizer or as a small serving on your lunch or dinner plate.
Do you have a style of eating that is working for you? Tell us about it in the comments — we are all becoming more aware of what is going into our bodies and how our food impacts health, so I truly value learning from people around me about what works for them.