What should I eat?

Quality. The quality of the food you eat may be the single most important factor to your health, desired weight loss, and longevity.

The biggest and most urgent nutritional question I get asked all the time is what should I eat?  That simple question has become complicated with confusing and contradictory answers making it difficult to know what you should be doing.

Think KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetheart 😉 The one nutritional strategy that will give you the biggest bang for your metabolic buck, improve your health, and make a positive impact on the lives of others is to eat real food. Quality is everything. Improve the quality of your food and the rest will follow. 

Quality means any or all of the following: real; fresh; organic; gourmet; lovingly crafted; homemade; locally produced; heirloom varieties; nutrient dense; tasteful; filled with true flavor, instead of biochemical or artificial flavors that mask the absence of nutrients and vitality. When we use the word organic, we mean food in it’s real state! 

You’ve likely heard of the “French Paradox” – how certain Europeans populations can eat a significantly greater amount of fat without the same rise in cholesterol level and heart disease that Americans experience. There are two major differences when comparing the average French & American diet:

  1. Europeans focus on the entire experience of enjoying a meal: relaxing, breathing, and taking their time with their meals. There’s a metabolic power to that.
  2. It’s also about quality. The European diet is at a level worth aspiring to. This higher quality means a healthier metabolism.

The only “paradox” here is that we aren’t honest enough with ourselves to see the big picture – to look at those two important differences!

The poorer the quality of our food, the more quantity we’ll consume.

The problem with overeating in our nation is not that we have a collective willpower disorder. Yes, many of us eat too much. But we do so, to a great degree, because our food is nutrient deficient. It lacks the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and all the undiscovered x-factors and energies our bodies need. The brain senses these deficiencies and shifts to survival mode by telling you to eat more food. 

Eating fresh, whole-state organic (remember we mean real!) foods, your diet becomes more nutrient dense. That’s because pound for pound, fresh real food has more vitamins and minerals than their inorganic and mass-produced counterparts. They also have less xenotoxins – human-made substances such as pesticides and herbicides that function as anti-nutrients and disease agents.

No matter what food you eat, choose the highest quality version of that food available.


Food is energy and information.

This definition applies to anything we consume. Food, water, medicine… it all sends a specific message to our cells.

Caffeine in coffee tells the heart to beat faster and instructs the nervous system to accelerate its functions. The fiber in your oatmeal actually chats with your intestines, telling them to contract. The bio-flavonoids in berries tell the body to keep tiny blood vessels strong and supple to reduce cellular inflammation, and to slow down the aging process of specific tissues.

A diet lacking in nutrients means the body is not getting the messages it needs to prosper and thus the brain tells the body to eat more in search of those nutrients!


So again, KISS: eat quality, real food!


Vanessa Lennick, RD, LRD
Registered Dietitian