One Small Diet Change Can Lead to BIG Results

Making a healthy lifestyle change is always two parts, exercise and diet.  While some excel at both, others normally have a hard time with one or the other.

They love to work out, attend their group class, or a morning run, but struggle when it comes to making healthier food choices.  Others can eat “clean”  but finding the time and motivation to make it into the gym with their schedule is the true challenge.

Maybe you fall into one of these groups or you have everything under control.

Either way, you can still benefit by what I have to tell you today.

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Sometimes a “little” change is all you need.  By evaluating where you already are and making small tweeks, you can enhance your health even more than before, or just bring in a little more variety which is always good.

I can fall into the rut of doing/eating the same things over and over, week after week.  This leads to tastebud boredom and in a way a loss of appetite.  This is not good, because bored or not bored, the body needs nutrients to grown and fuel your next workout.

I found “small” changes can make a “big” impact on the same boring things, especially food.

So let me give you an example,  I need a snack, so I grab some greek yogurt, throw some blueberries, chia seeds, in there and chow down.  It tastes great, gives me protein, fiber, healthy fats, and is easy to make.  But after a week… ugh this again!  Scarf it down again, but it starts to become more of a chore than something I look forward to.

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Enter my “little” change…. the walnut.

The walnut is just one example.

So take my greek yogurt example, something I was now bored with is now exciting to me again and something I look forward to eating and even craving.  By adding some walnuts I change my meal from a, lets say “squishy” meal, to a crunchy meal.  It makes a difference as corny as it sounds.  Plus with the added walnuts I get more healthy fats, protein, and fiber than I was before.

More importantly, eating stays exciting and not so much a chore.  For me this is important, because I can easily skip a meal in order to accomplish something else that I could be doing.  One of my bad habits.  So switching it up keeps me engaged and excited about the nutrition aspect of things.

Now the great thing with walnuts is that I can add them to other things…

  • Protein shakes
  • cereals
  • salads
  • oatmeal
  • cottage cheese
  • my signature dinner (throwing some chicken (or other lean meat),  brown rice, and green vegetables all into a bowl with a dash of pepper and himalayan sea salt)
  • or just a handful as a snack

These are just my ideas in my fairly basic, generic diet.  If you are more kitchen and culinary savy then you may be more creative than me.

So why walnuts?

Walnuts are a great source of not only protein and fiber, but Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) which can reduce the risk of cardiac disease and heart attack in men.

Arginine which causes blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow to all your muscles.

Can help fight off disease.  The Vitamin E they contain (gammatocopherol kind) can help prevent prostate cancer.

They also provide a dose of manganese and copper which help fight off free radicals causing cell breakdown and premature aging.

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I buy unshelled walnuts for convenience, just dip your hand in and grab a handful.  Since they are unshelled I store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.  I must say they do not last long in my house, so they would probably be ok sitting in a cool, dark cupboard as well.  But if they are going to be around for a prolonged amount of time then throw them in the fridge.

 

About The Author

Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton is personal trainer in Pittsburgh, PA. His goal is to help his clients look, feel, and move better. In his spare time you can find him under a barbell or practicing jiu jitsu.

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