Jeeze, sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile on here! Since we opened for the season at The Prairie Club, I’ve been busy busy with work….all the more reason to dive into this topic on how I keep healthy eating simple with a super valuable acronym/practice taught by my best friend & registered dietitian Robyn Johnson. I’ve bragged about her before in other posts (like this one) about how valuable she’s been in my health journey & the good news is, she can help you too!
The concept is called CPF+ and it stands for:
- C = Carbohydrates
- P = Protein
- F = Fat
- + = The BEST, most nutritious version of all 3 (aka: REAL FOOD)
Seems pretty simple right? Well, the good news is that it IS!
What I love about this way of viewing nutrition is that it is BALANCED & that’s what I’m striving for in all areas of my life! This is NOT a diet. I hate diets to be honest with you because I know that, quite simply, they don’t work for long-lasting health. There’s plenty of research backing that, but more importantly, I can speak from personal experience that obsessive calorie counting & any form of deprivation, including restricting calories to an unhealthy level (which most diets do), can & will completely backfire eventually! CPF+ is a way of thinking about your nutrition & practicing healthy habits that you can sustain for LIFE.
Since implementing CPF+, I’m healthier, but more import than that, I’m WAY happier! Eating real food & listening to my body for what it wants & needs is way more sustainable than relying only on the numbers & counting every little thing that I put in my mouth. I’ve learned that not all calories are created equal, so eating the right calories instead of getting under my calorie “limit” is the key to lasting health (and sanity….ha!). I now focus more on the ingredient list (the shorter the better) instead of the calorie or fat content.
OK, so let’s dive in shall we?! I’m going to keep it pretty simple today, but will include a link to more info from Robyn if you want to dive in further.
C = CARBS
- No, this does not mean highly processed, junk carbs, like most breads, cereals, & pastas.
- The most nutrient dense (+) carbs are found in the form of good ol’ fruits & veggies!!
- Contrary to some popular diets (ugh) out there, YOUR BODY NEEDS CARBS. They’re our main source of energy in the body. Don’t listen to any diets that suggest cutting out or extremely limiting one of the macros (CPF). You need all 3!
- My go-to healthy carb sources: all fruits & veggies, beans, rice, oats, & quinoa
P = Protein
- Protein is essential for muscle building, hair & nail health, tissue repair, & so much more!
- Complete proteins contain all 22 amino acids, which are essential for our body to function optimally.
- My go-to healthy protein sources: beef, pork, chicken, fish, gelatin, eggs, & greek yogurt
F = Fats
- One of the most detrimental dietary recommendations in America has been the low fat craze!! We NEED healthy fats (just make sure they’re the right kind)!
- Fats are essential for carrying nutrients throughout the body, building hormones, absorbing vitamins, & providing satiation.
- Avoid any food product that’s labeled “fat free” or “low fat,” as they’re always supplemented with artificial, crappy ingredients like sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives, to retain the flavor that is stripped away when they take out the fat.
- My go-to healthy fat sources: olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter, avocado, olives, natural peanut butter, almonds, chia seeds, & flax seeds
- Fats that I avoid like the plague: vegetable oil, canola oil, margarine, shortening, or any food product with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list
That’s IT! Pretty simple right? Just remember CPF+ when meal building & you’re good to go! I keep this in mind any time I eat meals or snacks & it really helps me control blood sugar imbalances, curbs my hunger, & keeps me energized & satisfied throughout the day.
Here’s some examples of my favorite CPF+ meals:
- Local eggs (P+) cooked in coconut oil (F+) with a banana (C+) & natural peanut butter (F+)
- Smoothie with spinach, bananas, & strawberries (C+), gelatin powder (P+), & chia seeds (F+)
- Salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, & carrots (C+), deli turkey breast (P+), homemade olive-oil based dressing (F+)
- Burrito bowl with rice, black beans, tomatoes, & salsa (C+), diced chicken (P+), olives & sour cream (F)
- Grilled steak (P+) with a side of potatoes, peppers, onions, & mushrooms (C+) grilled in a foil packet with organic butter & olive oil (F+)
- Sweet potato hash made with diced sweet potatoes, onion, peppers, kale, & other veggies (C+), cooked in bacon fat or coconut oil (F+), mixed with chopped bacon & topped with 2 fried eggs (P+) – find recipe here!
I hope this is helpful information for some of you striving to live a more balanced, simpler, happier, healthier life. I’d love to hear what you think so comment below or like this post if you found it useful 🙂 Also, if you liked this, don’t forget to follow the blog so that you’re notified when I post new content!
Thanks so much for following my journey.
Until next time,