Welcome to The Healthy Catholic moms podcast where we make moving and nourishing our bodies the priority so that we not only fulfill our vocations, but excel in our callings. I’m Brittany Pearson, a Catholic wife, mom, personal trainer, and I’m here to help you build healthy habits that actually fit your life. I am here to teach you how to get the results that you want and maintain the results that you want without spending hours at the gym, or meal prepping all weekend long. I understand I am right here with you getting my workouts done in the nooks and crannies of time, looking up recipes, while nursing babies and trying to prioritize my own health amidst everything else going on. But I have really good news for you, you can get the results you want. In less time without doing hours of cardio and restrictive dieting. I’m going to teach you how to use strength training and eating in a macro balanced way to get you feeling so good and your skin full of energy, and strong to carry out your life. Okay, on this podcast, we’ll delve into how to lose fat in a simple, sustainable way. What your workouts and nutrition should look like during different seasons of life, like during pregnancy and postpartum times. We’ll also discuss healthy quick meals and how to get them on the table make foods that kids will actually want to eat. Mom hacks for making your day run more smoothly and so much more. All the while with continuous encouragement to stay the course and live with discipline. This is a place where we’re striving to steward our bodies well in order to joyfully serve. I am so happy you’re here. Let’s dive in.

Main Episode:

Hello, beautiful people. Welcome to today’s episode. Thank you so much for being here and for spending time with me today. I’m looking forward to hopping into today’s topic. I hope you’re having a great week, a great day, wherever you are listening to this. And I’m just really happy to hear. So thank you for showing up or showing up all the time. If you’re here all the time, we are going to talk today about how to make that 80% of your life of your food of your nutrition, a little bit healthier up leveling the portion that’s already healthy. So I just want to back up for one minute before we get into exactly how we can make that healthier. And explain maybe for the newer listener what I mean by this so I very much promote an 8020 lifestyle.

So 80% of our calories of our nutritional intake are coming from whole clean foods I there’s so much that’s like Well is this whole as as clean as it minimally processed is this highly processed etc. In general, to simplify it, what I mostly mean by healthy whole clean foods are foods from the ground, or from a mother really close to their natural sources. Like nuts like fruits like vegetables, like beautiful grains, like healthy carbs, like sweet potatoes, like quality meats, like eggs, all of that right from the ground from a mother and then nuts, the booms all that in between.

So the 20% is where we can have treats indulgences. It could range from like Oreos to dark chocolate covered pretzels or alcohol or even fast food, whatever. So I like to approach your nutrition as nothing is necessarily good or bad. But we can’t deny and that’s absolutely a fact that there are okay foods there are good foods that are better for you foods right? I don’t like to demonize any group because I think that that is very harmful to like living a balanced lifestyle. A lot of clients have come to me and said, like, I can’t get past eating like a brownie or cookie or something because somebody I worked with in the past whether it was a nutritionist or a personal trainer or something just told me that was bad food that was an Off Limits food and like I know that that was bad I can’t have anything on the bad list. So I don’t like to say any food is bad food. We don’t want to give food like a moral standing. Okay, there’s no more reality in food and you’re not a good person or a bad person because of the foods you eat. So at the same time, it can also be true that all food is not created equally, right if you’re having a kale like calories from beautiful grass fed beef that’s in like a homemade burger that you’re making with sourdough rolls that you made by hand that’s a totally that’s gonna affect your body totally differently than maybe even the same calories but a burger made with who knows what, from a fast food joint with you know, very quick to digest, white, white hamburger bun etc. It’s gonna affect our bodies differently. It’s gonna metabolize in our body differently.

Our body handles foods that it like knows what to do with differently and breaks down differently then, you know, absolutely foreign things made in a factory, you know, or that we have no idea what’s really in. You know, it’s it’s no secret that here’s a great example. I’ve talked about this a lot if you’ve been here while I just bought them today, the grocery store, hint of lime tortilla chips. Okay, that is not a great food, you could say that’s a bad food, right? If what if I was gonna say that? I’d say it probably be the bad food? Do I still buy it often? Yes, I do. I really am into the artificial flavor on the lime, probably has MSG, just not good for you right would be much better to have like a black bean, flaxseed, whatever tortilla chip. Now in my life, there’s room for both part of my 80% would be that black bean tortilla chip, whatever part of my 20% is having those every once in a blue moon. I don’t even buy them every week. We do have taco night every week. But some weeks, I use blue corn tortilla chips. Some weeks I use the organic flaxseed whatever ones, some weeks, then yes, I buy the hint of lime. So they’re in there. And I would count that in my 20%. This is not a big healthy food, but it’s in there. Okay. So I hope you can understand where I’m starting from, where the point I’m coming from, I think food is so many things. I think that if you listen to a podcast, or read a book or something from somebody very high up in the nutrition field, who maybe just wants what’s best for you, you might hear things like never eat this, these are going to kill you, etc. I like the ones that are a little more balanced. I actually had no idea what podcast was, if I remember it, I’ll share it in the show notes. But I was listening to a podcast that was a very high level like science, food nutritionist like, what did she call herself? It was food scientists maybe. And she was very high level very learned. And she still was talking about some of the things she eats and was like, Yep, I eat that sometimes. Yep, I eat that sometimes. Oh, she has artificial sweeteners. That’s what she was talking about. She was like, because, yes, at a high dose, they might not be very good for you. But having a Splenda in your coffee every day isn’t going to kill you. And there were things that she was gleaning from the research that sometimes we can just lump things is like nope, never have this, yes, always have this or whatever. And I think there is this nice in between where you can live. And it can work in harmony, as long as it’s not always looking like fast food and donuts and sugary, sugary stuff, or made in factory stuff. So for all of this to work, we need that 80% to look different from the 20%. Okay, so that’s the very first point I want to make today. And we’re going to talk about next how to up the quality that 80%. But I need you to know and understand that.

So I haven’t even talked about calories yet, this is a lot of what we dive into, in my eight week beginner challenge or beginner program that I run just a couple times a year, that’s coming up next in June. So maybe that will be something that would help you go through all this with me and look at your food journals and talk about that is this in your ad as your 20. But I’ve not even talked about calories, I’m saying Say you every single day eat at 200 calories, or 1600 or 2000, or whatever it is 2100 2500 Whatever your calorie needs are. I’m saying that in that range, 80% of it should be from whole clean foods, 20% of it, that doesn’t necessarily mean every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean every week, it means it’s different for every single person, for one person, they might want 80% of their foods every day to be really whole and clean, but they like a treat every day. And it’s something they don’t want to give up. Or it looks like over the course of your week you eat really healthily Monday through Friday, but you like a little more on the weekends. So that your week as a whole looks like a B 20. But the point is if I look at your food logs, and I can’t really tell what was your ad, or what was your 20 because it’s all kind of bad. Or, like I just said it’s not bad, but it’s all not great. There’s not super great quality foods, we want to work on making that 80% As good quality as we can just for your internal health for the health of how your body’s functioning. calories in calories out, it could look similar. There have been studies where somebody has eaten like an 1800 calorie diet of whole clean foods, or someone’s in a diet of 1800 calories of a bunch of trash basically takeout and doughnuts and whatever. And they’ve proven like either maintaining the same result as the other person or people have done that losing weight while eating not great foods. Because there is that aspect of it that a lot of it comes down to the science of calories in calories out. However, this is where that If It Fits Your Macros idea, bear with me because you might be I might be throwing out some terms you’re not familiar with. Say like you were just looking at your overall calories you’re in you were looking at your carbs fan protein as well as your macros. You could do that many people do that. But then there’s the other side of health and fitness that’s saying like No, you need to only eat food from really clean sources. I am somewhere in the middle as I usually am with most things who say right you pretty much can lose fat means Kane fatloss have a good physique. If you really just balance out your macros and follow like some, you know, basic calorie guidelines and stay within your macros, right? I’m a big fan of that. Because even if we’re just talking 1800 calories, if you’re getting a lot of those from carbs and not from protein, your body’s going to look differently. So if you’re following the right macro breakdown for you, you still could have a really good body composition. However, here’s the big asterik. If you’re totally just of that world of If It Fits Your Macros world, and you’re not at all caring about the food quality, my question is, how does the inside of your body? How does the inside of your body look like? How are your arteries? How are your organs that are getting processed food every day? And that kind of thing? And also, how do you feel like even I don’t want to say more importantly, but probably more, you’re going to actually notice it every day, maybe rather than 10 years, or 20 years or 30 years down the road. You’re gonna feel really different if your quality of food is good. So I like both. I come from that idea of it’s looking at tracking your macros, but also 8020 Eating incorporating 80% whole clean foods 20% treats. So how do we up the quality of the 80%. So when I look at your food logs, I can tell that that was a treat. And that was not because your 80% Looks good. Okay, first, it depends where you’re starting from, okay, this is why I cannot just blank it till you do this, do this do this. We’re all starting from different places, maybe right now you do get takeout often, maybe you never get takeout.

Maybe you eat
a ton of processed food, and maybe really, really highly processed food. So I’m gonna go through a couple different things for those of you who are all in different categories. But I want to say this is why we have to do it gradually. This is why I do this within the program or within one on one clients so I can start where you’re starting from. And then we gradually make better swaps. This is also something I personally have done in my life as I become more knowledgeable. Like with cleaners, like in the beginning, I probably bought Lysol when we were first married and no shame anyone who uses Lysol at all this is just me personally, as I was trying to make things a little bit cleaner in my home and whatnot, it was like okay, then once I had that knowledge of this is a little bit of a cleaner product, this is not whatever, I didn’t just throw out everything in our house, I just as things ran out, I swapped it in for something a little bit better. So that’s the mentality, I would like you to take with this as as you grow in knowledge. Okay, now that kind of yogurt ran out, let’s have better quality when I can get okay. If you’re currently eating a ton of processed food as part of your healthy 80%. Maybe you start reducing that a little bit. This I see a lot from women who will come in, and we’ll start shooting for macro targets and protein can be hard to hit. So suddenly, they’re just hitting that sports nutrition aisle and getting everything with protein added to it. Protein Pancakes, protein, breads, protein bars, Protein Chips, whatever. But now, so much of their dietary intake is coming from things in bags and in packages. And I don’t think that is the best for us. I don’t think our bodies don’t how to break that down as well as foods that are from the ground from a mother etc. more natural to us. So now maybe we’re still trying to hit those protein targets. But maybe now we can look at swapping out a protein bar for an omelet, or something like that and making some of our own things.

That’s something I’ve been doing recently, even in our house is there’s totally cleaner protein bars, you can have that maybe have four ingredients and have to be refrigerated. That’s all awesome. The only reason I don’t buy those for our family is literally just because of the cost. So I would buy cheaper things that were not great quality with a lot of fillers. So instead I’ve been making us our own homemade protein bars. And now the only ingredient that you know has anything added to it is the protein powder itself. So that’s something like okay, this is still going to be sparing this is not going to make up the bulk of our day. But even that at least I kind of upped the quality of what we were doing there. So we’re not just basically eating a glorified candy bar. Okay, for those who are farther on the journey already, maybe you don’t eat a lot of processed food, you don’t eat a lot of fast food. Maybe it looks like you know it being upping the quality of your 80% maybe upping the quality of your 80% Looks like taking your balanced meal that you’ve already learned how to balance out right with the carbs and protein maybe say it’s like white pasta, meatballs I guess that’s probably not there for the journey. A lot of you probably do a whole grain but say you know how to balance out having a carb fat and protein and a green at a meal so your meal is going to be white pasta meatball and salad. Well maybe we take that a step further and we swap in some wheat and chickpea pasta or chickpea and zucchini pasta. Or maybe if you’re already there and this is where I think a lot of you fall maybe you take that beautiful balanced out meal of chickpea pasta and zucchini noodles that you mix together and your meatballs and your salad and now you will look like you look at varying the greens in your salad you will look at adding some herbs herbs to it like how can we up level this and make it even better for us even better, you better for our bodies and enjoy it more. You know, I think the more we can get into and embrace like cooking and food in general, it can almost be fun to us that instead of, oh, just Romaine every day or Oh, spinach I’m so sick of spinach like, right? Have you tried swiss chard one year, I just realized like I never did anything with arugula. And then I went a little overboard, crazy nose, arugula, and everything. And I remember some of my ladies, when I was running an advanced challenge, like, wow, Brit, like there is a rule in a lot of your recipes. And I was just on a bigger rubella kick. But there’s so much research to back that up to that having that variety is really important to not to eat the same exact vegetables or fruits or just foods in general, everyday, you can eat similarly. And that’s helpful. But to vary those micronutrients is really good for our bodies, too, because they’re all you know, contributing in different ways. Alright, so say you are a little bit more on the beginner spectrum here. How I want you to start bettering that 80% of food is to just truly start looking at your labels. When we are in week, one of the week challenge, we are looking at labels that first week just to become knowledgeable.

So this is where I want you to start weeding out things just start here that have a ton of added sugar. Okay, sugar is very directly related that we know this from research to inflammation to fat gain, right? Sugar, if we don’t use it, put it to work right away, it will store as fat. So, so many things have added sugar. And this can look like looking at your condiments, looking at maybe your yogurts, your protein bars, those kinds of things. And it will surprise you things even like salsas and some things on something I’ve had to be diligent about is the dried fruits, my kids love dried fruits. And it can vary just from like type to type, I was looking at dried blueberries and extra dried cranberries, and one day and one had sugar one didn’t. Different brands might vary. So just start looking at labels. And then like I said, don’t throw it everything in your house. But just kind of replace it with something better as you go. And I will talk in a second to about how to kind of prioritize that. Because maybe there’s gonna be barriers to that, like, Well, yeah, spurned by all the high end, whatever. But there is a ceiling to my grocery limits, especially right now when everything you know, cost more than it used to. But start just to increase that 80% Look at what you’re eating every day and just pick up the backfit look at maybe if it’s not a processed food, they can’t look at the backup, which would be a good thing. You know, think about your meals, maybe right now you’re eating two eggs with a piece of white toast for breakfast? Can we swap out that white toast for wheat toast? We’ll talk more about that in a second of how to uplevel that. But can you you know, round out the category there by adding some vegetables to it, maybe you’re going to put some salsa on your eggs, or you’re going to have a greens powder in your drink as well to get some more vegetables in. So just look at what you’re already doing. already eating think, first of all, look at the labels. And then secondly, how can I round this out a little bit more to fill the other categories of protein, fat, carb and greens. Okay, maybe to the intermediate personnel, you’re pretty knowledgeable about what you’re taking in, but you want to still uplevel it right, that’s what the point of today is about. I would consider going category by category. So kind of saying similar idea of as you’re using something. But just look at the options. And maybe part of this is reading books, listening different podcasts, getting more resources, so that you are knowledgeable about what the next step up is.

But say like, using us broth for soups, and right now you just use chicken broth or chicken stock baby switching that to bone broth, so you get all that beautiful collagen, and you get more protein in something that you’re already doing already using. So it’s similar to beginner, you’re just up leveling what you’re already using. Look at the yogurt you buy, maybe you’ve been having Greek yogurt for a long time. You’re like I know Greek yogurt has protein helps you you’re trying protein targets, but maybe you pick the one that is strawberry flavored because you like it best, but you flip it over and you see wow, this actually has like 20 grams of added sugar, where I could just buy the plain yogurt, and I could drizzle some honey in it, which is a more natural sweetener, better for my body, my body’s gonna break it down better. And I’ll add a little bit of, you know, maybe real strawberries to it or a little granola to it to get a little more protein or some whole grains in there or whatever. Also in this category, I think this is where a lot of us already know that whole grains are better for us than white grains better for us, meaning our body is going to digest it more slowly. And it’s not going to spike our blood sugar as much right? Not necessarily again, anything to do with calories. This is like quality of foods. So maybe you’re making sandwiches on whole wheat bread maybe now you look at looking at some ancient grains instead is the Kill bread. There’s a ton of knock off as you go breads to buy a knockoff one that they have at Aldi, which is hardier and just ancient grains are those that are not modified quite as much as the other hybridized grains that we’re getting and other things. So maybe that’s more of the intermediate personnel.

In the advanced category, something I would challenge you to do, if you think you’re doing a lot of that you’ve swapped out, you’re using a lot of ancient grains, you are pretty knowledgeable that all your labels really like very little things have added sugar that you go to every day that you would count in your 80%, etc. You basically know at this point like no but treats a treat like meat with my hint of lime tortilla chips, I pretty much know every day. I’m having plain yogurt with the whatever did it a PE of a chicken sales for long term have an omelet. But then when I have that into lime tortillas with my tacos, like I know that’s part of my 20% That’s fine with my Margarita, you know, but what I want to challenge those of you who are in that space who think you kind of know all there is no, maybe look at the how you’re using your foods, okay, because there can even be an upper level to this. So one example would be like your oils, olive oil is very good for us. However, it has a low smoke point. This is something I learned later in life to like I did not know this right away when I was cooking, we should be using things like avocado oil or coconut oil for don’t quote me on the coconut oil because I only use avocado oil for this, but it has a higher smoke point. So if you’re roasting vegetables, at 400 degrees or higher, you’re going to want to not use olive oil. Pretty sure olive oils, small point is 350 Or maybe lower. So I don’t use it on things. I’m roasting at a high level. So that’s huge. Maybe you are using like better for you grains or ancient grains. But are you using improperly. We are supposed to be soaking our oats before we use them to get better. They’re just eases up. The worker body has to do either digestion. Fermented foods or something I didn’t really talk about here. But there’s a lot of foods that we think okay, well, cabbage is just good for us. Yes, cabbage is good for us taking it a step further. Sauerkraut is really good for us because of the fermentation process and what that’s going to do for our gut health. That’s a whole podcast in and of itself that I need to do soon, do a little more research on and present to you ladies. But looking at not just the what but how the how you should use how you should pair your foods, right? There are certain micronutrients that do best when they’re paired with something else. So like a salad if you’re if you’re have this beautiful salad and mixed greens and beautiful vegetables, but you’re using like a fat free dressing, that’s actually not that great for you. Because your body needs that fat to soak in those nutrients along. Right. Like together, it can’t just take those raw greens and do anything with it, it needs that fat with it. So there’s so much to learn and grow in this area. And I will say just resources educating yourself that, yes, there’s a lot to know. But one change at a time, you will be shocked at how much better you feel from little tiny tweaks at every little level of the game. So I will say, mentioned this couple minutes ago, we do have to of course, consider costs and then prioritize what you want to while I’m talking about increasing the good quality of our 80%. So what’s already the healthy part making it healthier. I did not talk about today, eggs or meats or things like that, that we’ve talked about a little bit. In past episodes, I know I’ve done an episode on the difference of like conventional or grass fed or whatever meats. I’ve talked about what we personally prioritize and our grocery costs and what we don’t. And that’s all just really personal. And you can consider that and your own upping the quality part, right.

This is some there is a like barrier to entry for some of these things of cost, right. Something that I’ve been doing recently, I mentioned this on the podcast, I was looking at our nut butters. And okay, peanut butter, just the average peanut butter has usually sugar added to it. It has a bunch of seed oils in it. And is not that great for us. And maybe we’re eating that every day. That’s part of our 80%. So I was trying I remember saying this on a podcast to commit to only buying the higher quality organic peanut butters that are literally peanuts, like peanuts and salt, or peanuts and olive oil. And that’s it. And I did that for a couple of weeks. And then if I had run out and I was at a store that didn’t have that kind like all the does, they might have the smaller jars of it but I was not getting those I was getting like the bigger option at Wegmans or different places. I just grabbed a couple of the other ones in between that. Oh, it’s so much cheaper. It’s literally half the price. So I think this looks like sometimes it looks like a mix of both.

I will honestly say I prioritize the high quality meats and eggs. First and foremost over anything else but then there’s the but I just picked up a 12 a dozen just regular old conventional eggs, too. Today, because I had about 24 of the good ones at home. And I knew I knew he was going to need more for this weekend for some recipes and things like that. And I was like, well, I’ll just stick the other ones in recipes. And we’ll eat like an omelet and things like that the better quality ones. So we do what we can, right. In a perfect world on a perfect budget, we could have all the beautiful foods, but I think it’s about you know, knowledge first and foremost, to know what the next healthiest thing is the level we can bring it up to.

And then secondly, okay, what can we do with what we have? And that’s personal to everybody. And it might look different week to week, like some weeks I’m buying the good eggs and some weeks for stretching it. All right. Okay, I hope this was helpful. I hope it gets you started thinking about how you can make that eight person healthy, healthier, and just remember, it’s about the balance of it all so that we want that, you know, bulk of our food to be as healthy as it can be within reason. So that when we do have that 20% of indulgences, it’s a clear distinction. Our body’s like, Okay, I mostly get the really good stuff and now I’m not gonna you know, I can handle a little bit of the other stuff. Alright, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Thank you so much for joining me!

Time stamps:

  • Introduction to today’s episode. 0:02

    • Welcome to the healthy catholic moms podcast.

    • Today’s topic, how to lose fat.

  • What is healthy whole clean foods? 2:23

    • The 80% and 20% lifestyle.

    • Healthy, whole, clean foods.

  • There’s no more reality in food. 4:14

    • All food is not created equally.

    • Hint of lime tortilla chips are not great.

  • Food is so many things. If you listen to a podcast or read a book, you might hear things like never eat this, these are going 6:00

    • The importance of a balanced diet.

    • How to up the quality of your 20%

  • How do we improve the quality of our food? 8:42

    • Making 80% of food 80% good quality.

    • The science of calories in, calories out.

    • Starting with a healthy 80% of diet.

    • The importance of gradually making better swaps.

  • How can we up level this journey? 13:06

    • Swap a protein bar for an omelet or homemade protein bars.

    • Balance out a balanced meal.

  • Have you ever tried Swiss Chard? 15:18

    • The importance of variety and variety of micronutrients.

    • Weeding out 80% of food.

  • Look at what you’re already doing already. 17:03

    • Look at what you are eating every day.

    • Consider going category-by-category.

  • Look at the yogurt you buy and see if it has added sugar. 18:58

    • Look at the quality of foods.

    • Look at how you are using your foods.

  • What’s already in your diet that you can improve? 21:08

    • Olive oil vs coconut oil in cooking.

    • Cabbage and sauerkraut are good for us.

    • Consider costs and prioritize what you want.

    • Prioritize high quality meats and eggs first and foremost over anything else.

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