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Four Steps to Improving Your Nutrition

Eliminate the CRAP

C - Carbonated Drinks

R - Refined Sugars

A - Artificial Colors

P - Processed Products

But Why?

CRAP is an acronym given to describe foods that contain empty calories and ingredients that rob your body of essential vitamins and nutrients.

An example of an empty calorie food could be sugary foods (fruit flavored beverages, cookies, pastries, soft drinks, etc.). These foods are often calorie dense, but neglect essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Often times, these types of food leave our body and mind feeling groggy, foggy, or tired.

But How?

Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, let’s try and implement 1 of these over the next two weeks. Now ask yourself, which letter would you like to tackle first? Let’s aim for something you can accomplish, so choose the easiest one. This will help us establish success early and intrinsically motivate you to tackle harder ones down the road.

Here are some action steps we can take!

1) Decide which one you can accomplish. We have two weeks to make a change and often, making the decision and starting a change can be the hardest part. Make the decision and start today or tomorrow!

2) When you’re working on your habit for the next two weeks, abandon the idea of guilt. It is okay to have a cheat meal a few times a week. The idea is we are going for a “batting average.” The higher your “batting average” the better you are going to think and feel. We are not going for perfection, but improvement over the long term. Change is hard, don’t beat yourself down :)

3) If choosing to eliminate or reduce carbonated beverages, try adding fresh lemon or mint to your water. Also, sparkling water is a good option for those who love the feeling of drinking a carbonated beverage. For me, sparkling water is a blessing.

4) If choosing to eliminate or reduce refined sugars, start by switching out anything with white flour. For example, replace white bread with whole grain wheat bread. There are so many delicious and contrasting options for bread. Experiment and find one that you love!

5) If choosing to eliminate or reduce refined sugars, try eating delicious fruit when you have a craving. Nothing beats fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. Berries also provide antioxidants, help fight inflammation, and are loaded in healthy fiber. If you have a huge craving for a margarita, make it a skinny margarita! If you spend a few extra dollars upgrading the level of tequila, it makes a world of difference in taste and overall enjoyment.

6) If choosing to eliminate or reduce processed products, recognize that this is the most difficult thing to do, as most grocery/food stores products are processed foods (80-90%!). Next, start small, replace deli meat with fresh chicken. You can make it in bulk and easily freeze what you don’t use for another day. Just take it out of the freezer the night before and you are good to go!

After you your first two weeks is over, look back and reflect by asking yourself these questions;

1) How did I do? Did I give my best effort every day?

2) Were there any days where I took a step backward (this is okay and is natural! Keep a positive attitude!)

3) On the days where I didn't' do my best, what triggered my actions?

4) Do I feel ready to tackle another letter? If so, repeat the above steps and repeat! We can always strive for more improvement. Remember, change takes time. For me, it took about a year to apply these steps to my life, due to triggers and inner struggles. But by following this process, you will learn more about yourself, your body, and your mind. Good luck!

What are some other ways you like to replace the CRAP above? Comment below and share your ideas and what has worked for you!

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