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Eat Less CRAP And Eat More FOOD: A Path to Optimal Health

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Striving for healthy eating habits in a world filled with tempting food choices, it’s essential to strike a balance between indulgence and nourishment. This article will not only provide you with valuable insights into better eating habits and improved physical health but also share my personal journey towards optimal well-being and the philosophy I impart to my health coaching clients.

30-Min Wellness Consultation

This 30-minute wellness consultation session is a foundational meeting where you can discuss your current lifestyle, stressors, and goals to better understand your wellness journey. Consider this a coffee date where we connect to see if this can be a mutually beneficial fit.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

A healthy plate filled with salmon, colorful fruits and vegetables is an example of healthy eating.

The Connection Between Nutrition and Personal Experience in Optimal Health

My experience has been a testament to the profound connection between good eating habits and consistent physical activity for optimal health. Like you, I’ve faced the allure of unhealthy foods and the challenges of maintaining a fitness routine. When I decided to make small but impactful changes to my lifestyle, I truly felt a monumental shift in my overall health and wellness.

I realized that achieving lasting well-being isn’t just about hitting the gym hard or depriving yourself of your favorite treats. It’s about finding a harmonious balance between the foods you enjoy and the nutrients your body needs. By making subtle modifications to my diet and workout routine, I found myself not only preventing illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity but also experiencing a remarkable boost in energy and vitality.

The Philosophy I Share with My Clients

As a health coach, I often emphasize the following philosophy to my clients who are eager to make positive changes in their overall well-being:

1. Gradual Progress Over Perfection: I’ve learned that transformation is a journey, not a destination. It is crucial to start with small, achievable goals and build upon them over time. Perfection is not the goal; progress is.

2. Embrace Variety and Balance: I encourage my clients to embrace variety in their diets. Just as we need diverse experiences in life to grow, our bodies thrive on a diverse range of nutrients from different foods. A balanced diet also ensures you’re not missing out on essential nutrients.

3. Find Joy in Healthy Choices: Instead of viewing healthy eating as a chore, I urge my clients to find joy in making nutritious choices. Explore new recipes, savor the flavors of whole foods, and discover how satisfying and delicious nutritious meals can be.

4. Consistency is Key: Developing healthy habits requires consistency. I emphasize the importance of staying committed to your goals even when faced with challenges. Habits, once established, make the journey easier.

5. Self-Compassion: It’s crucial to treat yourself with kindness and compassion on this journey. Occasional indulgences are natural, and they shouldn’t be met with guilt. The key is to strike a balance that allows you to enjoy life’s pleasures while prioritizing your health.

Eat Less CRAP And Eat More FOOD: A Path to Optimal Health NourishingAyurvedicDahlwithRedLentils5

Eat Less CRAP, Eat More FOOD

This catchy acronym simplifies the concept of making healthier food choices and serves as a memorable guide on your journey to improved eating habits. It highlights the foods you should reduce or avoid (CRAP) and the ones you should incorporate more of (FOOD) into your daily diet. Remember these simple acronyms as a guiding light on your journey to healthy eating:

Eat Less CRAP:

  • C – Carbonated drinks
  • R – Refined sugar
  • A – Artificial Sweeteners and colors
  • P – Processed foods
Eat More FOOD:

  • F – Fruits and vegetables
  • O – Organic, antibiotic-free lean proteins
  • O – Omega-3 fatty acids
  • D – Drink more water!

Eat Less CRAP:

C – Carbonated drinks: These beverages are often high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, and empty calories. Excessive consumption of carbonated drinks can lead to weight gain, dental issues, and even an increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes.

R – Refined sugar: Refined sugar, found in candies, sugary snacks, and many processed foods, can wreak havoc on your health. It causes rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and can contribute to weight gain and a higher risk of diabetes.

A – Artificial Sweeteners and colors: Artificial sweeteners and food colorings are often found in processed foods and sugary drinks. While they add flavor and visual appeal, they may have negative health effects, including potential links to certain health conditions.

P – Processed foods: Processed foods are typically high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and additives. They lack essential nutrients and are often calorie-dense, making them a poor choice for overall health.

Eat More FOOD:

F – Fruits and vegetables: These are the foundation of a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They support overall health, aid digestion, and help protect against chronic diseases.

O – Organic, antibiotic-free lean proteins: Organic, antibiotic-free lean proteins, such as poultry, fish, and lean cuts of meat, provide essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair. Choosing organic options reduces exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

O – Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts. They are essential for brain health, reducing inflammation, and lowering heart disease risk.

D – Drink more water: Staying hydrated is crucial for overall well-being. Water supports digestion, regulates body temperature, and helps maintain healthy skin. Replacing sugary beverages with water is a simple but impactful step toward better health.

By following the “Eat Less CRAP, Eat More FOOD” guideline, you can gradually shift your eating habits toward a more balanced and nutritious diet. It’s a practical and effective way to remember the types of foods that promote your well-being and those that may hinder your progress. Remember, small changes over time can significantly improve your health and vitality.

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The Power of Healthy Eating Habits

Changing your lifestyle and behavior may seem challenging at first, but once you turn them into habits, they become second nature. I’ve seen countless clients transition from struggle to success by making these changes a part of their daily lives. Habits put willpower on autopilot, making it easier to maintain your healthy choices over time.

Client-Approved: Why I Recommend Sakara to You

Sakara meal deliveries have been a personal favorite of mine when it comes to getting back on track with healthy eating habits, and it’s a service I wholeheartedly recommend to my clients. Their thoughtfully curated meals make the journey to better nutrition incredibly convenient and delight the taste buds with their creative, plant-based offerings. Sakara goes beyond just providing nourishment; they offer a holistic approach to well-being, emphasizing the importance of nutrient-dense, whole foods. It’s a fantastic option for individuals looking to jumpstart their health journey or maintain a consistent, nutritious diet amidst busy schedules. I’ve witnessed firsthand the positive impact these meals have on me and my clients, making it easier for them to stay committed to their health and wellness goals.


Sakara is a wellness company anchored in food as medicine offering plant-based nutrition in the form of ready-to-eat meals, snacks, and supplements. Enjoy 20% off your first order with Sakara code XOVALERIE.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

You Are What You Eat

My final thought is that your food choices profoundly impact how you feel and function. If you eat poorly, you’re likely to feel less than your best. Conversely, nourishing yourself with wholesome foods will make you feel amazing. The path to optimal health begins with making mindful choices about what you put into your body.


1. How do I start eating healthier?

Begin by eliminating carbonated drinks, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods from your diet. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, organic lean proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and water.

2. Is it necessary to exercise while improving my diet?

While exercise is beneficial, you can still progress significantly by focusing on your diet alone. However, combining a healthy diet with regular physical activity yields the best results.

3. How long does it take to form healthy eating habits?

Creating lasting habits takes time, typically around 21 to 66 days. Be patient with yourself and focus on making gradual improvements.

4. Can I indulge occasionally?

Occasional indulgences are okay and even necessary for maintaining a balanced approach to healthy eating. Just be mindful of portion sizes and frequency.

5. What’s the key to long-term success in maintaining a healthy diet?

Consistency and perseverance are the keys to long-term success. Stay committed to your healthier choices, even when faced with temptations.

30-Min Wellness Consultation

This 30-minute wellness consultation session is a foundational meeting where you can discuss your current lifestyle, stressors, and goals to better understand your wellness journey. Consider this a coffee date where we connect to see if this can be a mutually beneficial fit.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


This article was first published in October 2016 and updated by our editors in October 2023.

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.