6 Nutrition Tips for Your Slow Girl Era
Remember when we used to hit the ground running into the new year, obsessing over every morsel we put into our bodies and pushing ourselves in the gym daily? A successful “New Year, new me” was usually measured by how ready our bikini bodies were by Spring Break.
Now, we’re in our slow girl era. We replaced “no pain, no gain” with a “do what feels good” attitude to embark on a journey to long-term, sustainable wellness. There’s a place for pushing ourselves, but we’re paying closer attention to our bodies to give them the balance they need.
We can adopt the same attitude for nutrition. It all comes down to nourishment over restriction, and joy over guilt. After years of constantly being told we need to micromanage what we eat, pivoting into a lifestyle with more food freedom feels…wrong. But freedom is the key to sustainable change, and small changes can have a big impact.
6 nutrition moves for your slow girl era
These changes are low effort, but highly rewarding.
1. Get more fiber
ICYMI, fiber is the star of 2024. Why? Because only 5 percent of Americans eat the recommended amount. FIVE PERCENT. As major health issues like colon cancer rise among young adults, there’s a good chance that our lack of fiber plays a role.
First, take a hard look at how much fiber you’re actually getting in a day. The USDA recommends getting 14 grams per 1000 calories, or around 25 grams per day for the average healthy female and 38 grams for males. Most of us are only getting 10-15 grams per day, thanks to processed foods that often strip fiber and the lack of fruits or veggies in our diet.
But it’s okay. We can fix it! Here are some of my favorite high-fiber foods that are easy to mindlessly add to meals and snacks:
Berries – A cup of raspberries packs around 8 grams
Avocado – Around 5 grams per 1/2 cup
Beans – 5 grams per serving
Nuts – Around 3 grams per ounce
Oats – A 1/2-cup serving of dry, quick-cook oats gives you 4 grams of fiber. Add some berries, nuts, and seeds to that and you’re starting your day strong on the fiber front.
Oh, and definitely try this PB&J Smoothie, with 9 grams of fiber!
2. Add some color
A little color might be the simplest way to boost nutrition on your plate. And I have some low-effort additions to keep on hand because we’re not trying to add more stress (or mess).
Frozen veggies – Preferably the ones on a steamable bag, like green beans or carrots. These heat up in minutes, require little to no prep but also leave plenty of room for creativity.
Fresh herbs or microgreens – You can elevate almost any food with fresh herbs. Microgreens easily add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Citrus – Use lemon, lime, and orange juice for flavor. This might not physically add color to your meal, but it will certainly brighten up the taste and add a little vitamin C.
Avocado – We love it for its fiber, healthy fats, and flavor.
Edamame – Easy to steam from frozen and packed with protein, fiber, and color.
Butternut squash puree – Cook and puree, then freeze in ice cube trays. Later, you can add these little nutrition-packed cubes to soups or sauces.
3. Try something new
With Google, Pinterest, IG, and TikTok at our fingertips, we have an endless source of new recipes and cooking tips. It’s time to actually try one of the recipes you have saved or screenshotted! Or, just buy that new high-protein snack from Trader Joe’s you saw. Maybe you’ll try a new restaurant or two in your area.
Just try something new. Keep it light and fun.
4. Up your snack game
Snack time is the best time, and also an important time to add value to what you’re eating. Pay attention to your midmorning or 2pm snack – How you feel before, during, and after. You should feel satisfied and have a slight boost of energy after! If not, it’s time to up your snack game.
First, let go of the idea that snacks must be < X amount of calories to count as a snack. Your overall daily intake is what counts in the long run (if calorie balance is even a concern for you right now), and we all know what happens when you choose a snack based on the lowest amount of calories… You end up going back for another snack later.
So make it count! Protein and fat are key to a snack that does what snacks are supposed to do! Bonus points if they have fiber. Some of my favs include:
5. Try (gentle) meal prep
Meal prep feels hardcore, but even the smallest steps make a difference. It doesn’t have to be about preparing food so you’ll stick to a meal plan. For me, meal prep has turned into a time-saving hack and a way to avoid skipping meals or resorting to foods that don’t even satisfy me amid my chaotic day.
Wash and prep veggies, cook and shred chicken (or whatever protein source you love), portion out yogurt for breakfast parfaits or oatmeal to speed up your morning routine, experiment with chia pudding and overnight oats, or try hardboiled eggs in the air fryer.
Even simpler – Stock your freezer with frozen veggies, keep canned beans in your pantry, and lean on “convenient” foods like bagged salad mixes, chicken nuggets, lentil pasta, and fortified sides like Goodles mac n’ cheese.
Make meal prep less about creating more work for yourself, and more about cutting corners! Future you will thank you.
6. Find joy!
We’ve spent enough food punishing ourselves for eating the “wrong” foods. Hopefully, taking a slower approach and building food freedom will help to discover more joy in eating. Honor your cravings, eat the foods you enjoy, and expand your horizons.