By: Peggy Willms

(4 min read)

Naked, please! Nothing on it! Seriously, NAKED.”

That is my request at every restaurant where I dine. And because that is how I want my food, that is why I rarely eat out. Apparently, NAKED food without a bunch of crap on it is too difficult to execute. And you thought I was talking about taking off a few garments. NOPE! Now you want details.

Let me paint a picture first. When my awesome boyfriend gets ready to tell me a story, I ask, “Are you painting or pointing?” He tells his stories, shares a thought, event, piece of history, or even a movie review very differently. He either “paints or points.” Painting means we are going to be a while, and it is best if I get a hot cup of coffee and get settled in to listen. If he says, he is “pointing,” I know it will only take a few minutes. I am about to paint for you.

Starting a new nutrition plan is a challenge, as you all know. I have clients try all sorts of experiments. We try a week without bread or pastas or red meat, or we try to mix up workouts with pushing cardio or trying yoga or maybe setting up a date with their favorite person or devising a plan to organize a room…All of them experiments. A test phase of how you feel or how did it go followed by do we want to adjust or keep the same plan moving forward a bit.

When we play with our nutrition experiments and gradually modify to a long-term healthy eating plan, we learn a ton along the way. Potentially someone recognizing a reduction in inflammation, decrease in migraines, energy rises, sleep quality is jamming. The big one…we can clean up our palate. People start to recognize how salty things are or spicy or loaded with sugar. They start to notice that “real food” actually has a taste. Thus…the reason I request…my food NAKED. NAKED  because my palate gets pissed off if I don’t.

A lovely waitress approaches the table.

“Can I take your order?”

I respond, “Yes, I would like salmon and broccoli…NAKED .” Or I might say…

“Yes, I would like an egg frittata…NAKED .” Or I might say…

“Yes, I would like oatmeal…NAKED .” Yes, there is a difference – often vanilla syrup is added [little “vanilla” – tons of artificial sugar]

“I would like my salad…NAKED.”

When eating out – we are the consumers. We have the right to ask for meals to be prepared our way. Why is it okay for people to say no mushrooms or onions, but asking for no salt or no bizarre spices on my fish is such a put-off?

Damn, do I have to fib about having an allergy to salt or sugar? Maybe I should start. I have been known to tell clients that travel a lot to fib. “Tell them you need a refrigerator in your hotel room because you need to refrigerate your insulin.” [even when they don’t have diabetes-I know I know that is horrible]. An action that sets them up for success – they can hit the grocery store and get some decent snacks or meals such as healthy yogurts, protein drinks, fruit, veggies, and even tzatziki dip. Traveling is not easy when it comes to eating clean. TRUST ME – I GET IT!

Yo, the reality is I am not being a jerk or a snob. I simply cannot eat massively salty food or spicy food or Ranch-dressed food. I will forego a meal before I will force-feed myself crap. Or, as in last night’s case, I poured a bit of water over my broccolini to dilute the salt adage. Why am I a “pain?” Because for years, I have worked my ass off to eat clean, and I eat clean because I simply feel better – not because it is cool or a fad or because I am a health and wellness coach. BECAUSE I FEEL BETTER!

We are also consuming on average 3,400 mg of sodium per day. Yet the dietary guidelines are no more than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about one teaspoon of salt!

I dream about a gorgeous rot-iron condiment cart strolling toward my table. The ones just like they use for scrumptious desserts or maybe tables could have a condiment menu so you can see the calories and macros and pick and choose what you WANT added to your NAKED food.

The American Heart Association states we should have no more than SIX teaspoons of added sugar a day if you are a woman, NINE teaspoons for a man and children between THREE-SIX. Less than 10% of your daily recommended calories if you are on a 2000-calorie-a-day meal plan (calories are dependent on weight goals). Apparently, an average American is consuming about 17 teaspoons which is 57 POUNDS A YEAR.

We try to teach the world that being different is acceptable. We are trying to accept it is a given right to stand up for ourselves. Yet we are too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for our food to be prepared the way we want it. LORD! How is it that the world is still looking down upon anyone not eating a burger or fries at a business luncheon! I don’t care – I will do it. “Ma’am, may I please have my fish, salad, and potato NAKED.

PS: I prefer my salt in the ocean, NOT doused on my halibut and brussel sprouts!


Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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