Spring has sprung and it’s time for some spring cleaning. As you head to your closets, stop by your refrigerator and food pantry and see what’s inside because spring is also a great time to clean up your diet.
A diet full of healthy and nutritious foods can lead to increased energy, weight loss, long-term wellness, and even a lower grocery bill. A healthy diet doesn’t need to be complicated and really just involves your common sense.
If your food looks like it came off of a tree or out of the ground, you are on the right track. Look for locally- grown organic produce in your local co-op or farmers’ market to ensure that you are eating with the seasons. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains are all part of healthy diet. For meat-eaters, make sure your chicken is free-range, your beef is grass-fed, and your fish is wild, all without antibiotics and hormones.
Go back to nature and keep it simple.
Eliminate Fried Foods
Get rid of the doughnuts, French fries, and chips. Try eating your potatoes roasted and your fish grilled; they’re delicious that way.
Cook with Good Oils
Toss out the vegetable oils and use organic grapeseed or coconut oils to sauté your veggies instead. They turn out more flavorful and you are skipping on the genetically-modified plant sources.
Limit Your Intake of Refined Carbohydrates, Switch to Whole Grains
Refined carbohydrates such as bagels, pretzels, and pasta add calories without the benefits of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Too many carbs can raise triglycerides and lower HDL (”good”) cholesterol, while limiting refined grains can help lower blood pressure. Studies show that whole-grain eaters have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and are less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise. The fiber in whole grains aids in regularity and creates a feeling of fullness to help curb the appetite. Instead of a big plate of pasta, have some quinoaand veggies.
Never drink sodas!
There is nothing good about a soda – it’s all bad. One can of soda contains almost 10 teaspoons of sugar, caffeine, phosphoric acid, artificial colors, sulphites, and high fructose corn syrup. Drinking soda can lead to obesity, diabetes, caffeine dependence, a weakened immune system, and osteoporosis. Read about what happens to your body within an hour of drinking a can of Coke on Mercola.com.
And don’t think that you are safe with diet sodas. Aspartame, the widely used chemical artificial sweetener found in the brands Equal and NutraSweet, is a proven neurotoxin which has been linked conditions such as stomach disorders, seizures, migraines, birth defects, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, ADHD and many more. To learn more about this poison, pick up a documentary on DVD called Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, by Cori Brackett.
Reading labels is a good way to know if your packaged food is heavily refined and processed. Take a look at the ingredient label on the package and if the words are multisyllabic and difficult to pronounce, it’s most likely full of chemicals used in processing and preservatives to give it a long shelf life. Choose the product that contains fewer and simpler ingredients and avoid hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives.Learn to read nutrition labels and set your limit of sodium, sugar, cholesterol and fat. Dr. Mercola's website, http://www.mercola.com/offers a newsletter full of information free of charge.
What’s For Breakfast?
Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day, so avoid breakfasts with sugary cereals and juice. Try some oatmeal, add in some eggs for protein, and sip some green tea instead of coffee.
Celebrate Your Food
Instead of wolfing down your fast food sandwich as you are driving in your car, sit down at a table, take your time and enjoy your healthy food. Appreciate where the food came from and visualize the nutrients nourishing every cell, gland, tissue, and organ in your body. Eat like the French and Italians – every meal is a celebration!
Prepare Your Own Food
Eating out at even the nicer restaurants can lead to consuming larger portions and more processed and genetically modified foods. Preparing your food at home is a good way to shift toward a more natural diet with fresh foods and appropriate portions. Take some time at the end of the day and think about your meals for the next few days. Make a list of healthy choices and fit it into your busy week. Have fresh food available so you don’t fall back on frozen dinners or unbalanced meals. Seek out organic produce and meats raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Follow an 80–20 strategy
My grandma used to say “it’s not what you eat some of the time that kills you.” If 80% of your diet is full of nutritious and natural food, then you’re doing a good job. The other 20% of your diet can be saved for travelling, socializing or plain old cheating.As the days get longer and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s a great time to clean up your diet. Making healthy changes in your food choices will lead to better health and wellness and may save you a bit of money as well.
Sweet Misery: Poisoned World (DVD) Cori Brackett
Real Food: What to Eat and Why, Nina Planck.
Diet For a New World, John Robbins.
In Defense of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating, Michael Pollan.