Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

August 3, 2009

Rethinking your eating habits can be an intimidating task.

Here are some quick and easy ways to get on the path to a healthier life.

  • Trash anything that contains ingredients that you cannot easily recognize, has high levels of sugar and sodium and anything with the word HYDROGENATED on the label. (Future goal: Stop using white foods- flour, sugar, rice and replace them with whole grains and natural sweeteners.)
  • If you do nothing else, get rid of the soda, both regular and diet. Soda is not only empty calories but a contributor to severe health problems such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Replace with water, or water infused with fruit, herbs or tea (see this month’s RECIPES.)
  • If you want a treat, choose wisely. Chocolate and ice cream, in moderation, are not off limits. High-quality treats made from organic chocolate or dairy are superior in taste and nutrition. You will make up for their slightly higher cost by truly using these foods as “treats”, rather than everyday indulgences.
  • Limit dairy products and make sure that they are organic. Conventional milk products are known to contain synthetic hormones, antibiotics, and other nasty stuff.
  • Just Say No to processed meat: Hormones, sulfites, nitrates… ick!
  • Visit a farmers market; practically everything there is healthy, beautiful and delicious. Which brings us to:

A Healthy Kitchen Shopping List

  • Kale, Collard, Spinach, Chard, Dandelion, all are delicious, easy to prepare and full of nutrients.
  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, whole oats, quinoa, millet, barley, to name a few. Experiment and have fun.
  • Fruits and Veggies: Organic and local, if possible. Choose a variety of colors and textures.
  • Good Oils: Olive, Coconut, Sesame. Cooking with healthy oil helps you to absorb vitamins and makes everything taste good too.
  • Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds: A satisfying snack and source of protein
  • Meat and Fish: If you do eat meat make sure it is organic and try to stick to fish and poultry.
  • Organic herbs and spices, growing your own is also a great way to save money and enjoy the freshest flavors.
  • Raw Honey

And remember, ultimately, our goal is to WANT to eat the foods we need.

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