We recommend including a wide and colorful variety of fresh, whole foods that will activate, replenish and nourish your body, while avoiding common irritants and harmful foods that drain the body of energy, such as processed foods, factory-farmed animal products, sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Focus on food quality, not calorie counting.
MAKING SMART CHOICES FOR HEALTH & VITALITY
Choose simple whole foods, close to their natural state. Whenever possible, eat local foods that are in season.
Choose organically grown foods whenever possible to avoid ingesting pesticides and chemicals. If this is not possible, or too expensive, here is a link to a list of fruits and vegetables that are most laden with pesticides.
Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables daily. If you don't, then supplement your diet with a phytonutrient-rich supplement.
If you eat animal protein, avoid factory-farmed meats as much as possible. Try to buy grass-fed meats and free-range poultry. Organic meats and poultry without hormones would be next best and if you can not find them, then buy lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from the chicken as that is where the toxins are stored.
Try to identify the foods you are sensitive to and don't eat them daily. Eating different foods each day will increase your chance of tolerating foods you are sensitive to.
Do not become obsessive, splurge now and then on something "sinful" and enjoy every bite.
Eat slowly and chew your food well. This pre-digests the food stimulating the release of digestive juices in the stomach which further aids digestion.
Eat mindfully. This helps us to become more aware of the emotions connected to our eating patterns.
Know good fats from bad fats. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, processed vegetable oils and trans fats. Nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut oil provide good fats.
Don't get stuck on trendy diets. Avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible and focus on quality. Eat more good fats, fewer bad fats and more good carbs, fewer bad carbs.
Be aware of hidden sugars and limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
Try to stop eating when you are about 80% full as your brain takes about 20 minutes to register that you are full.
Take joy in your meals, share them where possible with family and friends.
HEALTHY SHOPPING TIPS
Try doing some of your shopping at local farmers markets if possible. Here is a great link to find one near you.
Never go shopping when you are feeling hungry. This will help prevent impulse buying — usually something junky — to satisfy your hunger.
Do most of your shopping in the supermarket in the outer aisles - the produce, the meats, fish, eggs. The inner aisles are usually full of processed foods which you want to avoid — the ones full of sugar, trans fats and other chemicals and preservatives.
Avoid processed foods, which are often deficient in important micronutrients, high in sodium and low in fiber — the more refined or processed, the less the nutritional value and the worse they are for you.
Choose simple whole foods — those closest to nature.
Buy fresh food, the fresher the the better.
Choose a wide variety of the most colorful fruits and vegetables, the more varied the colors, the better. This way you will get as many different phytonutrients as possible.
Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can and if possible, locally grown.
Become a label reader — though most of the foods you should be eating should not require labels. If you do buy packaged or boxed foods, know what is in them.
As a general rule, if there are ingredients that you cannot recognize, pronounce or spell, you should not be putting those into your body. And no cartoon characters either.
Be wary of "All Natural" labels. Although I recommend eating close to nature, "All Natural" on a label is often meaningless and deceptive and a guise for hidden sugars.
Look for sugars in all its different forms on the label. A variety of different versions of refined sugars are often used to trick you into thinking that there is not much sugar in the product.
Here are some different versions of refined sugar to avoid — cane sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, date sugar, grape sugar, glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, dextran, dextrose, sorbitol, corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, caramel, carob syrup and sorghum syrup.
Look for the number of grams of sugar on a label — 4 grams is equivalent to one teaspoon. If possible buy foods that contain 3 grams or less.
Try to buy grass-feds meat and free-range chicken. Organic meats and poultry without hormones would be next best and if you cannot find them, then choose lean cuts of meats and remove the skin from chicken as this is where toxins are stored.
Limit buying fish with high levels of toxins. Choosing ocean-caught fish is generally a healthy choice and better than farm-raised fish.
Check personal care products for hidden toxins.
Switch to non-toxic cleaning products in your home.
Avoid using plastics # 3, 6 and 7 and those containing BPA or phthalates.
Bring your own shopping bag with you to the supermarket. Keep it green.