One of the first steps of a better life naturally is diet. For me diet used to be a dirty word. After all, diet is really just die with a ‘t’ added on. However as painful as it may be diet is an important component of wellness. Every time we visit the doctor they mention diet and exercise but I think we have a tendency to just filter it out. After all it is really kind of abstract. Most of the time, they just say eat a healthy diet and exercise. But they don’t go into what is a healthy diet. Why should you eat a healthy diet? They don’t go into detail and I’ve certainly never had one get serious and look me in the eye and say if you don’t change your diet you’ll shorten your lifespan and your life will be more miserable than it should be. But I wish more doctors did.
Why eat a healthy diet? The primarily reason is inflammation. Inflammation starts a vicious cycle by triggering oxidative stress which triggers more inflammation which causes an unending cycle. Inflammation in the body creates illness and disease.
So what causes the inflammation? There are too many causes to mention; but a common cause is eating a diet high in processed foods, high in sugars or high in chemicals. They trigger the body to go out of balance and then inflammation starts and the ugly cycle begins. It is generally a slow and gradual process and depending on your DNA, different symptoms might start appearing. Things like joint pain, mild digestive issues or heartburn. Sugar cravings, trouble losing weight, lack of energy, headaches and more. Then it gradually progresses and you might go to your doctor and find you have Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Thyroid issues or other auto immune disorders.
The first step is to make diet adjustments. You might find many really extreme diets available but I find that extreme diets don’t equal success. It takes years for inflammation to build to the point where it does damage and it can take a long time for diet to help the body. Slow and steady wins the race!
The diet I use as a base diet is pretty simple. You can use this or we can adjust it to suit what you are comfortable with or dietary recommendations you’ve received from your nutrionist.
Drink a lot of water 2 quarts minimum (of course I add lemon oil to mine).
- White white flour (if it isn’t 100% whole wheat flour don’t eat it).
- White rice (substitute brown rice or whole grains)
- Potatoes (substitute sweet potatoes or cauliflower)
- Sugar (all kinds)
- Artificial sweeteners (No exceptions).
- Dried fruits
- Processed Foods/chemicals
- GMO/Hormone introduced meats
- Foods labelled no-fat or diet
- High glycemic index fruits
- Agave Syrup
- Non-organic foods
- High fat content foods
When you first start the diet it is key to look at the ingredients in your food and not the Supplement Facts which break down the amount of fat, sugar, protein etc. in the food. Many items are labelled 100% whole wheat but looking at the back reveals it is a secondary ingredient and that enriched wheat flour is the primary ingredient.
How can I afford this? Organic is so expensive?
You’ll find that packaged food is much more expensive than making from scratch and eating organic. Most people actually save money because they only visit a couple aisle in the grocery stores.
What do I use to sweeten my coffee? OMG I don’t have to give up coffee do I?
Stevia is my sweetener of choice. I use Nunaturals brand, the grocery store brands taste bitter and nasty to me. Xylitol is fine too. And no you don’t have to give up coffee. That is just mean.
I can’t possibly give all of that up.
I can modify it to what works for you. Try leaving the potatoes in at first. Do some rice blends vs. plain white rice or switch to Jasmine rice. Try and find a whole grain bread like Killer Daves. Whole wheat tortillas are actually good if you cook them first. Brown rice pasta is great. Experiment a little.
What about dairy? Can I have dairy? Everyone says it is bad for you.
You can have dairy on this diet. Keep it organic and smaller portions and avoid any that is low fat or sweetened.
What grains are okay?
100% whole wheat flour, brown rice, corn, (all kinds), quinoa, oats, barley and other whole grains.
What can I substitute for soda? I don’t think I can give that up.
Blue Sky has stevia ones that good. Sobe 0 calorie uses Stevia. There are several stevia sweetened drink flavors as well. Personally, I take a little liquid stevia, some lemon essential oil and make myself some faux lemonade.