This blog post was inspired by an email I got from one of my readers! (Thanks Amy!) She wrote me saying "I would really like to be educated on how to put things into my body to help it, not hurt it, and I was wondering if you have any rule of thumbs to ensure that you're always choosing foods that work for you instead of against."
MY ULTIMATE RULE OF THUMBS WHEN EATING HEALTHY:
-The produce, dairy and meat that I buy is always organic.
If my local grocery store doesn’t have organic blueberries, I simply do not buy blueberries that week (or I buy the frozen organic ones). This is because conventional produce is sprayed so heavily with toxins/pesticides/herbicides that the workers spraying the vegetables have to wear hazmat suits when spraying them. Then they get shipped off to grocery stores and we are told to just wash them off and we will be fine? I don’t believe it! No wonder we are seeing such a massive increase in cancer and other various health issues. We are flooding our bodies with toxic chemicals! Not to mention if it is not organic then chances are it’s Genetically Modified (GMO), which are linked to tumor growth, infertility and a whole list of other health concerns. As for meat and dairy, by law animals raised for organic meat and dairy are not allowed to be given antibiotics and hormones or fed GMO feed. If I am out to eat and they do not specifically say “organic” meat on the menu, then I simply order a vegetarian meal.
-I limit my processed food consumption and I do not consume ingredients I don't recognize.
What is processed food? Anything that comes in a package. Don’t recognize an ingredient as a whole, real food? Simply don’t buy the food product. I almost turn it into a game when I’m at the grocery store, trying to get out of there with the least amount of food in packages. If you do buy a processed food product just be smart about it. Make sure it does not contain frankenstein ingredients that you cannot pronounce. For example, if I am going to buy tortilla chips I will buy the ORGANIC ones (non-organic corn is GMO) that have tops 3 ingredients: corn, salt & maybe lime. I steer clear of the conventional brands such as Doritos, etc that have a long list of crap ingredients (and MSG! that causes you to become addicted to the point that you literally cannot stop eating them- sound familiar?) It’s important to remember that it is all about the quality of ingredients not the quantity of calories. It is infinitely better for you to consume 200 calories of almonds over 100 calories of processed junky cookies full of ingredients your body does not recognize nor know how to digest (so it sends it to be stored as fat!)
-I aim to have a ton of veggies with every meal.
I consider veggies free for alls. I try to eat as many of them a day that I can! I plan most of my meals around veggies and have a small serving of good wholesome fat (like avocado, salmon, almond butter), a small portion of meat or some sort of protein and a good grain like quinoa, brown rice or oats. Veggies are full of cancer fighting phytonutrients and fiber to fill you up and keep things movin down there
-I avoid Hydrogenated Oils and High Fructose Corn Sryup like the plague
Corn syrup and hydrogenated oils make us fat!! Hydrogenated oils are oils that have been heated to such high temperatures that it actually changes the molecular structure of them and they become this plastic like substance. They are often used as a butter substitute because they add a doughy-ness to baked goods and creaminess to peanut butter and they also give food products a longer shelf life. But they wreak havoc once in the body. Your body does not recognize them as food and doctors have been quoted saying that they have the same effect on your body as SMOKING CIGARETTES! "In short, trans fats are poisons, just like arsenic or cyanide. They interfere with the metabolic processes of life by taking the place of a natural substance that performs a critical function. And that is the definition of a poison. Your body has no defense against them, because they never even existed in our two billion years of evolution -- so we've never had the need or the opportunity to evolve a defense against them.” You can read more about them here. Corn Syrup is not only made from GMO corn, but it is almost all fructose, which is a type of sugar that your body breaks down differently than glucose. It is actually sent straight to fat stores instead of being efficiently broken down.
-I do not consume “sugar free” or “fat-free” food products
Fat is a vital and essential nutrient! By limiting your fat intake you are only hurting yourself. You just need to be consuming the right kinds of fats. Good fats: almonds, any kind of nut, salmon, avocado, coconut oil. Bad fats: canola oil, hydrogenated oils. When they take out the fat, food companies have to over compensate with other ingredients (like sugar) , because without it foods taste bland. Therefore, often times fat free dressings, crackers, etc will be loaded with sugar and other crap to compensate for the lack of taste. Sugar free products contain splenda or other artificial sweeteners in the place of sugar. These artificial sweeteners are chemical concoctions made in a lab and are linked to tumors, cancer, migraines and a multitude of other health issues.
The take away message? Eat Real Food. Whole, real food in its natural state. Vegetables, fruit, nuts & seeds, organic meats and dairy and real, wholesome grains.