When people tell me that they have a “healthy diet” I have come to realize that this means very different things for different people. I have decided to use this monthly newsletter to outline some good (yet practical) guidelines for having a “healthy diet”.
1) Eat Small, Frequent Meals
This will help to balance blood sugar and keep us from reaching a ravenous threshold that makes portion control difficult. Constant snacking throughout the day can also help to give constant energy to avoid feeling fatigued or like our minds are foggy.
2) Eat a diet rich in Organic Fruit and Vegetables
If you have not made the switch to eating organic, there is no time like the present. We all believe that it is cost prohibitive but it may be more expensive in the long run to undo the damage to our systems which constant exposure to pesticides can cause. Besides, organic food tastes better.
3) Eat Locally Grown Fruit and Vegetables
We produce enzymes that help us digest the foods that we have historically eaten in our regions. I.e. people who live in Western Washington probably lack the enzymes to eat tropical fruit. People from Alaska may have a harder time digesting grains indigenous to the mid-west etc…
4) Try to Eat Less Animal Products
The fat in animal products is more likely to raise our cholesterol and clog our blood vessels. When we do eat animal products, always try to choose organic, grass fed, hormone-free, free-range, naturally nested etc…products. The most healthful animal products are fish, turkey, lamb and buffalo. Most red meat and chicken break down into high levels of inflammatory products that can harm our systems.
5) Eat Beans
Beans are a rich source of fiber and protein. When you are planning the protein part of a meal, try substituting beans for meat a time or two. They are hearty and can help make a salad into a meal.
6) Eat Hypo-Allergenic Grains
Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat and Brown Rice are some of my grains of choice. As you may have read in March’s Newsletter, many people seem to be developing sensitivities to Gluten-containing grains. Avoiding those grains in favor of these more hypo-allergenic grains will help to provide more healthful starches to your diet.
7) Avoid Simple Sugars
Opt for complex sugars like beans and hypo-allergenic in lieu of white and wheat Flour. Simple sugars are hiding in everything!!! Regular old bread and pasta break down into simple sugars (simple carbohydrates). Whole grains and beans will break down more slowly because of their fiber and protein content. If you must have bread, only have one slice at a time and make it whole-grain sprouted bread instead of white or wheat bread! We all know about the amount of simple sugars residing in baked goods, candy, pop, etc… Start paying attention to your sugar intake and you will no doubt drop a few pounds and feel better.
8) Avoid Most or All Artificial Sweeteners
The only sugar substitutes that I approve of are: Stevia, Agave Nectar and Xylitol. If you don’t see your sugar substitute on this list…throw it out! Many sugar substitutes are processed in ways that could and have been shown to be harmful to our systems. I advise my patients to try one of the above instead of their current types of sugar substitutes.
9 )Avoid Nitrates
Nitrates are often added to bacon and sausage to enhance the red color or to retard certain bacterial cell growth. Nit-RATES are converted to nit-RITES and then further converted to cancer-causing nitrosamines in our systems. Let’s not knowingly consume any foods that may cause cancer, O.K?
10) Drink only Filtered, Spring or Distilled Water
Please do not continue to re-use soft plastic water bottles, over time that plastic breaks down and will leech xenoestrogens into your system. When choosing a water bottle, please choose glass or hard plastic (7 on the bottom).
11) Don’t Microwave Plastic!
While we are on the subject of xenoestrogens. Please choose to store and microwave your food in glass containers.
Here are some of my favorite local resources:
WAfarmersmarkets.com Shop at your Local farmer’s Market!!
Thunderinghooves.net Local Organic Meat!
Tunatuna.com Sustainable, jig-caught, low-to-no Mercury Tuna fish!
Oxbowfarm.org Wonderful, organic vegetables, tree fruit and berries!
Edensorganiconline.com Home delivered organic fruit and vegetables!