I’m not into fad diets. Some of them may work short-term, but they won’t last. When it comes to long-term sustainable eating, it’s always best to follow a few simple rules. If you need more info, follow the links — I wrote full articles about most of these!
Rules of Basic Healthy Eating
- Avoid the partially hydrogenated crap (aka Trans Fats). Easy way to do this: skip the fast food, and skip any prepackaged foods (if they come in a box or a bag) unless you got it from a health food store (and even then, read labels).
- Avoid canola/corn oil. This stuff drives inflammatory omega 6’s, which are responsible for a lot of the inflammatory pain and problems in this country.
- Eat a good blend of saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and essential fatty acids. These are found generally in whole foods or unprocessed oils made from whole foods, such as coconuts, avocados, olive oil, and also grass fed, grass finished meats.
- Avoid white bread. It’s basically sugar.
- Avoid “whole wheat” bread. The label is totally misleading… “whole wheat” has been mixed with “enriched flour” (which means white flour—they stripped its nutrients and then tried to add a few back later). It’s still basically sugar.
- Go for “100% whole grain” instead. It’s got to have that 100% on it. Even then they often add sugar to the bread… my favorite brand is Ezekiel because it’s sprouted, it’s 100% whole grain, and there’s no sugar (or honey, or sweetener of any kind) added.
- Add variety. Don’t restrict your grains to wheat only, even if you’re not sensitive to it. It’s a difficult grain to digest considering how adulterated it’s become over the years, and anyway, variety is always best.
Fruits and Veggies:
- Eat a ton of them. The more colors, the better! Choose fresh when you can; frozen are next best. Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy) are especially good for you, as they assist your liver with detoxification of some of those foreign chemicals you’re exposed to every day. Between the two (fruits and veggies), err on the side of veggies, since fruits are higher in sugar.
- Avoid canned. In fact, avoid canned anything — cans are lined with the estrogenic chemical BPA. Even the cans that are labeled “BPA-free” have BPA-like chemicals instead. Just skip it altogether, unless you’re canning the veggies yourself.
- Avoid iceberg lettuce. There’s no food value other than a little bit of fiber, but hardly any nutrients. Those salads at the restaurants that are iceberg lettuce, a few sad looking tomatoes, and some white bread croutons? Useless. (But if your alternative is a plate of fries, they’re better than that!)
- Avoid boiling them. It’s not awful, just not the best choice, because a lot of the nutrients end up getting leeched into the water.
- Skip the fat-free salad dressings. Some of the vitamins in your veggies are fat-soluble, and you need the fats in order to absorb them. But do make sure that the fats in your salad dressing are NOT trans-fats).
- Have some form of protein every time you eat (including every snack!) Protein will stabilize your blood sugar.
- If you’re a meat-eater, make sure you’re choosing organic or grass fed/grass finished.
- Buy your fish wild caught, not farmed, and not from the Atlantic. Choose Alaskan salmon if you have the choice! Fish to avoid, due to mercury content: tuna, orange roughy, swordfish, shark, halibut, and snapper. Fish to consider instead: cod, whitefish, tilapia, ocean perch, shrimp, flounder, scallops, clams, and catfish.
- Dairy: If you don’t seem to be sensitive to it, still choose organic to avoid the nasty stuff they give the animals in the agriculture industry. That goes for eggs too.
- Other great protein options: nuts, seeds, legumes.
- Read your labels and avoid it, or at least minimize it. Anything ending in -ose (sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, etc) is all sugar. Anything that says honey (sorry), syrup, agave, cane juice… all sugar. It’s basically in everything processed. Here’s why this is a problem. I’m not saying never have any at all… just be intentional about it. Have a dessert a few times per week max, but avoid it everywhere else.
Bottom line: eat real food, and the less toxic and processed, the better. 🙂