Looking and feeling healthy and getting great results is created by a lifestyle you design for yourself to achieve your well-being. It is an active process of becoming aware of and making good choices. What you will read below is not the rules. They are guides to follow. If one thing you read does not work for you, for example buying all organic because of food cost, then don’t buy organic but it’s still better to buy real fruits then to buy “fruit” snacks.
Organic, Local, Grass-Fed…what’s most important? Our food world is becoming more and more tainted with dangerous chemicals, growth and feeding “techniques” and food that is masked to be healthy but really isn’t. The use of fertilizers, pesticides, food additives; such as dyes and preservatives has become so prevalent that “artificial ingredients” are now out numbering “natural ingredients” on many food content labels. Many believe that this wide and continuous increase of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and chemical additives has a direct correlation to the rise in cancer rates and other health problems. Organic foods have rapidly becoming recognized as a logical alternative in this chemical-laden world. In a perfect world, we’d be able to get everything organically and from our own backyard. But in the world we live in, we do our best with what we can.
Keep these factors in mind when thinking about organic.
- If you must peel off a thick layer of skin before being able to eat the food, organic vs. non-organic is a toss up in preference.
- If the food has a thin/porous skin (apples, berries, peaches nectarines, plums…you can eat the skin) better to go with organic if you can.
Keep these factors in mind when thinking about grass-fed, pasture raised, wild caught.
- High quality meat is worth the extra dollars.
- When thinking about beef, grass fed is the way to go. Humans store toxins in their fat, and so do cows. Conventionally raised beef with a higher fat content (also known as marbling when looking at the meat) has more toxins. If eating conventionally raised meat, choose the leaner cuts. With Grass-fed beef, there is never thick marbling, meat is naturally lean.
- Look for sales and stock up on cuts of meat you like when they are on sale.
- Wild caught vs. farm raised fish is another debate and recommendations are very much the same as for beef. Wild caught if possible. **Cost of food matters, we know, make the decisions that you are able to. Getting farm raised instead of wild caught salmon is better then the alternative of a pasta dinner.
The main idea is to choose food that is close to home, natural and seasonal. If it’s the middle of summer and you’re eating an apple that doesn’t grow until fall, where did it come from? How long has it been since it was picked? What chemicals are on it to keep it from going bad and having it like it was just picked? Hmmm, just a few things to keep in mind when making produce choices.
WHAT TO PUT IN THE SHOPPING CART
PROTEINS: if it used to swim, walk or fly or comes from something that used to swim, walk or fly – its a protein.
- Chicken (breast and/or thighs) (Best: Pasture + Organic, Better: Organic, Good: Store bought, skin removed)
- Beef (Best:100% Grass fed + Organic, Better: Grass fed, Good: Lean, fat trimmed/drained)
- Fish (halibut, salmon, tilapia, shrimp, etc.)
- Tuna canned in water
- Processed Meat – Bacon, Sausage, Deli Meat (Best: 100% Organic, Better: Organic, Avoid: Factory-Farmed, Added Sugar, MSG, sulfites, carrageenan)
- Fresh Stuff! Not frozen.
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Yams/sweet potatoes (depending on your current body composition and athletic performance you may or may not need these and it’s not a recommendation that everyone have these)
- Green beans (the debate on whether these are “Paleo” or not continues…it’s green…don’t be afraid of it.)
- Bell Peppers
- Lettuce and other leafy greens (kale, chard, bok choy, etc.)
- Squash (butternut, spaghetti, acorn, etc.)
- Lettuce (All types, iceberg being better choice)
- Swiss Chard
- Spaghetti Squash
- All berries
- Mango/kiwi and other tropical’s
- Olive oil (Good to cook with and dress food)
- Coconut oil (Best to cook with)
- Raw Nuts & Nut Buttters
- Macadamia Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- All types of vinegars
- An array of fresh and/or bottled herbs and spices for seasoning
- Fresh Mint
- Mustard (Not the honey mustard…read the ingredient label to see if there’s any unwanted stuff in it.)
- Mayo (you can make your own easily, or get olive oil mayo with minimal ingredients on the ingredient list)
- Green tea
WHAT FOOD SHOULD I NOT HAVE IN MY HOME ON A REGULAR BASIS?
Notice it didn’t say “never” it said on a REGULAR BASIS!
- Anything with Hydrogenated oils
- Anything with High fructose corn syrup
- Fried or Frozen Fried foods
- Fruit juices
- Pasta/Noodles (even whole grain pasta!)
- Highly Processed Foods (if you can’t read the ingredients don’t buy it!)
- Cereal and Granola!!!
- GRAINS (YES! even whole grains are bad, bread, rice, crackers, corn, bagels, English muffins, tortillas, granola, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, popcorn, rolls, taco shells, waffles)
- Dairy – As a staple, dairy has been found to effect more people adversely and cause harm without them even knowing. Try not having dairy for 2 weeks then having it again. Do a self test.
- No Chips, donuts, pastries, crackers.
- Alcohol- when you are having a social gathering not for regular use.
Beer especially! What is beer made from? GRAIN