We all like to indulge in our comfort foods: pizza, coffee, wine, chocolate, french fries, etc. And I would love to tell you that you can have your wine and chocolate every day. Unfortunately, if you do indulge daily in these kinds of foods, you will not age with quality. I suggest what I call my 80/20 Rule of Moderation. Keep your diet clean for 80% of the week, and enjoy your comfort food or drink no more than 20% of the week (once or twice a week, or not at all!). For those who are dealing with an autoimmune disease, cancer, or chronic condition, I would say keep your diet as clean as possible because indulging in sugar, for example, even once a week can progress your condition.
Why Do I Need To Tone It Down?
- Genetically Modified Foods - chemical-laden seeds that disrupt DNA
- Additives and Preservatives - FDA allows over 2,000 additives/preservatives to be added to our foods
- Environmental Toxins - we are currently being exposed to high amounts of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, dioxins, heavy metals, petroleum chemicals, etc.
- Stress - world, financial, and relationship stress are at all time highs
Our bodies are being assaulted from many directions. This compromises our immune systems and overwhelms our hepatic (liver) pathways to remove toxins. So what we could get away with 20 years ago, I feel we can no longer do.
The best place to start moderating and balancing your health is to be conscious of what you eat. Remember that the food companies are in the business of selling food by telling you, the consumers, that their products, e.g. chocolate, wine, and milk, are good for you. Do the research yourself and you will discover differently. One example is chocolate. Yes, there are antioxidants and minerals in raw cacao, which is where we make chocolate from; but that is not what most of us are eating. We are eating a chocolate bar that is also loaded with sugar, milk products, and chemicals that are not good for you and have no business being in your body.
Start this year with smarter choices and more balance. Your body will thank you!
Top Foods/Drinks That Are Most Damaging To The Body:
- Refined sugars (high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, dextrose, fructose, brown sugar, molasses) are found in candy, ice cream, donuts, fruit juices, snack bars, etc. Sugar creates inflammation in the body and strips it of essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimal functioning. Even unsweetened fruit juices have too much sugar. Consider instead: stevia, chicory root, coconut sugar, and small amounts of birch xylitol (Ultimate Sweetener).
- Cow’s dairy products (milk, cheeses, ice cream, and, yes, even yogurt!) Milk is pasteurized, homogenized, and filled with antibiotics and hormones. Pasteurized and homogenized means that milk is heated to high temperatures to kill off bacteria. But this process also changes the mineral structure and makes milk acidic. Acidic foods do not add minerals to the body but actually leach them from the body. Calcium and other minerals come from eating dark leafy green vegetables. What other species drinks milk from another species? None. Switching to Lactaid milk, which removes the lactose (sugar) from milk, doesn’t solve the problem because most people are also allergic to the protein molecule in milk. Consider instead: Unsweetened almond, coconut or hemp milk.
- Gluten (barley, kamut, oats (unless gluten-free oats), rye, spelt, wheat, white flour) is found in cereals, breads, bagels, pastries, and snack bars. Gluten is a protein that creates inflammation in the body. I call it “goo and glue” in the gut. It strips the villi on the intestinal tract lining allowing antigens and food particles to pass through the intestinal wall and leak into the body. Consider instead: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild rice, brown rice, teff, and amaranth.
- Alcohol - a neurotoxin. Yes, wine has resveratrol in it, but you can get the benefits of that by taking a supplement or eating grapes–not drinking it in a base of chemicals that negatively impact liver and brain function.
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils) - are found in processed foods such as pizza, chips, breads, pastries, donuts, and french fries. Trans fats are vegetable oils heated to high temperatures for the sole purpose of increasing the shelf life of a food product. These denatured oils clog arteries, increases bad cholesterol, and contribute to heart disease and diabetes.
- Artificial sweeteners, caffeine, MSG - many processed foods and drinks contain chemicals and stimulants. They have a direct impact on brain function and energy. High energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar, Cocaine Energy drink, are loaded with sugar and caffeine, which over excite the brain. Caffeine, in particular, is acidic, an irritant to the central nervous system, and disrupts the endocrine system.
- Vegetables - ideally, 60% of your diet should be vegetables. Organic, fresh vegetables are high in minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. The most beneficial are dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, arugula, watercress, etc.
- Beans/Legumes - are high in fiber, minerals, and protein. Soak overnight before cooking whenever possible to minimize gas and allow for shorter cooking times which will preserve nutritional value.
- Animal Proteins - fish (not farmed), antibiotic-, hormone-free eggs, chicken, turkey, and small amounts of grass-fed red meat. Amino acids are building blocks of protein needed by every cell in the body.
- Nuts & Seeds - raw nuts/seeds are high in minerals, trace minerals, and supply good fats to the brain, heart, and skin.
- Fruits - organic fruits are nature’s best sweet snack. Limit to one to two pieces a day. Stay away from unsweetened/sweetened fruit juices and dried fruits because of their high sugar content.
- Oils - olive, grapeseed, hemp, flaxseed, and coconut oil are good choices to have in your kitchen. Make sure to check if and at what temperatures these oils can be heated (e.g., hemp seed oil cannot be heated and olive oil should be used at low temperatures).
ANNOUNCEMENTS & BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
- I will be teaching a 2 hour seminar called The Power Of Health In Food on Saturday, Feb. 25th from 1-3 p.m. at Param Yoga Healing Arts Center in Chatsworth, California. Click on this link to find out more http://www.param-yoga.com
- Do you have an autoimmune disease and are you searching for answers on how to tackle your condition? Go to http://www.theselfhealingcoach.com/op to learn more about my autoimmune bootcamp - a 7-week, 14-hour series that you can instantly download to discover the root causes and solutions to heal your body.
BOOK RECOMMENDATION OF THE MONTH:
If Buddha Got Stuck by Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D.
This is a wonderful book for those who are feeling stuck and want to push past outdated beliefs, limiting thoughts, and negative patterns.