What will I eat?
There's no doubt that our busy lifestyles and the need for quick meals to feed our families created the market for mass-produced, processed foods that not only deplete valuable nutrients but introduce toxins to our systems.
Additionally, lack of time usually limits exercise. These variables lie at the base of so many health issues facing us today, especially obesity and diabetes. Once people clear the traumas of “But I hate to cook.” “I don’t have time.” and “What will I eat?", they are enabled to create a healthy lifestyle far simpler than most believe.
You cannot out herb, out exercise or out detox a bad diet. -Christine Blair
A “healthy diet” is qualified by the following factors:
Unprocessed whole food
Often raw or only lightly cooked or steamed
Organic, free range, grass-fed, and free from additives and genetically modified ingredients
Produced from high-quality, local sources
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So let’s start with a little education…
DIGESTION IS THE REASON NUTRITION WORKS!
The best of food is wasted by improper digestion; and proper digestion begins in the mouth:
One task of the mouth is to break food into smaller pieces.
Starch begins the digestive process in the mouth as enzymes break it down into sugars.
Stress, drinking with meals (especially iced drinks), and improper chewing impede proper digestion. Chewing each bite 20+ times prior to swallowing is beneficial.
Then on to the Stomach:
Proteins and fats begin their digestion in the stomach.
Starches continue to be digested here if the conditions are proper.
Minerals in foods are prepared here for absorption in the small intestines by hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
On to the Small Intestine:
Pancreatic enzymes make protein and minerals available here.
Most nutrient absorption occurs here, provided the proper chemical reactions occurred in previous steps.
Bile from the liver and gallbladder enters here to digest fats.
Off to the Large Intestine:
The large intestines are thought of most frequently as the waste collection area. However, the large intestines has the job of holding waste until enough water is reabsorbed to hydrate the body. Constipation is often a sign of dehydration.
Elimination of waste makes room for absorption of nutrients.
The body has four exit doors for waste: Bowel, Kidneys, Lungs, & Skin.
All waste eliminate routes need proper hydration to function at peak performance.
Foods to limit or avoid for best health:
Refined foods - White flour, soy, gluten, dairy, corn, refined grains of any sort.
Refined Sugars - This can be refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup or any other processed sweetener.
ALL Artificial Sweeteners - PINK, BLUE, YELLOW PACKETS! Aspartame's (Nutri-Sweet) list of possible consequences include behavioral changes in children, headaches, dizziness, epileptic -like seizures, menstrual problems, and increased risk of cancer.
Avoid over-cooked foods - 122 degrees or more, destroys enzymes that help digest foods.
Carbonated drinks - The hydrogen and phosphates in soda leach minerals from the body, especially calcium.
Tap Water… The list of chemicals and compounds found in tap water are too long to list but realize they are extensive and detrimental.
Caffeinated beverages ~~ Caffeine is a major stress on the glandular system. It also makes the body acidic, creates dehydration, and promotes disease growth.
Foods not labeled as Certified Organic or Non-GMO.
Foods that benefit your body:
Raw fruits and vegetables - Ideally half of your lunch, and dinner. Think about eating them for breakfast as well.
Whole sprouted grains
Cold - pressed extra virgin vegetable oils and healthy fats
Fresh Juices (not to be confused with canned, frozen, or reconstituted full of sugar )
High fiber foods
Meats: Look for labels that read: grass fed, pasture raised, free range, hormone and antibiotic free, wild caught, certified chemical free, certified organic from ethical growers. Proper protein portion is the size of palm of your hand approximately 1" thick.
It is best to keep meals simple. The stomach has a hard time dealing with a large variety of foods at the same time. It is best to eat fruit alone and save rich sauces for special occasions.
Practice mindful eating. Take time to enjoy your meals. Smell and taste the experience. Understand that whether the nutrient source is from supplements, juicing or whole food, it is the fuel body needs to live. Be grateful, and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.