Healthy Eating

February 25, 2011
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You have probably heard more talk about eating fresh and may be wondering what that is. You might also be thinking that it’s some fad diet plan but it is not. We would like to introduce the concept of eating fresh and how you can do it as part of your own “healthy lifestyle” program.

Eating fresh and organic is eating foods that are as close to nature as possible and unprepared. Fresh organic foods have more nutrient value. They contain more vitamins that quickly become lost during processing. Fresh organic foods do not have preservatives or food additives that cause food allergies and add to your toxic burden. Fresh foods provide natural antioxidants that help combat inflammatory disorders such as:

  • arthritis
  • eczema
  • irritable bowel

and boost your immune system to help you fight chronic conditions such as:

  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • degenerative disc and joint disease
  • brain fog
  • headaches
  • migraine,
  • lyme disease
  • intestinal dysbiosis

So how can you incorporate a fresh organic food diet into your lifestyle?

Fresh organic food snacking. Replace all processed food snacks with fresh organic food snacks. That’s right; throw out all your pantry’s processed food snacks. That means the

  • chips
  • the gold fish
  • the crackers
  • cookies
  • all candy
  • pudding snacks
  • jello snacks
  • food bars containing peanut
  • raisin and oats
  • cakes
  • cupcake snacks

and any so-called natural snack that contains high fructose corn syrup or natural flavors, and the peanut butter. Peanuts, raisins and oats contain mold and mycotoxins that inoculate your digestive tract with less than optimum flora and will contribute to the development of leaky gut, and are highly antigenic (meaning the have a tendency to cause allergies over time).

Buy fresh organic fruits in season. They are full of natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber!  Organic food has been tested to have significantly higher nutrient value pound per pound that makes the additional cost for the food a wise decision based on nutrient value. Combine the fruit snack with a teaspoon of almond or cashew butter, a dozen almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios or walnuts. This will add some protein to your carbohydrate fruit snack. Fruits can be eaten with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon for sweetness. You can also make delicious smoothies with some yogurt or banana for thickness, almond milk and a few ice cubes to chill the drink.

If the transition to choose a fresh fruit snack is too radical a change, have a small amount of fruit before you have a smaller dose of your “old lifestyle” snack. Soon you and your family will become accustomed to including fresh fruit snacks and it will be easier to diminish your dependency on processed food snacks. The key is to make it fun, eat foods that satisfy your texture needs (like a crunchy apple or a smoothie for those that like creamy textures).

These fresh fruit ideas can be used by the family for desserts. Mix fruits, nuts, yogurt, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, and cocoa nibs for a tasty dessert. When eating out choose fresh fruit tarts over heavy dairy based desserts such as cheesecake or cake. Sharing your dessert will give you just enough of a taste but not allow you to overindulge. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium and should be chosen over milk chocolate.

For those that are creative cooks, experiment with alternative grains in place of flour, such as chia flour, amaranth etc. Cooked millet makes a fabulous “oatmeal” type breakfast or dessert combined with almond milk and some dried dates and blueberries.

Fresh food meals. Throw out all meals that come in a box or can. The nutrient value is low, the salt content very high as are the preservative and chemicals used to maintain long shelf life. Throw out frozen processed food. Freezing also lowers nutrient value. The processed foods are culprits for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high “silent” inflammation. Tissue, immune and cellular repair suffers from a diet of processed foods and one’s toxic burden increases.

Buy fresh meats in bulk and package them. You can make healthy burgers with turkey and lamb this way ready to cook out of the freezer. Add some sea salt for seasoning and herbs of your choice when you cook them and you are preservative free and will save tremendously on your monthly food bill.

Buy ground turkey, beef and lamb in bulk and package them in serving sizes you would use to cook. You can even cook the entire bulk of ground meat and then freeze to be used in the future for spaghetti, stir fry, curries etc. ready to be seasoned out of the refrigerator.

Buy organic vegetables instead of frozen or canned vegetables. Add color, like green beans and carrots with red bell peppers and stir fry with ghee or coconut oil. You can even dice them up in a food processor small and then cook them with rice as a fried rice dish. Most children that won’t eat vegetables will love the rice cooked this way. Add dried cranberries to the rice for some sweetness.

Add more root vegetables. Try sweet potatoes cooked a different way. If you always eat white potatoes, bake sweet potatoes or make a soup with it with chicken or vegetable stock. Try a vegetable puree, and add a spice of your choice to the puree like ginger. Be creative and inventive and you will be surprised at what you discover you like. Try broiling them lightly oiled and sea salted. Carrots, asparagus, green onions, portabella mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini all broil up wonderfully. The leftover broiled vegetables can be stored in a diluted balsamic vinegar sauce with spices and used marinated over salads.

Make sure your nine-inch dinner plate is 50% covered with fresh vegetables, 25% with rice or other grain or root vegetable, and 25% with protein. The nine inch plate is smaller than a standard dinner plate and will fool your eyes to thinking you have more food on the plate. Eating more fresh vegetables will help keep your body alkaline and make your body less welcome for the growth of chronic bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Being more alkaline will give your liver more minerals necessary to detoxify and allow your muscles to relax, improving your sleep and calming your mood.

Fresh food drinking. Throw out all sodas and canned fruit drinks. They are loaded with food preservatives and chemicals, high in empty calories and increases one’s blood sugar and fat storage. If you must have a carbonated beverage, use mineral water and add your own squeeze of lime or lemon or orange to make it your own low-sugar fruit soda.

Drink plenty of water. Season it with lemon, lime or a cucumber for that fresh taste. Try natural herbal teas if you like hot beverages and yerba matte or brown rice drink in place of coffee. If you must have coffee, buy organic and try making it cold processed (allow it to drip through a filter with cold water overnight). Cold processed coffee is less acidic and much healthier.

Making small additions and deletions to your meal plan can make a huge difference in your weight, energy level, inflammation level and overall health and vitality. Food is indeed medicine.

Willpower

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan