The most powerful tool you have to transform your health or to keep your health is your fork! Use it well and you will thrive. Use it poorly and you will more than likely suffer. In my practice, I find that the less a person uses their fork, the more likely they are consuming foods that are high in bad fats, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, additives and preservatives, all of which are found in abundance in fast foods, chips, sodas, baked goods, and prepared and processed foods. What your fork needs to find are foods that are “whole” and real and living.
Whole, Living foods not only taste better, they make us feel better and are part of preventing disease. When we give our body Living, real food, it has the raw materials that it needs to heal and protect itself. Mounds of scientific evidence points to the power of food as medicine. These “medicinal” foods are simple and are what our bodies need to make us sparkle and feel alive!
We can treat and prevent most chronic illnesses with a whole, organic, real, unprocessed diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, small omega-3 containing fish like sardines and herring, and lean grass fed animal protein. These are basically,foods that our ancestors gathered and hunted. We have not evolved much over the past years and our bodies basically need the same nutrient rich food for fuel and optimal health. Whole, real, living foods are our first line of defense against disease, including autoimmune disease, cancers, depression, ADD, heart disease, diabetes and the myriad of other chronic diseases that we suffer from because we do not feed our bodies what they need.
So, how can you easily tell if a food is a Living food? It’s actually very simple. It will spoil or change at room temperature in 7-10 days. (the exception is a dehydrated food) The fact that the food is changing means that it is still living and full of enzymes that our body needs to operate at a peak level. An example of this: Tortillas and breads should become moldy in about 7 days at room temperature. If they don’t, they are no longer a living food but have been made inert with added preservatives, chemicals and/or heat. Dead foods do not help to keep our bodies energized and disease free and they “dumb” us down.
Foods to Avoid Forever:There are certain foods that should be avoided forever. They are not meant for human consumption. These are Frankenfoods that have been created by food scientists that benefit the food industry’s pocket book, not you! They can be found in abundance in your friendly big grocery store chains, and in the myriad of fast food establishments.
Go into your kitchen: Look through your cabinets and throw away anything that contains ingredients on the list below. And when you go to the grocery store, make sure to read the ingredient labels of all foods you purchase to avoid reintroducing these substances into your home and diet.
- High-fructose corn syrup (and corn syrup) This is a manufactured byproduct of corn (which 90% of is genetically modified in the US) and is a marker of poor-quality food, and has more harmful effects on your health than regular sugar. This sweetener is metabolized differently than sugar, through the liver and can actually cause a fatty liver and liver damage, in much the same way that alcohol can. Take a look at your Wheat Thins, Breakfast bars, cereals, ketchup, BBQ sauce, even your peppers in a jar to see if this sweetener has been added.
- Trans Fats.(aka as hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oil) Do not be fooled by packaging that states there are zero trans fats or the nutrition label that says zero trans fats. You must read the ingredient label to see if there is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the product. These fats are used to extend the shelf life and add creaminess and texture of baked goods, peanut butters, etc but these fats have been proven to cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. New York City has banned trans fats, and I hope you will too. (Read your Skippy and Jiff peanut butter ingredients. Take a look at your Mission Flour Tortillas.)
- Food additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners: The average person consumes pounds of these compounds every year. Aside from being harmful themselves, they bring with them many other poor quality ingredients. Stay away from the following:
- Artificial Sweeteners:Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet n’Low), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame-K (Sunette, Sweet-n-Safe, Sweet One) What can you do instead? How about using a little bit of Stevia which is a natural herb or even a little bit of Inulin which is a mildly sweet powder that the beneficial bacteria in your gut gets nourishment from and grows. A couple of other sweetening ideas include, sucanat, and raw local honey.
- Any food additives:Potassium bromate, propyl gallate, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin (you will be surprised at how many products have this little sweetener and interestingly enough, it is not counted as a sugar).
I always encourage eating as much organic and grass fed as your budget can bear, but even if you do nothing else, simply by eliminating foods with any of the above ingredients in them, you will go a long ways toward improving your health and the health of your loved ones, as well.
It really is simple. Just start eating whole real, fresh, organic (when you can), unprocessed food and watch how you look and feel so incredibly much better!