EAT REAL FOOD!
You are what you eat!
The building blocks for every cell in your body can be traced back to something that you ate or that your mother ate. Nothing is more fundamental to our health and well-being than the food we eat on a daily basis. When we give our body the proper building blocks, it is able to transform them into energy, bones, brain chemicals, and toe nails. As luck would have it, all of these building blocks come packaged nicely in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, grains, eggs, and dairy products. It works out well that the things that we need to function come in a wide variety of great tasting foods.
Unfortunately in our quest for convenience, low prices, shelf life, perfectly round ripe tomatoes in January, and outrageously colored carriers for sugar no child could resist, we have created a lot of nutritionally void, calorically dense food imposters. While they may fill us up and seem to work ok in the short term, over time our bodies don’t quite know what to do with them and so we end up with problems such as degeneration, inflammation, indigestion, fatigue and diabetes.
So many of us are suffering from nutritional deficiencies despite consuming an excess of calories. Our cells are screaming out for the compounds in almonds, arugula, and artichokes and instead we bathe them with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and hexyl 2-methylbutyrate. While we are quick to want a drug or a supplement to fix our ills, we should remember the words of wisdom from the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine”.
Replacing a child’s bowl of frosted purple sugar crisps with eggs or yogurt and fruit may help decrease hyperactivity and improve focus. Eliminating foods containing partially hydrogenated oils and replacing them with healthy fats found in nuts and olive oil may lead to decreased inflammation, and improved cardiovascular health. Trading out fake colored “foods” such as Doritos and Gatorade with the naturally colored foods such as blueberries and broccoli may improve your eyesight and decrease your risk for certain cancers. Most importantly as you decrease your intake of imposters and replace them with real foods most of the time you will find that you just feel better.
With imposter foods being so predominant in our grocery stores these days it can often be difficult to figure out if a food is real or not. A few tips to help you determine if a food is real or not (from “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” by Michael Pollan, Penguin Press 2008):
Don’t eat anything your grandmother (or great grandmother) wouldn’t recognize as food.
Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Shop the periphery of the supermarket, stay out of the middle and get out of the supermarket whenever possible.
Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
– Susan Fekety RN MSN CNM, on April 16th, 2013
Vegetables and Fruits
Choose more vegetables and fruits. Go for color and variety—dark green, yellow, orange, and red.
It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables and fruits: Lower blood pressure; reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers; lower risk of eye and digestive problems; and a mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep appetite in check.
Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day, and potatoes don’t count. Go for a variety of kinds and colors of produce, to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Best bets? Dark leafy greens, cooked tomatoes, and anything that’s a rich yellow, orange, or red color.
Healthy eating tip 4: Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables
Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day—the brighter the better.Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet—they are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Fruits and vegetables should be part of every meal and your first choice for a snack—aim for a minimum of five portions each day. The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases.
Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day—the brighter the better.
The brighter, deeper colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits. Some great choices are:
Greens: Greens are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, and they help strengthen the blood and respiratory systems. Be adventurous with your greens and branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce—kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options.
Sweet vegetables: Naturally sweet vegetables add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets. Some examples of sweet vegetables are corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or yams, winter squash, and onions.
Fruit: A wide variety of fruit is also vital to a healthy diet. Fruit provides fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.
Healthy eating tip 5: Eat more healthy carbs and whole grains
Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.
A quick definition of healthy carbs and unhealthy carbs
Healthy carbs (sometimes known as good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.
Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.
Tips for eating more healthy carbs
Whole Grain Stamp
Include a variety of whole grains in your healthy diet, including whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. Experiment with different grains to find your favorites.
Make sure you’re really getting whole grains. Be aware that the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran, can be deceptive. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” at the beginning of the ingredient list. In the US, check for the Whole Grain Stamps that distinguish between partial whole grain and 100% whole grain.
Try mixing grains as a first step to switching to whole grains. If whole grains, like brown rice and whole wheat pasta, don’t sound good at first, start by mixing what you normally use with the whole grains. You can gradually increase the whole grain to 100%.
Avoid: Refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.
Best Fruits and Vegetables to Enhance Your Mood
June 6, 2012 by Katie Fetting-Schlerf in Healthy Eating
We’ve all heard that “you are what you eat” – but, in actuality, what you eat can affect you who you are.
Our bodies are delicate balances of chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. Food not only sustains life, it determines the quality of that life. Fruits and vegetables are integral sources of nutrients essential to balancing mood and improving mental acuity.
Below are seven of the best fruits and vegetables known to enhance mood. Eat a few of these a day and your psyche will thank you for it.
In addition to being a great source of potassium (which studies have found improves brain function), bananas are high in B6, a vitamin that increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Bananas also offer the mood-regulating relaxant tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for your lovely Thanksgiving turkey dinner afterglow.
Broccoli boasts impressive levels of folic acid (also known as Vitamin B9), an entity necessary for a number of bodily functions, including cell growth, the production of healthy red blood cells and mood regulation. According to Livestrong.com, “fruits and vegetables that contain folic acid can help to boost serotonin levels and improve mood.” If a person is deficient in folic acid, symptoms can range from diarrhea and a swollen tongue to headaches and mental depression.
Like broccoli, spinach (and most leafy vegetables) contains a hefty dose of folic acid. Spinach is also a wonderful source of the mineral magnesium, a natural anxiety combatant. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you may find it hard to concentrate in addition to being fatigued and irritable.
Not all fats are created equal. Olives contain “healthy” fats, which are responsible for lower anxiety and anger levels. And the useful culinary ingredient olive oil provides the same benefits when eaten cold, as in salad dressings, or lightly heated below 170 degrees. Other fats are better for high heat cooking.
Deep colored vegetables like berries are steeped in complex carbohydrates, which supply glucose to the blood. This translates to higher body energy and elevated brain activity – combating depression and decreasing irritability.
Like their more conventional spud counterparts, sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. Carbs tend to have a calming effect on the human body, increasing serotonin levels.
Fruits & Veggies — Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
What’s Wrong with Cooked Foods? Raw Fruits and Vegetables Are Perfect
I have so many people asking me ‘What’s wrong with cooked foods?” Well, I don’t even know where to begin, there are SO many things wrong with cooked foods that it’s almost an endless subject.
I’ve tried to cover a few big points in this video, but certainly there are many more reasons why eating cooked foods is unhealthy.
I usually try to focus on the benefits of uncooked natural plant foods like fruit and vegetables. I know from personal experience that eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables and no cooked foods at all offers you perfect health!
What a FullyRaw Vegan Eats in a Day (Winter Edition)
What does a FullyRaw Vegan Eat in Winter? People are always asking me what I eat in a day and what I eat in Winter. Here’s a quick video that shows you the delicious delights of my day! http://youtu.be/q2yV1Kgcmg4
How to Get a Flat Stomach (5 Easy Steps)
How to Get a Flat Stomach in 5 Easy Steps! Getting a flat tummy doesn’t have to be painful or daunting! These tips are so easy and fun that you can do them too! http://youtu.be/L8wyVbYaQu8
1) Drink lots of water: FullyRaw Vitamin Infused Lemonade when you first wake up in the AM. Recommended 32-64 oz daily. You can also drink fresh juices! If you need some recommended recipes, check out my Watermelon Juice Secret, Soulshine Juice, or Sunburst Juice here on my channel.
2) Eat FullyRaw Foods: Challenge yourself to 2-3 FullyRaw Meals a Day. Not telling you to go 100% FullyRaw right away… but give it a try. It’s much easier and more delicious than you think!
3) Eliminate meat and dairy. The benefits associated with eliminating animal products are HUGE. Eliminating these hormones, bacterias, and fats from your diet can flush your system, giving you a flat belly. Take it to the next level: eliminate gluten. Watch the weight fall off!
4) Do 10 minutes of easy ab workouts like the ones in my video. My favorites are squats, planks, bicycle crunches, and jump roping!
5) Don’t eat after 7-8 PM or stop eating 3 hours before bed. Eating FullyRaw is also the daylight diet. Eat when the sun is up and rest when the sun in down. 🙂