Fresh air, clean water, clean food, maintaining good friendships, managing stress levels, exercise, meaningful employment, being spiritually whole – it all counts. Below are some general lifestyle pointers to optimize your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
- Give up the microwave! Microwaves appear to alter the nutritional content of food. Instead, use a toaster oven, heat over a steaming saucepan, or under the broiler. Boil water in an electric kettle – it’s quicker as well.
- Reduce your use of plastics. Store food in glass/china containers and cover with a plate or glass lid.
- Whenever possible, remove food stressors along with the emotional ones.
Fueling Your Life
There is no perfect diet- your focus should be on fueling your life and improving your health. Some people do well with a blood group specific diet, others with no meat, some completely paleo. You will need to find out what works for you, your budget, and the people you live with.
By preventing sugar and insulin highs and then lows, fiber rich foods reduce weight gain, tiredness, and drowsiness, improve concentration, and prevent mineral loss.
- Make your plate as bright as naturally possible.
- Don’t be scared of carbohydrates, just understand that the definition is so much broader than Western culture portrays. Healthy and nutritious carbohydrates include many fruits and veg.
- Eat unrefined, unprocessed food as near to its natural state as possible, preferably organic. Remember, the less work someone else does to a food, the more work your body does- which helps your machine run better.
- When it comes to your protein- the less feet the better! Beef/pork/ham < chicken < fish < plants. Choose game meats when possible, and pick lamb or turkey over beef and ham.
- Balance your plate: carbs 55%, protein 15%, fats 30%, plus micronutrients of vitamins/minerals and phytonutrients such as flavonoids to support circulation. Aim for 8 veg, 3+ fruit a day – these alkalizing foods are less stressful than high protein meat/cheese type foods. They are rich in micronutrients and enzymes, as well as antioxidants. Eat some cleansing raw vegetables daily. If you must cook, cook simply (poach, steam bake).
- Eat slowly to allow digestive juices to break down and absorb your food. You are not what you eat – you are what you absorb!
- Drink at least 32 oz/1 liter PER 50 pounds of plain water per day-don’t add anything to it. (e.g., a 150 pound person would need to drink 96 ounces).
- Reduce dairy products; use goat or sheep’s milk products instead. Fermented (e.g. natural yogurt) is okay.
- For quick breakfasts, drink a fruit smoothie for vital nutrients that are easily absorbed and maintain even sugar levels up until lunch. Cherries & berries are the best base.
Drink 2-3 cups of herbal teas a day– green, redbush, chamomile, peppermint (unless you have reflux), limeflowers, marigold, nettle, etc.
Eating for Immunity & Health
- Mushrooms – Shiitake, miitake, turkey tails
- Brassicas – cabbage, broccolli, sprouts, & kale
- Carrots, beets
- Raw nuts & seeds
- Red peppers, tomatoes
- Green leafy veg, avocado, beans
- Eggs (organic preferred)
- Garlic, onions, & leeks
- Beans – pinto, black, & lentils
- Parsley, coriander, nettles
- Buckwheat, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, & barley
- Olives. Replace other unhealthy oils with olive oil, virgin coconut oil, or butter in small quantities.
- Seaweed – wakame, dulse, & kelp
- Oily fish – sardines, salmon, mackeral, herring, and tuna or white fish. Fresh is better than frozen, frozen is better than canned.
- Rye or seed-rich bread without added sugar
- If you must sweeten your food, use honey or Stevia
Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do this every day – do your best and aim in the right direction. Enjoy your food!
Minimize & Moderate
Try and remove the “S’s” that are food stressors to the body. They are low in nutrients and may increase your risk for illness and cancer. Look for hidden sources of these in many different foods.
- Besides sugar in the obvious places like sodas, candy, and cake, look for sneaky sugar in places like wholemeal bread. Sugar sets up stress reaction in the body, reduces antioxidant activity, stresses the heart. Cancer cells are mostly fueled by sugar so starve the cancer by eliminating sugar. Reducing sugar also reduces the formation of fat from sudden sugar peaks.
- Avoid any chemical sugar substitutes to include saccharins, Aspartame, Nutrasweet and Splenda.
- Avoid smoked, salted, pickled, chargrilled and fried foods.
- Added salt – may raise blood pressure, and lower your body’s ability to hydrate when used in excess. Monosodium glutimate (MSG), frequently found in asian foods, can be particularly bad for many people.
- Minimize saturated fats, found in dairy, red meat (esp. pork), and fast or convenience foods. Avoid margarine, oily spreads and trans fats they raise LDL (lethal) and lower HDL (helpful) fats and have other harmful effects.
- In addition to the well-known effects of smoking, nicotine reduces antioxidants in the body.
- Except for fermented ones like miso, soy foods affect thyroid function and may aid cancer formation.
- Stimulants like caffeine decrease hydration and stress the endocrine system.
- Also minimize alcohol as it stresses the liver.
- Avoid all farmed fish as these have higher concentrations of pesticides and waste products.
Breakfast – Fruit & veg smoothie with berries and cherries; add oats, nuts, and raw seeds for flavor and texture; try ‘hiding’ carrots, kale or dandelion leaves.
Snack- Bright green Granny Smith Apple with a tablespoon of natural almond butter.
Lunch– A big colorful salad with good crunch, such as baby spinach with red onions, bright bell peppers, sliced tomatoes, and crisp carrots. Add black beans, pepitas, and tuna for a protein punch and top with some rye croutons. Still have room? Add a cup of chicken & rice soup containing bone broth, brown rice, chicken, celery, and diced carrots.
Snack- Crudites with dips of mashed avacado, hummus, and salsa fresca (beware sneaky sugar!).
Dinner- Ratatoille of root vegetables or seasonal veg like eggplant, zucchini, and squash. Serve over a half cup of quinoa with 3 ounces of baked turkey. Have a cup of fresh berries for desert.