Are you tired of hearing the same old advice that “there’s no magic bullet for your health?” Well, I’m here to take a stand and say with certainty that “yes, there is a magic bullet, and it’s your diet.”
Despite unlimited access to advice, self-help books, special diets, etc., we still witness rising rates of obesity and chronic degenerative disease month after month. This can happen with information overload – with so much advice, it’s hard to know what’s right for you. But there is something you can confidently do, and that’s to clean up your core diet. To do so, you will need to spring into action and take the biggest step of your journey toward optimal health.
Spring into Action and Clean Up Your Diet
You may be familiar with the parable of the boiled frog: A frog in a pot of water will sit and boil as the water is slowly heated. But toss the frog into a pot of boiling water, and he will spring into action to save himself. The assault on our health is the water that is heating up around us. It’s time to spring into action to save ourselves; it’s time to step back, do a fairly radical overhaul, and clean up our diet.
Begin the Journey to Healing, Health, and Vitality.
There are simple building blocks of a clean diet that we can follow: Think clean. Eliminate toxins. Properly hydrate our bodies, which are 70 percent water. Lubricate our joints. Wake up our metabolisms. Activate our immune systems. Feed our bodies, which hunger for essential ingredients!
The following steps are some powerful diet-building blocks we can all choose to promote a healthy weight, reduce our risk for chronic degenerative disease, and Live with Vitality Now!
Embrace the Positive – ADD or REPLACE with:
- Organic whenever possible.
- Free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free protein foods.
- Grass-fed or grass-pasteurized beef and lamb when available.
- Drink at least 50 percent of your body weight as electrochemically reduced water.* For those who have a hard time drinking, add a slice of lemon, lime, and/or peeled and sliced fresh ginger to increase the flavor. You can also consume cold caffeine-free herbal tea as a substitute. *Email for more information.
- Try to consume at least 7 (and ideally 10) servings of vegetables a day.
Prepare an omelet, frittata, or scrambled egg for breakfast with at least 2 vegetables.
- Consume a salad at lunch. Start with 2 different greens and layer in color, such as organic peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, grilled or roasted broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Add protein to ensure mental and physical acuity, garnish with avocado, and dress with a healthy vinaigrette.
- When possible, replace your mid-afternoon sugary, caffeinated beverage with a “green juice” as many times a week as available. You can blend together cucumber, celery, kale, 1 small or ½ medium organic granny smith apple or pear, or substitute with a little beet or carrot. Blend with clean water, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Enjoy with a small serving of nuts, such as 2 Brazil nuts, 4 macadamia nuts, and either 10 almonds, 10 walnuts, or 15 Pistachios. If you like, add 2 tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds.
- Whether you are eating at home or going out, prepare or choose a dinner plate that is at least 50 percent vegetable. Try to request or make at least 1 cruciferous vegetable, such as broccoli (and its relatives broccolini and broccoli rabe), cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, arugula, watercress, or radish, and 1 leafy green, such as kale, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, or escarole.
- Ensure that you are eating an adequate amount of healthy fats at each meal. Choose from butter or ghee, or for high temperatures, choose organic, cold-pressed, virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, or grape seed. I love some cold-pressed nut oils over salad. Great choices include walnut and macadamia nut oil.
- Complement your organic vegetables and healthy fats with modest portions of protein. Choose from organic, free-range eggs, poultry, beef, bison, buffalo, lamb, wild-caught fish, mollusks, and organic, grass-fed New Zealand whey.
- Flavor your dishes with fresh or dried herbs. Many herbs offer a significant range of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
- Eat low-glycemic fruits, such as berries, apples, and pears. Eat fresh and seasonally. Eat your fruit between meals and enjoy it with 4–6 ounces of organic, plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt or kefir. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds.
- If you eat grains, choose from wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, or teff. Organic, imported farro is another option available in many stores.
Repel the Negative – REMOVE or Severely LIMIT:
- Foods containing artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives.
- Foods containing artificial sweeteners.
- Foods containing high fructose corn syrup.
- Foods containing hydrogenated and fractionated fats.
- Foods made from refined and processed grains.
- Processed deli meats.
- Cow-based dairy. Choose sheep or organic coconut alternatives instead.
- Fruit juice. Eat your fruit whole.
- Sweetened coffee and tea beverages.
- Sugars and refined carbs.
- Battered, fried, and cheesed foods.
Cleaning up your diet affords you the chance to become a lighter, fitter you. Don’t hesitate; just get started and spring into action.
Live Vitality Now!
Our nutrition expert, Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., has been a clinical nutritionist and metabolic specialist since 1996. Peta specializes in examining the root causes of complex and chronic health issues, and helping clients prevent the diseases caused by lifestyle choices, environmental influences, epigenetics, and aging. With her extensive clinical and research experience, she's been invited to share her knowledge at seminars and conferences worldwide. In Peta's articles for the BoomSpot, the blog of the online store theBoomShop.com, she gives practical tips on how adults 50+ can improve their health right now. Learn more about Peta at PetaCohen.com.