Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolution Tips for Healthy Eating

So many people have no idea where to even begin when it comes to eating healthy. It can be quite overwhelming, especially when you are looking for a lasting lifestyle change. Below I will outline some of the common foods to avoid, while also pointing out foods that are highly nutritious.

Top 5 foods to cross off your shopping list

Milk/Dairy Products: This very common food is said to be healthy and a must to build our bones. What most people don't realize is that it's one of the foods that cause the most health-related problems. Milk and other dairy products produce mucus formation in our body. If that builds up over time, it can cause acne, allergies (including seasonal allergies), irritable bowel syndrome, etc. You can easily replace milk with rice milk or almond milk. Afraid of not having enough calcium? The leafy green vegetable, Kale is used as a calcium replacement - our body actually digests it easier and absorbs MORE calcium than it does from milk. Sound gross? Not at all! Just sauté it up with garlic, olive oil and onions and enjoy!

Wheat/Bread/Pasta: This is another very common food that causes so many allergies. This is a common staple of our diet and is one of the most difficult foods to stop eating. But, if you do stop, you will notice how much better you feel. You will have more energy, less headaches, and will lose weight. I can vouch for this myself - I have been mostly wheat free for around 5 years - and when I do eat it (who can say no to pizza every once in a while?!) I notice a huge difference in my health. I feel sluggish, lethargic, and constipated. You can use healthy replacements like rice, spelt and kamut, that can be found at most health food stores.

Soy & Soy Products: This is another common health misconception - "Soy milk is healthy..." Soy is one of the most genetically modified foods and also one of the foods that we are most allergic to. Genetically modified foods can be tied to infertility as well as other serious health complaints. Soy also contains plant estrogens that should never be fed to boys or men. We are hearing now more than ever that young boys are developing breasts and young girls are developing faster than ever before. This can be tied to soy consumption. If you read your ingredient label you will be surprised to find soy on most processed foods.

Processed Sugar: White sugar actually suppresses immune function - causing it to be one of the most dangerous foods on the market today. Sugar consumption also causes ADD / ADHD in children and adults, weight gain, fatigue, mental fog and is so addictive. Sugar should be classified as a recreational drug. If you eat sugar, then you know what I'm talking about - the stuff is addictive! Make it your New Year's resolution to stop eating all processed sugar and instead substitute it with pure raw honey and/or maple syrup.

Fried Food: Although this isn't one specific food to avoid, it is a very important category to consider. When a food or substance is super heated, the proteins begin to denature and the food sometimes becomes toxic. This is the case for fried foods - the oil is so super heated that it denatures and becomes toxic. Fried foods are very hard on our liver and digestive tract. Do you notice how you feel after you eat something that has been deep fried? I can tell you that I have felt sluggish, fatigued, and just 'weighed down'.

You may ask what foods you can eat now, since I have eliminated most of your grocery list...

Fill your list with more raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy grains like quinoa and millet, and lots of high-quality water.

Super Foods to Consider

Kale: Like said above, Kale provides more calcium than milk and is more easily absorbed than dairy products. Kale also has quite an impressive nutrient list, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, manganese, copper, and even the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). 

High Quality Fish Oil: In order to function properly, we need high quality fats and cholesterol to build hormones and cells. This is also extremely important if you are pregnant, nursing, or a growing child. Babies and children need this type of fat to build their nervous system and brain too. Be careful, however, when buying fish oil products - you want a high quality product that contains no mercury or heavy metals. 

Bee Pollen: I have an entire article on this one super food (can be found here). Bee pollen can be added to smoothies or juice and contains every nutrient that you need for growth and development. If you have allergies, please read the cautions on the article linked above. 

There are so many other super foods, but this is a good start for those of you who are willing to try them. Happy New Year to my readers! I hope this helps you carry out your New Year's Resolution!


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here. Her Montreal Natural Fertility site can be found here

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