Tips to Succeed
1) READ LABELS, READ LABELS, READ LABELS – The fewer ingredients the better. If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, odds are you shouldn’t be putting in your body. See my section on Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid.
2) Portion Control is key.
3) Limit eating processed foods as much as possible. This takes planning and unfortunately more cooking than most of us like. The key is to plan ahead and make things in larger batches so you can eat more than just one meal from your effort. Freezing is a real plus when making multiple meals. Sometimes we get tired of recipes we eat two or three days in a row, but we don’t want them to get old in the frig…this is where the freezer is the answer. On those nights when you don’t feel like cooking, it is so great to be able to just pull something healthy out of the freezer and heat it up!!!
4) Don’t eat refined white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose anything, or really any artificial sweeteners. These seemingly innocent culprits our one of our country’s biggest problems. The list of health issues that are caused by consuming them on a regular basis is frightening. Do some research if you don’t believe me. The scary thing about these types of sweeteners is how many products in the United States have unnecessary sweeteners in them. That is why it is so important to educate yourself on what these products do to the human body and which food products have unnecessary sugars added to them.
For me, I have found success with using unrefined sugars such as Turbinado, Demerara or Sucanat. The later being less processed. The reason to strive for less processed sugar is that your body can process those types of sugars more efficiently. Other great options are 100% Maple Syrup and natural honey; great to sweeten muffins and such. Other great options for sweetening with bake goods is dates or beets. I know beets sound weird: I hate them just plain but putting them in muffin or a cake really pumps everything up. Moisture and sweetness for two things and you get an extra servings of vegies for the day.
5) Enriched White Breads or even Enriched Wheat Breads – These are real culprits to our system as far as truth or rather misleading truth in packaging. I know there are people saying all grains are bad, but this is an explanation of what works for me. You make your own decisions. Paleo is great, but my body processes everything better with grains in my diet. I try to always eat Whole Grain Whole Wheat bread. Once again, read the labels. Just because a product says 100% Whole Wheat doesn’t mean it means that is contains the whole grain. The entire grain is much healthy than wheat flour that has been over processed. Grains also in this group that you should apply the same rules to are pastas and rice. Whole grain pasta and brown rice are the best choices.
Here are some outside sources to further bring my point home:
6) Fruit Juice - Always check the label and make sure the juice only contains 100% fruit juice NOT from concentrate, nothing else is acceptable. Once you have the good stuff, fruit Juice contains tons of natural sugars which you still need to limit the amount you consume. The best way is to dilute a glass of juice in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio with filtered water or sparkling water. You can work up to this and eventually full strength juice will taste way too sweet. Try to limit fruit juice intake to no more than once a day, unless you are adding just a splash of it to water or tea.
7) Best Proteins - Great choices are buffalo, grass-fed organic beef, organic chicken, wild salmon, tuna fish, *turkey breast, organic cage-free eggs, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocados, organic Greek yogurt and last but not least organic milk and cheese specifically low-fat mozzarella and cottage cheese. Lots of people rule out diary and cheese, but I feel you get a lot of bang for the buck if you choose wisely and read the labels. Organic is a must; just try out different brands and see which one you like the best.
*If choosing ground turkey makes sure it is 100% turkey breast not just ground turkey.