Spring into Good Health with Fresh New Food Choices
- Try to eat only fruits, fruit juices, tea, water, or other liquids before 12 noon. We go through 3 eight hour phases during the day. From 12 noon to 8 pm is digestion. From 8 pm to 4 am is assimilation, and from 4am to noon is elimination. For this reason, up until noon, we do not want to consume heavy foods that interfere with the elimination process by shifting energy to digestion. Fruits are high in water and fiber and help with elimination. Also, eat fruits alone, or 30 minutes before meals. They digest too quickly to eat after meals, as they move quickly through the digestive tract and will be slowed down. Wait at least 2 hours after a meal before eating fruit.
- Do not drink water with meals. Water dilutes digestive fluids making it more difficult to digest our food. Drink water 30 minutes before meals and then wait 2 hours after meals to drink large volumes of water. To determine your daily requirement for water, take your weight and divide it by two, and then exchange the word ounces for pounds. For example, a 120 pound person requires 60 ounces of water (120 divided by two, and replace pounds with ounces). Only water counts for water! (not tea (even herbal tea!), juice, sparkling water, etc.)
- Eat organic produce and foods whenever possible. Conventional foods are loaded with pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, and fertilizers that increase the toxic burden on your body.
- Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. They are loaded with water, fiber, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
- Start juicing! Fresh organic vegetable juices are an incredible source of vitamins and minerals that will keep you alkaline and assist with the cleansing process. Kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon, parsley, sprouts, carrots, and beets are all wonderful in juices. If you do not own a juicer, find a local health food store or restaurant that makes fresh organic juices.
- Do not drink tap water. Filtered water is inexpensive to purchase at water stores, or you can install a reverse osmosis filtration system on your sink.
- Do not bathe in tap water. We absorb a substantial amount of water when showering and bathing, and the chlorine and chemicals in the water are taxing to the hair and skin, and also add an additional toxic burden to the body. Shower filters are inexpensive to purchase, easy to install, and will drastically reduce the amount of chlorine that you absorb when bathing. There are many reputable companies offering shower filters. They are easy to find on the internet.
- Start dry brushing your skin! The skin is one of the largest organs of elimination, so exfoliating the skin allows you to release more toxins. Dry skin brushing the skin also improves circulation, moves lymph, and improves the appearance of your skin. Always dry skin brush before showering. Begin at the extremities and brush towards the heart.
- Don’t count your calories, make your calories count. This goes for calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
Calories: A salad with olive oil dressing, pumpkin seeds, avocado, and fresh veggies may have more calories than a baked potato with fat free cheddar cheese, fat free bacon bits, and sour cream, but which one serves the highest good of your body? The salad has more calories, but it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, healthy oils, and enzymes. All of these things allow your body to more effectively carry out its daily functions. The potato is basically empty calories. Fewer calories, but calories that don’t do too much for you.
Fat: Many people watch their fat intake and think that fat is the enemy when it comes to weight loss. It is really the bad fats that are the enemy, good fats serve many important purposes in the body, and can actually help with weight loss because they make you feel full longer. When considering the fat content of foods, consider the source. If the source is a whole food, such as avocado, olive, flax, hemp, raw nuts and seeds, or coconut, you are much better off than if the source is hydrogenated oil, deep fried foods, fatty meat, or whole fat dairy.
Carbohydrates: The high protein diet craze has left many people watching their intake of carbohydrates. Once again, it is the type of carbohydrates that is important, not the grams of carbohydrates. Eat carbohydrates from whole foods, such as fruits, whole grains, and root vegetables. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as flour and white sugar. When it comes to sweeteners, many people opt for artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Aspartame, and Nutrasweet, because they have no grams of sugar. What do they have? Nothing in terms of nutritional value, and their safety is questionable. Opt for sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, xylitol, or agave nectar, which are all natural, loaded with minerals, and in a form your body can actually recognize and utilize. Or consider stevia, a non caloric herb that is fabulous for sweetening beverages and desserts.
Protein: Most people eat much more protein than they need. Depending on your lifestyle, you need to determine the amount of protein you require. The source of protein is the most important decision to make. If you choose to eat meat, chicken, fish, dairy products, or eggs as your protein source, do research into the source of these products. There are many options in health food stores for free range, hormone free, organic, cage free, etc. that are better than the standard choices. This will help you to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, hormones, medications, pesticides, and other toxic substances that may impact your health. If you consume a lot of fish, make sure you are consuming low mercury fish. It is easy to find lists of the high mercury and low mercury fish on the internet. Also, look into the abundance of vegetarian sources of protein and consider substituting these for the animal protein in your diet. Some things to consider: sprouted nuts and seeds, sprouted beans, cooked beans, hemp protein powder, rice protein powder, flax seeds, raw nut butters, tempeh, tofu, seitan, bee pollen, and algaes such as spirulina and chlorella.
- Consider cleansing your body at the change of each season to let go of the old and make room for the new.
The benefits of cleansing include weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin, elimination of toxins, improved elimination, and many more. Any time you eliminate something heavy or toxic from your diet, your body will begin to cleanse. If you are a meat eater, and you do not eat meat for a week, your body will shift its energy from digestion (meat requires a lot of energy for digestion) to elimination. A cleanse could be as simple as eliminating refined sugar for a week. Another level could be eliminating refined sugar, refined flour, alcohol, dairy, and meat for a week. The next level could be consuming only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils for a week. The next level could be only raw fruits and vegetables, oils, and fresh juices. The next level could be a week long juice fast with cleansing herbs. As you can see, a cleanse can be catered to every individual so that they can succeed. A cleanse could range from 1 day to multiple weeks. Any cleansing you do will help heal your body and boost your immune system. There are many books on the market and many qualified practitioners who can help you to develop a cleansing program that works for you.