Do you know that when you get a little insight into some things, that little insight is like a spark that starts slowly but will build with time. But first you have to have the desire for the spark to grow or it will be like trying to set fire to wet wood. Maybe since you are reading this you already have that little spark growing and you want to learn more. I'm talking about the spark that is the knowledge of what is a healthy food or a healthy lifestyle choice.
Maybe you are like I was. I remember the day that the little spark of knowledge came into my life. It quickly turned into a roaring fire and it was something that compelled me to dig deeper to find out the truth. I wanted to know the truth even if it meant re-learning and re-adjusting. (See About Me for my story)
Since this website is dedicated to getting the word out about healthy food choices and healthy lifestyle changes, I decided that I needed to have a post about "where to start." So this is it. I'm going to tell you in a nutshell what is healthy and what is not so that you can make changes instantly without having to plow through page after page of information. There is a place for plowing through pages, don't get me wrong, but if you are like me you may just want to know in short and up front so that you can go ahead and implement those changes. Then you can go back and start digging, reading and researching as to why these choices are preferred over others. I won't be giving an exhausted list but will just set out a few guidelines in food choices that will get you going on to the road of a healthier lifestyle.
FATS - There's the good and the bad when it comes to fats so get rid of the bad fats like refined vegetable oils such as canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, hemp, cottonseed, and margarines. They are unstable, rancid and produce free radicals. Add these good fats to your diet: coconut, palm oil, cream, butter (real butter not margarine), beef fat, sheep fat, lard, chicken fat, and goose fat. These are saturated fats and they are very stable and can take the heat of cooking. Make sure the animal fats come from healthy raised grass fed animals. Avoid any hydrogenated oils even if it is lard. Hydrogenation changes the molecular structure of oils making them more harmful. Use olive, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, walnut and sesame oils as cold pressed and unrefined and sparingly. It would be best not to heat them as they are not as stable as the saturated fats. Just changing your fat choices will make a big difference in your health. You will pretty much have to toss all refined foods on the supermarket shelves. Here is a great post entitled "Enjoy Saturated Fats, They're Good For You"
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES - Not much to say here except try to eat most of them organic and eat them often. Here is a list of what is called the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. Spend your money on buying organic from those that fall under the Dirty Dozen and save your money and just buy non organic produce that falls under the Clean 15 list if you prefer.
The Dirty Dozen: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines, Grapes, Sweet bell pepers, Potatoes, Blueberries, Lettuce, Kale/collard greens.
The Clean 15: Onions, Corn (personally I would go with organic corn as most corn is Genetically Modified), Pineapples, Avocados, Asparagus, Sweet peas, Mangoes, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Cabbage, Watermelon, Sweet potatoes, Grapefruit and Mushrooms.
MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE, CREAM, YOGURT, KEFIR, SOUR CREAM, etc - These are best if unpasteurized and from grass fed cows not given growth hormones or antibiotics. Use the full fledged fat, not low fat or no fat. The benefits of unpasteurized milk products are too many to even begin to list in this brief explanation. If unpasteurized is unavailable then just buy organic. Avoid UHT (ultra high temp.) pasteurized products. It is almost impossible to find store bought cream that is not UHT. See information on my Milk Kefir class in East Alabama.
COCONUT - Very healthy in any form (the fat, the milk, the cream, and unsweetened flakes). Just avoid the "Lite" milk and any coconut made with preservatives added.
MEATS - Consume from organic grass fed animals without antibiotics and preservatives. Watch out for MSG and nitrites and nitrates. Organ meats from these animals are highly favored (I personally need to develop a taste for them). Avoid farmed fish and fish in cans containing bad oils or preservatives.
BREADS - Sourdough and Sprouted products made from freshly ground organic whole wheat are best. Avoid additives and bad oils. Check out my sourdough class in the East Alabama area.
SWEETENERS - Throw out all artificial sweetners in the pink, yellow, and blue packets. Avoid agave, high fructose corn syrup, and corn sweetner. Grade B Maple Syrup, Maple Sugar, Malted Grain Syrups, Raw Organic Honey (raw honey not for babies however), Molasses, Date Sugar, Coconut Sugar and Sucanat may be used in moderation depending on your health and tolerance. Green Stevia (the green powder, not the white) can be a good sugar replacement.
SALT - If it's white then you need to replace this with a gray or pinkish colored salt. White colored salt has been refined and is missing the trace elements. Good brands are Celtic Sea Salt and Real Salt.
EGGS - Best if you can find organic pastured eggs from chickens allowed to roam free and eat all the grass and bugs they can.
CANNED SOUPS AND STOCKS AND BOUILLION CUBES: These are full of MSG. Avoid them and make your own.
SOY - in a word - Bad (no not 100% but almost) Most products on our supermarket shelves that have soy as a listed ingredient are bad) Natto is actually good but if you do the research you will see that it takes a long time to properly prepare the traditional way and most food processors do not take that time.
Well this little post should get you started in doing your own research. That's what this website is about, just getting the word out so the reader can see for themselves.
Weston A. Price website is a good place to begin your research. You can spend many hours just reading the articles. So happy researching and may what you learn cause you to change your food choices for the better, in turn making a healthier you!
Debbie Vail, NC
Greetings from east central Alabama and welcome to my site. I am a graduate of Hawthorn University, a leader in holistic education.
See more about me and my educational experience.