This is the month of showing love and affection to the most important people in your life, as well as taking time to love yourself. When you don’t feel your best, it’s more difficult to express your passion for others, and for living. Loving your body by providing it with nourishing food improves your health and well-being, and allows you to more easily love others.
Choose unrefined whole grain products, rich in vitamins, minerals and digestible fiber. White bread and refined flour products have been stripped of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients. Without these naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, your body has a difficult time digesting and utilizing these products. Consuming them over time robs the body of B vitamins, important for handling stress.
Even multi-grain bread can be junk food, masquerading as healthy bread. Make sure whole wheat is the first and main ingredient. Otherwise, you are eating white bread with a few grains mixed in. The manufacturing process is another reason to avoid refined white flour. Chlorine is used to bleach the flour, while bromide is used to brominate it. These two chemicals are linked to thyroid and organ damage.
Whole grains have real fiber that is essential for colon health. Packaged and refined cereals and food bars, even those promoted as “high-fiber” do not contain digestible food fiber. Their fiber ingredient is “cellulose”, which is really wood pulp. Food manufacturers use this to extend their products, selling you a mouthful of wood shavings.
White rice is another refined food, stripped of the rice bran, rice germ, and B vitamins. Compared to eating brown rice, eating white rice is associated with a 17% higher risk of diabetes when consumed five or more times a week. White rice is “fortified,” but is still nutritionally deficient, causing a spike in blood sugar. Reduce your risk by eating whole grain brown rice or other whole grains, and consume white rice less than once a month.
Choose other whole grains including quinoa, steel-cut oats and barley. Avoid using millet unless your thyroid is overactive. An under-active thyroid can be slowed down even more by the natural components found in millet.
Read food labels even when purchasing gluten free baked goods. Look for ingredients such as organic whole grains and natural sugars. Avoid refined flours, artificial ingredients, sugar and non-organic grains, which are often genetically, modified grains in disguise. Corn is the most frequently used genetically modified grain in gluten free products.
Consume healthy protein alternatives with organic rice-based protein or hemp seed protein. Avoid soymilk, soy protein and soy-based meat substitutes, which may provide protein, but at a health cost. Over 90% of non-organic soy ingredients come from genetically modified soybeans. In addition, most soy is processed using a toxic chemical known as hexane, a petroleum product. This toxin has been linked to birth defects, reproductive problems and cancer. Non-fermented soy is highly estrogenic, which can contribute to hormone imbalance. If you want to consume soy, eat organic fermented soy in the form of miso or tempeh.
Conventional protein-energy bars often contain several forms of refined sugar, soy protein, hydrogenated fat, and other harmful additives. Most of these bars have a very high sugar and fat content, often as high as a candy bar! Read the labels before you buy to avoid purchasing these junk food bars. Healthy food bars should contain food items that you recognize, not long lists of sugars and chemicals.
Eat a vitamin rich piece of fruit with some nuts or nut butter for a healthy snack. Buy nuts in bulk and make your own trail mix using almonds, walnuts and/or cashews, dried fruit and natural chocolate pieces, combining ingredients that you like! Store in airtight glass jars, or refrigerate for a longer shelf life.
You might want to eat other protein and omega rich foods now that the FDA has approved genetically modified salmon for human consumption, without requiring it to be labeled. Vegans have been using chickpeas and chia seeds as alternatives to fish. Chickpeas have a considerable amount of protein, slow release carbohydrates, the B vitamin folate, and zinc. Chia seeds are a healthy source of Omega-3 fats. Just 28 mg of chia seed has 4915 mg of Omega-3’s, compared to only 724 mg in 28 mg of salmon.
Add real berries to your diet! Most of the breakfast cereals, muffins, granola bars and sauces do not contain any real berries/blueberries. They are manufactured using artificial blueberry flavoring, and toxic chemical food coloring.
Changing your diet to more organic, un-refined whole foods will boost your energy, improve your mood, and allow your body to feel better. You’ll then be able to provide more love to those you care about! Attend one of our free workshops to learn more about healthy food options, and receive handouts and simple recipe suggestions.
http://www.tlcholisticwellness.com/ for information and free public workshop dates, or call (734) 664-0339.