What if the key to you losing weight, clearing up your digestive woes, having more energy, lifting your brain fog, and managing chronic health conditions was in your control?
Well, it actually is! And it’s pretty simple. It’s about changing habits to “clean” up your plate!
You eat to nourish and fuel yourself, right? Most of us in the US have been following the recommended Standard American Diet (SAD) for the past 30 or more years by eating low-fat foods, whole grains, and avoiding cholesterol. And food manufacturers have made it so easy for us! We conveniently stop by the grocery store and pick up frozen, boxed or canned foods to take home and pop in the microwave. Or even easier, drive-thru your favorite fast food restaurant and someone’s already cooked for you. Dinner is served!
Dietary advice followed? Check!
Food is accessible, plentiful and available? Check! Check! Check!
So why then are Americans’ rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancers, auto-immune disease and other chronic health conditions skyrocketing?
Growing up, I was always proud of myself for being like Popeye enjoying eating my spinach. We ate cooked spinach out of the frozen Birdseye box, boiling it with butter and salt. I think that my love of spinach gave me a love of greens in general.
And then I was introduced to kale – THE “QUEEN OF THE GREENS”!
Kale is being touted as “the new beef”. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that should be added to your diet because…
The old Welsh proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is grounded in current research.
Nutritionally, apples are low in calories, providing only 50 calories per 100 grams. An average apple is about 90 calories, rich in dietary fiber (~ 4 grams of soluble fiber per apple), and contains fair amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, two powerful antioxidants. Apples are a good source of B-Complex vitamins and contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and boron.
For your health, here are 10 reasons why you should be reaching for an apple every day:
My students used to ask, “If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what two foods would you bring?”
My standard answer used to be bread and cheese. But several years ago I started toying with the idea of giving up bread in my diet…Crazy idea, huh?
Bread is everywhere in our American diet! It’s in some form at e-v-e-r-y meal and given freely at restaurants to tide us over while waiting for the plates to come. A handful of crackers, a piece of toast or half a bagel is an easy snack to grab between meals. In fact, toast slathered in peanut butter or topped with a fried egg was my grab-and-go breakfast most morning as I rushed out the door to teach.
How do you go without toast in the morning? And how do you eat a sandwich without bread? Will I be able to keep from uncontrollably stuffing delicious, crusty artisan bread in my mouth during monthly book club meetings if I’m depriving myself day to day? What will I use to sop up that delicious pasta sauce/gravy/broth without a warm loaf of sourdough or French bread? No Chonga bagel, banana bread or scone with morning coffee? These questions vexed me as I thought about the challenge I was delivering myself.
Coconut water is being marketed as nature’s perfect sports drink. What exactly is it? It is the clear liquid found in the center of a young coconut before it matures. Once mature, the water has solidified to become the coconut’s tasty white flesh.
Grown in tropical regions all over the world, coconut water can be drunk directly from the freshly harvested green fruit. Across the US, pasteurized coconut water is becoming more readily available in cans, bottles and tetra packs. Some health food markets also carry green coconuts in the produce department for a “fresh” source of this beverage. (Fresh would be best coming straight off the coconut tree.)
There is nothing tastier to brighten up a meal in the dead of winter than a refreshing orange. Citrus is in abundance in supermarkets right now, but have you tried a blood orange? Grown since the 18th century in China and the Southern Mediterranean regions, blood oranges are now primarily grown in Italy, Texas and California.
Along with the usual citrus notes, a blood orange has an almost raspberry flavor though it is less acidic than most oranges. The anthocyanins – some of the strongest antioxidants available – give this fruit its crimson blood-colored flesh. Other than its antioxidant activity, anthocyanins have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, reduce the risk of cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.