Great Beginnings Always Start With Leaving Something Behind

A great place to begin is to clean out your cupboard and your refrigerator. I recommend clients greatly reduce (and eventually eliminate) the amount of processed foods they eat. I understand that we live in a busy world, but if you have 20 minutes to make dinner, you can just as easily sear a tuna steak (which takes less than 10 minutes) and assemble a basic salad with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for dressing, instead of making a box of “the San Francisco treat”.

If you are that person that cooks from a box, rest assured that you are not alone. This is a transition that will take time. I recommend that you start by reading labels. Make sure you know what every ingredient is on the box, and if the ingredient is not a whole food, or a word you do not recognize, do not purchase the box (this is trickier than you may think).

A good rule of thumb is to not buy foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or MSG (also known as “natural flavor”, “hydrolyzed protein” and “spices”). This actually eliminates a considerable amount of unhealthful foods right off the bat.

To go a step further, stop purchasing items that are highly processed, such as white sugar, white flour and white salt. These foods are actually void of nutritional value.

It is also wise to get rid of unhealthy oils such as soybean oil, Crisco, Pam cooking spray and Canola.

There are many items that exist in the refrigerated that are considered healthful but need to be replaced with a counter part that is whole and nutrient-dense. First, I recommend phasing out “low-fat” dairy products. This makes sense if you want the food you consume to be nutrient dense.

Store bought salad dressings are often unhealthful because of the type of oil that is used, as well as the amount of sugar that is often added! Also, store bought salad dressings have often been sitting on the shelf for too long and have rancid oils. A simple dressing takes less than 10 minutes to prepare if you have olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a few spices on hand; it’s also a lot tastier and less expensive.

Tofu has been in vogue for some time, but I recommend eliminating bricks of tofu, fake meats and fake cheeses from your refrigerator. These foods are highly processed and hard to digest.

 

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2 thoughts on “Great Beginnings Always Start With Leaving Something Behind

  1. Traci, the blog is looking great! Such good info! I have a question about this post, but I'm pretty sure I know how you'd answer. A lot of times Americans focus on healthful eating so they can lose weight. So eliminating reduced-fat foods seems counterproductive. But my understanding is that since reduced-fat foods are less nutrient-dense, they're less effective in weight loss than a plate full of more natural foods would be. Is this correct?

  2. Hi Charity,This is an important question. I would say that reduced-fat foods are less effective in weight loss because they are harder for your body to digest and often have more sugar. My criticism of reduced-fat foods, specifically reduced-fat dairy products, is your body actually needs the fat that has been eliminated in order to digest, absorb, and assimilate the fat-soluble vitamins contained in these foods. In my opinion, it is counterintuitive to view reduced-fat dairy as “health food” because it is much more difficult for your body to digest and benefit from the nutrition contained in these foods. I would suggest not eating dairy at all, if it is reduced-fat. I think that it is more healthful to eat full-fat dairy products, but to also recognize what a portion is (1 cup of milk, a few ounces of cheese, 1 cup of yogurt), which takes some knowledge and a little restraint. There is also a plethora of foods that are naturally low in fat to choose from! If you are someone who has fully transitioned to a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet you will end up eating less, because there is an appropriate ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates (mostly from vegetables, grains in modertion) at each meal so that you walk away feeling satisfied and not hungry after a few hours. If you continue to gain weight after you’ve transitioned to a whole foods diet, I would look towards correcting your digestion by adding more culture foods and fermented foods that help to stimulate the digestive enzymes in your gut. A criticism I have of reduced-fat dry foods, such as granola bars and cereals, is that they are often loaded with sugar! With diabetes at epidemic proportions in this country, I would look towards reducing sugar as much as possible, and even being moderate with sugar in its whole form as with fruit and whole grains.I hope this response helps!

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