There is so much information out there right now on what to do and what not to do in regards to nutrition. If you aren’t at home to catch Dr. Oz and/or if you don’t have time to sift through the gazillions of articles on nutrition, below are some simple suggestions for boosting your nutrition and overall vitality in a nice, simple bullet list! These, of course, are something you work toward implementing gradually so that they are lasting changes.
1. Increase fresh veggies in your diet to 7-9 servings per day. 1/3 should be raw to aid digestion. Next best are frozen, avoid canned, they are gross and have zero flavour and nutrition.
2. Eat 2-4 fruit servings per day. (# depends on many factors including activity level) Avoid fruit juice because it is high in sugar and will send your insulin levels up and then way down.
3. Reduce refined sugar in the diet. Try stevia and occasionally raw honey, maple syrup, molasses and brown rice syrup. Avoid sweeteners (aspartame, sucrolose, etc.) Besides being linked to cancer, they can actually cause us to gain weight. So pick whatever motivates you more, losing weight or a longer life. 🙂
4. Use Celtic sea salt, (grey and damp looking). It contains more minerals then the processed kind and actually helps your brain.
5. Avoid processed foods like deli meat, french fries, chips, pretzels, frozen dinners etc. Eat your food as close to the natural state as possible to maximize nutrition.
6. Supplement your diet with Vitamin D and a fish oil. (Cod liver oil from Oct to Mar) Discuss with your ND or Nutritionist.
7. Choose organic food as much as possible. It tastes better and you can decrease your toxic load. If you can’t afford to buy all organic, the following are most contaminated: strawberries, peaches, cherries, apricots, grapes, cantaloupes, green beans, celery, peppers, and spinach.
Or you can wash your veggies using the following wash.
-1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp baking soda, 1/2 lemon (put in spray bottle)
8. Reduce refined carbs. This would mean, fewer white flour breads or bagels, sugar, pastries, donuts, cookies, waffles, pancakes, white pastas, cereals, white rice etc.) Choose whole wheat, spelt, barley, amaranth, millet, oats, basmati and wild rice, rye, quinoa and teff, etc. There are so many delicious grains out there that are quick and easy to prepare. Try this Quinoa Porridge.
9. Elminate trans fatty acids. We’ve all heard about this one by now. Trans fats are found in crackers, mayonnaise, cookies, french fries etc. Use pure virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil for cooking as both have high smoke points. Increase use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, hemp oil and flax seed oil on salads, in smoothies, on bread or toast, or on veggies, etc.
10. For protein, try increasing meat alternatives like chic peas, lentils, spilit peas, and/or fermented soy products (tempeh, miso, natto) etc. Aim for 2-3 times per week. Try having 1-2 handfulls of nuts and seeds per day. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are good choices. Or try the nut butters. Choose raw not roasted. (they are healthier and taste much better)
Keep checking back for the next round of nutritional recommendations!
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (current study)