There is no standard set of rules or a “perfect” diet, but these suggestions can help people of every shape and background get on the path towards vitality. Basically, these ideas can give you more energy, better sleep, a leaner body, glowing skin and much better digestion. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want all that?
1. Avoid added sugars, whether visible, hidden or artificial.
That’s the best advice anyone can give. Eat too much sugar every day and you’ll grow old in a hurry.
We live in the country of sugar and overconsumption is the biggest issue we have here in the United States. Don’t believe me? Watch the documentary “Killer at Large.” Organic sugar isn’t as bad for you, but the highly refined stuff that most of us get is toxic. Literally no health benefits, except brief energy and that’s not even worth it considering what it does to you internally.
If you do just one thing, cut refined and processed sugar from your life!
2. If you choose to eat bread, eat whole grain products.
Just like sugar, same thing applies here; your body can’t use the refined products. If gluten’s not for you, choose whole grain gluten-free foods. Examples would be wild rice, quinoa and millet.
3. Choose the right fats.
Many of us blame fat for causing obesity and heart disease, even though this isn’t true. Processed sugar and starch from white bread, pasta, etc. are actually the leading causes of these problems.
Consuming the right kinds of fat can actually be slimming and are good for you. Your body needs healthy, quality fats for your hormones, nervous system and immune system. They’re essential for good mood and for taste!
Healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, eggs, fats from grass-fed animals, etc. Anything plant-based or comes from an animal that was free range or grass-fed is a perfect example of healthy fat.
4. Eat good quality protein.
If you constantly feel tired, both physically and emotionally, you may need more protein. Good quality grass-fed animal protein, organic eggs, and wild fish are a great source of all the amino acids that the body needs. It’s a bit more of a challenge to meet your protein requirements by only eating plant-based foods, but a good combination of nuts, organic tofu, sprouts, lentils, legumes and wild rice will suffice.
5. Enjoy nuts, almonds, seeds and kernels every day.
Just like I mentioned above, these are great snacks loaded with nutritional value. They’re also perfect for combining with other foods to make healthier meals, treats and desserts.
6. Eat organic greens, vegetables, fruits and berries every day.
Although nutrition experts disagree on the best way to eat, there is a consensus that we should all eat more greens and vegetables. The best part is that you can have as much of these as you want too! When you optimize your food intake to include all the colors of the rainbow, you’re also optimizing your vitality. Whole colorful foods send healthy messages throughout your body via phytonutrients that “turn on” your health-promoting genes.
7. Drink lots of water, pure vegetable juice, green tea or herbal tea every day.
The human body is 70% water. That’s nearly 3/4 your body, so it’s a necessity. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll feel tired, confused, constipated, dehydrated and suffer from dry wrinkly skin. Green tea is the best kind of herb tea, rich in nutrients, great energy booster and inflammation-fighter.
8. Eat regular meals, and never skip breakfast.
The main reasons why people skip meals are: They don’t have time; they think it will help them lose weight and/or they have been misinformed that this can be healthy. Unfortunately, all are wrong.
Skipping a meal will only make you tired and confused. Not eating in order to “lose weight” will switch on your biological defenses, thus slowing down your metabolism and actually making you gain weight.
9. Eat several small meals a day.
Eating healthy is about variety and eating smart combinations of food. Plant-based foods should take up the most room on your plate, about 40%. The healthy fats mentioned above should make up about 30% percent of your plate, and the last 30% could come from the good quality proteins.
10. Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement every day.
No matter how healthy your diet is, we still miss certain vitamins or aren’t getting enough of them. That’s where supplements and multivitamins come in. We live in a fast-paced world filled with multitasking, pollution, and other factors that cause stress. Also, the soil in which we currently grow our food does not have the same quality as it did before the “pesticide” monopoly. Minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc are depleted from the earth in many places around the world. Basic supplements, antioxidants and vitamins can combat this.