Just eat more plants. Eat less animals, less saturated fat, less growth hormones, less GMO, less chemicals, less processed foods and you’ll be on the right track. I don’t want to make a long post full of scientific facts and references, so I will try to give as simple and through overview as possible. It is not easy to do everything at the same time, so take it easy and go step by step. Set yourself a realistic goals and accept your fall-backs (there will always be some) and continue your journey to better quality life and health. At the end of the day we are what we eat, literally, our cells contain what we eat. Do you want to be filled with bad fats, processed sugars, chemicals, toxins, hormones, additives, pesticides and carcinogens that make you sick at some point of your life.
Or do you want to be filled with revitalizing nutrients (that come from a live foods like raw fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, spices, nuts, seeds and legumes) that heal your body from inside out and make you beautiful and healthy. You can decide if you want to make your body sick and then pay for drugs and pills to try to fix it or you can eat the way that you can avoid most of the health problems. It is up to you to make the choice how will you live your life and treat your body, so make the good one.
- Always read labels! Look for natural and organic products, don’t buy anything that you don’t know the meaning of. Packaged food usually contain many different harmful additives. Don’t be deceived by the labels, products often don’t even consist the things that are written in the front of the package. Word natural can mean that there is only one ingredient that is actually natural. The food company’s don’t care about your health, they are here to make money. I suggest buying packaged foods in organic stores or the organic aisles in the supermarket. The less packaged food you eat the better of course.
- Avoid low-fat, sugar-free products. These often contain chemicals, GMO or synthetic sweeteners like sucrose, saccharin and aspartame. Although these taste sweet, they don’t help curb a sweet tooth so they tend to send confusing messages to the brain, which can lead to over-eating and many different health problems. Aspartame is linked to neurological problems and all kind of health issues, read more here. Low-fat products usually have increased amount of processed sugar to keep the taste and texture. These hydrogenated fats increase levels of dangerous trans-fats which are both bad for the heart and our cholesterol. Eat foods that are naturally low in fat like fruits, vegetables and greens.
- Replace white processed sugar. You can use unrefined cane sugar, coconut sugar, stevia or natural sweeteners like dates. Stop drinking sodas and packaged juices. Both these drinks contain loads of processed sugars and are highly addictive. Drink water instead or make fresh juice. Switch out candy, chocolate, cookies and other sweets with natural and healthy options. Eat fruits and nuts instead or candy and sweets or find healthier alternatives from the health food store. Make your own cookies, chocolate or candy and take them with you so you don’t have to buy some crap when you feel the need for something sweet. Homemade sweets can be so amazing and also give you some health benefits. Read more info about sugar here. The best solution for sweet cravings is to eat fruits.
- Drink 1 liter of water per 15 kg of your body weight every day. Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water. Drinking water helps with all kind of problems like headaches, digestion and also with skin and weight issues. At least 3,5 liters water is necessary to keep your kidneys working correctly and helping them to remove toxins from your body. You should drink as long as your urine is white/see-through, that is actually normal, yellow urine shows that you are dehydrated. Don’t drink juice drinks, sodas, taste waters etc. They all contain loads of added sugars, other sweeteners and all kinds of additives you don’t want in your body. If you want to drink juice, make your own or buy only 100% natural. But you still have to drink pure water! If you don’t like just water add a slice of lemon or few slices of cucumber or try any other fruit or veg you like ;).
- Cut out white wheat. Stop eating white bread, cakes, cookies etc. This is dead food, there is nothing good for your body, plus it contains lots of sodium and hydrogenated fats. White wheat grown nowadays have little resemblance to the white flour grown 40 or 50 years ago. It is genetically mutated, developed, it has half the nutritional value that the original one had when our grandparents used to grow it. It is also covered with pesticides to keep the bugs and weeds away. After all that it is also processed and bleached with chemicals and by that removed the last nutritional value it might had. Also it contains loads of wet gluten which is like glue going through your body, it will get stuck everywhere and your body doesn’t know what to do with is so it causes many health problems, including overweight. If it seems impossible to quit all these products, start with quitting commercial products and make your own pastries. Try using organic spelt, rye or oat flour and eat it occasionally not every day. Baking could be also a wonderful thing to do with entire family. Find the local farmers and buy your flour and grains directly from them, so you know how it is grown and milled. Or go to organic food store, there is many good alternatives like almond flour, coconut flour, rice flour, corn flour etc. You can make veggie pasta from zucchini or butternut squash , you can also buy pasta that is made from buckwheat, rice, corn, kinoa and of course you can make your own pasta also. There are so many delicious things out there to eat, don’t put dead food into your body. We have the internet, just google and you will find endless vegan recipes for healthy breads, pastries and cakes. Everything you eat should also give benefits to your body not only your taste-buds. See health benefits of different grains here.
- Quit oil. All oils are unhealthy, regardless if it is cold pressed, extra virgin or all of those things. Oils are purely 100% fat, without much fiber, vitamins or minerals and it is also the most calorie dense food on the planet! Essentially this makes oils a highly-processed, nutrient-poor food, which we can all agree on is not good for you. If you actually look into the nutritional facts on olive oil vs. olives you get so much more benefits by eating the olives. The oil is 100% fat, whereas the actual olives contains fiber and more nutrients. Not only will olives keep us fuller longer, but also promote better health. Oils might be good to use as a hair mask or take a small dab on your skin if you have very dry skin, but consuming the oil cannot even compare to the benefits of eating the food in it’s original state . All foods (even fruit and vegetables) have at least trace fat, which during the duration of the day that certainly adds up. If you are particularly worried about getting enough fat I recommend eating some foods that naturally contain the essential fatty acids, such as nuts, seeds and avocado. The amounts you need are actually quite low (except when pregnant or nursing and for growing children). You can easily cook with vegetable broth or water and bake using bananas or apple sauce etc. Read more about why olive oil is not healthy here.
- Buy fresh vegetables and fruits. This is really important since all the good things your body needs come from fresh plant foods. Avoid as much canned and packaged foods as possible. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and eat them raw as much as possible. For optimal health 60% should be raw, for healing 80% to 100% raw is needed depending on the health problem. Go to farmers market or natural foods store. Whenever possible buy organic fruits and vegetables, so they are grown without pesticides, chemicals and in the nutritional soil. If you cant afford organic, remember fresh food is still better than processed. Find the benefits of each fruit and veg here.
- Eat nuts, seeds and legumes. They have so many health benefits and contain good fats and protein that your body needs. Add them to your salads, rice, sauces etc. Make butter nuts and use them in desserts. By soaking nuts and seeds, you release enzyme inhibitors and increase the life and vitality contained within them. Soaking times vary with the nut. Generally the more dense the nut, the longer the soaking time. Ideally, soaking should be done at room temperature. Put the nuts you are going to use the next day already to soak in the evening, so you can take them out at the morning to let them dry or keep until the evening and then drain the water, rinse the nuts, throw the water away and use them the way you need.
- Make your own food. Make dinner and breakfast every day, bring your lunch to work. Use only natural ingredients, like legumes, nuts, vegetables, greens and fruits. Buy natural spices from organic food store. Make your own mayonnaise, ketchup, jam, nut butter, candy and bake your own rye bread etc. It is not actually difficult to make your own food. The key is planning, take time in the weekend and make the menu for the next week. Make the list of all the ingredients you need and go to the farmers market and buy all the things for the whole week. This helps you also save the money and taste the things you are buying and ask the questions about the products if you want to know how it is grown and where it comes from. Cut and slice the veggies and store in a mini grip bags or preservation boxes in the fridge, so you can just take the necessary ingredients each day and toss them together.
- Use herbs and spices. If possible use fresh herbs, grow your own on the window sill. Grow basil, dill, parsley, coriander etc. Buy spices from organic store or locate the spice store in your city. Don’t buy the spices from supermarkets, these are not good for you as they are filled with everything else but the actual spices. Original spices like cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, chilli etc. have loads of health benefits. See each spice individual health benefits here.
- Quit meat and dairy. We don’t have to eat animal products to survive any more, we are evolved and need to think about the bigger picture now like global warming, water pollution, animal cruelty, world hunger, diseases etc. Eating meat has become a bad habit, humans have never consumed this much meat per one person in history, artificially grown meat, packaged, processed, meat from supermarket. This is not part of the natural cycle any more, growing animals on GMO foods and unnatural feed that make them grow many times faster than normal and causes illness and abnormalities. This is not the way our ancestors got they meat, nowadays it is totally different. Most people have no idea what processes meat and dairy has gone through before it ends up in their table. I believe if all the people would know and see the real process they wouldn’t eat meat and dairy at all.
- Use 100% natural and beauty and home cleaning products. Use http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ search engine to find out your products safety level. If you don’t find the brand you can search the ingredients. You can even have the phone app so whenever you are shopping you can type in the name and check the safety hazards. In my opinion the safest way is to make your own products. Buy organic and 100% natural ingredients so they are safe and you now exactly what you are putting on your skin. You only need some simple ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, clay, essential oils etc. Do some research, there is tons of info on the internet, how to make your own shampoo, conditioner, body and hand wash, body scrub and lotion, face wash and toner, make-up remover, toothpaste, home cleaning products etc. I suggest always find several different sources so you can see the comments and pros and cons of the product you are going to make. Ultimately you end up saving money, yours and your family’s health.
To avoid being accused of being “uncertified” to write about this as I am not a doctor or nutritionist, here is a list of doctors, nutritionists and people within the medical field that promote low fat high carb plant based and whole food diets:
Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, T. Colin Campbell, Rip Essetlyn, Jeff Novick, and many others.
I highly recommend reading their books and listening their lectures or watching YouTube videos.