From time to time friends and acquaintances, who know that I’m into health and nutrition, ask me what I’m doing to stay healthy. They want to know what I’m eating and what I’ve stopped eating and what products I use. This post is my way of answering those questions while providing some resources that have helped me in this journey.
I am very passionate about health because I know the pain, fear and anxiety that often result from ill health and disease. Sickness is like a thief that robs us of joy, energy, hope and financial resources. We can’t always avoid it but there are things we can do to prevent the chronic diseases that have become so commonplace in our world.
I have done a lot of investigation and study over the past few years in the field of nutrition and natural health. The movies “Food, Inc.”, “Food Matters” and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” inspired me to start educating myself about how to take control of my own health. Of the many books I’ve read on nutrition, four stand out: “Deep Nutrition”, “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health”, “Health and Nutrition Secrets that Can Save you Life”, and “The Maker’s Diet”. These books have provided the foundation for my current diet and healthy lifestyle. Now I am working as an assistant for John Smothers, a clinical nutritionist in Memphis, where I’m continuing to learn new things every day.
Here’s a summary of the steps I’ve taken to improve my own health and well being.
What I’ve eliminated: Industrial Food
- Hydrogenated oils and trans fats (Crisco, margarine, etc) from my diet.
- Processed Vegetable oils (canola, soybean, corn, etc..) . For cooking I only use organic, pastured butter, ghee and coconut oil. I do use extra virgin olive oil, avocado and macadamia nut oil but not for cooking. Other vegetable oils are toxic to the body.
- Artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is a genetically modified food with dangerous side effects. More and more is being discovered each day about how damaging this and other artificial sweeteners are to the body. They are also implicated in weight gain.
- Processed Sugar. Cancer cells thrive in the presence of sugar and it disrupts your body functions and impairs your immune system. I use dextrose, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar and stevia instead.
- Foods and drinks made with high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup. No sodas! They will damage the liver, are converted immediately to body fat, and increase LDL cholesterol. I don’t drink store bought juice for the same reason.
- Grains (wheat, barley, spelt, oats, rice). Foods that contain gluten can lead to everything from thyroid disorders, trouble losing weight, depression and other mental disorders, digestion diseases, malnourishment, and so much more. Here are some good reasons to go grain free.
- MSG (in the majority of packaged foods) is a dangerous Neurotoxin that also causes weight gain.
- Soy products of any kind unless they are organic and fermented (miso, tempeh, natto).
- Conventional dairy products. Occasionally I will drink raw, organic, grass-fed milk and I eat raw cheese. I also use organic pastured butter and ghee. Click here to learn more about dairy.
- Food or drinks in plastic, unless it is in my own BPA-free water bottle. I never heat foods in plastic containers. I don’t store food in plastic unless it’s BPA free. Note: Ziploc bags and Gladware containers are BPA free.
- I avoid using a microwave oven.
- Teflon coated pots and pans. Teflon is toxic. I only use stainless steel, glass and hard anodized pots and pans for cooking.
- Aluminum Foil because it leeches into the food and aluminum is a toxic heavy metal.
- Canned foods. Unless labeled otherwise, cans are coated with toxic plastics that enter the food when the product is processed. Acid foods like tomato sauce are the worst offenders.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Caffeine because it keeps me up at night.
- Microwave popcorn because it has dangerous chemicals, preservatives, sodium and GMO corn.
- Farmed fish to avoid mercury, pcbs, and dioxins. Wild, Alaskan salmon is safe.
- Genetically modified foods (corn, potatoes, canola and soy products). Organic produce is more nutritious due to the quality of the soil it is grown in.
- Pork (with the exception of organic, pastured bacon) and shellfish to avoid parasites, viruses, bacteria and toxins.
- Pesticide laden vegetables and fruits. I use the dirty dozen list to choose clean produce. (http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php)
- I’ve eliminate almost all processed foods from my diet.
- Dental amalgam fillings because they contain mercury.
- Meat from animals raised in feed lots. These animals are fed GMOs and injected with growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics. They are miserable, sick and stressed.
What I Eat: Real Food
- I eat mostly fresh or frozen organic vegetables. I try to eat at least 50% of my vegetables raw in salads, smoothies or juices.
- I eat organic pastured meat (beef, turkey, chicken, bacon, salmon, sardines) and my free range backyard eggs (2-3 a day). I try to eat 4 servings of protein and 4-6 tablespoons of healthy fats every day.
- I eat 1 or 2 servings of organic fruit every day.
- I eat raw nuts and seeds in moderation. Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and others all have minerals and fats that are vital to helping the body function optimally.
- I eat Kerrygold cheese and butter and organic Greek yogurt.
- I also eat organic potatoes and sweet potatoes for carbohydrates. I always eat plenty of fat or protein with my carbs to keep my insulin stable.
- I LOVE COCONUT OIL!! I use it in almost everything.
- I eat lots of avocados.
- I frequently eat spinach salads with fruit, nuts, vegetables (dressed with olive oil and Himalayan salt) and salmon or whatever meat I have on hand.
- I use dextrose, coconut palm sugar and stevia to sweeten foods and beverages. Coconut palm sugar or nectar is delicious, nutritious and has a low glycemic index.
- I love coconut ice cream and organic dark chocolate.
- I drink coconut milk and almond milk instead of cow’s milk.
- I drink 2 cups of green tea every day.
- I make bone broth every week to use in soups, stews and vegetables (instead of MSG/bullion cubes). Bone broth is a delicious super food which is loaded with glycosaminoglycans, glycine, collagen, gelatin and minerals.
- I use a good quality juicer (Greenstar) and blender (Vitamix) to prepare my juices and smoothies. I try to eat plenty of raw food every day. I love to add flax seed, chia seed and hemp seed to my smoothies.
- I drink water from a reverse osmosis filter (to eliminate the fluoride, chlorine and other toxins in our municipal water supplies). Fluoride contributes to many health problems in America, including thyroid disease, bone cancer, dental fluorosis and decreased IQ in children. Chlorine destroys the healthy fauna in our GI tract, weakening our immune system.
- I’ve switched to Celtic Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt. There are many different minerals that can be found it sea salt that our bodies need. Himalayan salt has over 80 essential minerals (table salt only has one, iodine).
- I eat prunes. Prunes have been shown to help keep the calcium in our bones much better than calcium supplements.
Other changes that I have implemented
- I’ve switched to an all-natural deodorant (no aluminum). I’m also careful to buy bathing products, sunscreens, lotions and makeup that do not contain toxic substances. Many are endocrine or brain chemistry disruptors. (google “toxic cosmetic” to see lists of ingredients to avoid.)
- I use natural cleaning products and avoid bleach.
- I’ve switched our entire family to a non-fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride we consume contributes to our out-of-whack thyroids and can make us gain weight and make it more difficult to lose weight.
- I exercise regularly.
- I try to get some sun every day. 15-20 minutes in the summer without sunscreen (before skin turns pink) for optimal vitamin D levels and also to improve and maintain good vision.
- I try to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night in complete darkness between the hours of 10:00 and 6:00 AM.
- I’ve done everything I can do to decrease exposure to electromagnetic frequencies in my bedroom (no alarm clock, CFL light bulbs or cordless phones by my bed. I sleep on a grounding pad and use a Qlink nimbus to bring harmony to the chaotic EMF fields in our house and bedroom). We even moved our bed away from the power box outside my window.
- I NEVER get the flu shot – I refuse to knowingly put aluminum, formaldehyde and mercury in my body. Instead I maintain a strong immune system through diet, stress management, exercise and supplements. (http://www.flu-treatments.com/flu-shot-ingredients.html)
- I spend time in prayer and meditation every day.
- I stay connected with friends.
- I exercise every day. I love yoga, walking, plank work and plyometrics.
- I maintain boundaries and plenty of white space in my life to prevent and alleviate stress.
- I find ways to give back. Sharing what I’ve learned about health and nutrition as well as my faith is meaningful and fulfilling for me. I also find great fulfillment in being an active, thoroughly engaged mother and wife.
* I use these guidelines at home but when I’m eating at someone’s house I eat whatever is served 🙂
I do take supplements
- Vitamin D3 – 1000 IUs in the summer and 5000 IUs in the winter.
- Krill/Fish oil – essential fatty acids and astaxanthin for brain health.
- One good quality, whole food probiotic daily to build healthy flora/fauna and immunity. I also eat sauerkraut, coconut kefir and kimchi which are loaded with probiotics.
- On occasion I take a whole food multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Synthetic vitamins are not easily absorbed by the body.
- Magnesium with Vitamin B6 and Folate
- Digestive Enzymes
- Melatonin for sleep (also a powerful antioxidant).
- Garlic, coconut oil, manuka honey and apple cider vinegar – to stave off bacteria and viruses.
- Gingko Biloba for memory enhancement, improved vision and blood circulation.
You can read more about my journey to health at: https://transitionnow.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/transitioning-to-clean-food/
The Perfect Health Diet is a good template for how I eat:
Some of my favorite things:
- Organic, virgin coconut oil (Super Food especially for the brain)
- Jovial brown rice pasta (delicious gluten, dairy free, brown rice pasta)
- Coconut palm sugar (delicious, nutritious, low glycemic index)
- Manuka honey (powerful natural antibiotic for wounds, infections and colds)
- Earthing pad (enhanced sleep, inflammation and EMF reduction)
- Qlink Nimbus (Reduces EMFs – harmonizes and calms)
- Wetter Water Reverse Osmosis System
My favorite whole food supplements and nutritional products come from:
- New Chapter
- Integrative Therapeutics
- Dr. Mercola’s Products
- Baseline Nutritionals
- Mississippi Miracle Clay
- Jedwards International (for bulk orders of organic, virgin coconut oil and krill oil)
- US Wellness Meats (for organic, pastured meats)
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome
- The Perfect Health Diet
- Life Without Bread
- The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days
- Deep Nutrition
- Natural Cures
- Healing the Gerson Way
- 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth
- Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life
- Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
- The Maker’s Diet
- Going Raw
- Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
- Eat Like a Dinosaur, recipe and guidebook for gluten-free kids
- Nourishing Traditions
- Internal Bliss
- Recipes for Repair (the Lyme Diet cookbook)
- Special Eats Simple, Delicious Solutions for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cooking
My Favorite Skin Care Products
Read More: Kim’s Kitchen Essentials