By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH
So many times in my Heart Easy workshops I’ve seen faces light up when people really “get” that they have incredible power over their health by choosing what they eat. I start each workshop asking for a show of hands, “How many here are control freaks?” Many hands shoot straight up into the air. “Good, ” I reinforce, “then this is the workshop for you.”
We have more control than we realize over our health. When we choose foods that support and compliment our bodily systems we are helping our bodies serve us better and longer. Think of your body like you do a car engine. If you put substandard products in your operating systems, you’ll get sludgy buildup and black smoke. If you use better quality goods, you’ll enjoy enhanced performance and longer car life.
It’s no different with our bodies. There are certain foods that enhance and invigorate digestion, vitamin and mineral absorption and cell growth. There are other foods that clog, pollute and stagnate the body. Some of us treat our cars better than we do our bodies! But you have the opportunity to change how your body functions and help prevent a lot of the diseases that are killing us.
Here is a list of ten ways that you can start eating cleaner to empower your body to function better.
1) Eat whole grains like: whole wheat pasta, quinoa, kamut, or brown rice.
2) Choose veggies instead of bread, cookies, potatoes or processed foods.
3) Use herbs for flavor instead of salt.
4) Eat more salads using chicken breast or shrimp and skip the high fat dressings. Pick a non-fat or a low-fat version. Carry the dressing with you if you need to.
5) Cut back on saturated fats (butter, cream, cheese, whole milk) and use fat- free dairy products ( even Walmart carries fat-free shredded cheese) or alternatives like soy, almond or rice cheeses.
6) Use applesauce as a sweetener instead of sugar. Limit sweets to once a week. Agave and stevia are great sugar alternatives.
7) Read every label of the food you buy and keep your saturated fats, sodium and sugar intake low, low, low. (Fats less than 20% daily, sodium under 1000 mg daily, sugar 100 calories per day – 6 teaspoons)
8) Cut back to red meat only once a week, then to once a month, then to once a year.
9) Stop drinking sodas and drink water, carbonated or flat, freshened with cucumber, lemon, lime or watermelon.
10) Snack on nuts, veggies or fruit instead of cookies, crackers or baked goods.
Sooner than you can imagine you’ll be dancing the happy jig because you’ll have a new spring in your step when you choose foods that support your body. Once you begin eating healthier and lighter, you will experience the joy that this way of eating provides. You’ll have more energy, you’ll want to participate in life more, you’ll feel happier, more enthusiastic and this alone will stir your creative juices so that you might even invent your own personal program for cooking and health that will inspire and motivate all of us.
– Kac Young, a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. In the Heart Easy Cook Book sound nutritional advice is followed by family favorites that have been turned into heart healthy meals anyone can make and everyone will love.