Eat Real Food - A Focus on Quality
Focus your diet on high quality, nutrient dense, real food, that is individualized for your unique metabolism. Choose local, seasonal, organic, wild-caught, pastured and grass-fed whenever possible. Choose foods that are minimally processed and as close to their natural state as possible. Limit canned foods. Avoid food additives and preservatives, and foods stored in plastic and styrofoam. Avoid refined carbohydrates and starches, such as products made with added sugars, refined flour, corn syrup, corn starch and puffed cereal grains. Avoid also processed gluten-free products as they are usually made with highly refined starches. If tolerated, you can include some non-gluten grains in the diet such as rice, buckwheat, quinoa or millet. Most bread and cereal products on the market are made using highly refined wheat flour which is not a health promoting food. Determine if you are sensitive to wheat or other gluten grains.
Choose Fats With Care
Avoid especially processed vegetable oils. Seek out only highest quality extra virgin olive oil , avocado oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, organic butter, and the fats from GMO-free, pastured animal foods. Include nuts and seeds in the diet if tolerated. Some folks may benefit from soaking and sprouting to improve digestibility of these foods. Avoid nuts and seeds that are roasted in poor quality oils.
Include a Wide Variety of Plant Foods in the Diet
Choose plenty of leafy green and other brightly coloured vegetables. Aim for half your plate full of these phytonutrient rich foods at each meal. Berries are also particularly beneficial. Don't forgo the starchy vegetables - these roots and tubers are usually well tolerated and provide benefical carbohydrates for gut health and overall metabolism. If tolerated, include some well-prepared legumes in your diet. Be generous with the use of herbs and spices in your cooking that your enjoy. They are a significant source of nutrition. Vegetable foods are an important source of phytonutrients including antioxidants, fiber and prebiotics; they help support the body's processes of methylation, elimination and detoxification. If you are trying to triage your grocery dollars for organics, check out EWG's Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen. Whenever possible, choose foods that are grown and raised without the use of chemicals.
Choose Animal Foods Raised Using Sustainable Farming Practices
Be particularly picky about where your animal foods come from. If buying organic meat at the store is out of your budget, seek out local farmers that are raising animals humanely, without the use of chemicals, growth hormones or feeds containing antibiotics or GMO soy and corn. Choose animal foods that are wild-caught, ethically-raised, GMO-free, pastured and grass-fed whenever possible. Farmers that raise animals this way and care for their soil are usually farming on a smaller scale and often welcome direct contact with the people they grow food for. Get to know your local farmers that are working to rebuild soil health and ensure access to quality nutrient dense food. Purchase from these farmers directly so that you know and trust the source of your food.