Remember: The best food for one person
is often not the best food for the other person.
“To each her own”
Here are some guiding principles:
- Emphasize whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods. Keep sugar out of your diet. Avoid white flour, processed cereals, health food bars. As much as possible eat foods that do NOT come in packages.
- Eat organic as much as affordable and available.
- Avoid trans fats. Trans fat is a very toxic fat usually called “partially hydrogenated vegetable or soybean oil” on the package.
READ LABELS. Avoid margarine or butter substitutes.
- Use organic olive oil or nut oils for salad dressing, and coconut oil, peanut or sesame oil or organic canola oil for cooking. Eat plenty of high quality vegetable fats like avocado, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup found in most soda and many sweets. And also avoid chemical sugar substitutes like aspartame and saccharine and alcohol sugar like splenda.
- Eat vegetables, lots and lots, include variety, different colors and groups, A good quantity is about 4 to 5 cups per day.
Consider some raw vegetables and some steamed or sautéed.
Important groups: cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale) orange vegetables: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables.
*****Actual vegetables are much better than green drinks*****
- Eat sufficient protein: Fish, poultry, beef, lamb, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy.
- Go for low mercury fish: wild, cold water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, white fish like sole and tilapia and shellfish like crab, scallops, shrimp, and oysters.
Avoid large high mercury fish: tuna, halibut, and swordfish.
- Eggs, free range chicken, turkey, some grass fed beef, lamb and pork are also fine protein sources.
- If you do not eat meat or eggs or eat them seldom, you should check your cholesterol, iron and B 12 to make sure they are not low.
- Dairy protein is great for people who are not lactose or casein intolerant (or allergic) Yogurt and some cheeses are especially good. However many people are reactive to dairy and don’t realize that it’s the cause of their intestinal symptoms or other medical problems like headaches, fatigue or joint pain. If you are curious or feeling unwell I recommend a trial of 3 weeks to 3 months off dairy to see if you benefit.
- Good Protein sources for everyone but especially vegans are soybeans, other beans, nuts and seeds.
- Vegans should take extra vitamin B 12 as a supplement unless they have had their B 12 blood levels checked and know they are high normal.
If you are a vegan and you are fatigued it is highly likely that you are low in B12 and/or iron and you may also be low in protein.
Have your doctor check your blood count for anemia but also check for B12 and iron deficiency.
- Eat whole fruits, not fruit juices. The best fruits are berries:
blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. The least healthful fruits, because of higher sugar content are tropical fruits, pineapple, mango and higher carb fruits like banana. All fruits are fine in small servings. If you have a weight issue you may need to consider limiting fruits or no fruits.
- Eat whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats or real whole grain breads without additives. Again, read labels. If you find a long list of chemical sounding ingredients don’t buy it.
- Some people with weight problems do better with no carbs or very minimal carbs to get better blood sugar and insulin regulation.
- Some people, most of them unaware, have gluten intolerance and would be much healthier without gluten (wheat, rye, barley and some oats). Consider trying 3 weeks to 3 months off gluten to see if you benefit.