You are probably asking yourself “What CAN I Eat?” Do not let the laundry list of foods to avoid discourage you or get you down. Simply change your perspective. Instead of looking at it as though you can’t eat anything, look at it as if you are returning to your natural state of balance and health. You are returning to a diet that your human body was designed for, instead of overloading it with toxins and non-food that destroys it.
So where do you begin?
You begin by making a conscious choice to make change in your lifestyles and eating habits for the sole purpose of restoring health and balance and living the life you were meant to achieve. One word of caution is not to do anything too drastic, too fast, as this can cause extreme physiological changes. Unless it is medically necessary, slowly wean yourself off the bad foods and replace them with good ones. Set definitive dates for eliminating bad foods to avoid relapses, binges, and procrastination. Understand that your body will go through withdrawals as you eliminate bad foods, but stick with it! They will subside.
Change Your Thinking
If you want to get, be, and stay healthy and disease free, you must be conscious of the choices you make, especially when it comes to what you put in your body. Don’t allow yourself to focus on what you can’t have. I know when I first started this diet it was because I had to, and I was like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum because I couldn’t have a popsicle before dinner. Quite frankly, I was pissed off that I couldn’t eat what I wanted when I wanted. I love food, I love the taste of food, I love to cook, and suddenly, I felt very limited.
In time, I learned I just needed to change the way I looked at it. Look at food through new eyes, and understand it more. The best thing to do is focus on what you can have and ultimately, why you are doing this to begin with. Imagine yourself healthy, full of energy, and happy. Then give yourself permission to take the necessary steps and change your habits in order to achieve that.
Change Your Habits
We are creatures of habit, and it is difficult to implement change, especially when it means we have to stop doing or ingesting something that we like. You also have to accept that this is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet that you will be on for a limited amount of time until you can return to your bad habits. It is important to realize that you have to replace a bad habit with a good habit in order to create permanent change.
If your doctor told you that eating something would help your disease get worse, would you continue to eat it? If it could eventually kill you, would you continue with your bad habits just because of your cravings? I can tell you at first, this change in diet may feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done. For me, it was harder than quitting smoking. But the payoff in the end, is so worth it.
Get Creative and Try New Things
Getting creative and trying new things is very helpful when implementing this diet. Since you’re eliminating much of your basis and known foods, why not introduce some new ones to replace the bad ones? Try new vegetables, new foods that you haven’t tried before. Prepare food in new ways. My food processor has become my best friend since starting this diet. I grate and puree more veggies than I ever would have thought of, and it makes a huge difference in variety.
Try not to get stuck eating the exact same foods all the time. You can develop a “food allergy” or sensitivity to any food if you eat it too often. All foods have certain negatives to them. There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables, flavors, and textures available. And there are many game fowl and meats that are highly nutritious. Eating a wide variety and rotating what you eat helps to limit the development of food sensitivities.
I recommend cooking meals that are not of the “meat, potato, vegetable” mindset. It will leave you feeling as though something is missing. Get creative in your plating. For example, there is no rule that says you can’t have a plate of veggies topped with a sliced meat. There is no rule that says you can’t have multiple veggies on the same plate.
One thing I found helpful, especially at first, was to cook one pot meals. This is good for two reasons. It makes a complete hearty meal that is not broken out into different sections on your plate, so you don’t notice there are no grains or a potato or a piece of bread there. The second reason is usually foods that may not “agree” so to speak fight it out in your gut until they decide who is going to serve what role. Cooking in one pot allows the food to “fight it out” in the pot before you even eat it. This can be very helpful with digestion.
Just keep it simple. Combining too many types of food makes digestion complex and difficult. Generally, I would keep it to veggies and meat. Save the fruit or nuts for the morning or a snack. And dairy and starches aren’t going to help you with anything.
I provided some ideas for substitutes for things like sugar and grains on the Substitutes page for your convenience and to get the creative juices flowing. I also created a Recipes page to give you some ideas and get you started.
Think outside of the Processed Box.
What is a “Good” Food
Rather than list each category here, I thought it would be of more benefit to give you an idea on how to figure out for yourself what would be a “good food.” There are so many wonderful foods out there I could never accurately come up with a complete list, and I don’t want to limit your creative efforts. I have provided a basic “Good Foods List” that you can download to help get you started at the grocery store. But, please don’t limit yourself to that list.
If it’s not on the Foods to Avoid or Eat With Caution lists, chances are it’s okay. When in doubt, you can reference the Glycemic Index. For more information on GI, see the Carbohydrates page.
Focus On Whole Foods
The most basic description of Whole Foods is any food that is in its natural state. So, if it has been processed, refined, irradiated, or altered genetically, it is not a whole food and should not be consumed by the human body. If you put your focus on eating whole foods, eating a healthy diet almost happens naturally.
I recommend the book Whole Food Facts. This book shows you what to look for when purchasing whole foods, how to store them, what their basic nutritional values are, and how to use them. It helped me to look up foods that I was going to cook each night to learn more about them. It made it easier to retain the information, too.
Learn How Food Works
The best way to know if a food is good or not is to understand where it comes from, and what happens to it in your body. I encourage you to do your own research and get a really good understanding for yourself. You may be surprised how much it changes your life. It did mine.
Make friends with Veggies!
Yep….make peace and become good friends with veggies.
Get creative…Think outside of the Processed Box.