Everything you put into your mouth is either moving you towards health or away from it. The typical Standard American Diet (SAD) is the underlying cause of much dis-ease today. Everywhere you turn someone is offering nutritional/diet advice. Because we focus on the body's innate ability to heal, consider shifting your perspective.
Start asking yourself the hard questions. How do I feel after I eat? Am I energized or sluggish? Do I often feel like napping after I eat? Do I even know how much sugar I am consuming? Am I buying quality food or junk filler? Do I know the difference? Am I irritable, agitated or depressed? Really spend some time considering these questions and the answers. Are your answers moving you towards health or away from it?
Here's a simple food philosophy you can start anytime, at your own pace.
1. Quality...where ever you are in this journey only spend your money on the highest quality food you can afford and have access to. Consider online options if you can't find something in your area. There are numerous factors to look at: grass-fed/grass-finished, Non-GMO, Organic, Free-Range, etc.
2. Eating Out...if you're eating out on a regular basis you have zero control over what is in your food and the quality. Even the healthiest options aren't that healthy. Start reducing how often you are eating out.
3. Ditch the sugar...If you're following the SAD you are likely consuming enough sugar for several people. Stick to fresh fruit and natural options. Stop buying foods in packages. They are full of sugar.
4. Eat Your Veggies...eat as many veggies as you'd like. Mix it up with salad and cooked (lightly sauteed or steamed) options. Stick to frozen and fresh if possible. The internet is full of quick, easy recipes. Do some research and eat as many colorful veggies as you'd like.
5. Grains...these foods are a huge contributor to many health challenges. They can be the source of chronic, systemic inflammation in the body. Most today are genetically modified and full of toxins. Wheat and Corn are the worst offenders. Start reducing breads, pastas, crackers, fried foods, pancakes, waffles, etc. Side note: If you need to lose a few pounds cutting out grains is a great way to start.
6. Water...quality is key. Fluoride, chlorine and a host of other chemicals used in municipal water systems are neurotoxins. Recent tests of bottled water confirm it's full of carcinogens. Consider getting a water filter system. There are numerous options available at all price points. Drink more water!
These suggestions are a starting place. It isn't all or nothing. Start small, build new habits and when you're comfortable dive a little deeper into each of these areas. Change takes time. Even baby steps in each of these areas add up to big health changes.