It’s time to take a break from the holiday hustles and stresses and think about the coming year. Make 2017 the year of taking your health into your own hands and making positive changes!
When you look back and reflect on the past year what are your most important issues? As a nutritionist/chiropractor, my most important issues have to do with health. The new year is a time when I encourage patients (and readers) to be truthful about achieving health goals.
For some, it is hard to get motivated – for others it is a matter of feeling overwhelmed. I know about that feeling, as I have felt it too.
I have found that the best way to approach making lifestyle changes is to take one step at a time – make one change a week as you slowly incorporate aspects of healthier living into your routine.
Getting Over the Learning Curve
When changing eating habits there is a learning curve that has to be addressed. It takes some effort to change patterns of behavior around eating, buying and preparing food. You have to get over the hurdle of habit and think about doing things a new way.
I assure you that we all have faced those hurdles. I can say that once you get over it, it becomes much easier. But you have to make the effort to execute your plan!
10 Specific Actions to Take
Here are 10 specific actions (in no obligatory order) you can take to get you over the hurdle. You may not be able to do all of them, but even if you start with just one or two, you will be taking a giant leap towards improving your health.
1 – Replace all Vegetables Oils
Replace all vegetable oils (including margarine) with healthy animal fats such as butter, ghee, lard and tallow from pastured animals. For vegetables oils use only coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil.
We have been brainwashed to believe that saturated fats are bad for us and vegetable oils are good. This is absolutely not the case! Most conventional vegetable oils are highly refined, heated to high temperatures in the refining process which makes them rancid, and then bleached and deodorized with chemicals to make them palatable.
Saturated fats have been demonized, yet, when procured from grassfed animals, they provide the critically important fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2.
2 – Replace Refined White Sugar
Replace all refined white sugar with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, molasses, stevia, sucanat and rappadura (these last two are forms of unrefined cane sugar which contain minerals). Use sweeteners sparingly. There is a clear association between sugar and cancer.
Sugar is addictive and is an underlying cause of the obesity epidemic we are experiencing today. In the 1800’s people ate a few pounds of sugar a year. Today Americans eat over 150 pounds of sugar each year and it is only getting worse.
Processed foods that are loaded with hidden sugars and other toxic additives that make you want to eat more. Soda’s and fruit juices are also places where sugars are hidden.
3 – Eat Truly Nutrient Dense Foods From Pasture Raised Animals
Eat more truly nutrient dense foods such as pastured eggs, pastured beef, fish roe and organ meats like liver. You can contact your local Weston Price Foundation chapter leader to find out where to purchase these foods.
I use this online source for grassfed meat and have been very happy with them.
4 – Eat Fermented Foods
Before refrigeration, people consumed tons of fermented foods – and gained the beneficial bacteria that comes along with it. Now that we have refrigeration and modern ways of “pickling” – fermentation fell out of favor. However, due to the real food movement, we are now going back to the traditional ways of preserving foods.
Many small companies are springing up that offer fantastic fermented foods and drinks.
This company makes beautiful fermented foods and fermented vegetable juices.
This company specializes in kombucha.
If you would like to start making your own fermented foods, you can purchase starter cultures here.
5 – Consume Bone Broths
Homemade bone broth and stock are an essential part of a real food kitchen. From this stock you can make delicious and nutritious soups, stews and gravies.
Homemade bone broth is full of collagen and gelatin that are important nutrients for bones, joints, skin and critical for healing the lining of the digestive tract.
For more delicious soups you may want to take a look at my Beyond Broth ebook.
6 – Make Your Own Condiments
If you want to buy excellent mayonnaise from avocado oil you can get it here.
7 – Remove Soy Products
Remove all soy products from your diet unless they are fermented (like real fermented soy sauce or natto) and use sparingly.
Soy is not the health food is it proclaimed to be. In fact, most soy products are highly processed and extremely hard to digest. They have been linked to hormonal imbalances and irritation of the digestive tract. Soy baby formula has been taken off the market in Israel.
8 – Eat Salt
Eat salt. Use a good sea salt that has lots of trace minerals. Your digestion and your adrenal glands will love you for it!
Here are a few of my favorite types of salt.
9 – Take Cod Liver Oil
10 – Sign Up for my Free Newsletter
Sign up here and you will receive a series of emails from me outlining the easy steps to take to gain control of your health. You’ll also receive a grain free recipe book!
If you would like blog updates as well, sign up here.
If you have persistent health problems you should consider removing all grain and starch products from your diet. Read about the SCD, GAPS, Paleo or Primal diets to see if this rings true for you. Check out my e-course, Go Grain-Free which will provide you with videos and recipes that follow a grain-free diet.
Make a goal each week or so, to incorporate at least one of the suggestions into a plan. It is best to tackle one new action at a time.
My Resource Page is a wealth of information on where to buy the highest quality foods.
- High quality cooking oils
- Natural sweeteners
- Fermentation starter cultures
- Ready made, high quality bone broths
- Grassfed meats
- Wild fish
- Sea salt and other spices
- Coconut products
- Cod liver oil
- My Go Grain-Free E-Course
For more information about traditional diets and real food check out the Weston Price Foundation website.
Find a local chapter and get involved! As indicated above, local chapters are great sources for local products and buying directly from a farmer.