Before you even start cooking your healthy meals, take a look inside your fridge and cupboard. There are many items you can do without and have them replaced with the good stuff! This is one of the easiest and most effective thing to do as part of your healthy eating strategy. See below for simple ways to replace basic everyday foods with more nourishing, fat busting alternatives.
1. AVOID: Sugary foods and drinks
Sugar is found in all packed sauces, soy sauce, salad dressings, balsamic vinegar, canned juices and soft drinks, white bread and flour products including cakes and biscuits.. and much more… Along with promoting insulin resistance, Candida and other opportunistic bacteria that reside in the gut feeds on sweet, fermented and yeast containing foods. Candida can cause all sorts of gastrointestinal disturbances which may cause discomfort and adrenal fatigue making your body less able to cope with both mental and physical stress.
REPLACE WITH: Naturally sweet whole foods
While it’s not necessary to go on a completely sugar free diet, cutting down in certain areas will help maintain appropriate energy levels. Try and limit your sugar intake to foods that are naturally sweet like bananas, dates, raisins, cranberries or apple sauce – these foods contain other important nutrients as well as fibre so you won’t be consuming empty calories when you need that sugar fix.
2. AVOID: Refined foods
High GI foods that have been processed from their whole state are low in nutritional value and promote nutritional deficiencies. White rice, instant cereals, noodles, pastas and anything made with all purpose flour and the like are among this list. You can retrain your body to burn fat instead of sugar but cutting these out.
REPLACE WITH: Whole Foods
The human body runs most efficiently on food that is in it’s natural, whole state. Fresh vegetables and fruits should form the bulk of any diet along with good quality fats from avocados and coconuts, lean proteins, grains and seeds/nuts such as quinoa, amaranth and home-made nut butters.
3. AVOID: Packages and Processed Foods
This referes to anything that comes in a packet and has an ingredients list. These products contain tons of hidden sugars, preservatives, flavourings, trans-fats and chemicals which are designed to make you overeat them!
REPLACE WITH: Fresh Produce
Start with fresh produce and only eat food you recognise to begin with. Stock up your fridge with lots of fresh vegetables and snack on them throughout the day. Cook whole rice and lentils rather than instant noodles, roast a whole chicken instead of oven baking chicken nuggets, grill a salmon steak rather that fish ball. Include oily fish, grass-fed beef, eggs and/or plant based proteins such as legumes, tempeh and tofu.
4. AVOID: Gluten*
Gluten can trigger inflammation, increase stress hormone levels and fluid retention in certain individuals. You may not have been diagnosed with leaky gut or celiac disease but if you’re constantly experiencing bloating, indigestion and gas, you may want to consider cutting these out to alleviate the discomfort but also to improve your overall energy levels. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and it’s derivatives and includes instant noodles, pastas, bread and couscous.
REPLACE WITH: Gluten free alternatives
Opt for brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oat grains, bean flour, gluten free breads and rice noodles.