Eating Clean: Cheat Sheet.

A few people have been asking me how we decide what to eat and what not to eat; Particularly what we feed Jude. I want this to be simple. So I’m just going to list out what is “best” health wise. I will come back later and add links so you can look into why. But for now, I want to make this as easy to follow as possible.

Most of eating clean is a matter of knowing how to read labels. Basic rules:

1.) Ignore buzz words like “gluten free!” (unless you are ACTUALLY allergic.) This doesn’t make it healthy. Instead, look at the ingredients list. It will tell you what you need to know.

2.) High calorie doesn’t mean it is bad! We tend to put too much meaning into calories. If I eat 1000 calories of twinkies, or 1000 calories of fruits and veggies, my body will have 2 totally different reactions!

3.) If you don’t know what an ingredient is, google it. That’s why we have smart phones, right?

So here is the easy breakdown.

50 to 75% of your cart should be filled with things that are perishable. Easy-peasy. So.

Eggs: Look for organic, vegetarian fed, free range/pastured eggs. These run about $5 to $6 dollars a dozen. If you need to go a little cheaper, get organic cage-free eggs (about $3 to $4 a dozen)

Dairy: The best dairy is grass-fed, organic, and  whole fat. This applies to all dairy products: milk, cheese, butter, yogurt….Once you eat a whole fat yogurt, you will never go back to the skim, low fat junk ever again. So good. If you can’t afford the “better” dairy products, consider substituting with almond or coconut milk!

Ingredients to avoid in dairy products: Carrageenan

Meat: Look for grass-fed beef, free range or pastured chicken. Personally, I avoid pork because it is a very inhumanely treated animal and I don’t want to support that industry, but if you choose to eat it, look for nitrate free. And, as with all things, organic is best.

Produce: Fill, fill, fill your cart with produce! Plants are the best things you can be eating! Buy organic of the dirty dozen (the 12 most pesticide filled produce. The list is updated every year)or just avoid them if you can’t afford the organic ones.

2015 dirty dozen:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes

Other good things to fill your cart is plain, roasted or slightly salted nuts and seeds, rice, and beans.

Pantry Staples: Toss your hydrogenated and gmo oils and switch to something healthier like coconut oil or avocado oil. Also try honey or coconut sugar instead of your cane sugar, and Himalayan salt instead of table salt.

Now when you get into the processed and freezer foods, avoid if:

  • it has soy or corn that is not organic ( this includes high fructose corn syrup). These are the top 2 GMO’s and it’s best to just not buy it. (Organic labels cannot be put on GMO food)
  • it has a hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. Better oils in processed food are palm, olive, or coconut
  • it has sugar as one of the first 3 ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity (greatest to least). glucose, sucrose, fructose, and HFCS are all forms of sugar!
  • it has artificial colors or flavors

Ingredients to always avoid. ALWAYS: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Potassium Benzoate, Sodium Benzoate, Aspartame, BHA, and BHT.

I hope this helps. Happy shopping!

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