When you decide to make a change in your life to be healthy or lose weight (or both) you need to do more than just talk about change. You need to take action. Since food is the main foundation for good health or poor health, the first step is to take a hard look at the food you have been surrounding yourself with and be honest with yourself.
If your pantry is full of processed items, especially grains and sugary treats, you will eat those things, even if you promise yourself you won’t. You may have good intentions, or hope for the best, but without purging the foods from your home that make you overweight and sick, you do not have a plan. What you have is the same vicious cycle that defines insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The same principle can be applied to losing weight. You simply will not lose weight and keep it off if you are eating the same way you always have. Put even more simply, if you don’t clean out your pantry and restock it with more nutritional options, you will most likely fail.
You have to make a PLAN.
The best way to get started is to throw away or give away the junk in your pantry and refrigerator. What other people think of as junk may vary, so I have compiled a list for you for what I define as junk:
Anything that contains grains and sugars (i.e. Most stuff that comes in a box)
- All hot and cold cereal grains
- All bread & other baked goods
- All white and wheat flours
- All pasta
- All rice
- All corn & corn products
- All meals in bar form
- Sugars, sugar substitutes, and syrups
- Snack foods: chips, crackers, ice cream, and all sugary treats
- All fruit juices, soft drinks and energy drinks
- Any prepared meals, like canned soups, chicken broth, stews, deli counter items and frozen dinners.
- Condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, bottled or powdered salad dressings and marinades, mustards – check labels here for high fructose corn syrup, other sugars and vegetable oils. (There are better versions of most condiments if you check the labels!)
All industrial seed oils & processed fats:
- Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Vegetable Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean Oil, Peanut Oil, Crisco, margarine and other butter substitutes.
All other foods that mess with digestion and/or hormones: (not exactly what I would call “junk” but do cause problems for many )
- Legumes: chick peas (hummus), lentils, peanuts, peas, all beans
- All soy & soy products
- Low-fat and Non-Fat Dairy Products and processed cheeses:
- Pasteurized and homogenized skim, 1 %, 2% milk and all milk substitutes like non-dairy creamers & powdered milks.
- All Low fat and fat free yogurts
- All cheese that is not made from grass-fed or raw cow milk
- Reduced fat sour cream & cream cheese
- All butter that is not made from grass-fed cow milk
While you are gathering all these items for removal, really take a look at what you have been putting into your body. Read the actual ingredients. Can you even pronounce some of them? A good guide is that if you cannot pronounce the ingredients or you are not sure what an ingredient is, do not eat it. Most of these foods are not actually food at all. They are processed food-like products with little to no nutritional value. When you consume them, your body is not satiated by them since only nutrient-dense food will cause the triggers to the brain that we are full. With these foods, you are ingesting all the calories but no nutritional value, so you will continue to eat and eat and eat and still always be hungry. You will gain weight and remain unhealthy since you will be nutrient depleted.
Now, replace all those items with real food. Here is a list of some real foods:
- Fresh organic vegetables and fruit
- Pastured meats and eggs
- Wild caught fish (canned is OK as long as it’s BPA free)
- Pastured organ meats
- Raw nuts, raw nut butters, and raw nut flours (make your own butters & flours from the raw nuts!)
- Condiments, sauces and dressings: home-made & sugar-free (Pureed avocado is a favorite of many for home-made dressings & guacamole.) Unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, like Bragg’s, with olive oil is what I use mostly on salads.
Replace all your oils and fats with these:
- Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Grass-Fed Beef Tallow, Pastured Pork Lard, Duck Fat, Grass-Fed Butter and Ghee, and Coconut Milk.
Add foods that aid in digestion & healing:
- Home-made bone broth (see my recipe!)
- Fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass.
- Full fat greek yogurt and/or sour cream with cultures (if you tolerate dairy)
If you empty your pantry and refrigerator of the junk I mentioned and restock with real, whole foods you have already completed Step 1 of your new health plan! This is a great start! By removing un-food and replacing it with nutritious food, you have begun your journey to a better life. Congratulations! The foods I recommended here will not only help with weight loss, but will nourish and heal your body from years of poor diet. So throw out any notions of a quick-fix to your weight and health issues; healing yourself takes time, self-love, and maintaining your plan towards changing your health. Don’t forget – it took you years to become overweight and unhealthy, so don’t expect to be healthy and fitter overnight! In fact, by starting here, you are committing to not going on a fad diet to spur temporary weight loss. You are beginning the process of transforming your life. Remember, just as hope is not a plan, good health is not a diet. It is a lifestyle.
If you are truly ready for this change, contact me for a free health and/or weight loss strategy session. We can talk about your lifestyle goals in depth. After that, I can help you make your plan a reality during my 6-month program should you choose to work with me after the free session. I will educate you on why I recommend eating the foods I described above, how to rid yourself of sugar and junk food cravings, and show you how this way of eating also helps you maximize your fitness goals. It is well known that people are more successful in sticking with a plan when they have support, education, guidance and accountability. Contact me today to get started!