Components of Total Health
- Nutrition – proper nutrition is essential in achieving peak health – lots of raw fruits and vegetables as the foundation, add whole grains, nuts and seeds to provide the good fat, pure water, and if you must eat animal products – eat them in moderation and make sure that they are clean (free-range, organic.)
- Rest/Sleep – get plenty of rest and sleep to be healthy.
- Exercise – move that body consistently to keep the lymphatic system moving and provide proper oxygen to the cells.
- Air (oxygen) – breathe plenty of good, clean air to provide the number one nutrient to the cells.
- Sunshine – get an hour of sunshine daily to provide all sorts of health benefits to the body.
- Personal hygiene – keep the largest organ of the body in good shape by taking care of your skin with natural care and cleanliness.
- Positive Mental Attitude – the key to happiness and longevity!
Good Rules of Thumb
One of the best rules of thumb to follow regarding health and nutrition is to eat the closest you can to the way that God created things. The farther away from the way that something is created, the unhealthier it becomes. Just think – “Is this food in its natural state? How many processes has it gone through to get to this stage?” Live food leads to life, dead food leads to death. Eat live food as much as possible.
Another good rule that falls in line with the above is to eat lots of colorful foods. The deeper the color, the more nutritious it is. Also, the item will have more color the closer it is to the way it was created. Cooking and processing tends to dim the color of food. Eat a colorful diet from a variety of colors. Color your palette and enjoy peak health!
Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat perfect 80% of the time and then 20% of the time you can splurge on other items. Remember it’s what you do the majority of the time that matters most. Even on the splurge items I would personally still make “healthy” choices. If you have a life threatening illness such as cancer, it’s imperative to do things right all of the time. You can’t afford to have anything but ideal fuel going into the body.
If possible, grow an organic garden. They provide wonderful fresh food full of enzymes and phytochemicals, and they provide therapeutic benefit to you as you tend them. To grow the easiest garden on the planet, check out www.towerofeden.com & www.towergarden.com. Let us know if you’d like to purchase a tower garden. We can help you with that.
After a splurge meal or junk food, consider eating the next 2 meals of all raw fruits. Fruit is a great cleanser and will help cleanse the body of the toxins.
Stocking a Healthy Pantry
Remember that sweeteners are not considered real food as you would not sit down and eat a whole bowl of them as a meal (hopefully not anyway!) I have listed them here to help you in your transition from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a health producing diet. Sweeteners can be used in those foods that comprise the 20% portion of your cooked and splurge type foods. Sweeteners should be enjoyed in small quantities.
- Pure maple syrup – I prefer to use maple syrup or Sucanat (see below) when I bake. Maple syrup works well as a substitute for sugar. You will have to adjust the amount of liquid that you use in the recipe however, since maple syrup is liquid. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of maple syrup and then decrease the other liquid in the recipe. I usually just wing it as far as how much to decrease the other liquid. You’ll probably have to decrease it by ¼ to ½ cup. Judge by the consistency.
- Stevia – stevia is an herbal sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. I use pure stevia extract in my green tea, homemade lemonade, hot lemonade, etc. You only need to use a small quantity. Other countries have been using stevia for centuries with no ill effects. I think it’s a better option than sugar and personally prefer the taste to honey.
- Honey – pure unfiltered honey is an acceptable sweetener. You can use it like maple syrup in recipes. The best honeys to use are ones grown locally.
- Sucanat – this is dried cane juice and is minimally processed. Use it in baking one to one for sugar. You don’t have to worry about decreasing liquid since it is a dry product.
- Barley Malt Syrup – a grain sweetener made from partially fermented sprouted barley. It is similar to molasses but has a less intense flavor. It is better for the body’s metabolism than refined sugars.
- Brown rice syrup – this is a good, mild-tasting sweetener made from brown rice. It consists of 50% complex carbohydrates and has the gentlest effect on blood sugar levels of any sweetener. Brown rice syrup is very easy to digest.
Spices, Condiments, and Other Items
- Salt substitute – you can add chopped celery to your food as celery has good organic sodium and gives the taste of salt. Another option is Organic Dulse Granules or Organic Kelp Granules made by Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Inc. These provide a salty flavor with very little sodium. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a raw soy product that is great to give a salty taste. You can put it in a spray bottle and spray it on food. Use 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s to equate 1 teaspoon of salt. If you want to use salt, select Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt as they have minerals. You should be able to find them in the health food store. Also use herbs to flavor the food. You will get to the point of enjoying the taste of your food instead of relying on salt to stimulate your taste buds.
- Milk substitutes – occasionally you may want to use a milk substitute. I recommend almond, coconut or rice milk. They can be purchased at a health food store and often at a regular grocery store such as Publix. You can also make your own almond milk.
- Thickener – arrowroot powder is a digestible starch and can be substituted for cornstarch and is preferred because it is a whole food and relatively unprocessed. It comes from the West Indian arrowroot plant. One tablespoon of arrowroot powder thickens a cup of liquid. It is best to dissolve the powder by stirring it into an equal amount of liquid before adding it to the dish.
- Baking powder – make sure and get the non-aluminum ones, as aluminum is toxic and linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Rumford is the brand that I use. You can make your own by combining two parts of cream of tartar, one part baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and two parts arrowroot.
- Flours – it is recommended that you not eat white flour and white flour products. Use whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, gluten free baking mixes, etc. in lieu of white flour. Semolina flour in pastas is refined so you want to avoid that. Brown rice pastas are my favorites and good for people who are gluten (elastic protein) sensitive. Non-gluten grains that are great whether in flours or cooked and eaten are: buckwheat, guinoa, millet and amaranth. They are good for those wanting to lose weight as they are less starchy and have high quality plant protein. Quinoa is my all-time favorite grain! Try it lots of ways! Grains and flours are best stored in the refrigerator.
- Carob powder – this is a dark brown powder similar to cocoa made from the dried pods of the honey locust tree. It is a delicious alternative to chocolate but often takes some getting used to. Carob in contrast to chocolate is naturally sweet tasting, low in fat, and caffeine free. It is also high in fiber and calcium. Carob can be substituted in equal measure for cocoa in beverages, desserts and candies.
- Catsup, mustard, etc. – purchase these in the health food store, as the ones in the regular store are full of sugar and other non-desirable items. Commercial catsup is approximately 1/3 sugar! Choose the fruit-sweetened variety.
- Couscous – this is a grain made from precooked cracked millet, ground semolina (not recommended), or whole wheat. It’s nice in salads or mixed with vegetables for a grain dish.
- Dried fruit – unsulphured, organic ones only as the commercial versions are toxic. Dried fruits are a nice snack when you are craving something sweet. They are also good in baked goods, stuffings, and trail mixes. Dried fruits are great concentrations of nutrients, fiber and fruit sugars. They are great for energy.
- Coffee substitutes – I enjoy 2 cups of organic green tea each morning sweetened with stevia. Another option that helps to detoxify the liver is hot lemonade made with hot water and the juice of ½ lemon. You can sweeten it with one of the sweeteners mentioned here. This will help with constipation. There are also many coffee substitutes found in health food stores that are a better option than coffee. Coffee is toxic to the body and causes your body to produce cortisol, also known as the death or aging hormone. Cortisol is what your body produces in stress. Most coffee contains 120 mg in one cup, which is a lethal dose if injected in your bloodstream. The reason that you experience a lift is the stimulation that happens when your body recognizes the lethal dose of caffeine. The body revs up the metabolism to deal with the toxin before it hits the bloodstream, hence the stimulation. Coffee also taxes the adrenal glands. If you are unwilling to give up coffee, drink ½ decaf & ½ caffeine to cut down on the caffeine.
- Mayonnaise – commercial forms typically contain eggs and undesirable oils as well as sugar. They are high in cholesterol. There are many alternatives in health food stores that are much better than commercial mayonnaise. My preference is organic Vegenaise made by Follow Your Heart. It has a great taste and most people can’t tell it from the “regular” stuff.
- Nutritional yeast – this is a food supplement that is high in B vitamins and has a cheesy flavor. It is great sprinkled on popcorn, in soups, sauces, and main dishes. You can find it in the bulk section of the health food store. You can make a great Mac & Cheese with this instead of dairy.
- Nut butters – Peanuts are not nuts, they are of the legume (bean) family. They are highly toxic and should be avoided. Peanuts have aflatoxin which is so toxic they use it to induce cancer in laboratory animals (see The China Study by T. Colin Campbell). There is one brand of peanut butter that is aflatoxin-free because the peanuts are grown in Arizona where it is dry. It is called Maranatha Organic Peanut Butter. A much better option to peanut butter is almond or cashew butter. They are both delicious and give you the benefit of the good fat without the added oils and sugar. Another great nut butter is tahini made from grinding sesame seeds. Tahini is a wonderful addition to many recipes. Purchasing the raw versions is always better. Store nut butters in the refrigerator.
- Oils – raw, extra-virgin olive oil and organic flax oil can be used sparingly on salads but should never be heated. For sautéing, use water. Use all oils in moderation. Using the whole food – olives, flax seeds, etc. is preferred as you get the whole package. Oil has about 125 calories per tablespoon which goes from the lips to the hips in 5 minutes (according to Dr. Joel Fuhrman). In contrast 1 TBL of nuts only has about 35 calories and actually will suck up back fat from your body & replace it with the good fat of the nuts & seeds.
- Sea vegetables – exceptionally high in minerals and aid in digestion of many foods.
- Sprouts – a fun, inexpensive way to add raw veggies to your diet. Can sprout almost any seed, legume, nut, or grain. Use organically grown sprouting seeds or organic beans. Measure 2 tablespoons of the tiny seeds, ¼ cup of beans, or ½ cup of lentils. You need a quart jar, cheese cloth or screen, or sprouting jar. Cover seeds or beans & let soak 6-12 hours, drain, rinse twice a day and turn jar upside down at a 45 degree angle to drain. In 3-5 days you’ll have a wonderfully delicious vegetable to add to sandwiches & salads. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week. Fun to do with kids!
- Golden flaxseeds (keep refrigerated) – grind 2 tablespoons a day and add to smoothie, salad, or whatever you want. Grind right before eating. Great source of Omega fats!
- Chia Seeds – Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seed may be eaten raw as a whole seed, providing protein, fats and fiber. In a one ounce (28 g) sample, dried chia seeds contain 9% of the Daily Value for protein (4g), 13% fat (9g) (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber (11g), based on a daily intake of 2000 calories. The seeds also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium in amounts comparable to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame. Substitute ¼ cup chia seeds soaked in ½ cup water for 5 minutes for ½ cup oil in baking recipes!