Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Steps

Well, now that I've spent several years getting more healthy, I've started trying to help other people figure out where to start. So, for those of you who are interested in starting a health journey, here's what the ideal first stage might look like.

First, eliminate the worst offenders: artificial and highly processed sweeteners (sugar, corn syrup, etc.), white flour, hydrogenated oils, and vegetable oils. (see previous post). Instead use honey, whole wheat flour, extra virgin coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Also, watch for corn, soy, cotton, and canola derivitives--most of which are genetically modified and not labeled as such. Get rid of the cokes and limit your eating out and processed foods. Avoid breakfast cereals (puffed and shaped foods don't digest well), as well as donuts, french fries and potato chips (the oils they are fried in are awful). Don't even look at margarine!

Then, start adding in a few healthy foods. One of my favorites I learned from the Amish: the Apple Cider Vinegar tonic: Add 2 tsp honey and 2 tsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to an 8oz glass of water. Now, that might scare you a bit for a couple of reasons. First, you may have heard vinegar is acidic. Most is, but the raw ACV works just the opposite in your body. Second, you might be like me, and scared of the tastes---but when I finally got up the guts to try it, it wasn't bad! You can always add more honey until you like it. I add it to room temp. water and it mixes well. Others add a bit of hot water to dissolve the honey and then add the chilled water.

There are all sorts of super foods you can add, but I often recommend the ACV drink for a couple reason. One is that it is extremely cheap!!! Also, I like that it has enzymes to help you digest the other over-processed food in your diet and that it has good bacteria (like yogurt). This is the strands you see in it (when you shake the bottle up they usually break in to tiny pieces you don't even notice in a single serving). I also drink a juice called Ningxia Red. I've been looking at some other juices, so I know there are lots of good things out there, but not everyone is ready to invest the money.

Use this vinegar in any recipe calling for vinegar. Use it with some olive oil to make a salad dressing.

Also, change some of the products you use. Replace your salt with "Real Salt" or "Celtic Sea Salt". Use real butter, preferably organic. Use organic Tamari instead of soy sauce.

If you've got these basics down, come back soon and we'll take it to the next level. But remember, stress is bad for your health, so just take it slow.

Have a healthy day!

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