Monday, April 21, 2014

Don't Eat That, Eat This!

My father loves a book series that takes fast food restaurants and tells you what the worst things on the menu are versus the best. Truth be told, it is all pretty horrific. But using that concept I thought I would let people know some of the improvements I have made... small changes which have been benefiting my health. Improving yourself involves looking at what you already do and seeing what changes you could be making for the better. This is exactly how it works with diet. For example, when I gave up drinking soda I lost 10 pounds immediately. Anyone who is drinking soda I highly recommend this as a starting point to better health. Otherwise prepare yourself for severe bone damage and high dental bills in later life. Now, on to my list...

Instead of Soda, try Kombucha.

As I stated above, soda is poison. All you have to do to prove that is take a corroded penny and drop it in a glass of Coca-cola. And if it does that to the penny, just imagine your poor insides. Kombucha gives you the bubbles, but actually helps your digestion. 

Instead of Regular Pasta, try Quinoa Pasta, Carrot Ribbons or Zucchini Ribbons.

The reason so many people have become gluten-free is because it is very difficult for most people's bodies to process gluten, which literally  acts like glue inside the body. Quinoa pasta is a great alternative and high in protein. There are some ethical concerns lately about fair compensation of farmers in countries that produce quinoa. With its rising popularity many people in countries that have historically survived on the crop can now no longer afford it. But don't fret, with a spiralizer you can use carrots and zucchinis and like magic have noodles!

Instead of Milk or Soy Milk, try Hemp Milk, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk.

Soy and dairy were two things which were very hard for me to part with. Since I had been vegetarian since the age of seven, I fell back on these as my staples. I panicked at what I would do without them, but hemp, almond, and coconut milks have all come to my rescue. I even have my 8 year-old son enjoying hemp milk on his cereal every morning, getting him the extra protein he needs!

Instead of Cheese, try Sunflower Seed “Cheese” or Almond “Cheese”.

Again, cheese is a hard thing to part with, but if you make your own, you can get the flavors you want! Spike with truffles or cracked pepper! I have been staying away from cashews lately, since most are processed and not raw, but they are also an improvement on the real thing. 

Instead of Ice Cream, try Frozen Banana Whip.

If you haven't discovered that by some miracle of science putting a frozen banana in a food processor turns it into ice cream, GO TRY IT NOW. Run, don't walk. Throw in frozen berries, cacao powder, whatever you want! Thank me later!

Instead of Chocolate Pudding, try Avocado Cacao Pudding.

Another dessert miracle. Avocado plus cacao plus sweetener of choice = perfection. Goodbye gross chemicals, dairy, gelatinous whatever-you-are. Hello nature.

Instead of Soybean Oil or Canola Oil, try Hemp Oil or Olive Oil.

Most of these changes are not even hard! Just restock your pantry! Hemp oil has some especially great health benefits!

Instead of Processed Sugar, try Honey or Maple Syrup.

Some vegans are opposed to honey, I know. Everyone needs to follow their own dietary and ethical paths. But the health benefits of local raw honey for people with allergies (ie: ME) is a big one. Otherwise, take your sweetness straight from the tree!

Instead of Coffee, try Dandy Blend.

So many Americans are addicted to coffee, but I have found Dandy Blend just as satisfying. It is caffeine free, not acidic, and contains trace minerals. 

Instead of Store Bought Salad Dressing, try Homemade Salad Dressing.

This is a big one. You are trying to be healthy, so you make yourself a salad. And then you take a bottle of store bought dressing and slather your poor vegetables in that garbage. And you wonder why you still feel like crap? Read your label! This is such a big one, I might have to do a whole post just on salad dressings!

Instead of Canned Tomatoes, try Fresh Tomatoes or Sun Dried Tomatoes.

Something terrible happens with the combination of acidic tomatoes and aluminum cans. Whatever is scientifically happening, it causes BPAs to leak into your food which leads to serious health problems. Easy fix! Use fresh tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes! I have even managed to find sun dried tomatoes which are sulfite free!

Instead of Butter, try Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is truly magical. Fatty acids with medicinal properties. And its consistency is naturally similar to butter. Don't be scared to use it with savory foods either!

Instead of Tofu, try Tempeh.

Soy isn't the best. I am sorry vegans, I know your pain. The reason 90% of soy crops are GMO is because 90% are sprayed with the herbicide Glyphosate. Soybean oil is also bad because of the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, which lead to inflammation. There is also evidence that soy causes thyroid problems. Tempeh is a much better option, because a lot of these issues are eliminated due to the fermentation process.

Instead of Meat Burgers or Soy Burgers, try Artichoke or Millet Burgers.

Millet is a great grain in general. Easily digested. It is just as easy to get frozen millet or vegetable burgers (artichoke are my favorite) as it is to get those that are soy or wheat gluten. I know people love their soy, but from my experience soy does NOT love me back.

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