Basic Foundation of Health and Wellness

Paleo, low fat, no sugar, low carb, organic, non-GMO, local, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, raw foodist… What the hula?!

How in the world is anyone supposed to know what’s healthy these days?!

I mean, for crying out loud – many of us grew up in a household where cooking involved a frozen brick and a microwave, where fast food was the norm. Our moms barely knew how to cook – so why should we?

The bottom line is that we are mothers who were (in large part) not taught how to cook. And – even if you’re one of the lucky few who was taught, there is so much new, conflicting information out there today about healthy eating that we often have no clue what to believe or where to start…

Well, that’s why I’m here, ladies – to end the confusion and get you cookin’!

So, what is healthy eating? The answer is simple:

The basic foundation of health and wellness is to truly eat whole, unprocessed foods that are mostly vegetarian.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t overthink it girlfriend.

Here are a few basic guidelines to start implementing healthy eating today (note I didn’t say “rules” – these are guidelines – meaning, we are all human, and we do the best we can):

  • Eat whole foods
  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat non-GMO foods
  • Reduce gluten
  • Reduce animal products (dairy, meat & eggs)

Now, the details:

1. Whole Foods
Eating whole foods means to eat food in it’s most complete, whole natural state. Eat a whole orange rather than pasteurized orange juice; eat a whole potato, not tater tots.

Your body easily recognizes food in it’s whole form and gains maximum nutrients from it in that state. Food is not just a specific vitamin or mineral, they are made up many nutrients that your body needs and process better when together.

2. Unprocessed Foods
Processed foods are anything that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. They are created in a laboratory by chemists, rather than grown on a far, by a farmer.

Blue yogurt, crackers with twentyfive ingredients, cheese wiz are all food-like substances that are purposely made with fat, salt and sugar to keep you coming back for more.

3. Non-GMO foods
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. This means that a pesticide is put into the DNA of a plant to help it ward off pests when they are growing.

GMO’s are made to explode the intestines of the insects that eat them. Why would we think that the way GMO’s affect us is any different? With 70% of your immune system in your gut…it’s understandable that there are so many gut-based illnesses these days.

4. Gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye (oats are often cross-contaminated because they are grown on farms that rotate crops, or milled in mills that mill wheat as well).

There are two major issues I have with gluten:

  • A. It causes inflammation and most diseases are caused by inflammation.
    No gluten = less inflammation = less pain = more happiness
  • B. Over the past few decades the DNA of the wheat seed has been modified to allow for easier, faster processing of the grain. This, in turn, caused a roughly 50% rise in the level of pesticides found in wheat/flour.
  • C. Lastly, biologically speaking, humans weren’t designed to digest wheat, cows were – and they have four separate stomachs to digest it! It is tough on your body, so if you can, let it go mama!

5. Animal products
Animal products are a double whammy:

  • Animals are fed GMO’s almost exclusively (if they are not organic) and, therefore are passed onto you when you eat them.
  • Additionally, your body takes on average 5 days to break down that yummy hot dog that you scarfed down last night. So, while it’s sitting in your cute little tummy, it’s literally rotting (yuck!) and that is what causes those “stinky toots” (as they are called in the Neuner house).

If you do choose to eat them, please make sure you buy organic and grass fed products whenever possible.

OK, now you know, but how do you start?

First, as I always say, do what you can, do any one small step. Because, you don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to do it 100%. Choose what feels right for your family.

In our house, we aim for a balanced pH or high pH diet. Some call it a high alkaline diet.
We eat gluten free (I have two little celiacs at home and I am allergic as well), mostly vegan, and ideally drink lots of water and eat lots of fresh, whole, raw food.

Before you freak out and say “What the Hula?!”… let me explain, sista!

OK, first the pH thang… remember pH scales from science class? Alkaline vs Acidic? Well, basically the Standard American Diet (or SAD) is highly acidic. And if you eat acidic foods, your body will become acidic and inflamed. Inflammation is the root cause of many, many illnesses these days (remember, gluten?). It has been linked to everything from cancer, to heart disease to allergies.

Also, when your body is acidic, your cells are low in oxygen, which allows things like cancer cells to grow (they love a low pH home!). If you have an alkaline diet, and thus an alkaline body, you will have less inflammation, more oxygen and guess what? Those pesky cancer cells, they hate it and cannot grow in a highly pH home.

What can you do to make your body more alkaline?

Well sista – eat more fruits and veggies (the greener the better)! The more green you eat or drink, the happier your little cells will be! Green juice, salads, raw fruits and veggies are all highly alkaline and will make your body happy and healthy.

So…what does that mean for you?

It means fill the fridge and empty the pantry!

You can hashtag that #fillthefridgeemptythepantry!

Base your meals more around the veggies than meat. – Did you know that dark, leafy greens have tons of protein and calcium that are easier for your body to digest? In other words, you do not need meat for protein.

Another thing you can do is drink water. LOTS and LOTS of water!

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and they don’t even know it.

If you aren’t peeing once an hour and if it isn’t almost clear – you need to chug baby, chug!
Staying hydrated will make everything soooo much better. It’ll make your skin brighter and softer, and it will make you poop better (how many kids do you know these days who are on Miralax?!).

Drinking enough water will also make you less hungry (do you know that often we think we are hungry when we are really thirsty?!). So, bring back the good old college days and chug, baby, chug!

The bottom line in all this is that you are the keeper of your family’s health. What you put into your body has a major impact on your health and that of your family.

You can take control of your family’s health. You have the power and I’ll give you the tools.

Together we can make your family the healthiest family on the block. So lets’ recap…

What do I recommend for healthy eating?

  1. Eat whole foods
  2. Eat unprocessed foods
  3. Eat non-GMO foods
  4. Reduce gluten
  5. Reduce animal products

How do I feed my family?

I aim for a balanced pH diet, and I achieve it by eating lots of fruits and veggies and drinking lots of water.

You can heal your body with food, from the inside out, you can and you will, and I’ll be here to help you every step of the way.

Are you game? Click on breakfast tips and let’s get this party started!

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