5 Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

Eating healthy doesn’t have to take all of your time and effort.  Here are 5 easy tricks to sneak into your diet, and believe me, you’ll want to keep them there for good!

  1.  You perhaps may be one of many who have made the resolution to eat healthier for the New Year, and salads are a great way to do so.  With best intentions, you could unknowingly be hampering your efforts by using store bought dressing.  Why?  Most commercial salad dressings contain plenty of unnecessary and unneeded ingredients which can be harming to your health.  Here are just a few common ingredients and why you should avoid them:
  • Poor quality oils: The bulk of oils used in most commercial salad dressings are coming from genetically engineered canola or soy, and have been processed and refined to the point of turning them into unhealthy fats.
  • White sugar or high fructose corn syrup: imbalances blood sugar levels, depletes nutrients in the body and encourages weight gain.  We don’t need the extra sugar!
  • Chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavorings:  The list is too long to mention here, but do we really need titanium dioxide or xantham gum in our lovely greens?  Even in small amounts these chemicals have shown to be detrimental to health.

That’s not to say that there are not some decent organic dressings on the shelves, but even so you can’t beat homemade.  Here are a few simple recipes for homemade dressings to get you started.   

Basic Vinaigrette

Lemon & Anchovy Dressing

  1.  What’s your pH?  If you are eating along the lines of the SAD (standard American Diet), probably acidic.  Coffee, heavy meats, alcohol, dairy, sugar, white flour, processed foods all create acidity in the body.  Acidic environments are the perfect breeding grounds of disease.  Achieving more of an alkaline balance is done by eating more greens, fruits, pure water, lean proteins.  Here is one step you can do to improve your body’s alkalinity everyday.  

Alkalinize by drinking hot water with lemon every morning.  Love that cup of coffee in the morning?  Me too! But how about balancing the acidity of the coffee by drinking hot water with lemon?  Do it everyday, and you’ll be thanking yourself for your new healthy glow!

  1.   Drink more water.  (I know, like you haven’t heard this one before).  You should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces, per day.  Heavy work-outs got you sweating? Then you need to drink more on top of that.  You do the math!  Carry a water bottle wherever you go to ensure you get your fill.
  2.  Try sourdough bread instead of yeast-containing breads.  Sourdough bread rises due to a long fermentation process.  During this process, the gluten is broken down into amino acids which makes the bread more digestible, even those gluten-sensitive have found they are able to tolerate sourdough.  Sourdough bread contains in the good bacteria lactobacillus, which helps to break down the hard to digest phytic acid in the grain, and also increases the absorption of minerals because of its positive effect on the gut flora.  Lucky for us in the Berkshires, we have Berkshire Mountain Bakery in our backyard which honors this ancient tradition of making sourdough bread.
  3.  Shop the perimeter of the store.  The middle aisles are where we get into trouble with processed and refined foods.  Stick to the fresh produce, meat, dairy sections for most of your shopping needs.  Try reducing your toxic load by buying organic meats and dairy.  You don’t have to buy all organic, just be savvy.  Check out the ‘clean 15’ for a list of produce that are okay to buy conventional.  

3 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

  1. Great post, Molly! Since you mentioned “clean” oils, which oils do you typically like to use for high-heat cooking?

    1. Hi Kerry, healthy oils that don’t oxidize with high heat are coconut oil, butter or ghee, grape seed oil, and avocado oil. If I’m cooking with olive oil I’ll sometimes add coconut or butter if I’ll be raising the temperature at some point.

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